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GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?

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GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2019, 10:10
Hallo GMATClub community,

Today I wrote my GMAT and it was a complete disaster. I am completely disappointed, frustrated and I just need any advice because otherwise I will become desperate.

In short: I studied a lot, I had very high pressure and scored way below my test scores and did not even get close to my target score of (only) 600.

But first I will explain everything in detail, that you have a proper basis for giving me advise or help me out in my situation.

ABOUT ME:
I am from Germany and finished my bachelor in Management. Now I want to pursue a Master in the same field at a top target Uni in Germany. In Germany the required scores are way lower than in USA and only the best 5 Unis even require a gmat.
I have already successfully completed the admission day (2 month ago) of my target uni and have a conditional offer. Meaning, they already accepted me but I must hand in a GMAT score of at least 600 points till June 15th. (Or a “Gre” of 113 or a “TM wieso” of 155 in both parts). This sounds like a lot of time (from december till June BUT: I have 2 important internships from first of march till the end of august!

As my goal was clearly 600 points and I was sure to skip IR and AWA from the beginning I planned on studying for 2,5 month. All threads and all people I asked had the opinion that 600 is such a low score that everyone can achieve it in 2 month easily. (I already knew that the GMAT will test all the topics I am typically weak at but still thaught that it is possible within 2,5 month)

Math background: I always hated math in school but nonetheless I was able to get at least satisfactory results in my exams. At university I had a tough time with all the math courses but it went out pretty ok (altaugh I think I had to put a lot more effort to the preparation than others did with less improvement)
The last 4 Semesters I did not have any math courses because I tried to avoid it as much as possible and thus have not had any contact with math since approx. 1.5 years.

English background: I feel very comfortable in English. I am very good at speaking and listening (I have American friends, had always contact with America, was at a semester abroad in an English speaking country and watch Netflix or youtube in English all the time, did the toefl befoe the gmat with 110 points) But my writing skills are not that good and I never cared much about grammar.

Preperation:
I started to prepare for my gmat on 12/01/18 and bought the whole manhatten strategie series with all 10 books and CATS + all 3 books from the GMAT OG (2017)

I completed the first book Nr 0 to get my first information about gmat and how It works, worked through the geometry book (yes I know it was the wrong choice to start with the least important but I knew my geometry knowledge is 0) and did the evaluation test from MGMAT in Quant (it said I don’t have to read the foundations because I got 75 right)
Afterwards I took the first MGMAT CAT to get a feeling what my starting level is.

 I got 490 in my first test (took it complete with test conditions)

From that point of time I worked my way through all MGMAT books. I left out the chapters which said “You should only consider this topic if you aim for a 80% percentile or more)
And made MGAMT CATS. (The table below shows all my CATS, Scores and when I took them)

nr Test Date taken Score Quant Verbal
1 MGMAT. 12/13/2018 490 32 26
2 MGMAT 01/12/2019 510 36 24
3 MGMAT 01/16/2019 560 36 31
4 MGMAT 01/21/2019 600 40 32
5 MGMAT 01/31/2019 580 40 30
6 MGMAT 02/02/2019 630 42 34
7 MGMAT 02/08/2019 550 32 34
8 MGMAT 02/14/2019 *did only Quant* 430 43 -
9 MGMAT 02/17/2019 590 42 31
10 GMAT Prep 1 02/20/2019 590 41 31
11 Gmat Prep 2 02/23/2019 620 45 30
Real GMAT 02/25/2019 530 36 26


I took all CATS under test conditions and did the last 4 at the same time I scheduled my real exam.

I studied everyday 3-5 hours. I went skiing for 4 days, did not learn over Christmas for a week and skipped learning at one weekend. At the end I counted 55 days on which I seriously studied.
I answered over 1000 test questions from the OG on wileygmat (often on exam mode but also often on study mode)

QUANT:
At my first CATs I had to guess a lot of quant questions, it was more guessing than actually solving but after a while (I think maybe my last 4 CATS) I barley guessed on math.

I always had an error log and was meticulously reviewing my exams (I reviewed them with excel, evaluated how many answers I got wrong, how many of which areas, how many of which difficulty and how many I guessed.)
But there has never been a clear result, because I did not have a particular weak spot but more many weaknesses distributed everywhere. I could never focus on any specific topic because my mistakes were evenly distributed among most topics.
That made It hard for me to study and to align my strategy, because usually someone has just certain but strong weaknesses. I had weaknesses more or less everywhere and didn’t know how to tackle the problem. So I reviewed the books with the seemingly high weaknesses. I also recognized that my skills got better in the reviewed topics. However, I did not really improve in most topics, still there were a lot mistakes. Till today there are many questions I don’t have an approach for. Especially combinatorics ( I don’t get any of those), Remainder questions, ratios, some divisibility and so on. It seems that there is always a unique way of solving a problem for any particular problem and not a universal applicable pattern.

I felt that my improvement stopped at 590. I scored aaaalways 590 and if I scored more than 590, then only because I guessed luckily a lot of questions right or had luck with the question topics (e.g. I get odds/evens, pos. neg. questions often right).

VERBAL:
My strong topic in verbal is CR (get between 70-90%correct, I am kind of weak in SC (40-60% correct) and very weak In RC (30-50%). As I studied with MGMAT I thaught, that the RC in MGMAT is definetly easier than in the real test or the prep tests.
I lose a lot of time in RC and have a low accuracy (as soon as it gets to the harder passages). I just don’t know how to handle very difficult long text mass with very tricky questions. My concentration lacks often when I do the RC and I have often problems to understand part of the text.
I tried out so many strategies with taking notes, without taking notes, with a long reading session first to understand everything or with a short scanning of the text and than jumping back for each questions, combination of both and everything but I am still very bad at RC.

TEST DAY:
I made sure that anything goes right at test day, I booked a hotel room, so that I am relaxed before the exam( because the test center is 200km away. )
I slept over 8 hours (but I did not sleep well to be honest because I was very nervous)
I ate a very healthy breakfast (fruits, nuts, cereal,…) CONCLUSION/SITUATION NOW
I went to the test center the day before to familiarize myself with the surrounding.

On the evening before I went through my GMAT folder again to refresh everything. At the morning I felt a little confused because I didn’t sleep so well. Nevertheless, I was kind of optimistic because my last prep test gave me confidence (620points). I showered and did 7 quant questions and 5 (2CR/3SC ) Verbal questions to activate my brain. Than I walked to the test center 10 min to get some fresh air and wrote the ecam.
At the test center I did not have any problems with the equipment or anything. I was started with quant as always and was very nervous. I was very confused by the first 5 answers and sometimes guessed. Afterwards I was more focused and and not so nervous anymore. But I struggled with the questions more than on the test preps. There were also some dump mistakes, I remember that I could not tell if the sign on the screen was a “+” or a “divided sign” in the formula because the screen resolution was very bad. One time I did not get the question at all because it said something about “a train from the engine to the bumper of a car” and I just did not understand what they ask.
At the end of the quant section I had 3 min left and I knew that I failed the section because the last question was a very simple one (seemed like a level 300).

Nevertheless, I was fully motivated for verbal to push the score In the right direction. During the verbal part I thaught that the SC und CR questions are very easy and way easier than on the prep tests before. Also the text passages seemed to be easier but I struggled with the time mainly because a very long RC pssage. So I had to guess at least 3 questions because of the time.

At the end the huge disappointment was displayed: 530 points. One of the fewest scores ever.

CONCLUSION/QUESTION:
I am completely frustrated. It seems that I did not study enough or understand the patterns but I studied really hard and it was cruel. I hated the test from the start and it’s a torture for me to study for this test.


I don’t know what to do now, my CATS are exhausted, I solved almost every question in the OGs of 2017, I don’t have any further study material and the time is ticking. In addition, my internship starts in 4 DAYS! I could rewrite the test 3! times till june, but because I work from now on till end of august at the internships I will not be able to learn much. The internships are both at consulting firms and I will work approx. 50-60 h a week. I have the feeling that I will be burned out if a have to study for gmat on the weekends additionally.
My possibilities are all horrible:

1) I try to study on the weekends for 5 weeks and try it again. (This option would be stressfull as hell)

2) Break the contract of the first internship (2month) 3 days before it starts, study fulltime for 1,5 month more and try it again
(problem: I loose thousands of euros because I don’t get my salary of the internship and have to invest again in new study myterial since everything Is exhausted, the company will propably blacklist me for the rest of my life)

3) Do the internship and try to write one of the other tests (GRE, TM WISO) because for these tests you cant study much. So would just try to du a one shot and get over the hurdle (103 points)
(problem: I don’t think that I will reach the required points and these tests are not very good because I will have problems with a semester abroad later in the master)


Now the question at the community: what would you do? Can you give me advise what the best would be? How should I pursue studying, which material should I Use? Which strategy should I align? Should I consider a GMAT Course and if yes which one is the most promising and not so expensive?

On the one hand side I think I can achieve anything because with my prep tests I proved that I am very close to my goal of 600. Moreover 600 is not a big hurdle so it has to be somehow possible even for me.
On the other hand side I am completely disappointed of the huge gap 530 to 600 and cant think of any option which is nearly acceptable.

I hope you can help me, I really need help!
Thank you so much and sorry for my writing skills, I am completely exhausted from the exam and as I said my brain is not working anymore.
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Re: GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2019, 22:21
1
Divad wrote:
Hallo GMATClub community,

Today I wrote my GMAT and it was a complete disaster. I am completely disappointed, frustrated and I just need any advice because otherwise I will become desperate.

In short: I studied a lot, I had very high pressure and scored way below my test scores and did not even get close to my target score of (only) 600.

But first I will explain everything in detail, that you have a proper basis for giving me advise or help me out in my situation.

ABOUT ME:
I am from Germany and finished my bachelor in Management. Now I want to pursue a Master in the same field at a top target Uni in Germany. In Germany the required scores are way lower than in USA and only the best 5 Unis even require a gmat.
I have already successfully completed the admission day (2 month ago) of my target uni and have a conditional offer. Meaning, they already accepted me but I must hand in a GMAT score of at least 600 points till June 15th. (Or a “Gre” of 113 or a “TM wieso” of 155 in both parts). This sounds like a lot of time (from december till June BUT: I have 2 important internships from first of march till the end of august!

As my goal was clearly 600 points and I was sure to skip IR and AWA from the beginning I planned on studying for 2,5 month. All threads and all people I asked had the opinion that 600 is such a low score that everyone can achieve it in 2 month easily. (I already knew that the GMAT will test all the topics I am typically weak at but still thaught that it is possible within 2,5 month)

Math background: I always hated math in school but nonetheless I was able to get at least satisfactory results in my exams. At university I had a tough time with all the math courses but it went out pretty ok (altaugh I think I had to put a lot more effort to the preparation than others did with less improvement)
The last 4 Semesters I did not have any math courses because I tried to avoid it as much as possible and thus have not had any contact with math since approx. 1.5 years.

English background: I feel very comfortable in English. I am very good at speaking and listening (I have American friends, had always contact with America, was at a semester abroad in an English speaking country and watch Netflix or youtube in English all the time, did the toefl befoe the gmat with 110 points) But my writing skills are not that good and I never cared much about grammar.

Preperation:
I started to prepare for my gmat on 12/01/18 and bought the whole manhatten strategie series with all 10 books and CATS + all 3 books from the GMAT OG (2017)

I completed the first book Nr 0 to get my first information about gmat and how It works, worked through the geometry book (yes I know it was the wrong choice to start with the least important but I knew my geometry knowledge is 0) and did the evaluation test from MGMAT in Quant (it said I don’t have to read the foundations because I got 75 right)
Afterwards I took the first MGMAT CAT to get a feeling what my starting level is.

 I got 490 in my first test (took it complete with test conditions)

From that point of time I worked my way through all MGMAT books. I left out the chapters which said “You should only consider this topic if you aim for a 80% percentile or more)
And made MGAMT CATS. (The table below shows all my CATS, Scores and when I took them)

nr Test Date taken Score Quant Verbal
1 MGMAT. 12/13/2018 490 32 26
2 MGMAT 01/12/2019 510 36 24
3 MGMAT 01/16/2019 560 36 31
4 MGMAT 01/21/2019 600 40 32
5 MGMAT 01/31/2019 580 40 30
6 MGMAT 02/02/2019 630 42 34
7 MGMAT 02/08/2019 550 32 34
8 MGMAT 02/14/2019 *did only Quant* 430 43 -
9 MGMAT 02/17/2019 590 42 31
10 GMAT Prep 1 02/20/2019 590 41 31
11 Gmat Prep 2 02/23/2019 620 45 30
Real GMAT 02/25/2019 530 36 26


I took all CATS under test conditions and did the last 4 at the same time I scheduled my real exam.

I studied everyday 3-5 hours. I went skiing for 4 days, did not learn over Christmas for a week and skipped learning at one weekend. At the end I counted 55 days on which I seriously studied.
I answered over 1000 test questions from the OG on wileygmat (often on exam mode but also often on study mode)

QUANT:
At my first CATs I had to guess a lot of quant questions, it was more guessing than actually solving but after a while (I think maybe my last 4 CATS) I barley guessed on math.

I always had an error log and was meticulously reviewing my exams (I reviewed them with excel, evaluated how many answers I got wrong, how many of which areas, how many of which difficulty and how many I guessed.)
But there has never been a clear result, because I did not have a particular weak spot but more many weaknesses distributed everywhere. I could never focus on any specific topic because my mistakes were evenly distributed among most topics.
That made It hard for me to study and to align my strategy, because usually someone has just certain but strong weaknesses. I had weaknesses more or less everywhere and didn’t know how to tackle the problem. So I reviewed the books with the seemingly high weaknesses. I also recognized that my skills got better in the reviewed topics. However, I did not really improve in most topics, still there were a lot mistakes. Till today there are many questions I don’t have an approach for. Especially combinatorics ( I don’t get any of those), Remainder questions, ratios, some divisibility and so on. It seems that there is always a unique way of solving a problem for any particular problem and not a universal applicable pattern.

I felt that my improvement stopped at 590. I scored aaaalways 590 and if I scored more than 590, then only because I guessed luckily a lot of questions right or had luck with the question topics (e.g. I get odds/evens, pos. neg. questions often right).

VERBAL:
My strong topic in verbal is CR (get between 70-90%correct, I am kind of weak in SC (40-60% correct) and very weak In RC (30-50%). As I studied with MGMAT I thaught, that the RC in MGMAT is definetly easier than in the real test or the prep tests.
I lose a lot of time in RC and have a low accuracy (as soon as it gets to the harder passages). I just don’t know how to handle very difficult long text mass with very tricky questions. My concentration lacks often when I do the RC and I have often problems to understand part of the text.
I tried out so many strategies with taking notes, without taking notes, with a long reading session first to understand everything or with a short scanning of the text and than jumping back for each questions, combination of both and everything but I am still very bad at RC.

TEST DAY:
I made sure that anything goes right at test day, I booked a hotel room, so that I am relaxed before the exam( because the test center is 200km away. )
I slept over 8 hours (but I did not sleep well to be honest because I was very nervous)
I ate a very healthy breakfast (fruits, nuts, cereal,…) CONCLUSION/SITUATION NOW
I went to the test center the day before to familiarize myself with the surrounding.

On the evening before I went through my GMAT folder again to refresh everything. At the morning I felt a little confused because I didn’t sleep so well. Nevertheless, I was kind of optimistic because my last prep test gave me confidence (620points). I showered and did 7 quant questions and 5 (2CR/3SC ) Verbal questions to activate my brain. Than I walked to the test center 10 min to get some fresh air and wrote the ecam.
At the test center I did not have any problems with the equipment or anything. I was started with quant as always and was very nervous. I was very confused by the first 5 answers and sometimes guessed. Afterwards I was more focused and and not so nervous anymore. But I struggled with the questions more than on the test preps. There were also some dump mistakes, I remember that I could not tell if the sign on the screen was a “+” or a “divided sign” in the formula because the screen resolution was very bad. One time I did not get the question at all because it said something about “a train from the engine to the bumper of a car” and I just did not understand what they ask.
At the end of the quant section I had 3 min left and I knew that I failed the section because the last question was a very simple one (seemed like a level 300).

Nevertheless, I was fully motivated for verbal to push the score In the right direction. During the verbal part I thaught that the SC und CR questions are very easy and way easier than on the prep tests before. Also the text passages seemed to be easier but I struggled with the time mainly because a very long RC pssage. So I had to guess at least 3 questions because of the time.

At the end the huge disappointment was displayed: 530 points. One of the fewest scores ever.

CONCLUSION/QUESTION:
I am completely frustrated. It seems that I did not study enough or understand the patterns but I studied really hard and it was cruel. I hated the test from the start and it’s a torture for me to study for this test.


I don’t know what to do now, my CATS are exhausted, I solved almost every question in the OGs of 2017, I don’t have any further study material and the time is ticking. In addition, my internship starts in 4 DAYS! I could rewrite the test 3! times till june, but because I work from now on till end of august at the internships I will not be able to learn much. The internships are both at consulting firms and I will work approx. 50-60 h a week. I have the feeling that I will be burned out if a have to study for gmat on the weekends additionally.
My possibilities are all horrible:

1) I try to study on the weekends for 5 weeks and try it again. (This option would be stressfull as hell)

2) Break the contract of the first internship (2month) 3 days before it starts, study fulltime for 1,5 month more and try it again
(problem: I loose thousands of euros because I don’t get my salary of the internship and have to invest again in new study myterial since everything Is exhausted, the company will propably blacklist me for the rest of my life)

3) Do the internship and try to write one of the other tests (GRE, TM WISO) because for these tests you cant study much. So would just try to du a one shot and get over the hurdle (103 points)
(problem: Ir don’t think that I will reach the required points and these tests are not very good because I will have problems with a semester abroad later in the maste

Now the question at the community: what would you do? Can you give me advise what the best would be? How should I pursue studying, which material should I Use? Which strategy should I align? Should I consider a GMAT Course and if yes which one is the most promising and not so expensive?

On the one hand side I think I can achieve anything because with my prep tests I proved that I am very close to my goal of 600. Moreover 600 is not a big hurdle so it has to be somehow possible even for me.
On the other hand side I am completely disappointed of the huge gap 530 to 600 and cant think of any option which is nearly acceptable.

I hope you can help me, I really need help!
Thank you so much and sorry for my writing skills, I am completely exhausted from the exam and as I said my brain is not working anymore.


Hi Divad

I checked your post and realize that your performance was inconsistent and perhaps lacked some basic foundation which led you to this disappointing situation.

I am sure with little assessment of your weak area you should be able to achieve the consistency in your score alongwith the ability to achieve the target score.

The first thing that you should start with is the ESR resport. It's a report that MBA.COM sells you for $25-30 which has detail of your performance in the latest GMAT attempt. It will highlight the area which you lacked. Please remeber that it doesn't tell you about your question specific performance performance.

Once you have made an assessment about the sections where you did poorly, you should start working on them and also identify the strong area because the strong areas of any candidate give the most certain results to the candidate.

If ytou find any trouble with your assessment then you may get in touch with me,

Also, we offer a free online intercative trial class (GMAT Tutoring) and I will gladly share my inputs about my assessment of your performance during the session if you are willing to go ahead with it.

I hope this helps!!!
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Re: GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2019, 22:29
1
Hi Divad,

I responded to your PM (based on what you wrote in that message and in this post).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 02:11
GMATinsight wrote:
Divad wrote:
Hallo GMATClub community,

Today I wrote my GMAT and it was a complete disaster. I am completely disappointed, frustrated and I just need any advice because otherwise I will become desperate.

In short: I studied a lot, I had very high pressure and scored way below my test scores and did not even get close to my target score of (only) 600.

But first I will explain everything in detail, that you have a proper basis for giving me advise or help me out in my situation.

ABOUT ME:
I am from Germany and finished my bachelor in Management. Now I want to pursue a Master in the same field at a top target Uni in Germany. In Germany the required scores are way lower than in USA and only the best 5 Unis even require a gmat.
I have already successfully completed the admission day (2 month ago) of my target uni and have a conditional offer. Meaning, they already accepted me but I must hand in a GMAT score of at least 600 points till June 15th. (Or a “Gre” of 113 or a “TM wieso” of 155 in both parts). This sounds like a lot of time (from december till June BUT: I have 2 important internships from first of march till the end of august!

As my goal was clearly 600 points and I was sure to skip IR and AWA from the beginning I planned on studying for 2,5 month. All threads and all people I asked had the opinion that 600 is such a low score that everyone can achieve it in 2 month easily. (I already knew that the GMAT will test all the topics I am typically weak at but still thaught that it is possible within 2,5 month)

Math background: I always hated math in school but nonetheless I was able to get at least satisfactory results in my exams. At university I had a tough time with all the math courses but it went out pretty ok (altaugh I think I had to put a lot more effort to the preparation than others did with less improvement)
The last 4 Semesters I did not have any math courses because I tried to avoid it as much as possible and thus have not had any contact with math since approx. 1.5 years.

English background: I feel very comfortable in English. I am very good at speaking and listening (I have American friends, had always contact with America, was at a semester abroad in an English speaking country and watch Netflix or youtube in English all the time, did the toefl befoe the gmat with 110 points) But my writing skills are not that good and I never cared much about grammar.

Preperation:
I started to prepare for my gmat on 12/01/18 and bought the whole manhatten strategie series with all 10 books and CATS + all 3 books from the GMAT OG (2017)

I completed the first book Nr 0 to get my first information about gmat and how It works, worked through the geometry book (yes I know it was the wrong choice to start with the least important but I knew my geometry knowledge is 0) and did the evaluation test from MGMAT in Quant (it said I don’t have to read the foundations because I got 75 right)
Afterwards I took the first MGMAT CAT to get a feeling what my starting level is.

 I got 490 in my first test (took it complete with test conditions)

From that point of time I worked my way through all MGMAT books. I left out the chapters which said “You should only consider this topic if you aim for a 80% percentile or more)
And made MGAMT CATS. (The table below shows all my CATS, Scores and when I took them)

nr Test Date taken Score Quant Verbal
1 MGMAT. 12/13/2018 490 32 26
2 MGMAT 01/12/2019 510 36 24
3 MGMAT 01/16/2019 560 36 31
4 MGMAT 01/21/2019 600 40 32
5 MGMAT 01/31/2019 580 40 30
6 MGMAT 02/02/2019 630 42 34
7 MGMAT 02/08/2019 550 32 34
8 MGMAT 02/14/2019 *did only Quant* 430 43 -
9 MGMAT 02/17/2019 590 42 31
10 GMAT Prep 1 02/20/2019 590 41 31
11 Gmat Prep 2 02/23/2019 620 45 30
Real GMAT 02/25/2019 530 36 26


I took all CATS under test conditions and did the last 4 at the same time I scheduled my real exam.

I studied everyday 3-5 hours. I went skiing for 4 days, did not learn over Christmas for a week and skipped learning at one weekend. At the end I counted 55 days on which I seriously studied.
I answered over 1000 test questions from the OG on wileygmat (often on exam mode but also often on study mode)

QUANT:
At my first CATs I had to guess a lot of quant questions, it was more guessing than actually solving but after a while (I think maybe my last 4 CATS) I barley guessed on math.

I always had an error log and was meticulously reviewing my exams (I reviewed them with excel, evaluated how many answers I got wrong, how many of which areas, how many of which difficulty and how many I guessed.)
But there has never been a clear result, because I did not have a particular weak spot but more many weaknesses distributed everywhere. I could never focus on any specific topic because my mistakes were evenly distributed among most topics.
That made It hard for me to study and to align my strategy, because usually someone has just certain but strong weaknesses. I had weaknesses more or less everywhere and didn’t know how to tackle the problem. So I reviewed the books with the seemingly high weaknesses. I also recognized that my skills got better in the reviewed topics. However, I did not really improve in most topics, still there were a lot mistakes. Till today there are many questions I don’t have an approach for. Especially combinatorics ( I don’t get any of those), Remainder questions, ratios, some divisibility and so on. It seems that there is always a unique way of solving a problem for any particular problem and not a universal applicable pattern.

I felt that my improvement stopped at 590. I scored aaaalways 590 and if I scored more than 590, then only because I guessed luckily a lot of questions right or had luck with the question topics (e.g. I get odds/evens, pos. neg. questions often right).

VERBAL:
My strong topic in verbal is CR (get between 70-90%correct, I am kind of weak in SC (40-60% correct) and very weak In RC (30-50%). As I studied with MGMAT I thaught, that the RC in MGMAT is definetly easier than in the real test or the prep tests.
I lose a lot of time in RC and have a low accuracy (as soon as it gets to the harder passages). I just don’t know how to handle very difficult long text mass with very tricky questions. My concentration lacks often when I do the RC and I have often problems to understand part of the text.
I tried out so many strategies with taking notes, without taking notes, with a long reading session first to understand everything or with a short scanning of the text and than jumping back for each questions, combination of both and everything but I am still very bad at RC.

TEST DAY:
I made sure that anything goes right at test day, I booked a hotel room, so that I am relaxed before the exam( because the test center is 200km away. )
I slept over 8 hours (but I did not sleep well to be honest because I was very nervous)
I ate a very healthy breakfast (fruits, nuts, cereal,…) CONCLUSION/SITUATION NOW
I went to the test center the day before to familiarize myself with the surrounding.

On the evening before I went through my GMAT folder again to refresh everything. At the morning I felt a little confused because I didn’t sleep so well. Nevertheless, I was kind of optimistic because my last prep test gave me confidence (620points). I showered and did 7 quant questions and 5 (2CR/3SC ) Verbal questions to activate my brain. Than I walked to the test center 10 min to get some fresh air and wrote the ecam.
At the test center I did not have any problems with the equipment or anything. I was started with quant as always and was very nervous. I was very confused by the first 5 answers and sometimes guessed. Afterwards I was more focused and and not so nervous anymore. But I struggled with the questions more than on the test preps. There were also some dump mistakes, I remember that I could not tell if the sign on the screen was a “+” or a “divided sign” in the formula because the screen resolution was very bad. One time I did not get the question at all because it said something about “a train from the engine to the bumper of a car” and I just did not understand what they ask.
At the end of the quant section I had 3 min left and I knew that I failed the section because the last question was a very simple one (seemed like a level 300).

Nevertheless, I was fully motivated for verbal to push the score In the right direction. During the verbal part I thaught that the SC und CR questions are very easy and way easier than on the prep tests before. Also the text passages seemed to be easier but I struggled with the time mainly because a very long RC pssage. So I had to guess at least 3 questions because of the time.

At the end the huge disappointment was displayed: 530 points. One of the fewest scores ever.

CONCLUSION/QUESTION:
I am completely frustrated. It seems that I did not study enough or understand the patterns but I studied really hard and it was cruel. I hated the test from the start and it’s a torture for me to study for this test.


I don’t know what to do now, my CATS are exhausted, I solved almost every question in the OGs of 2017, I don’t have any further study material and the time is ticking. In addition, my internship starts in 4 DAYS! I could rewrite the test 3! times till june, but because I work from now on till end of august at the internships I will not be able to learn much. The internships are both at consulting firms and I will work approx. 50-60 h a week. I have the feeling that I will be burned out if a have to study for gmat on the weekends additionally.
My possibilities are all horrible:

1) I try to study on the weekends for 5 weeks and try it again. (This option would be stressfull as hell)

2) Break the contract of the first internship (2month) 3 days before it starts, study fulltime for 1,5 month more and try it again
(problem: I loose thousands of euros because I don’t get my salary of the internship and have to invest again in new study myterial since everything Is exhausted, the company will propably blacklist me for the rest of my life)

3) Do the internship and try to write one of the other tests (GRE, TM WISO) because for these tests you cant study much. So would just try to du a one shot and get over the hurdle (103 points)
(problem: Ir don’t think that I will reach the required points and these tests are not very good because I will have problems with a semester abroad later in the maste

Now the question at the community: what would you do? Can you give me advise what the best would be? How should I pursue studying, which material should I Use? Which strategy should I align? Should I consider a GMAT Course and if yes which one is the most promising and not so expensive?

On the one hand side I think I can achieve anything because with my prep tests I proved that I am very close to my goal of 600. Moreover 600 is not a big hurdle so it has to be somehow possible even for me.
On the other hand side I am completely disappointed of the huge gap 530 to 600 and cant think of any option which is nearly acceptable.

I hope you can help me, I really need help!
Thank you so much and sorry for my writing skills, I am completely exhausted from the exam and as I said my brain is not working anymore.


Hi Divad

I checked your post and realize that your performance was inconsistent and perhaps lacked some basic foundation which led you to this disappointing situation.

I am sure with little assessment of your weak area you should be able to achieve the consistency in your score alongwith the ability to achieve the target score.

The first thing that you should start with is the ESR resport. It's a report that MBA.COM sells you for $25-30 which has detail of your performance in the latest GMAT attempt. It will highlight the area which you lacked. Please remeber that it doesn't tell you about your question specific performance performance.

Once you have made an assessment about the sections where you did poorly, you should start working on them and also identify the strong area because the strong areas of any candidate give the most certain results to the candidate.

If ytou find any trouble with your assessment then you may get in touch with me,

Also, we offer a free online intercative trial class (GMAT Tutoring) and I will gladly share my inputs about my assessment of your performance during the session if you are willing to go ahead with it.

I hope this helps!!!
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Re: GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 18:34
Hi Divad,

Thank you for sharing your story. First off, I’d like to clear up a misconception that you may have regarding your score goal. Although many folks on GMAT Club discuss goals scores of 700+ or 730+, there are plenty of other test-takers who need a 600. Furthermore, achieving a 600 still takes a lot of hard work and motivation, OK?

Of course, one thing is clear: At this point, you are not all that far from your score goal. Yes, you had a bad day when you took the GMAT, but your practice test scores were consistently close to 600. That said, looking at your previous study routine, you followed a plan that I call “practice first and figure the rest out later.” In other words, you were doing practice problems before understanding the concepts on which those problems are based, and thus you were trying to learn solely from reading solutions to problems. Following such a study plan leads to disorganized studying and ultimately holds you back from improving your quant and verbal skills, right?

You also took way too many practice tests during your prep and took those exams before you were ready to do so. In fact, even when you were answering practice questions, you often were using test mode and thus not giving yourself opportunities to learn as you practiced. Rather, you were constantly rushing, either by practicing in test mode or by taking practice tests.

Before taking any more practice exams, you need to buckle down and follow more of a structured and linear study plan, one that allows you to individually learn each quant and verbal topic, starting with the foundations before moving to more advanced concepts. Your plan has to include lots of untimed practice, the type of practice that gives you time to learn. As you become more skilled, you will naturally answer questions more quickly. By studying in this manner, you can ensure that you will fill in knowledge gaps and truly improve your quant and verbal skills.

Regarding what you said about math, you can learn math just fine. All that is going on with you and math is that you got into your mind the idea that you are not strong in math, and you have been avoiding math ever since. Math is no big deal, and, clearly, you can handle it.

Regarding your situation overall, while you are not particularly far from your goal, I believe that you will need some more dedicated study time to achieve your score goal. Thus, you need to think about how you can balance your life in order to put in the time you require to successfully learn GMAT quant and verbal. Certainly, that won’t be easy, but I think you can make the situation work.

I realize that you are tired at the moment, so why don’t you give yourself a few days to unwind? Then, with a clear head, think about the best path forward.

As more questions arise, feel free to reach back out here or contact me directly.

Good luck!
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Re: GMAT disaster, how should I pursue studying after a failed test?   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2019, 18:34
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