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GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)

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GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Jan 2019, 23:35
Hello Experts,
So, today was my first attempt and I really messed up. I was truly hoping for atleast 700, since I was scoring at around 680-710 on my mocks (GMAT PREP 1,2,5 and 6).

Background:
I am a Marine Engineer, working in Merchant Navy. Due to the nature of my job, I don’t get time to study on Ship. So, I invested my time during the current vacation and prepared for my GMAT for around 2 months, but somehow I was not able to convert the performance during the test.

The main issue, which I faced during the exam was the verbal section quite obvious from my score. GMAT puts a special emphasis on the meaning of the sentence in SC, and the most I saw the options I knew, I was not prepared to face SC today and about CR it completely boggled me, though the questions were not tough, about the same level as Verbal review, for I don't know, due to the lack of strategic preparation, I was unable to select the right answer option from the shortlisted options. During the practice, I was quite confident about my SC and RC, since I had an accuracy of around 90% and 80%, respectively. Also, RC was not an issue during the exam, but CR has always been my Achilles heels. I really need to work on my Verbal and for this I need your advice and guidance about this section.

Quants :
Quants section was as expected, it was not tough, but I clearly made few silly mistakes, which I realised after the exam.

IR:
For those who want to know about the IR section, the questions are quite similar to the GMAT prep and according to me, if you are able to solve those questions, then it will be enough for the D-Day.

AWA:
For AWA, I used the template provided by the guy named Chineseburned. It covers all the aspects of the argument. I will attach the link, once I find it.

Test Day Experience:
I started my day as usual, though on the test day, I woke up early. Being a morning person, I had my test scheduled at 0900hrs. The center was in Andheri East. It is quite easy to reach the center both from Station and by road. From Station it is just at a distance of about 2 Kms. The guys at the center were warm and polite. Washrooms were clean and the atmosphere was silent. I reached at 0800 hrs, 1 hour before my test and I was only allowed inside 30 mins before the test. So, as you enter, they will brief you about the test and provide the locker key. Locker is enough to keep a bagpack, provided you don't fill your bags with books on the test day. After the formalities, you can enter inside and start with your test. You will be provided with a 2 markers and a sheet with 4 pages to do your rough work. In all, the test center was good and I didn't face any issue. Only issue was the verbal section :shh:

Study Material:
OG 2018.
Verbal Review
Quants Review
GMAT Club (most of the concepts that I learned, I truly attribute to this fabulous community)

So, here I am asking for your advice, what should be my course of action for my next attempt. I still have about 45 days of my vacations. My target score is around 720-730.
Any advice regarding how to improve my verbal score would be highly appreciated, considering the time frame.

PS: Don't forget to take your passport, this is the only ID accepted in India. On my test day, there were few guys, who brought Driver license, Aadhar card and what not. They were simply not allowed to appear for their test.


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Originally posted by Prashant13 on 28 Jan 2019, 00:44.
Last edited by Prashant13 on 30 Jan 2019, 23:35, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 05:46
Hi Prashant, do you have a ESR that you can share?

Will help us get a better understanding of your performance in the exam.
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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 06:06
EducationAisle wrote:
Hi Prashant, do you have a ESR that you can share?

Will help us get a better understanding of your performance in the exam.


Hi,
I haven’t yet ordered the ESR report, as I think it won’t be useful, since I know I have messed up my verbal section and frankly I don’t even want to see it.
As soon as I saw the score, I cancelled it.
It is really devastating to see such a score after putting in efforts for past 2 months.

Could you please advice regarding any strategy or any books that I should religiously study in order to master the verbal section?


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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 12:15
Hi Prashant13,

To start, a 640/Q47 is still a solid Score - and it might be enough to get you into your first choice School. There's no harm in retesting though - and you have the opportunity to pick up points in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you might naturally improve as you continue to study. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? Did you not take Official GMAC CATs 3 and 4?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 19:11
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Prashant13,

To start, a 640/Q47 is still a solid Score - and it might be enough to get you into your first choice School. There's no harm in retesting though - and you have the opportunity to pick up points in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you might naturally improve as you continue to study. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? Did you not take Official GMAC CATs 3 and 4?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hi Rich,
Thank you for taking your time out to reply.

1. For each of my CATs, I took the test at the same time at which my test was scheduled maintaining the conditions almost same as the test day would require. I can’t remember the splits, but for Quants I was able to score consistently at 46-47-48 range. For verbal the score were fluctuating from 24-28-34-35. Also, before the test I was not sure about the verbal, but I still went ahead for the overall experience, which was a total disaster.
Yes, I did not take test 3 and 4, since I was falling short on my preparation and schedule.

2. I was planning to apply in round 3 for fall 2019 intake, but now I see my chances are dim and hence I will go for round 1 fall 2020 intake now.

3. I want to make a career switch to Management Consultancy preferably in Oil/Gas Sector. So I am targeting Kellogg, Tuck, LBS, MIT Sloan and Darden.






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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2019, 15:48
Hi Prashant13,

Raising a 640 to the point that you could consistently score 720+ will likely require at least another 1.5 - 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. Based on what you described, you have approximately another 6 weeks of vacation time left, so you could potentially improve a great deal in that time. To properly plan out the next phase of your studies, I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline:

1) What is the latest that you think you can retake the GMAT before you're back to your job?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2019, 20:19
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Prashant13,

Raising a 640 to the point that you could consistently score 720+ will likely require at least another 1.5 - 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. Based on what you described, you have approximately another 6 weeks of vacation time left, so you could potentially improve a great deal in that time. To properly plan out the next phase of your studies, I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline:

1) What is the latest that you think you can retake the GMAT before you're back to your job?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hi Rich,
1. I still have around 45 days to prepare and appear for the test. I can stretch this period till March end. So, I need to appear for my test in March end, that is the most I can do.

2. I can invest 7-8 hours per day. So in a week till it will total to 80 hrs consistently for next 5 weeks.




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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2019, 22:30
Hi Prashant13,

To start, you have to be careful about trying to "cram" too much study time into your schedule. By confusing "quantity" of study with "quality" of study, you will greatly increase your chances of 'burning out' before Test Day (and that is something that we want to avoid). As such, you have to pay careful attention about how you're feeling during this next phase of your studies - and I suggest that you take one hour "off" after every 2 hours of studying (the exception being when you take your CATs/mocks).

In addition, while the most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills. Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all be better than they normally would be). Thankfully, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly).

Based on everything that you’ve described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Total Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in well under 2 months, so it should fit your general timeframe. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an Account.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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Rich
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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2019, 17:34
Hi Prashant13,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Given that you scored a V28, you likely need to improve in all aspects of verbal; however, as requested, I’ll provide some detailed advice on how to improve your Critical Reasoning skills. Feel free to follow up if you’d like some advice regarding Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension.

First off, looking at your previous study routine, I see that you focused on doing a lot of practice questions. While engaging in practice is a necessary part of improving your GMAT skills, such practice is only beneficial after you have studied the topics on which those questions are based. Moving forward, consider adjusting your study plan such that it allows for linear learning. Specifically, ensure that you are able to learn each verbal topic one by one, starting with the foundations and then moving to more advanced concepts. Once you learn each topic, THEN move on to practicing questions to ensure mastery. By taking such a methodical and structured approach, you can ensure that you fill in your knowledge gaps and that no stone is left unturned.

To improve in Critical Reasoning, you first need to master the individual topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

Another major mistake that people make when training for CR is that they do practice questions too fast. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what's going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely won't learn to do so by spending a few minutes on each question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend as many as fifteen minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Here is a way to look at this process: If you get a new job in a field in which you are not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do and you make sure you learn all the angles, so that you do the job well, if not as quickly as those around you. Rushing through the job and doing it incorrectly would not make sense. Then, as you gain more experience, you learn to do the same job more quickly. Think of Critical Reasoning questions similarly. Your job is to do what? To get through questions quickly? Not really. Your job is to get correct answers.

So, first you have to learn to get correct answers, generally at least 10 to 15 in a row consistently, and more in a row would be better. That is your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. Only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently can you work on speeding up. Working quickly but not doing your job is useless. Better to work slowly and learn to do your job well. You can be sure that with experience, you will learn to speed up, and then you will still be doing your job well, i.e., getting correct answers consistently.

Finally, a key aspect of getting correct answers to Critical Reasoning questions is noticing the key differences between trap choices and correct answers. Trap choices can sound temptingly correct but don't get the job done. The logic of what a trap choice says simply doesn't fit what the question is asking you to find. So, to get better at your job, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!
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Re: GMAT First attempt Experience 640 (Q47 V28 IR 6)   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2019, 17:34
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