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GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation

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GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2019, 22:13
So I have been preparing for the GMAT for about 2 months. In order to meet this years application deadlines for Masters of Accouting programs. I have taken the exam twice now. These are my practice and actual test scores(In order of taking them) I started Studying around Mid January this year:

Feb 11 2019 (GMAT Prep 1) - 460(q28,V25)

Feb 14(Actual Test Attempt #1)- 500(Q33,V26)

Feb 25 2019 (MGMAT 1)- 560(Q41,V26)

Mar 1 2019(MGMAT 2)- 630 (Q41,V35)

Mar 5 2019 (GMAT Prep 2)- 560(Q40,V27)

Mar 12 2019 (GMAT Prep 3)-560(Q43,V27)

Mar 14 2019 (Gmat Prep 4)-600(Q47,V26)

Mar 16 2019(Actual Test Attempt #2)-560(Q35,V31)

Section order for first two were V:Q:IR:AWA

Then all the rest of the tests were: AWA:IR:Q:V



So after my second attempt I was quite disappointed that my quant score dropped so much on the actual test.As you can tell my scores are all over the place. My goal at the moment is a 640+. So i was quite pleased when I got a 630 on the MGMAT practice (which is know at least for quant to be much harder) and a 47 on quant on the 4th GMAT prep test but now they both seem like flukes to me. So far I have gone through all of the Manhattan GMAT Quant books and have watched all the magoosh tutorials for verbal.

Is there any advice you guys can give me on what I can do to improve my score on the actual test. It seems like to me that for some reason I can only do relatively well on one section every time I take the test.

I am planning to retake the test next month since most of my application deadlines are in mid April.



Thanks in advance.
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Re: GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2019, 00:34
saadk09 wrote:
So I have been preparing for the GMAT for about 2 months. In order to meet this years application deadlines for Masters of Accouting programs. I have taken the exam twice now. These are my practice and actual test scores(In order of taking them) I started Studying around Mid January this year:

Feb 11 2019 (GMAT Prep 1) - 460(q28,V25)

Feb 14(Actual Test Attempt #1)- 500(Q33,V26)

Feb 25 2019 (MGMAT 1)- 560(Q41,V26)

Mar 1 2019(MGMAT 2)- 630 (Q41,V35)

Mar 5 2019 (GMAT Prep 2)- 560(Q40,V27)

Mar 12 2019 (GMAT Prep 3)-560(Q43,V27)

Mar 14 2019 (Gmat Prep 4)-600(Q47,V26)

Mar 16 2019(Actual Test Attempt #2)-560(Q35,V31)

Section order for first two were V:Q:IR:AWA

Then all the rest of the tests were: AWA:IR:Q:V



So after my second attempt I was quite disappointed that my quant score dropped so much on the actual test.As you can tell my scores are all over the place. My goal at the moment is a 640+. So i was quite pleased when I got a 630 on the MGMAT practice (which is know at least for quant to be much harder) and a 47 on quant on the 4th GMAT prep test but now they both seem like flukes to me. So far I have gone through all of the Manhattan GMAT Quant books and have watched all the magoosh tutorials for verbal.

Is there any advice you guys can give me on what I can do to improve my score on the actual test. It seems like to me that for some reason I can only do relatively well on one section every time I take the test.

I am planning to retake the test next month since most of my application deadlines are in mid April.



Thanks in advance.


Hi saadk09,

Sorry to hear about your experience. I think you need to solidify you base and adopt a proper technique to answer the questions. I believe you may benefit from taking a GMATPREP course. If you are willing, there are some great GMAT prep companies that can help you with your preparation. For Quant, You can try out the TTP course as it is phenomenal and covers the entire syllabus really well. Plus it has great reviews on GMATCLUB. I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... h-focused/

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2019, 15:49
Hi saadk09,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your CAT score results going back to the end of February show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 580 +/- a few points); the 630 is an 'outlier' due to the significantly higher Verbal Scaled Score, so unfortunately we cannot assume that you are actually at that 'level.' You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes.

With a Score Goal of 640+, you will have to be really efficient with your studies over the next 4-5 weeks to get to the point that you can consistently score at that higher level. Before I can offer you any additional advice it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

1) What is your next Test Date?
2) What are the exact application deadlines that you're facing?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 08:56
saadk09 wrote:
So I have been preparing for the GMAT for about 2 months. In order to meet this years application deadlines for Masters of Accouting programs. I have taken the exam twice now. These are my practice and actual test scores(In order of taking them) I started Studying around Mid January this year:

Feb 11 2019 (GMAT Prep 1) - 460(q28,V25)

Feb 14(Actual Test Attempt #1)- 500(Q33,V26)

Feb 25 2019 (MGMAT 1)- 560(Q41,V26)

Mar 1 2019(MGMAT 2)- 630 (Q41,V35)

Mar 5 2019 (GMAT Prep 2)- 560(Q40,V27)

Mar 12 2019 (GMAT Prep 3)-560(Q43,V27)

Mar 14 2019 (Gmat Prep 4)-600(Q47,V26)

Mar 16 2019(Actual Test Attempt #2)-560(Q35,V31)

Section order for first two were V:Q:IR:AWA

Then all the rest of the tests were: AWA:IR:Q:V



So after my second attempt I was quite disappointed that my quant score dropped so much on the actual test.As you can tell my scores are all over the place. My goal at the moment is a 640+. So i was quite pleased when I got a 630 on the MGMAT practice (which is know at least for quant to be much harder) and a 47 on quant on the 4th GMAT prep test but now they both seem like flukes to me. So far I have gone through all of the Manhattan GMAT Quant books and have watched all the magoosh tutorials for verbal.

Is there any advice you guys can give me on what I can do to improve my score on the actual test. It seems like to me that for some reason I can only do relatively well on one section every time I take the test.

I am planning to retake the test next month since most of my application deadlines are in mid April.



Thanks in advance.



Practice set of questions in each topic, analyse how many questions you answered wrong. May be you will get idea about your weak areas in quant
so far i liked Target prep for quant and egmat for verbal.
Try their demo or free tails,later you can decide
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Re: GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 19:02
I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Given that your score dropped from your practice exam scores, it’s likely that you still have some quant and verbal weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Furthermore, since you scored a Q35/V31, it’s clear that you need to continue to build your GMAT quant and verbal fundamentals to achieve your 640+ score goal. Thus, moving forward, you should follow a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic, starting with the foundations and progressing to more advanced concepts. This process may take longer than just one month, so you may need to consider pushing your GMAT to a later date and possibly applying in a later round. In any case, here is some advice you can follow to improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills.

Let’s say, for example, you are learning about Number Properties. First, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. 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.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

Please reach out with any further questions.
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Re: GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 19:08
Hi manomoyc,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. As mentioned, when you take practice tests from companies other than GMAC, you may find some variation in algorithms used and thus variations in your score. Regarding scoring, since your verbal score is based not only on the number of questions you correctly answer but also on the difficulty of those questions, it’s not possible to say exactly how many verbal questions you must correctly answer to obtain a V40 score.

With all that said, are you looking for advice on how to improve your verbal skills?

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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Re: GMAT practice and actual Scores Variation   [#permalink] 18 Mar 2019, 19:08
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