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GMAT Prep Guidance

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 08:49
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I have scored 640 (Q44, V33 ) in GMAT on today.

Well, I desperately need help. I want to apply to apply to top B schools in India and abroad but the schools that I intend to apply will out rightly reject my application with this mediocre score. I am aiming for 720-740 in my next attempt (preferably in the next 2/3 months)

Please give some inputs so that I can improve to Q49, V 39/40 level
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New post 14 Aug 2018, 10:50
Hi mhimani,

Raising a 640 to a 720+ will likely require at least another 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, you appear to have that time - and the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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 long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 00:18
Hi,

Thanks your response. I agree that to raise my score to a 720+, I would need to work diligently on both areas. Please see below for responses to your questions below -

1) How long have you studied?
I started preparing in May 2018. It was about 1 hour everyday during the week and about 8-10 hours over the weekend. My major preparation happened in the last 15 days (I took off from work)

2) What study materials have you used so far?
I read through the Manhattan Guide books for concepts and used the OG, VR and QR books for practice.

3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
MGMAT 1 - Q41, V29 - 580
MGMAT 2 - Q41, V32 - 600
MGMAT 3 - Q40, V34 - 610
MGMAT 4 - Q46, V32 - 640
MGMAT 5 - Q44, V36 - 660
MGMAT 6 - Q41, V37 - 650
GMAT Prep 1 - Q48, V34 - 670
GMAT Prep 2 - Q48, V37 - 700 (many repeat questions)
I think one of the biggest mistakes I did in preparing for the exam was not timing my MGMATs. I did 4 out of 6 of them without the timer.

4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
I desperately want to join a good B school in 2019. I am looking for schools that have a one year MBA program (inclined towards ISB)

I am in much distress and lost on what to do next!
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Re: GMAT Prep Guidance  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 04:59
Hey mhimani,

Sounds like you've hit the 'plateau'!
The 'plateau' is what we call that phase when you've done your studying and know the material but seem to have stopped improving - you just keep making the same mistakes and keep missing the same types of questions. So how do you break through this glass ceiling?

Usually, the answer isn't more fine-tuning, it is an adaptation of strategy.
For example, you say you know the concepts but don't know which to apply. This suggests that you are focused in on what we call the 'Precise' solution approach - trying to fully solve a question by applying the correct mathematical rules / equations / concepts. Oftentimes, this is the wrong way to go! If you can reach the correct answer without actually solving the question (for example, by eliminating impossible answers) then there is no need for you to be able to pick out the 'right concept'.

As another example, you mention that you tend to make silly mistakes. Do you use simple numbers to verify your calculations or your logic? Making an abstract problem concrete with examples can make it much easier to avoid falling into logical traps. This is an example of what we call the 'Alternative' approach.

So: in addition to fine-tuning your current approaches (for example by working more carefully, writing clearly, reviewing errors, etc.) I suggest you consider a shift in strategy - is there a completely different way to answer questions that you've so far missed? Feel free to PM me if you'd like more info or check out our Intro to PAL video here, which explains different strategic approaches in depth.
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New post 15 Aug 2018, 10:11
mhimani wrote:
I have scored 640 (Q44, V33 ) in GMAT on today.

Well, I desperately need help. I want to apply to apply to top B schools in India and abroad but the schools that I intend to apply will out rightly reject my application with this mediocre score. I am aiming for 720-740 in my next attempt (preferably in the next 2/3 months)

Please give some inputs so that I can improve to Q49, V 39/40 level


Hi

Follow these post they may help

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 41670.html

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 42361.html

Good Luck
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Re: GMAT Prep Guidance  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 10:32
1
mhimani wrote:
I have scored 640 (Q44, V33 ) in GMAT on today.

Well, I desperately need help. I want to apply to apply to top B schools in India and abroad but the schools that I intend to apply will out rightly reject my application with this mediocre score. I am aiming for 720-740 in my next attempt (preferably in the next 2/3 months)

Please give some inputs so that I can improve to Q49, V 39/40 level


Hi mhimani,

3 months is good enough to improve your score. It’s a good thing you have taken a GMAT once. You now know your weaknesses and work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. 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.

In order to make an informed decision I would highly encourage you to go to their websites and try on their free trial and decide for yourself which one do you like better. You can try out free access to EmpowerGMAT, ExamPal and Optimus Prep as they have great reviews on GMATCLUB.

Also for verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

You can also try out the MGMAT guides they are phenomenal and cover the entire syllabus really well. MGMAT foundation of GMAT Quant anf foundation of GMAT verbal will particularly help you solidify your base. 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. Please Note, that you should only do GMATCLUB tests once you have covered the base and looking to further enhance your concepts as GMATCLUB tests are a bit more difficult than the actual GMAT.

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 practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

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

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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New post 15 Aug 2018, 20:18
Hi mhimani,

From what you described, your studies were essentially built around "cramming" - during the weekends to start, then in the last 15 days before your Official GMAT. Unfortunately, that type of study approach rarely leads to great results. In addition, 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, most of your CAT scores - along with your Official GMAT Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 630 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Those various score results imply that you might have gotten 'stuck' at this particular score level - and you may have developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new 'good habits').

At this point, I think that you probably know the 'content' of the GMAT just fine, so your focus going forward should be on learning and practicing the proper Tactics and taking advantage of the built-in patterns that exist on GMAT questions.

1) What are the exact application deadlines that you are considering?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 23:11
Hi,

I think you have pretty much correctly described my current situation. As far as your questions are concerned, below are the answers -

1) What are the exact application deadlines that you are considering?
I really want to make it to ISB in 2019! Since I have already lost my chance to apply in R1, the application deadline (R2) I am looking at right now is 15 December 2018.

2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?
I can take out about 2/2.5 hours from Monday to Friday. I am usually free over the weekends so I can stretch as required.
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New post 15 Aug 2018, 23:14
Hi mhimani,

I am sorry to hear that your scores were not in line with your expectations. However with the amount of time you are willing to give yourself for achieving your target score, I am sure you will be able to get to it.

JOURNEY TO 720+ – MAKE YOUR STRATEGY VERBAL DRIVEN

Looking at your current scores of Q44(50 percentile) & V33(68 percentile), you seem to be better in Verbal and therefore must target higher scores in Verbal as you would be able to achieve it in considerably lesser time. To get to a score of 720+, you can target sectional scores of Q45(55 percentile) and V46(99 percentile) or Q48(67 percentile) and V46(99 percentile).

• Learn how Martina improved from 620 to 730 in just 3 weeks.(Q45 & V46 ). Click here to watch her interview to learn how she leveraged Verbal section to reach her target score
• Anupriya scored a V46 and Q48 to reach a score of 760 in her first attempt despite not being very strong in Quant. Click here to watch her amazing de-brief.

Target your own Sectional and sub-sectional scores required to reach your desired score of 720+ using GMAT Planner tool. Knowing these target scores will help you in directing your efforts in the right direction and spend your time wisely.

HOW TO IMPROVE VERBAL

1. Identify your weaknesses and Improve upon them

The most efficient way to improve in a section that you are strong in is by plugging the gaps i.e. improving upon your weaknesses. You are only as good as your weakest link. You must identify the exact topics that you are weak in and work on those topics until you reach a satisfactory level. Learn how to do this in detail from this video.

2. Learn how to approach CR section this Weekend

We are conducting a free CR webinar this weekend. Register now to reserve your spot and learn the methods to get ahead in your CR prep.

HOW TO IMPROVE QUANT

Your current scores in Quant point towards both conceptual and process related gaps. To improve from here, you must first plug those gaps i.e. learn all the concepts and master the application process. We are conducting a free Algebra webinar this weekend which will focus in approach to tackle Algebra problems. Register here to reserve your spot. On registering for the webinar you will also get some free lessons and practice questions.

Good Luck!

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New post 16 Aug 2018, 10:46
Hi mhimani,

Application deadlines in December give you plenty of time to continue studying and improving. 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 the time commitment wouldn't be that bad. 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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New post 19 Aug 2018, 11:58
Hi mhimani,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, although you are disappointed by your recent GMAT score, there are some positive takeaways from your exam:

1) Your quant and verbal scores on your real GMAT were on par with your quant and verbal scores on your practice GMATs (despite taking some of those exams untimed).

2) You studied for only a few months but still achieved a 640.

3) 640 is near the middle of your recent score range.

Thus, if you prepare some more and follow a sound and thorough study plan, you can improve your GMAT score. So, what constitutes a sound and thorough study plan?

It's possible to score 640 without fully understanding some topics or refining certain skills. To score 720+, your preparation is going to have to be more complete. So, to lock in that type of score, you have to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you would have had to know in order to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and, when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

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

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 further questions.
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New post 25 Aug 2018, 00:10
Thank you everyone for your responses. I did some research and zeroed on private tutoring classes to help me work on my weaker areas. I will re take the GMAT in about 2 months. Hope I get my target score this time :)

Thanks again everyone!
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Re: GMAT Prep Guidance &nbs [#permalink] 25 Aug 2018, 00:10
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