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GMAT prep in 3 weeks

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GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2019, 12:18
Hi All,

So I am going to appear for a third attempt for the test in 3 weeks time. In the first one I scored a mellow 580. After getting thorough with the concepts and practicing diligently for 2 months I prepared for the second attempt in February 2019. My mock scores were in the following order.
Mgmat- 630
Mgmat- 650
Veritas- 650
Mgmat-660
Official mock- 670.
With the best split of. Q48. V35
I am precisely clear of all the concepts, went through all gmat club practice sets, and workbooks uploaded on multiple forums. Attended webinars and tried and tested various strategies. Mentained error logs and kept brushing them up.
I was expecting my test score to be somewhere close to this, however on the exam I scored a 610.
Quant has been my strong suit, and I struggled with verbal. The problem is I am unable to identify what needs improvement.
How do I prepare further and get a respectable score(680+ for me) for my next attempt.
I am struggling with coming up with an action plan of what else can be done.
Kindly provide me with your expert insights!

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2019, 13:43
1
Hi Disha1234,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss those issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) On what dates did you take each of your Official GMATs and what were your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each?
2) How long did you study before each attempt?
3) What study materials have you used so far?
4) Which "brands" of CATs have you use so far and how have you scored on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2019, 14:29
1
Well, that previous response was not helpful at all...ha.

This might not be either, but some thoughts on the verbal section. So much of it is very difficult to study for almost everyone. Here are some tips:

SC: There are rules and patterns you can study here. Making sure subject / verb number matches is a big one. Ie: He has, they have, etc. Pick up a verbal study guide at Barnes and Noble and read through it. Make notes of each one. Make sure you really study the patterns until you get it. Once you have those few rules, it will be easier.

CR: The best tip I've gotten here is to read the question being asked first, then read the passage with the question in mind. Then BEFORE looking at the answers, try to answer the question. Do this enough times (and 3 weeks is plenty of time) and you will improve here.

RC: For me, this was the worst section. The passages are dense and open to interpretation sometimes. That said, the best way to prepare for this is to just do it. Read a million GMAT style RC questions and answer them. It takes time, it's boring as hell, but if you can do it enough times, it will be easier on test day.

Some other random tips.

-Timing. Learn which parts of Verbal are your strongest and weakest, and which you can go quickly on. For me, I averaged just over 1 minute per SC question, 1:30 for CR, leaving me plenty of extra time for RC. I needed it, and it is important to get into a good rhythm.

-Beginning of the section. You probably know this, but spend more time on questions at the beginning to make sure they're right. Double check. If you have to guess at the end, so what? Because of the CAT format, those earlier ones matter more.

-Buy noise cancelling headphones like they have at the test center for use when you practice. Your brain works differently when you have them on than off. You hear different things and even just reading in pure silence - or to the sound of blood rushing in your head - is a thing to get used to.

-There's a book called Crash Course for the GMAT, 4th Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
that is truly what it sounds like. But rather than having pages after pages of new things to try, it gives you a concise understanding of what you need to know. I think for someone with 3 weeks it's a good resource.

-Don't try to learn everything. That's a strategy for failure. Work on the things that are just out of your grasp and then master them.

-Finally, still do some Quant problems. Stay fresh here. And think about order on your test day. Perhaps you are most focused at the beginning of the test, so do Verbal first so you can be in that good place for it. OR, if you need time to warm up, you know you're good at Quant, so start there and let Verbal come in when you can crush it. Healthy snacks + well planned breaks help with stamina and focus too.
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2019, 21:46
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Disha1234,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss those issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) On what dates did you take each of your Official GMATs and what were your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each?
2) How long did you study before each attempt?
3) What study materials have you used so far?
4) Which "brands" of CATs have you use so far and how have you scored on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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




hi Rich,

thanks for your quick response. here are the further details.
1. official GMATs-
21st Dec 2018- 580(Q 47 V23)
08th Feb 2019- 610(Q47 V28)

2. I was taking tutions at a GMAT prep center for 3 months which taught me all the quant and verbal concepts, and studied for around 4 weeks for the 1st attempt, and an additional 7 weeks after the 1st attempt for the second attempt.

3. study materials- OG 2018, official Verbal review and Quant review for solving, veritas prep videos and gmattprepnow videos( to clarify concepts further). i have also used gmat club forums to practice and study materials uploaded here and attended various webinars which helped strategising. i created detailed error logs for all the practice tests and CATs.

4. I used Manhattan Prep CATs, solved the set of 6, and then shuffled the question bank. used 1 free Veritas Prep CAT and the 2 official mocks. All of the CATs were taken in a stimulated environment as that of the actual GMAT. i took the tests at the same time of the day as the test day with the same breaks. The CAT scores are as follows:
Manhattan Prep CAT 1- 580(Q45 V30)
Manhattan Prep CAT 2- 530(Q45 V32)
Veritas Prep free CAT- 650(Q48 V31)
Manhattan Prep CAT 4- 660(Q46 V34)
Manhattan Prep CAT 5- 660(Q45 V35)
OfficialPrepGMAT CAT- 670(Q48 V33 )

5. I am planning to apply to B- Schools for fall 2019 sessions. most deadlines are during the 2nd or 3rd week of april, so i intend to give the test by end of March so i can apply with a decent score.

6. I am applying to the following schools-
HEC Paris, London Business School, St. Gallens, Duke, London School of Economics, Imperial, National University of Singapore.

Thank you for the help!
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2019, 22:03
classof2021mba wrote:
Well, that previous response was not helpful at all...ha.

This might not be either, but some thoughts on the verbal section. So much of it is very difficult to study for almost everyone. Here are some tips:

SC: There are rules and patterns you can study here. Making sure subject / verb number matches is a big one. Ie: He has, they have, etc. Pick up a verbal study guide at Barnes and Noble and read through it. Make notes of each one. Make sure you really study the patterns until you get it. Once you have those few rules, it will be easier.

CR: The best tip I've gotten here is to read the question being asked first, then read the passage with the question in mind. Then BEFORE looking at the answers, try to answer the question. Do this enough times (and 3 weeks is plenty of time) and you will improve here.

RC: For me, this was the worst section. The passages are dense and open to interpretation sometimes. That said, the best way to prepare for this is to just do it. Read a million GMAT style RC questions and answer them. It takes time, it's boring as hell, but if you can do it enough times, it will be easier on test day.

Some other random tips.

-Timing. Learn which parts of Verbal are your strongest and weakest, and which you can go quickly on. For me, I averaged just over 1 minute per SC question, 1:30 for CR, leaving me plenty of extra time for RC. I needed it, and it is important to get into a good rhythm.

-Beginning of the section. You probably know this, but spend more time on questions at the beginning to make sure they're right. Double check. If you have to guess at the end, so what? Because of the CAT format, those earlier ones matter more.

-Buy noise cancelling headphones like they have at the test center for use when you practice. Your brain works differently when you have them on than off. You hear different things and even just reading in pure silence - or to the sound of blood rushing in your head - is a thing to get used to.

-There's a book called Crash Course for the GMAT, 4th Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
that is truly what it sounds like. But rather than having pages after pages of new things to try, it gives you a concise understanding of what you need to know. I think for someone with 3 weeks it's a good resource.

-Don't try to learn everything. That's a strategy for failure. Work on the things that are just out of your grasp and then master them.

-Finally, still do some Quant problems. Stay fresh here. And think about order on your test day. Perhaps you are most focused at the beginning of the test, so do Verbal first so you can be in that good place for it. OR, if you need time to warm up, you know you're good at Quant, so start there and let Verbal come in when you can crush it. Healthy snacks + well planned breaks help with stamina and focus too.


Thanks a lot for this it was really insightful!
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 14:32
Hi Disha1234,

I've sent you a PM with some additional questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2019, 17:47
Hi Disha1234,

First off, great work with quant! A Q47 is really solid, my friend. That said, as you’ve admitted, verbal is dragging down your score. Since you scored a V28 on your latest GMAT, it’s clear that you lack some of the fundamental GMAT verbal skills you need for a high score, right? Thus, you really need to follow a structured and linear study plan that allows you to individually learn each verbal topic, starting with the foundations before moving to more advanced concepts. This process may take more than just a few weeks. Thus, if possible, you may consider pushing back your GMAT date. In any case, here is some advice you can follow to improve your verbal skills.

Let’s say you begin studying Critical Reasoning, for example. Your first goal is to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn each problem type, do focused practice so you can assess how well you understand the topic. If, for example, you incorrectly answer a Weaken the Argument question, 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 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 comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you are reading a paragraph, also 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 Reading Comprehension questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be stimulating. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such bland 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 logical meanings. 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. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and 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.

Ultimately, if you are unable to learn and practice in the manner described above, you may consider looking for additional verbal prep resources. If you are unsure of which resources to choose, check out some reviews here on GMAT Club.

Feel free to reach out with any questions. Good luck!
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2019, 04:01
Hi Disha1234,

I am sorry to hear that your score wasn't in line with your expectations. Almost a third of all GMAT test-takers end up taking the test multiple times, so know that you're not alone in this.

One of our students, Prawee, improved to a 740 through sheer persistence and secured an admit from Kellogg. Anjana could improve her Verbal score from a V27 to V40.

You are at a decent ability in Quant. So, fine-tuning and working on the weak areas would help you reach the target in Quant. For Verbal, however, you will need to work on quite a few basics.

Way Forward


1. How much to improve in each sub-section? Create a plan

To improve you should have a clear target so that you know how much effort is required in each section and sub-section. To do so you can use the Personalized Study Planner to chart out the path for reaching your target score, personalised to your strengths and weaknesses.

This tool will give you,
    1. Clear milestones (target percentiles) for each sub-section tailored to your strengths, and weaknesses.
    2. Estimate of the overall time required to reach your target score and a tentative GMAT date.
    3. The sequence of study and an estimate of the time required for acing each sub-section.

The following GIF will help you get an idea how the journey from 610 to 700 will look like. You can refine the plan with more precise inputs regarding study hours, scores etc.

Image


2. How to improve?

Once, you know which area will give you the required improvement find out the topics or question types that you are not comfortable with. To get a precise feedback on these topics you can use the Scholaranium platform.

• Take a Quant Ability Quiz and Verbal Ability Quiz in Scholaranium.
• Analyse the Skill Data section to identify the weak areas. You will get insights regarding your timing, accuracy, topic faltered on etc. as shown below.
• Improve upon the weak areas to hit your target score.

Image

Alongside building your ability you also need to test ready. You can learn how to best utilise the days leading up to your GMAT exam from this article – GMAT Journey in last 25 days.

If you would like to discuss the preparation plan further, you can reach out to us at support@e-gmat.com.

Regards,
Zinnia
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Re: GMAT prep in 3 weeks   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2019, 04:01
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