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GMAT stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+

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GMAT stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 10:15
Hi there,

I took my second GMAT yesterday (March 31, 2018) and scored an unfortunate 450 (Quant 22/Verbal 28). The worst part: I was under the illusion I was doing relatively well, and that I would see a 550+ on that anxiety-inducing score screen at the end of the exam.

It was disappointing. What makes it worse is the fact that I took the GMAT on Dec. 6, 2016, and scored a 460 (25Q/28V). Prior to yesterday's exam, I took a month-long in-class course, twice, with a local GMAT prep company that all the schools in the area recommend. With the exception of the RC guide, I have gone through all of the MGMAT guides, and completed the corresponding easy and medium-level quizzes from the OG 2017 guide.

Ahead of yesterday's exam, I took the GMATPrep mocks and got the following scores in chronological order: 470 (27Q/28V), 500 (29Q/30V), 620 (39Q/36V), 580 (38Q/31V). I took that last mock on March 21 (10 days prior to the exam). The last two scores were on repeated GMATPrep mocks, so the scores on those two are clearly inflated.

As challenging as it has been, I don't plan on giving up on this exam. I know I can achieve my modest 550+ score. I've completed my applications for two schools already, and successfully gone through the interview process for both. The schools have stated that I should aim for a 550 or higher score.

Going forward, I will be using an error log on excel. I also ordered my enhanced score reports for both GMAT attempts (I can't attachment them/you need more than five posts to do so), and I'll use that to discern my weakest areas. I plan on going over the MGMAT books as well.

What else can I do at this point? How challenging is it to go from a 450 to a 550+? And how much time should I give myself? I will speak to the adcoms, but I know that with one of the schools, the deadline for Round 4 is April 30. Would a month be enough time to increase my 450 to a 550?

Thanks in advance for your responses!

-Ali
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Re: GMAT stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 10:28
ma1z wrote:
Hi there,

I took my second GMAT yesterday (March 31, 2018) and scored an unfortunate 450 (Quant 22/Verbal 28). The worst part: I was under the illusion I was doing relatively well, and that I would see a 550+ on that anxiety-inducing score screen at the end of the exam.

It was disappointing. What makes it worse is the fact that I took the GMAT on Dec. 6, 2016, and scored a 460 (25Q/28V). Prior to yesterday's exam, I took a month-long in-class course, twice, with a local GMAT prep company that all the schools in the area recommend. With the exception of the RC guide, I have gone through all of the MGMAT guides, and completed the corresponding easy and medium-level quizzes from the OG 2017 guide.

Ahead of yesterday's exam, I took the GMATPrep mocks and got the following scores in chronological order: 470 (27Q/28V), 500 (29Q/30V), 620 (39Q/36V), 580 (38Q/31V). I took that last mock on March 21 (10 days prior to the exam). The last two scores were on repeated GMATPrep mocks, so the scores on those two are clearly inflated.

As challenging as it has been, I don't plan on giving up on this exam. I know I can achieve my modest 550+ score. I've completed my applications for two schools already, and successfully gone through the interview process for both. The schools have stated that I should aim for a 550 or higher score.

Going forward, I will be using an error log on excel. I also ordered my enhanced score reports for both GMAT attempts (I can't attachment them/you need more than five posts to do so), and I'll use that to discern my weakest areas. I plan on going over the MGMAT books as well.

What else can I do at this point? How challenging is it to go from a 450 to a 550+? And how much time should I give myself? I will speak to the adcoms, but I know that with one of the schools, the deadline for Round 4 is April 30. Would a month be enough time to increase my 450 to a 550?

Thanks in advance for your responses!

-Ali


Hi ma1z,

Do not be disheartened. GMAT does test your perseverance. 3 months should be good enough to achieve your dream score. It’s a good thing you have taken the GMAT once. You now know your weaknesses and can work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal.

Kindly go through the concepts first and solidify your base in quant and verbal. Try out the Foundation of GMAT Math and Foundation of GMAT Verbal by MGMAT. After you solidify your base, you can go for the MGMAT Strategy guides as they are phenomenal and cover the entire syllabus really well. 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 a 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.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase the latest version of OG and the Quant and the verbal review for some great additional practice.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: GMAT stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 11:50
Hi ma1z,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 2 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same both times you took the Exam (out 450 +/- a few points) even though you took those Tests almost 4 months apart. This means that "your way" of approach Test Day has gotten you "stuck" at this particular score level. You could potentially make some big improvements in the next month (since you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird), BUT you will have to train to 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT in different ways. If you keep approaching this process with the same mindset, then you will likely continue to score in the mid-400s on the Official GMAT.

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 your timeline:

1) What is the latest that you can send in a new GMAT Score to each of these Schools?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Re: GMAT stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 19:58
Thank you for the advice, rohan2345. I do appreciate any advice at this point.

Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

Thank you for your response. Just to be clear, the last time I took the GMAT and got that 460 was more than a year ago, back in December 2016, and not four months from the GMAT I took this past Saturday (March 31, 2018). I'm not sure if that makes any difference, or whether that helps my predicament. In studying for the 2016 attempt, I depended entirely on Magoosh, which was helpful, but I was still unable to get a 550 or higher score.

I'm no expert in pedagogical methods, but the fact I have tried Magoosh, an in-class course, the entire MGMAT set of books (and also the fundamentals of math book by MGMAT), and finally, 20 hours of private math tutoring from a local GMAT tutor, gives me pause.

Where is the disconnect? Why can't I pick up the standardized approaches to this standardized test? I got through four years of university with a (relatively) decent B+ average (bachelor of journalism), yet this exam has left me in a vulnerable position when it comes to my verbal score. I'm still scratching my head over the V28 on both attempts.

As per your questions, you'll find the answers below:

1) What is the latest that you can send in a new GMAT Score to each of these Schools?

From this vantage, one deadline is coming up April 30th and the other is end of June.

2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

I can study six hours a day, with breaks in between. That would be 42 hours over a seven-day week, every week this month.


Thanks again,

Ali
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Re: GMAT stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2018, 11:27
Hi Ali,

Thanks for catching that error - your scores are actually 16 months apart (instead of 4 months); that still confirms the prior assessment though - you respond to the GMAT a certain way (even though it's been over a year between attempts). Until you work to make some significant changes to how you handle the GMAT, then you'll likely continue to score at this same level.

With an April 30th deadline, you have just 4 weeks of study time remaining. Having the free time to study 40 hours a week could certainly be beneficial, but I'd be concerned that you might 'burn out' before Test Day if you study that much. Thus, you'll have to pay careful attention to how you're feeling and performing (and ease back on your studies if needed). Based on your prior Official Scores, you could pick up ALL of the missing points that you're looking for in just the Quant section, just the Verbal section or a mix of the two. To reiterate a prior point - to hit 550+, you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird (so you should dump all of those questions and spend the time that you 'save' to work on the 'gettable' questions).

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 under 2 months, but we can make some adjustments to that Study Plan for you to get through the most relevant aspects of it in 4 weeks. 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.

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 stuck in the 400s; I need a 550+ &nbs [#permalink] 02 Apr 2018, 11:27
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