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# Got a very bad Diagnostic Score of 390

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Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 2

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08 Oct 2018, 12:41
I just started preparing for GMAT and at the very first I gave the GMAT Prep Test - and received a very bad score of 390 (Q30/V15). I know I do not have proper preparation but I was expecting a score big more than this. Truth be spoken, I and really heartbroken. What should be my strategy in preparation and for what duration. Please help.

Some extra Info : -
Origin : Indian(All Schooling and College in English Medium)
Std X : 80.14 %(Maths - 84, Science - 76, Others) {2011}
Std XII : 69.60 %(Maths - 43{Due to my negligence as I did not practice at all}, Scinece - 70, Others) {2013}
Computer Science Engineering : (8.10/10) - Equivalent to ~3.1-3.2(US System) {2017}
Working in TOP Indian MNC - 6 months. {Ongoing}

1st Attempt (GMAT Test Prep 1) : 390/800

After reviewing all the details please suggest me a strategy and also advice me if with the bad academics in my STD XII, will it create a problem during college final selection or placements in those particular college. Please help me, I am really depressed and have lost path.
Board of Directors
Joined: 17 Jul 2014
Posts: 2587
Location: United States (IL)
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V30
GPA: 3.92
WE: General Management (Transportation)

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08 Oct 2018, 12:56
Hi,

Don't get disappointed, nobody scored the first time well. That is the main purpose of the diagnostic test, to identify where you stand as of right now.

Moreover, check by yourself what sub-category the questions you answered incorrectly address.
There are 2 types of questions on Quant - PS (problem-solving) and DS (data sufficiency)
There are 3 types of questions on Verbal - SC (Sentence correction), CR (Critical reasoning), and RC (Reading comprehension).

Nonetheless, looking at your score, I think that the best option for you, to begin with, is the fundamentals, both for quant and verbal.

Below are the links that you might find useful:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/welcome-to-t ... 62910.html - verbal

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-gma ... 44512.html - quant

moreover, you can use this link as well:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-plan-217827.html
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13589
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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08 Oct 2018, 13:05
Hi Raj767,

Many Test Takers are unhappy with their initial practice scores, but you really shouldn't be. It's just a measure of your skills right now - and now that we have a sense of those skills, we can put together the proper study plan for you. 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 and your goals:

1) What study materials are you currently using?
2) What is your goal score?
3) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 2

### Show Tags

08 Oct 2018, 13:26
Thank you. I will try to make full use of my free time to prepare for GMAT.

1) What study materials are you currently using? - I haven't Started using any but I have downloaded some Manhattan Guides(5th Edition) and OG(13th Edition). WIll these suffice or should I follow anything else?

2) What is your goal score? - As of now cross the mark of 650, but I want to score above 700.

3) When are you planning to take the GMAT? - Within 6 months. What time frame do you suggest?

4) When are you planning to apply to Business School? - As soon as possible. But with only 6 months of experience(At the time of applying may be 8-12months), will it be ok to apply? Please advice.

5) What Schools are you planning to apply to? - I have very less idea on this, but since I belong to a middle class family I would prefer top college with subsidized tuition fees.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13589
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

08 Oct 2018, 13:56
Hi Raj767,

The process of applying to (and ultimately attending) Business School will require a big investment of time, money and energy on your part, so you really should make sure that the Programs that you apply to match your career goals/needs. As such, you should take a day or two to define what YOU want your MBA to do for you, then do the necessary research to find the exact Programs that match. Once you have that list, you will have a better sense of how 'competitive' an applicant you might be (and the type of GMAT Score you would want to apply with) as well as the various application deadlines. All of that information can help you to put together a more efficient and effective overall plan.

Raising a 390 to a 650+ (or 700+) will likely require at least another 3 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. However, your goal to take the GMAT "as soon as possible" is not practical with that type of score improvement - and you have to be careful about trying to rush through a process that WILL require a lot of consistent, guided effort on your part.

While you can certainly start off your studies with the books you've mentioned, you will likely benefit a great deal from investing in a GMAT Course of some type (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led), so you should plan to look into the available options.

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

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2100
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169

### Show Tags

08 Oct 2018, 18:47
Raj767 wrote:
I just started preparing for GMAT and at the very first I gave the GMAT Prep Test - and received a very bad score of 390 (Q30/V15). I know I do not have proper preparation but I was expecting a score big more than this. Truth be spoken, I and really heartbroken. What should be my strategy in preparation and for what duration. Please help.

Some extra Info : -
Origin : Indian(All Schooling and College in English Medium)
Std X : 80.14 %(Maths - 84, Science - 76, Others) {2011}
Std XII : 69.60 %(Maths - 43{Due to my negligence as I did not practice at all}, Scinece - 70, Others) {2013}
Computer Science Engineering : (8.10/10) - Equivalent to ~3.1-3.2(US System) {2017}
Working in TOP Indian MNC - 6 months. {Ongoing}

1st Attempt (GMAT Test Prep 1) : 390/800

After reviewing all the details please suggest me a strategy and also advice me if with the bad academics in my STD XII, will it create a problem during college final selection or placements in those particular college. Please help me, I am really depressed and have lost path.
The first practice test score is not supposed to be given as much importance as you are giving it. The diagnostic is supposed to give you an idea of where you are and what you need to do (planning). It's also supposed to give you an idea of what you'll face on the real test, so that you can understand what will be needed later even in the early stages of your prep.
_________________
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4972
Location: United States (CA)

### Show Tags

11 Oct 2018, 08:13
1
Hi Raj767,

First off, don’t be depressed! We can help get you on the right path, OK? As AjiteshArun mentioned, a low diagnostic score is not the end of the world. The purpose of the diagnostic is to give you a baseline GMAT score -- that’s all!

Since you are 310 points from your score goal, you need to give yourself plenty of time to study (even up to 6+ months). Since you scored 390 on your diagnostic, it’s clear that you lack certain quant and verbal fundamentals that are necessary for a high score. Thus, it’s imperative that you follow an organized and linear study plan, so that you can methodically improve your quant and verbal skills. Within each GMAT topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts.

For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, 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.

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 really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the 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. You have to develop your skill in seeing what is going on in the various versions of the sentence that can be created with the answer choices. 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. 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 Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice withquestions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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12 Oct 2018, 09:17
Raj767 wrote:
I just started preparing for GMAT and at the very first I gave the GMAT Prep Test - and received a very bad score of 390 (Q30/V15). I know I do not have proper preparation but I was expecting a score big more than this. Truth be spoken, I and really heartbroken. What should be my strategy in preparation and for what duration. Please help.

Some extra Info : -
Origin : Indian(All Schooling and College in English Medium)
Std X : 80.14 %(Maths - 84, Science - 76, Others) {2011}
Std XII : 69.60 %(Maths - 43{Due to my negligence as I did not practice at all}, Scinece - 70, Others) {2013}
Computer Science Engineering : (8.10/10) - Equivalent to ~3.1-3.2(US System) {2017}
Working in TOP Indian MNC - 6 months. {Ongoing}

1st Attempt (GMAT Test Prep 1) : 390/800

After reviewing all the details please suggest me a strategy and also advice me if with the bad academics in my STD XII, will it create a problem during college final selection or placements in those particular college. Please help me, I am really depressed and have lost path.

You should better focus on a solid study plan with sound strategy. Here is a study plan for you

Best Books

For learning Concepts

Manhattan Quant Guides
Manhattan Verbal Guides
For CR: The Powerscore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
For RC: Aristotle RC Grail

For Practice

The Official Guide for GMAT 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2015-18

Best Courses

1. Empower GMAT
2. Math Revolution (Only Math)
3. E-GMAT (Only Verbal)

You can start with Quant or Verbal which suits you. If you have started with Quant then Start with the Arithmetic but if started with verbal then start first with Sentence correction. One month for learning Quant concepts and one month for practicing question and same practice for Verbal. During you Practicing question don't forget to make an error log to track your weak areas after practice. Once you know your weak areas revise your Concepts related to those areas and do some more Practice. 6-8 CATs are enough for practice the real tests. Make your Stamina for sitting 3 hours in the test and don't study more than 2 hours in one sit and 4 hours per day

Top CATs for Practice

1. Official GMAC CATs
2. Manhattan CATs
3. Kaplan CATs
4. GMAT Club Quant CATs

Good Luck
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Re: Got a very bad Diagnostic Score of 390   [#permalink] 12 Oct 2018, 09:17
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# Got a very bad Diagnostic Score of 390

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