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Help!! Bombed gmat

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 13:16
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Hello Everyone,

I am an MBA enthusiast(non native) who jumped onto the gmat train 3 months back.

1. I gathered all second hand source I could such as, Manhattan prep book series, OG 19 series, Kaplan and CR bible etc.

2. I also signed up for some paid courses such as Magoosh and e-gmat.

So I started off with the Manhattan books and CR bible to get review of all the topics. Honestly I was overwhelmed with the verbal part but I worked through it. Then I started practicing OG and Magoosh. By end of May I finished both with my error log marked. Initially I started with timer but then I thought to get my accuracy up before concentrating on the time. In Magoosh I ended up with 40-44 quant prediction and 33 verbal prediction.

Then I got the e-gmat course in June to clear my concepts on verbal sc. I finished all the sc threads and started practicing. I booked my exam for July 17.

Three weeks prior to the exam I started a few mock tests which go as follows

1. Mgmat 1-640 (v34/q45)
2. Mgmat 2-580 (v29/q42)
3. Mgmat 3-680 (v32/q47/48)
4. Mgmat 4-590
5. Mgmat 5-640

1. Gmat prep 1-660 (v29/q49)
2. Gmat prep 2-580 (v25/q48)

I was demoralised as the last score was one day before the exam.

I realised my weakness was time may be and RC(mostly) and CR.

So I started working on the RC and by the last exam I got just 2 wrong on rc but the no. Of sc and CR went up. This made me realize it was the time.

In the meanwhile(1 week) I was practicing like 60 questions quant (gmat club) everyday and 60 questions verbal(e-gmat).

When I did set questions on e-gmat I almost always finished on time or rushed for the last three and my accuracy on SC/cr had been fine.

Then on the exam day

GMAT - 580(24v/45q) I was expecting it because of the last gmat prep score but I was and am disheartened.

I have booked the exam for 28 Oct and am planning to go over all marked error all over again and be in the practice momentum.

I need help, advice,good wishes as I want to be somewhere in 720s and 3 months of study has brought me back to square one.

Help!!

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Help!! Bombed gmat  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 23:09
Hi Potolo2624,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. 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 any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and your goals:

Studies:
1) How many hours did you typically study each week? Did you take any "time off" from your studies over the last 3 months?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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 on Test Day (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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New post 18 Jul 2019, 23:21
Hello Rich,

Thank you so much for replying back

1) How many hours did you typically study each week?

I guess I studied 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the evening.

Did you take any "time off" from your studies over the last 3 months?

Yes, a week in March and a week in June as I had some tight deadlines.

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

During weekdays - 2 hrs in the morning and 2 in the evening. (May be many a times at noon if work is light).

14 hrs in the weekend.

3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

I was planning to apply in the first application cycle but due to the unfortunate score I will go for the second round of my score permits. I have booked my next gmat for Oct 28 but sooner if I feel ready.

4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
Ross Michigan (this is the one and only aim)
Nyu stern
Insead
UCLA
Cornell
Cmu tepper

Right now as I booked for the next gmat I am slightly short on my budget. As soon as I can I shall get the ESR.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Help!! Bombed gmat  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2019, 11:28
Hi Potolo2624,

With a Q45/V24 - and a Score Goal of 720 (or higher) - we do not necessarily need the ESR to define the immediate areas that you need to work on. A Q45 means that you were great on most of the 'math questions' that you faced in the Quant section, but you missed out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' questions. The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. To score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.' With a V24, you lost significant points in all 3 major Verbal categories (RC, SC and CR), so you'll need to work on all 3 areas (both Tactically - for RC and CR and content-wise: SC grammar/idioms).

With over 3 months of potential study time before your next Official Test Date, you have given yourself lots of time to improve - which is good. At this point, you can proceed with your studies however you choose (for example, you might continue to use the study materials that you currently have access to). It's likely that you'll need some new resources though - and a new Study Plan - so once you've decided on how you want to proceed, we can discuss how you might continue with this next phase of your studies.

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Help!! Bombed gmat  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2019, 11:43
Hi,

I don't think you should rush back to the exam for the second attempt. It's obvious there is a lot of gaps in your studies. If I were you, I would focus on the basics first in both Quant and Verbal for the next 2 months, then practice more until you are comfortable with content and timing. I wish you all the best.

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Re: Help!! Bombed gmat  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 07:55
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Hi Potolo2624,

I’m sorry to hear about how things went with your GMAT. First off, don’t be dejected my friend. As long as you can begin following a smart and through study plan, you can improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills. In other words, you need to follow a study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Let me expand on this idea further.

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 Reading Comprehension, 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 answers were always the ones 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 Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following articles: The Surprising Factor that is the Key to Hitting Your GMAT Score Goal: Grit and How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT — A Mini Guide for Success.

Good luck!
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Re: Help!! Bombed gmat  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 15:49
Wow. You got more courses and materials than anyone would cover in a year! 2 courses and MGMAT books - that's basically 3 courses designed for a 7-9 month experience. Think of as trying to date 3 people at the same time or mixing white wine with red, and beer in a glass - not going to end well. I am sorry. :-(

I would pick 1 and just focus on that one thing. Course, books, whatever - it can be done using anyone of those but not all. I know it seems like doing all is better but it is not. GMAT is a lot about subtle things that take time to build and recognize.

Hope this helps.... sorry about the score.
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Re: Help!! Bombed gmat   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2019, 15:49
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