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Help! GMAT Retake Advice

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 05:54
Hi guys,

A little bit about me: I've worked for a top management consulting firm (MBB) and an international non-profit. (over 3 years of experience till date)
I intend of applying in Round 1 in 2020, and recently took the GMAT, scoring a 710. (Q48,V40).

Given that my I'm looking at schools in the top 10-15, with financial aid being an important consideration, I've decided to give the GMAT again. I'm hoping to get a 740-750 this time round.

Prep Time: 4 months of prep, a couple of hours each day. I started with a base score of ~580, so 710 was definitely a big jump!
Resources Used: All three GMAT guides, veritas mocks, all six GMAT official mocks (my scores were 710,740,720, 730,730-taken in the two weeks before my exam date) and questions from GMAT club.

My ESR report is attached. I'd love to get some guidance on how I can improve my score- focus areas, push quant/verbal, resources I can use, and the time I'd have to study to get a 740/750.
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 08:51
1
Sara12 wrote:
Hi guys,

A little bit about me: I've worked for a top management consulting firm (MBB) and an international non-profit. (over 3 years of experience till date)
I intend of applying in Round 1 in 2020, and recently took the GMAT, scoring a 710. (Q48,V40).

Given that my I'm looking at schools in the top 10-15, with financial aid being an important consideration, I've decided to give the GMAT again. I'm hoping to get a 740-750 this time round.

Prep Time: 4 months of prep, a couple of hours each day. I started with a base score of ~580, so 710 was definitely a big jump!
Resources Used: All three GMAT guides, veritas mocks, all six GMAT official mocks (my scores were 710,740,720, 730,730-taken in the two weeks before my exam date) and questions from GMAT club.

My ESR report is attached. I'd love to get some guidance on how I can improve my score- focus areas, push quant/verbal, resources I can use, and the time I'd have to study to get a 740/750.


Seeing the ESR, I think you can perform much better in Quant if you work on inequalities.

Give me three days I'll get back to you with detailed suggestions. But you're already good to go
I think you'll do great in 15 days
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 09:48
1
Sara12

That's excellent improvement compared to previous score. The ESR is very revealing and pinpoints areas of improvement.

Briefly (for verbal):

VERBAL:


Lowest performance in RC (72%), then SC (87%). Quite good performance in CR (94%).

Time spent in each sub-section was approximately the same.

CR: You did very well (100%) in "Analysis/Critique" and comparatively poorly in "Construction/Plan" (75%).

RC: You did somewhat better (83%) in identification of "inferred ideas" than in identification of "stated idea" (75%).

SC: You did very well in "communication" (100%) and poorly in "grammar" (60%).

Time management and correct/incorrect answers:

In the first quarter of the test, you got about 1/3rd of the questions wrong, did perfectly in 2nd and 3rd quarters (100%) and got a quarter of answers wrong in last stretch.

You spent less time in the first and last quarters of the test compared to that spent in the second and third quarters.

Difficulty Level:

Overall range from mid-low to medium level difficulty questions. Your incorrect answers were mostly in the medium range, while correct answrs ranged from low to medium.

BRIEF SUGGESTIONS:

Focus on developing competence in weaker sub-sections while not neglecting the stronger ones. It may be helpful to aim to reach higher difficulty level questions.
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 10:02
1
Hey Sara,

Congrats on 710!

You need to work on RC and you have a lot of scope for improvement in Quants. But I think 10 - 15 days of prep will be fine if you do more than that you may get burned out.
This time focus more on 700+ level questions.

Regards
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 10:14
1
710 is a great start! To maximize your score increase, you should look to improve in all aspects of GMAT quant (to hit Q50) as well as Reading Comprehension in verbal. I’ll start with quant.

In order to improve your quant skills, you need to go through GMAT quant 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.

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.

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.

To improve in Reading Comprehension, you need to focus on understanding what you are reading. When you are incorrectly answering Reading Comprehension questions, it’s partly because you do not truly understand what you have just read, right? Thus, you likely have to slow down in order to (eventually) speed up. At this point, your best bet is to focus on getting the correct answers to questions, taking as much time as you need to see key details and understand the logic of what you are reading. You have to learn to comprehend what you read, keep it all straight, and use what you are reading to arrive at correct answers. If you don't understand something, go back and read it one sentence at a time, even one word at a time, not moving on until you understand what you have just read. There is no way around this work. Your goal should be to take all the time you need to understand exactly what is being said and arrive at the correct answer. If you can learn to get answers taking your time, you can learn to speed up. Answering questions is like any task: The more times you do it carefully and successfully, the faster you become at doing it carefully and successfully.

Another component of understanding what you are reading is being “present” when reading. Don’t worry about how things are going at work, or what you will eat for dinner, or even how long you are taking to read through the passage. Just focus on what is in front of you, word by word, line by line. Furthermore, try to make reading fun. For example, even if you are reading about a topic that bores you, pretend that you are the person making the argument. By doing so, you will make the passage more relatable to YOU, and ultimately you should be able to read with greater focus.

One final component of Reading Comprehension that may be tripping you up is that RC questions contain one or more trap answers that seem to answer the question but don't really. So, a key part of training to correctly answer RC questions is learning to notice the differences between trap answers and correct answers. You have to learn to see how trap answers seem to follow from what the passages say, but don't really, while correct answers fit what the passages say exactly.

In order to follow the advice 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.

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about [url=(https://blog.targettestprep.com/how-to- ... 0-on-gmat/]how to score a 700+ on the GMAT[/url].

Good luck!
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 14:33
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Hi Sara12,

First off, a 710/Q48 is an outstanding Score - and you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is probably not necessary. Since you're interested in some highly-competitive Schools, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There's certainly no harm in continuing to study and retesting, so before we discuss the data in your ESR, I have a few questions about your prior studies and timeline:

1) Did you use any other study materials besides the books that you mentioned?
2) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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

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

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2019, 20:14
1
Sara12 wrote:
My ESR report is attached. I'd love to get some guidance on how I can improve my score- focus areas, push quant/verbal, resources I can use, and the time I'd have to study to get a 740/750.
A Q50/V40 would be one way to get that 740 that you want. Your ESR shows that something went wrong in your quant (given that you got a Q48, which is a good score, that "EQUAL./INEQUAL./ALG." score doesn't look like something that you'd normally get). What do you think happened in the quant section?
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New post 04 Aug 2019, 03:27
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Sara12,

First off, a 710/Q48 is an outstanding Score - and you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is probably not necessary. Since you're interested in some highly-competitive Schools, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There's certainly no harm in continuing to study and retesting, so before we discuss the data in your ESR, I have a few questions about your prior studies and timeline:

1) Did you use any other study materials besides the books that you mentioned?
2) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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


Hey Rich,

Thanks so much for getting back to me!

1) No other materials used.
2) Last 4 official mocks: (taken every 2nd/3rd day in the 10 days before the exam on July 8)
740 Q50 V40
720 Q47 V41
730 Q48 V41
730 Q48 V42
3) Planning to apply September, 2020 2021 Intake

Looking forward to hearing back from you!
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 03:31
AjiteshArun wrote:
Sara12 wrote:
My ESR report is attached. I'd love to get some guidance on how I can improve my score- focus areas, push quant/verbal, resources I can use, and the time I'd have to study to get a 740/750.
A Q50/V40 would be one way to get that 740 that you want. Your ESR shows that something went wrong in your quant (given that you got a Q48, which is a good score, that "EQUAL./INEQUAL./ALG." score doesn't look like something that you'd normally get). What do you think happened in the quant section?


Thanks so much for this!

Yes, that seems unusual to me as well. Don't recall what went wrong in this aspect.

Could I also work on pushing my verbal up to V42-44? It's definitely my strength. Last time round I spent a lot of time on quant. Though I'd happily work on pushing quant as well- whatever gets me to a 740-750.

Looking forward to your tips on how I can achieve this, and for how long I should study before the next attempt. (First attempt was on July 8- took a break since). Given that I'm applying next year, I can devote as much time as is required
Intern
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Posts: 10
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 03:34
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
710 is a great start! To maximize your score increase, you should look to improve in all aspects of GMAT quant (to hit Q50) as well as Reading Comprehension in verbal. I’ll start with quant.

In order to improve your quant skills, you need to go through GMAT quant 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.

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.

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.

To improve in Reading Comprehension, you need to focus on understanding what you are reading. When you are incorrectly answering Reading Comprehension questions, it’s partly because you do not truly understand what you have just read, right? Thus, you likely have to slow down in order to (eventually) speed up. At this point, your best bet is to focus on getting the correct answers to questions, taking as much time as you need to see key details and understand the logic of what you are reading. You have to learn to comprehend what you read, keep it all straight, and use what you are reading to arrive at correct answers. If you don't understand something, go back and read it one sentence at a time, even one word at a time, not moving on until you understand what you have just read. There is no way around this work. Your goal should be to take all the time you need to understand exactly what is being said and arrive at the correct answer. If you can learn to get answers taking your time, you can learn to speed up. Answering questions is like any task: The more times you do it carefully and successfully, the faster you become at doing it carefully and successfully.

Another component of understanding what you are reading is being “present” when reading. Don’t worry about how things are going at work, or what you will eat for dinner, or even how long you are taking to read through the passage. Just focus on what is in front of you, word by word, line by line. Furthermore, try to make reading fun. For example, even if you are reading about a topic that bores you, pretend that you are the person making the argument. By doing so, you will make the passage more relatable to YOU, and ultimately you should be able to read with greater focus.

One final component of Reading Comprehension that may be tripping you up is that RC questions contain one or more trap answers that seem to answer the question but don't really. So, a key part of training to correctly answer RC questions is learning to notice the differences between trap answers and correct answers. You have to learn to see how trap answers seem to follow from what the passages say, but don't really, while correct answers fit what the passages say exactly.

In order to follow the advice 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.

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about [url=(https://blog.targettestprep.com/how-to- ... 0-on-gmat/]how to score a 700+ on the GMAT[/url].

Good luck!


Thanks so much, Scott. This is super helpful.

Additionally, would you have a personal recommendation for a source of quant questions? Is the extra question pack from GMAT worth it?
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 13:19
1
Hi Sara12,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional questions.

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

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

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2019, 18:17
1
Sara12 wrote:
Thanks so much for this!

Yes, that seems unusual to me as well. Don't recall what went wrong in this aspect.

Could I also work on pushing my verbal up to V42-44? It's definitely my strength. Last time round I spent a lot of time on quant. Though I'd happily work on pushing quant as well- whatever gets me to a 740-750.

Looking forward to your tips on how I can achieve this, and for how long I should study before the next attempt. (First attempt was on July 8- took a break since). Given that I'm applying next year, I can devote as much time as is required
I think it's a great idea to work on both quant and verbal. It's just that your verbal score is already very good, so I'd prioritize quant if I were you.

All the best for the next attempt. :)
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2019, 01:45
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Sara12,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional questions.

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


Thanks so much! Messaged you. :)
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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2019, 08:46
Sara12 wrote:

Thanks so much, Scott. This is super helpful.

Additionally, would you have a personal recommendation for a source of quant questions? Is the extra question pack from GMAT worth it?


TARGET TEST PREP:)
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
122 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: Help! GMAT Retake Advice   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2019, 08:46
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