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# Help improve Score!

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Intern
Joined: 25 Dec 2018
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20 Mar 2020, 00:38
Hi all

I've been preparing (irregularly) for GMAT for the past 3 months. Again, for the second time. Below are my scores since Jan 2020. My scheduled test date is 15 April 2020. Any advise on improving my score, especially in Quant, is appreciated. I am aiming for 730+. Thanks in advance.

2020/01/29 EG 07 v39 q46 -- 690
2020/02/29 EG 08 v37 q47 -- 690
2020/03/03 EG 09 v37 q48 -- 700
2020/03/06 GMATprep#1 v28 q49 -- 650
2020/03/09 EG 10 v38 q48 -- 700

EG - Experts Global mocks
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Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Posts: 905
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37

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20 Mar 2020, 03:41
nithingopal - Trust me you do not need to worry about the quant section. I am sure you would score 49-51 on the quant section if you do not horribly mess up your timing strategy. However, I hope you have taken the practice tests in ideal testing conditions with no extra time and with 8 min breaks. Seeing your practice test scores, I have a feeling that a 730 is pretty much doable; that said, you must be extremely careful in the next 4 weeks leading up to your test date; please analyze all past tests and work on your weak areas one by one.

I am more concerned about your verbal section, quite frankly. You see you have score a V28 on the official practice test by GMAT Prep. I advise you to take another GMAT Prep test to find a pattern of your actual verbal performance.
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20 Mar 2020, 11:33
If your Verbal score is less than V30, even if you got a Q51, it would not be possible to get a 730. You might want to consider going through the free GMAT club verbal book. Manhattan Prep books also have a strong reputation.

This link may be bring you some insight: https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-books-286663.html
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20 Mar 2020, 13:46
1
Hi nithingopal,

Last year, you were planning to take the GMAT in September - and from what you describe, you did take the GMAT. How did you Score, including your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores?

I ask because your recent practice CAT/mock Scores are similar to the ones that you reported last August, so it's possible that you're going through the same general routines that you did last year (re: you may have gotten 'stuck' at this particular level - and might end up with an Official Score that is similar to your 1st Score). If that's the case, then we'll have to analyze your studies - and prior results - in more detail to properly define what you need to work on going forward to hit your Score Goal.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Intern
Joined: 25 Dec 2018
Posts: 14

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20 Mar 2020, 20:25
Thank you for your guidance guys!

DisciplinedPrep Gmat700Knight

Yes, I had taken all my mocks under exam conditions. Although my breaks are usually shorter than 4 minutes. After analyzing the GMATprep#1 (v28 q49) -- 650, the main reason for such a low score in verbal is mistakes in RC. I somehow made sure to get most of the RC questions wrong while getting only 2 SC and 1 CR wrong. That was the only time my verbal scores went below 30. Maybe I should focus on it a little more. Any study plan is appreciated.

EMPOWERgmatRichC

I Can't thank you enough for your guidance on this platform. Yes, I did take an official CAT last Oct 04 and the score was 650 ( V34, Q45), which I cancelled. It was a horrible day, I lost my passport on my way to the test center and somehow managed to make it 3 min late to the test after 2 hours of back tracking to find my passport. Luckily my OCD to be extra early to a test saved my butt that day. A week after that test, I took another Experts Global mock test and I got 710 (V42. Q45). I couldn't give the test again as I got busy with work and family.

My current prep is to revise my old notes and give a mock. I know its insufficient but thats the best plan I could come up with considering my lack of time and focus.

Thanks
Nithin
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GMAT 1: 750 Q50 V41
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21 Mar 2020, 11:36
1
nithingopal wrote:
Hi all

My scheduled test date is 15 April 2020. Any advise on improving my score, especially in Quant, is appreciated. I am aiming for 730+. Thanks in advance.

Just my thoughts. I think that's plenty of time. Considering you already scoring around 700, I think you need to focus more on simulating test conditions, good timing/pacing, and focusing getting the more difficult questions.

I personally advise spacing your practice tests; there is no room for improvement in 2 days. And maintain a detailed error log. I used to spend about 5-8 hours debriefing each mock test. If you identify an area where the strategies you learned from books dont work, make one up that works. Dont be afraid to mix and match strategies from multiple sources for different topics. No one book worked 100% for me.

In short, I would say do mocks, make detailed error logs, identify and improve something specific before taking another mock, and simulate mocks well.

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21 Mar 2020, 14:56
2
Hi nithingopal,

Losing your Passport on the day of your Official GMAT - and then having to scramble to try to find it - could certainly have impacted your mindset (and ultimately your performance) on Test Day. However, we have to be careful about assuming that that was the only reason why you scored lower.

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT/mock scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC (the 2 free CATs, and each of the 2 that come with Exam Pack 1 and Exam Pack 2), but retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills - since you will likely see some 'repeat' questions that you have already faced. Unfortunately, seeing even a couple of repeats can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all appear to be better than they actually are). Thankfully, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you correctly take the CAT in a realistic fashion) - so I suggest that you take a NEW CAT from one of those sources next. Once you have your next result, you should post back here and we can discuss how you might best proceed with your studies.

A CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to learn the necessary Tactics and put in the proper practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. In addition, the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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22 Mar 2020, 17:52
2
Hi nithingopal,

Q49 on an official practice exam is pretty great! To improve your quant score to a higher level, you have 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.

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.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses.

Please reach out with any further questions.

Let’s do this!!
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Intern
Joined: 25 Dec 2018
Posts: 14

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04 Apr 2020, 06:27
Hi

Just as suggested, I took another fresh mock and I got 700 (V37 , Q48) again. It seems I have hit a plateau. Kindly help improve.
Intern
Joined: 04 Apr 2020
Posts: 3

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04 Apr 2020, 09:14
1
I had the same problem a couple of years ago, and Manhattan Prep books helped me to improve my score.
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04 Apr 2020, 12:06
1
Hi nithingopal

I would like to know the test taking strategy that you follow while attempting the Quant section. Sometimes not following the right strategy can also cost you 1-2 points on GMAT Quant. I'm sharing a short video to help you with the test taking strategy I suggest students to follow

Go through the video and see if you're following this strategy. The key idea is to ensure that you're equipped to solve Easy, Medium and Medium High questions from any topic. If you can make that happen, then scoring Q50 won't be a big challenge considering that you seem fairly comfortable with most topics.

I would recommend you to look at the accuracy pattern and the time distribution over the 4 quarters. Feel free to get in touch if you have any follow-up questions on the same. I am happy to help

Regards,
Piyush Beriwala
GMAT Strategy Consultant
GMAT 740 (Q50, V41)
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Prepare from an application driven course that serves real-time improvement modules along with a well-defined adaptive study plan. Start a free trial to experience it yourself and get access to 25 videos and 300 GMAT styled questions.

Score Improvement Strategy: How to score Q50+ on GMAT | 5 steps to Improve your Verbal score
Study Plan Articles: 3 mistakes to avoid while preparing | How to create a study plan? | The Right Order of Learning | Importance of Error Log
Helpful Quant Strategies: Filling Spaces Method | Avoid Double Counting in P&C | The Art of Not Assuming anything in DS | Number Line Method
Key Verbal Techniques: Plan-Goal Framework in CR | Quantifiers the tiny Game-changers | Countable vs Uncountable Nouns | Tackling Confusing Words in Main Point
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04 Apr 2020, 14:42
1
Hi nithingopal,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 680 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also leave yourself open to making certain types of consistent mistakes.

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

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Intern
Joined: 25 Dec 2018
Posts: 14

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04 Apr 2020, 19:56
karenmilligan

I've done MGMAT in the beginning of my prep. But now a days I only stick to my short notes these days before the mock or practice questions on GMAT Club. Should I redo MGMAT again? My test is on 22nd April (hope its still active).

EMPOWERgmatRichC

Thanks for the response Rich. Below are the details of the last mock. I have to confess that I didn't revise any concepts or practiced any questions since my last mock because I had to relocate because of the ongoing crisis and it has been a bit stressful. And that maybe why I didn't well in SC and CR sections.

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?

Thankfully, I've been taking my time not to make any calculation mistakes etc. So, maybe one or two questions throughout the test.

2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?

Yes. This happens mostly in Quant section, especially in Permutations, percentages, mixtures.

3) Because the question was too hard?

Yes. I'm not that successful in this catagory.

4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?

This happened in the quant section of last mock. I had to rush through the last 4 questions.

5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

Maybe 4 or 5.

QUANTITATIVE
ATTEMPTS CORRECT COULD NOT ATTEMPT ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
31 out of 31 21 0 68% 60: 47 01: 58
TYPE CORRECT ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Data Sufficiency 8 13 62% 19: 20 01:29
Problem Solving 13 18 72% 41: 27 02:18
TOPIC CORRECT ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Time Speed and Work 0 1 0% 02: 00 02:00
Percentages and Mixtures 1 3 33% 11: 10 03:43
Permutations and Combinations 1 3 33% 09: 24 03:08
Numbers 5 8 63% 10: 34 01:19
Algebraic Inequations 2 3 67% 04: 25 01:28
Geometry 2 3 67% 03: 25 01:08
Algebraic Equations 1 1 100% 02: 26 02:26
Co-ordinate Geometry 2 2 100% 04: 22 02:11
Functions 1 1 100% 00: 51 00:51
Ratios and Proportion 2 2 100% 02: 02 01:01
Sequences and Series 1 1 100% 01: 31 01:31
Sets 3 3 100% 08: 37 02:52

QUANT - DIFFICULTY

PS:
Easy: 100%
Medium: 89%
Hard: 33%

DS:
Easy: 50%
Medium: 57%
Hard: 75%

VERBAL - DIFFICULTY

SC:
Easy: 100%
Medium: 75%
Hard: 38%

RC:
Easy: 0%
Medium: 83%
Hard: 67%

CR:
Easy: 0%
Medium: 50%
Hard: 60%

VERBAL

ATTEMPTS CORRECT COULD NOT ATTEMPT ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
36 out of 36 22 0 61% 62:33:00 1:44

TYPE CORRECT ATTEMPTS TOTAL ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Sentence Correction 7 13 54% 17:07 1:19
Critical Reasoning 6 11 55% 18:56 1:43
Reading Comprehension 9 12 75% 26:30:00 2:13

SENTENCE CORRECTION
QUESTION TOPICS CORRECT ATTEMPTS TOTAL ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Meaning 0 1 0% 1:14 1:14
Modifiers 0 1 0% 1:41 1:41
Tenses 0 2 0% 3:24 1:42
Parallelism 1 2 50% 2:59 1:30
Comparison 2 3 67% 3:17 1:06
Idioms 1 1 100% 1:07 1:07
Pronouns 1 1 100% 0:53 0:53
Subject - Verb Agreement 1 1 100% 1:15 1:15
Subjunctive Mood 1 1 100% 1:17 1:17

CRITICAL REASONING
QUESTION TOPICS CORRECT ATTEMPTS TOTAL ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Inference 0 1 0% 1:18 1:18
Para Completion 0 1 0% 1:18 1:18
Strengthening 0 1 0% 1:30 1:30
Explanation 1 2 50% 2:52 1:26
Weakening 2 3 67% 4:42 1:34
Assumption 2 2 100% 4:30 2:15
Boldface 1 1 100% 2:46 2:46

QUESTION TOPICS CORRECT ATTEMPTS TOTAL ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Business & Economics 2 3 67% 7:31 2:30
Science 3 4 75% 5:46 1:27
Humanities 4 5 80% 13:13 2:39
TYPE OF QUESTION CORRECT ATTEMPTS TOTAL ATTEMPTS ACCURACY TIME TAKEN TIME PER QUESTION
Fact 1 3 33% 7:51 2:37
Inference 6 7 86% 10:04 1:26
Structure 2 2 100% 8:35 4:18

GMATWhizTeam

Thank you for your response. I will check out that video.

GMATWhiz Representative
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Posts: 697
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04 Apr 2020, 20:57
Hi nithingopal

Thanks for sharing the details of your attempt. I have looked at the data for your performance in Quant section. The biggest problem that I see is that you got 50% and 57% accuracy in Easy and Medium DS Qs respectively. What does this mean? It means that you're getting may be 1-3 questions wrong in the first 15 questions itself. If you check out the video that I shared earlier, you will understand how important these first 15 questions are.

What could be the possible reasons behind these mistakes?

There are 3 reasons that I can think of and I'm going to mention them in order of likelihood.

Reason 1 - You're taking the easy and medium difficulty questions lightly may be even rushing through them to save some time. Happens frequently with people as you don't really need to find the answer and in the rush of time, it is common to not consider some cases. I generally recommend students to exercise a lot of caution in first 15 questions. If needed spend some extra time confirming the answer and going slow.

Reason 2 - You may not be comfortable with some concepts that you got the easy and medium DS questions from. I would recommend checking out the topics that these questions were from and making sure you do focused practice and improve your understanding there.

Reason 3 - Least likely. You may not be approaching DS questions using the right method. This is least likely because you're doing pretty well on hard DS questions.

All in all, getting easy and medium questions wrong in Quant section can cost you a lot. If you follow the test taking strategy that I have suggested in the video, it might help you to improve your score by 1-2 points on Quant and 10-20 points overall. Hope it helps
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GMAT Prep truly Personalized using Technology

Prepare from an application driven course that serves real-time improvement modules along with a well-defined adaptive study plan. Start a free trial to experience it yourself and get access to 25 videos and 300 GMAT styled questions.

Score Improvement Strategy: How to score Q50+ on GMAT | 5 steps to Improve your Verbal score
Study Plan Articles: 3 mistakes to avoid while preparing | How to create a study plan? | The Right Order of Learning | Importance of Error Log
Helpful Quant Strategies: Filling Spaces Method | Avoid Double Counting in P&C | The Art of Not Assuming anything in DS | Number Line Method
Key Verbal Techniques: Plan-Goal Framework in CR | Quantifiers the tiny Game-changers | Countable vs Uncountable Nouns | Tackling Confusing Words in Main Point
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 16711
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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05 Apr 2020, 15:38
Hi nithingopal,

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Help improve Score!   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2020, 15:38

# Help improve Score!

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