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Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt

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Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2018, 11:18
Hi, guys, I am here to discuss my story and take advice on a major issue I have been facing regarding GMAT.
I have written the GMAT twice. Both the times i scored 580 (Q39, V32). This is very disheartening for me since I have always attained a score between 660 - 710 on GMAT prep (All the six practice tests). The first time i wrote the exam in August 2018. After attaining only a 580 then, I thought its probably my concepts that i need to work on and strengthen. I spent the next 2 months strengthening my concepts through Magoosh , OG, and consistently spending 5 - 6 hours daily on verbal and quant combined. After rigorous time devoted to my GMAT, I gave the GMAT again in October, 2nd week. But i was so disheartened to see the same score, both the times. I was consistently performing well both in Magoosh practice tests and GmatPrep tests.

Test Day - According to my analysis, I think i get anxious during the exam and also tend to spend too much time during the first 15 questions. As a result, I end up panicking seeing the timer and knowing that I don't have sufficient time left. After every two questions, I kept calculating how much time I have left.I think that contributed to getting my anxiety levels really high. It also takes me a while to get comfortable in the same spot. Since I always choose the pattern Quant Verbal IR and then AWA, I guess i end up messing up the first two sections because it takes me a little while to get comfortable. Please advise me the way forward. I want to give the GMAT again since i cant come to terms with the fact that my ability is limited to 580. What do you all have in mind?
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Re: Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2018, 17:32
Hi Pj01,

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 either of those issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long did you study for your 1st attempt at the GMAT?
2) What study materials did you use for your 1st attempt?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? How many times have you taken each of the 6 Official GMAC practice CATs?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Rich
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Re: Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2018, 20:24
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

Thank you for your reply. I would be more than happy to provide you with these details.

Studies:
1) How long did you study for your 1st attempt at the GMAT?
I have been trying to give my 1st attempt for more than a year. So I have been studying casually for more than a year. However I am currently working and my commute hours are crazy. So by the time I was home, I was hardly able to put in time. I started devoting time properly by the end of April 2018 for my attempt in August 2018. So lets say, in total, with full concentration - 3 months. But again, since i was working, I was able to devote 2 - 3 hours in a day and took an off for 10 days before exam (Took a holiday from work for those 10 days).

2) What study materials did you use for your 1st attempt
Iinitally subscribed for offline classes. This was 2 years back when I made up my mind to sit for GMAT. But I didn't take these classes seriously. So it was technically a waste of my money,

But, in January 2018, I subscribed to Magoosh, made notes on each section and referred to them. I made sure the notes were exhaustive. I occasionally referred to the material given in the offline classes to make sure I have exhausted all the study material that is imperative and tested during the GMAT. For practice questions, I referred to Magoosh again as well as OG 2018. Some additional resources I used to strengthen my verbal were - Manhattan books for RC, CR and SC.

3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? How many times have you taken each of the 6 Official GMAC practice CATs?
1. CAT Exam Score 1, July 2018 - 550 (Q 45, v21)
2. CAT Exam Score 2, August 2018 - 660 (Q 48, V34)
3. CAT Exam Score 3, August 2018 - 660 (Q47, V34)
4. CAT Exam Score 4, August 2018 - 690 (Q48, V37)
5. CAT Exam Score 5, October 2018 - 690 (Q48, V37)
6. CAT Exam Score 6, October 2018 - 710 (Q50, V34)

These 6 were all the first attempts. However, I ended up giving each of them twice after giving the 1st attempt. Those scores were obviously elevated and I ended up scoring higher than the ones specified above.
While I was giving mocks -
1. I used to panic while looking at the time remaining in the middle of the mock. So I clicked "Pause" while giving the mocks 2 - 3 times to calm myself down. I thought I could handle the pressure well on the day of the test.
2. I sometimes took longer than usual on a particular question. So I clicked "Pause" but only for 2 - 3 questions and for 25 seconds each. I thought if I learn to do this question now, maybe on test day the questions might be similar so I would be able to handle it in less time. Clearly WRONG on my part to think so!

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
I want to score at least 710 - 730. That is my goal. I have done exceptionally well all my life in high school, college etc. So getting a 580 was a big shocker for me. I clearly started doubting my self and my ability to perform well. But, this is my planned score.

5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
These are the schools I am aiming at :
1. INSEAD
2. London Business School
2. NUS Business School
3. HKUST

I thought by October, I will get done with my GMAT. And still make it in time for ROUND 2 applications for 2019 intake. But clearly, with this score, it seems impossible.
Apart from my GMAT, My GPA is decent. 3.6, I have significant work experience in consultancy (4+ years), got double promotions at my workplace within a year and whole lot of stuff that I can put down in my applications. However, I really need a minimum score of 720 to get admission at the schools I am targeting at.

I definitely plan to sit for my GMAT again, but this time, I think I need a better strategy to go about it.

rich your help would be really appreciated.
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Re: Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2018, 13:42
Hi Pj01,

In your last post, you noted several details about how you took your CATs that help to define why those CAT results were NOT accurate. There are some other factors to consider though, so I'd like to know a bit more about how you took your CATs.

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day besides pausing your CATs (re: skip sections, take longer breaks, eat/drink during the CAT, etc.)?

In addition, going forward - how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 28 Oct 2018, 21:28
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

I totally understand that the mock environment could have lead to give me an unrealistic score

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
Yes I took the entire cat each time, including Essay and IR sections. A

2) Did you take them at home?
Yes I took the CAT exams at home.

3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
Yes all of them were during the same time of day, Maybe an hour early or an hour after, But not too much of a difference

4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day besides pausing your CATs (re: skip sections, take longer breaks, eat/drink during the CAT, etc.)?
Yes, I took longer breaks once or twice and Ate during the CAT too, Between quant/verbal section. (twice or thrice. )

How do you think this impacts my score? Do you feel my concepts could have been strong but the environment during the TEST day got my score down?

Going forward, I will be able to devote 2 - 3 hours per day. What do you have in mind?
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Re: Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 19:10
Hi Pj01,

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
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Rich Cohen

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  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
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Re: Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 10:14
Hi pj01,

I’m sorry to hear how things have been going with your GMAT. So, let’s first focus on what we know: We know that you’ve been having high levels of anxiety while taking your GMATs, and thus your score decrease is probably due in some part to your nerves, right? Panicking is a score killer. So, any time you feel the urge to panic while taking the GMAT, you need to ride out that urge and just continue to do your best to get correct answers, rather than compounding whatever issue is causing you to start panicking, OK?

That being said, I see that your score goal is 710. Looking at your practice exams, you hit your goal on only 1 of 6 practice exams. Thus, at your current level of readiness, you probably are not going to achieve your score goal even on a good day, right? Clearly, you have some lingering weaknesses (especially in verbal) that you must fix by test day. If you are able to fix those weaknesses, I believe that you will have improved confidence, which will carry over to your GMAT and help keep your anxiety at bay.

If you’d like advice on how to prep for a retake, feel free to reach out, and I’d be happy to help. You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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New post 30 Oct 2018, 10:14
Hi apwang,

AjiteshArun is correct; problem solving and data sufficiency questions are not weighted differently.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Help! Low Score in GMAT - 2nd Attempt &nbs [#permalink] 30 Oct 2018, 10:14
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