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# Helped needed from 560 to 700

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Intern
Joined: 04 Jul 2018
Posts: 3
Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2018, 15:43
Hello everyone, I am just 2 weeks away from my second attempt at GMAT in August but my mock exam results are really bringing me down. I just wanted to share some of my GMAT review experiences here and I would really appreciate it if anyone could offer any insight or suggestions as to how I can improve my scores over the next two weeks or two months should I need to retake the exam. Most likely I will have to since my goal is 700 and I have been stuck in 550-610 range.

I sat for the exam for the first time in September last year and scored a 560 (Q38, V28), even though I got a lower score in verbal then, I knew quant is my weakness because it always has been throughout my school years. Given some personal circumstances, I had to delay my business school application to this year. And honestly, I was also so discouraged by the 560 score that I couldn't bring myself to stick to the study even though I really should have.

I have been studying 2 to 3 hours per day during weekdays (have a full-time job) and 5 to 6 hours each day during the weekends consistently since June 9th so it's been well over a month now. I've focused my review process on quant but haven't seen any improvement, my verbal score is also stuck in the 30ish range. I have taken five GMAT prep mock exams and got the followings scores. I have an error log where I have tracked every mistake I made on these mock exams and I review them once or twice per week.

July 4th GMAT Prep 1
Total Score: 570
Quant: 32 Verbal: 36

July 7th GMAT Prep 2
Total Score: 590
Quant: 35 Verbal: 36

July 8th GMAT Prep 3
Total Score: 610
Quant: 36 Verbal: 37

July 14th GMAT Prep 4
Total Score: 550
Quant: 33 Verbal: 33

July 21st GMAT Prep 5
Total score: 590
Quant: 39 Verbal: 32

I know the hope is slim for me to score a 700 in just two weeks at this point, but I would still like to see if there is anything I can do or focus on to bring up my score. I will probably have to retake the exam in September but I just wanted to study effectively and be going in the right direction. I have used OG 2018, MGMAT SC, Magoosh lessons, a little bit of Empower GMAT...there are so many great resources out there, but I'm not sure at this point what I should focus on.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, any help would be immensely appreciated!
Manager
Joined: 28 Jun 2018
Posts: 147
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Marketing
Schools: CUHK '21 (II)
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V30
GPA: 4
Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

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22 Jul 2018, 19:18
have you joined a regular coaching for Gmat or are preparing yourself only? sometimes a teachers guidance can be a bliss.
_________________

What to do if you are new to GMAT:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/what-to-do-if-you-are-new-272708.html#p2108758

Give me kudos if you like it , it's totally harmless

Intern
Joined: 04 Jul 2018
Posts: 3
Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2018, 02:58
kshitizbansal92 wrote:
have you joined a regular coaching for Gmat or are preparing yourself only? sometimes a teachers guidance can be a bliss.

Thank you for your suggestion! I think it's a bit unrealistic for me given I have a very demanding full-time job and a lot of the in-person coaching here in the US are kind of unaffordable for me...but I might try another online course if I don't hit my target score this time.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13108
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

23 Jul 2018, 11:44
1
Hi VGH84,

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 5 CAT score results - along with your Official GMAT Score from 10 months ago - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 580 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. It's likely that continuing to study "your way" will lead to a similar score result in 2 weeks time. While there's no harm in taking the GMAT as scheduled, raising a 580 to a 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. This is all meant to say that you can save some money (and some frustration) if you push back your Test Date. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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 how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long have you used the EMPOWERgmat Course?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process - and the fact that you're keeping an Error Log is a good choice on your part. 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
_________________

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
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Senior Manager
Joined: 04 Jun 2018
Posts: 361
Location: Germany
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GPA: 3.6
WE: Analyst (Transportation)
Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

23 Jul 2018, 11:51
1
VGH84 wrote:
Hello everyone, I am just 2 weeks away from my second attempt at GMAT in August but my mock exam results are really bringing me down. I just wanted to share some of my GMAT review experiences here and I would really appreciate it if anyone could offer any insight or suggestions as to how I can improve my scores over the next two weeks or two months should I need to retake the exam. Most likely I will have to since my goal is 700 and I have been stuck in 550-610 range.

I sat for the exam for the first time in September last year and scored a 560 (Q38, V28), even though I got a lower score in verbal then, I knew quant is my weakness because it always has been throughout my school years. Given some personal circumstances, I had to delay my business school application to this year. And honestly, I was also so discouraged by the 560 score that I couldn't bring myself to stick to the study even though I really should have.

I have been studying 2 to 3 hours per day during weekdays (have a full-time job) and 5 to 6 hours each day during the weekends consistently since June 9th so it's been well over a month now. I've focused my review process on quant but haven't seen any improvement, my verbal score is also stuck in the 30ish range. I have taken five GMAT prep mock exams and got the followings scores. I have an error log where I have tracked every mistake I made on these mock exams and I review them once or twice per week.

July 4th GMAT Prep 1
Total Score: 570
Quant: 32 Verbal: 36

July 7th GMAT Prep 2
Total Score: 590
Quant: 35 Verbal: 36

July 8th GMAT Prep 3
Total Score: 610
Quant: 36 Verbal: 37

July 14th GMAT Prep 4
Total Score: 550
Quant: 33 Verbal: 33

July 21st GMAT Prep 5
Total score: 590
Quant: 39 Verbal: 32

I know the hope is slim for me to score a 700 in just two weeks at this point, but I would still like to see if there is anything I can do or focus on to bring up my score. I will probably have to retake the exam in September but I just wanted to study effectively and be going in the right direction. I have used OG 2018, MGMAT SC, Magoosh lessons, a little bit of Empower GMAT...there are so many great resources out there, but I'm not sure at this point what I should focus on.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, any help would be immensely appreciated!

Based on your latest preps it looks like your verbal foundation is already quite solid, with regards to quant the following posts might help

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 42810.html

https://gmatclub.com/forum/e-gmat-quant ... l#p1525390

And as a general source

https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-definiti ... l#p1352338

All the best for your prep,
Chris
_________________

A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated!

Intern
Joined: 04 Jul 2018
Posts: 3
Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

23 Jul 2018, 15:50
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi VGH84,

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 5 CAT score results - along with your Official GMAT Score from 10 months ago - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 580 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. It's likely that continuing to study "your way" will lead to a similar score result in 2 weeks time. While there's no harm in taking the GMAT as scheduled, raising a 580 to a 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. This is all meant to say that you can save some money (and some frustration) if you push back your Test Date. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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 how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long have you used the EMPOWERgmat Course?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process - and the fact that you're keeping an Error Log is a good choice on your part. 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

Hi Rich,

Thanks so much for your detailed response, I really appreciate it! I agree with you that if I continue to study my way, there is no way I could bring my score up to 700, that's why I came here for help, I think I have reached a dead end as to how I can improve, feeling pretty desperate for the past few days.

Especially because after more than 100 hours of study and five GMAT preps, seeing no improvement at all is also kind of making me seriously doubt my ability. Sorry for all the complaints, just kind of need to let them out. Now for your questions: (1) I started using empower gmat since July 7th, I think I panicked after my second or third mock exam and wanted to search for another way to train. I admit it's just been two weeks and too short of a time for the program to take effect, although I have been using 'TEST IT' on some quant questions and find it helpful (2) I have to apply in round one or round two, which gives me the October 1 deadline and January 1 deadline. There are always a lot of things going on at work and with families in December so I'd rather not drag it to December (3) My target school is Michigan Ross, so I think 700 is a must-have.

After my most recent CAT, I realized that (1) I would always make two or three silly mistakes in quant sometimes because I did one step of the calculation wrong in the arithmetic process or because I got confused about the answer and the choices of DS. (2) there are definitely some math questions where upon first reading the stem, I would think to myself 'there's no way I could do this,' but then after reading the explanations on the forum or in the OG, I would be able to understand them immediately. (3) questions that I would consider are too hard for me are definitely on the quant section, I think especially probability and some parts of geometry are very hard for me to think through, it's very hard for me to visualize some of geometry-focused stems (4) the 'low on time' situation always happens to me when I'm doing verbal, I would always miss at least 3 to 5 questions in the end, I definitely have trouble pacing on the verbal section. (5) for verbal, my mistakes on 'RC' and 'SC' often derive from picking the wrong answer between the last two choices that I have narrowed down to; for CR, I would sometimes be surprised by the right answer, which reflects my weakness in logic.

I think the biggest obstacle is I'm weak in both quant and verbal...so I'm also at a loss as to how to allocate time to study most effectively every day.

Thanks again! Looking forward to getting your feedback, I think I would still go ahead and take this exam as an expensive mock exam. I'm prepared to take another two to three months to consistently review for the exam and take it again in late September or October, but I know I need another approach.
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2772
Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2018, 23:49
Hi VGH84,

Looking at your current mock scores it looks like it would be stretch to reach your target score in 2 weeks. Had it been a one off mock with low scores, it would have been another thing but a continuous streak of similar scores indicates bigger issues. There are clearly gaps in conceptual clarity and application process. Of the two sections – Quant is the relatively weaker section as you have rightly identified for yourself. It would make sense for you to make your strategy Verbal driven. Read our article on Personalized Study Plans for 100+ score improvements to know how to make one in detail.

LEVERAGE YOUR STRENGTH IN VERBAL TO REACH 700 – Q46 V40Since the amount of time that you have for the upcoming test is too short for a drastic improvement, I would suggest you make the most of it by identifying the weakest areas and prevent them from lowering your score too much. You may follow the below mentioned steps:
1. Evaluate topic level weaknesses by taking Ability Quizzes
2. Isolate weak topics (Go to Skill data sections)
3. Improve upon them

In case you would still be interested in retaking the test after this attempt it is important that you follow a structured process so that the learning is cemented, and you can reach your target score. Here are a few students who were in the same position as you but improved significantly to reach their target score.

• Bruno improved from a 540 to 730 in 1 month. See how he focused on "logical approach" and building "core skills". Click here to watch his amazing video debrief.

• Bhavya improved from a 570 to 730 (V43) . Learn how she leveraged “meaning in SC” “Pre-thinking in CR” and “RC reading strategies” to achieve this feat. Click here to watch her inspiring video debrief.

• Askul improved from 520 (Q44 V17) to 710 (Q48 V40). He leveraged the live session and mastered our "3-step" process in SC and "Pre-thinking" process in CR to improve. Click here to read his inspiring GMAT journey.

GET ACCESS TO THE STUDY MATERIAL USED BY BRUNO, BHAVYA, AND AKSUL

Register for e-GMAT Free Trial to get access to the course that teaches core skills and logical approach to acing GMAT. In the Free Trial you will get access to 25+ video lessons and 350+ practice questions to evaluate for yourself if it suits your learning style.

Regards,
_________________

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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13108
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

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24 Jul 2018, 13:10
Hi VGH84,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you shouldn't expect to have mastered any of the concepts in the EMPOWERgmat Course in just 2 weeks. To properly hit your Goal Score, you do NOT need to be a 'genius', but you really have to be detail-oriented with your work. In my prior post, I asked some specific questions - and you answered all of them with 'general' answers. To properly diagnose - and 'fix' - all the areas that you need to work on, we need exact data. The GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. The key word there is 'train' though - and it sounds like you've been approaching this whole process without the necessary structure to keep you organized and focused. You have opportunities to pick up some serious points in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections, but you have to commit to doing the necessary work to earn those higher scores.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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!*****

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Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700  [#permalink]

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26 Jul 2018, 15:13
Hi VGH84,

I’m sorry to hear about what has been happening with your GMAT prep, but I’m happy to help get you on the right track. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to score 700 in the next two weeks, so, to start, you may consider pushing your exam to a later date.

Given that your GMAT score appears to have plateaued between 570 and 610, it appears that you have started taking practice exams before truly mastering GMAT quant and verbal. I understand that you want the put the GMAT behind you as soon as possible; however, you are going to have to dig in and follow a patient yet structured approach to truly improve your GMAT score.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. Let’s say you are learning about Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you first learn the necessary concepts of CR questions and then practice a large number of CR questions: strengthen and weaken the argument, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a weaken question, ask yourself why you didn't get it right. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what, if anything, you would have needed to know in order to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

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 at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

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.

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Please feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Re: Helped needed from 560 to 700 &nbs [#permalink] 26 Jul 2018, 15:13
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# Helped needed from 560 to 700

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