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How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help

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Joined: 12 Jul 2018
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GMAT 1: 500 Q36 V27
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GPA: 4
WE: Analyst (Commercial Banking)
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New post 16 Oct 2018, 06:31
Hello,

I just took my GMAT at 12:30 pm in the afternoon today for the third time and absolutely bombed it again. I cancelled the exam for the third time. My scores are as follows: 470, 500(Q36, V25) and 520(Q36, V27). I have not prepared much for the first two times but in the third attempt I put a lot of effort but still failed to achieve my desired score. I have prepared for close to two months for my third attempt but could only improve 20 points. For the first two attempts I opted for the E-GMAT course and for the third attempt I switched to EMPOWER GMAT. I felt that the E-GMAT course was too technical for me so I opted for EMPOWER GMAT. Both the courses are equally good in my opinion. I have been taking practice tests on a regular basis and scoring well in them. I took 5 Manhattan Prep Practice tests and 2 Official GMAT Practice tests.

Following are the scores in my practice tests:
MGMAT 1: 670(V45, Q36)
MGMAT 2: 700(Q47, V38)
MGMAT 3: 690(Q47, V37)
MGMAT 4: 680(Q47, V36)
MGMAT 5: 740(Q47, V44)
OG Practice Test 1: 700(Q48, V38)
OG Practice Test 2: -

I do not remember the 2nd Practice test score and the MBA website is down. I was expecting a score close to 700 in the real exam too. I was a little nervous before the start of the exam but as soon as I solved the first Quant question my nerves settled down. I felt that I was doing well in both the questions but as soon as the score appeared on the screen, I was heartbroken. I have been doing well on the verbal section through out the practice tests. RC is my strong point. I hardly erred any RC question in the practice tests. Please suggest me how to proceed further. I want to give it another try before calling it a day.

I'm into my family business and have been preparing full time since the last 2 months. I want to give it another try in January or February(i.e., 3-4 months) and I can only spend 2-3 hours a day this time. Really worried on how to proceed further.
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Re: How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 08:55
1
basavarsukalyan wrote:
Hello,

I just took my GMAT at 12:30 pm in the afternoon today for the third time and absolutely bombed it again. I cancelled the exam for the third time. My scores are as follows: 470, 500(Q36, V25) and 520(Q36, V27). I have not prepared much for the first two times but in the third attempt I put a lot of effort but still failed to achieve my desired score. I have prepared for close to two months for my third attempt but could only improve 20 points. For the first two attempts I opted for the E-GMAT course and for the third attempt I switched to EMPOWER GMAT. I felt that the E-GMAT course was too technical for me so I opted for EMPOWER GMAT. Both the courses are equally good in my opinion. I have been taking practice tests on a regular basis and scoring well in them. I took 5 Manhattan Prep Practice tests and 2 Official GMAT Practice tests.

Following are the scores in my practice tests:
MGMAT 1: 670(V45, Q36)
MGMAT 2: 700(Q47, V38)
MGMAT 3: 690(Q47, V37)
MGMAT 4: 680(Q47, V36)
MGMAT 5: 740(Q47, V44)
OG Practice Test 1: 700(Q48, V38)
OG Practice Test 2: -

I do not remember the 2nd Practice test score and the MBA website is down. I was expecting a score close to 700 in the real exam too. I was a little nervous before the start of the exam but as soon as I solved the first Quant question my nerves settled down. I felt that I was doing well in both the questions but as soon as the score appeared on the screen, I was heartbroken. I have been doing well on the verbal section through out the practice tests. RC is my strong point. I hardly erred any RC question in the practice tests. Please suggest me how to proceed further. I want to give it another try before calling it a day.

I'm into my family business and have been preparing full time since the last 2 months. I want to give it another try in January or February(i.e., 3-4 months) and I can only spend 2-3 hours a day this time. Really worried on how to proceed further.



Hello basavarsukalyan,

Really sorry to hear about the situation. The practice score and actual score don't match for zillions of reasons - I will provide a great link to watch at the end of this note.
I would like to advise you :
i. Get you ESR and find out what went wrong.
ii. Analyse all the aspects : topics, Incorrect Qs , strong and weak points, timing in each section.
iii. Start working on the Weakness.
iv. Measure progress every 7/10/14 days.
v. When comfortable - book the test & maintain ur pace till the D-Day.

You will be fine as you already have decided to do it. Believe in yourself :-) .


I always am a big fan of the post below by bb ( although, it says beginner plan, but, the same is very much applicable to re-takers/multiple re-takers ):
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-p ... ml#p605856


And , finally , below is the link of a presentation by one of our GC Community Legends ( GMATNinja )
https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 46658.html


Hope this helps. Looking forward to your success story.
Best of Luck :thumbup:
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New post 16 Oct 2018, 15:09
Hello u1983

Thank you for the reply! I followed the post by bb right from the beginning. It is a wonderful post. I followed every single thing from the first time I took GMAT. I will look at the post from GMATNinja and apply it to my strategy. I have already cancelled my scores. Should I reinstate all my scores and get an ESR for them? Is that possible? or only the final attempt?
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New post 16 Oct 2018, 15:18
1
basavarsukalyan wrote:
Hello u1983

Thank you for the reply! I followed the post by bb right from the beginning. It is a wonderful post. I followed every single thing from the first time I took GMAT. I will look at the post from GMATNinja and apply it to my strategy. I have already cancelled my scores. Should I reinstate all my scores and get an ESR for them? Is that possible? or only the final attempt?



Hello basavarsukalyan ....... ESR is a very nice tool. You donot need to reinstate the scores to get ESR. After you bought the ESR ... for each subscription you will get a activation code..... Then, u need to apply the activation code on the exam that you need the ESR for.
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Re: How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 15:20
u1983 thank you for the information. I will do it. Do you think I need to opt for some online course?
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New post 16 Oct 2018, 16:21
Hi basavarsukalyan,

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. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

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 (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 18:35
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Hi basavarsukalyan,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. The real question is why your score wasn’t more like your scores from your latest practice exams. Assuming you took your practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results of your official practice tests show that you should have been able to score higher than 540 on test day. It’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. It’s also possible that despite scoring between 670 and 740 on your practice exams, you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Also, keep in mind that you have not been studying for all that long and you admitted that you prepped hard only for your final attempt. Thus, I’m glad you are giving yourself until January/February to retake the exam.

Although it may sound crazy, you potentially need to make some adjustments in your study plan moving forward, such that you are able to start with the foundational topics of GMAT quant and verbal and move to more advanced topics. By studying in such a way, you can ensure that no stone is left unturned and that you sufficiently fill in knowledge gaps and fix your weaknesses. For example, say 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, 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, and it is also likely that the reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working on all three of those aspects. Let's discuss each of those aspects and how you can work on them.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the 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. Likely, the main reason that Sentence Correction has not "clicked" for you is that you have not put enough work into developing your skill in seeing what is going on in the various versions of the sentence that can be created with the answer choices. 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 answer were always the one 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.

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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Re: How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 02:30
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
A. Yes, I took all the sections in a timed manner.

2) Did you take them at home?
A. Yes, I took all the practice tests at home.

3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
A. No, I took 2 exams at the same time of my official GMAT and the rest I did not take at the same time.

4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
A. No, I took every practice test as seriously as the Official GMAT without pausing, skipping or taking longer breaks.

5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?
A. The Official Practice tests had a few questions that I have seen before. But, the Manhattan Prep Practice tests were all different and I haven't seen similar questions in any of those tests.
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New post 17 Oct 2018, 02:34
Hi ScottTargetTestPrep

Thank you for the reply. I will follow each and every point mentioned by you this time around. What about Practice CATs? Should I only take the Official GMAT Practice tests or even Manhattan Prep Practice tests would do?
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New post 17 Oct 2018, 19:00
My pleasure! Regarding practices CATs, for now, I’d stick with completing the 4 remaining GMAC practice exams. You should not need to take more than 4 more CATs.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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New post 17 Oct 2018, 19:45
basavarsukalyan wrote:
Hi ScottTargetTestPrep

Thank you for the reply. I will follow each and every point mentioned by you this time around. What about Practice CATs? Should I only take the Official GMAT Practice tests or even Manhattan Prep Practice tests would do?
The paid GMATPrep tests are your best bet, although you might want to take only two of them (and keep the other two in reserve). Non-official tests can be useful, but they're not as representative as the official tests.
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Re: How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 20:07
Hi basavarsukalyan,

Sorry to hear about how things went. As for improving your quant score, we would like to share with you our principle of "Slow, Hand, Detail"! This method helped many of our students.

1. Solve questions "slowly" when you study and practice.

2. Solve the problems by "hand" as a rule. Understanding how the problems are solved in videos is very different from actually solving them yourself. So, practice by solving the problems by hand-writing them is very important.

3. When you solve them, write a "detailed" calculation process without skipping any steps. So when you are practicing, try to understand the entire process of calculation very thoroughly for each question. This is very very important!!! Students often make mistakes by skipping a step or two in the solving process.

basavarsukalyan, we post our questions for DS & PS every week under Forum>GMAT Quantitative. It’s a good place to practice math questions. Also check out our tips on how to improve your score.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-ultimate ... 09801.html

We offer both free trial pack and free video lessons to students on our site mathrevolution.com So check it out to see if our material will work for you. Also don’t forget to try our free diagnostic test!! You will never run out of math questions. We offer over 2,700 questions through our membership, starting at $99 per 3 months.

Please let us know if you have further questions.
You can reach us at info@mathrevolution.com

Success is within your reach,
Good luck!
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Re: How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 21:10
Hi basavarsukalyan,

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

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Re: How I failed to get a decent score even after 3 attempts. Please help   [#permalink] 17 Oct 2018, 21:10
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