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How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result?

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Jul 2018
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How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 13:28
Hey guys,

I have been preparing for my GMAT for the past 3 months now. I joined a local coaching center and they definitely helped me with getting my foundations in place. It had been over 5 years since I did any math.

Once I was slightly confident, I gave a GMAT prep and received a 660 (Q40, V41). I was disappointed as I was hoping for a 700+, but I knew I needed to drastically improve on my quants. I continued tackling the problem areas and improved my timing (this was my biggest issue in quants) by giving powerscore tests. My accuracy in these tests ranged from 64-84% in quants and 80-90% in verbal.
I gave another GMAT prep and got a 670 (Q42, V41). After that, I specifically focused on quants for a week, and I could feel myself improving. 5 days before the actual exam, I retook Prep 1 again (2+ weeks after my 1st attempt) and this time scored a 750 (Q47, V47). I wasn't too ecstatic about it as I knew it was slightly inflated, the plus point from it was that the questions in quants were mostly different.

Finally, D-day had arrived. I'm not going to lie, I was slightly nervous but not over the top. I figured the worst that would happen is I would get around 650, which was still decent. I had decided to go with the Quants-Verbal-IR-AWA order. The quant questions started coming forth and towards the end of the section, I realized that the questions were getting too easy. I figured I did bad in quants, but I was determined to do well in Verbal, it was always my strength. I felt my verbal questions were really going well, and it did seem to get tougher. I finished both sections with more than 7 mins to spare each. This is something that I had never done in my previous tests. I finished the IR and AWA sections. Although I expected a hit in the score due to quants, I was hoping my verbal marks would make up for it. To my horror, I got a 560 (Q38, V30). I was devastated, and I quickly canceled my scores.

This was a real kick to my gut as I had been spending 5-6 hours a day for the lost 3 months preparing for the exam. I also maintained an error log of all my tests - powerscores, wiley, GMAT, etc. and would revisit them occasionally to ensure that I didn't repeat the same mistakes. I guess the biggest disappointment was seeing by verbal marks, the area I thought I would do well.

After a couple of days of sulking, I've decided to give it another shot. Unfortunately, I have to give it in a month as I'm currently between jobs and won't have the same amount of time to focus on it. I'm lost on how to go about it and would love to hear any suggestions.
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Re: How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 13:32
Hi shelleyjohnsam,

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)?

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
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 29 Jul 2018
Posts: 3
CAT Tests
Re: How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 22:51
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi shelleyjohnsam,

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)?

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


Hey Rich,

Glad to hear from you!

I've answered your questions below -
1) I didn't take the AWAs. Didn't see a point as I was any way taking them at the end of the exam
2) Yes
3) Yup, I took them roughly around the same time I had scheduled my GMAT
4) Nope, I ensured that I tried to replicate the test environment as much as possible
5) Except for the 1st GMAT Prep, I mentioned above, I haven't re-taken any CATs. There were some RC passages and a couple of SC questions I had encountered before in other tests/sets. Most of which I had answered correctly previously as well.

Also, I forgot to mention that I purchased an ESR to better understand where I went wrong. However, for some reason, I can't apply it to my canceled score. I've written to GMAT support and I'm waiting to hear back from them.
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Re: How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result?  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 03:59
1
Hi shelleyjohnsam,

It is great that you have decided to take the test again to reach your target score. Consider the first attempt as an eye-opener, learn from it and work towards achieving your target score. To help students make a personalized study plan, we wrote an article on Personalized Study Plans for 100+ Score Improvement. We have also created sample plans for different score improvements and starting points. You can adapt those to your own situation and if you have any queries regarding it, you can write to us at support@e-gmat.com.
Here are a couple of examples of students who have improved to their target score. If they could do it, so can you.
    • 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.
    • Abhijay improved from 560 (V20) to 710 (V38). Click here to watch his inspiring video debrief.

Learn the Logical Approach used by Bruno and Abhijay to ace GMAT

I invite you to attend the free webinars this weekend on sentence correction and number properties to learn ways that helped Bruno and Abhijay with 150+ score improvement. Register on the below links to reserve your spot.

Regards,
Aditee
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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12196
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result?  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 13:14
Hi shelleyjohnsam,

While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you. In addition, I've sent you a PM with some additional notes/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

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!***********************

Re: How to improve from a 560 (shocking) result? &nbs [#permalink] 03 Aug 2018, 13:14
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