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# I just failed terribly in the GMAT

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Intern
Joined: 24 Aug 2018
Posts: 5
I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2018, 14:03
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Hi Guys,

I just sat the GMAT exams for the first time after 2 months of studies. I focused mainly on understanding both verbal and quants concepts. However on the test I realized time was indeed an enemy. I could see a question I know I could answer given enough time but alas with 5 minutes remaining I had about 10 questions left on the verbal and same situation in quant.
I scored miserably below 400 though I was aiming at a 700+ score.
How can I do this? I currently use the Ready4GMAT app to study which has proven very useful. But how do I work on my timing because by the time I finish reading and understand a question a minute has already gone by.

Worried guy
Joe01

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Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2018, 14:44
Hi Joe01,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores though, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort yet to have scored higher. 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:

Studies:
1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your practice CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

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Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2018, 15:39
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Hi Rich Cohen,
Thanks for your reply. I have signed on to the Ready4GMAT hybrid class online. This class has made me understood the underlying concepts in both verbal and quants. I had not taken any CAT practice prior to sitting the exam because I thought understanding the concept was enough. However my major challenge was the timing. I was simply timed out in both verbal and quant.
I’m looking at applying to B school next year. I’m looking primarily at Stanford and Wharton.

Regards
Joe01

Posted from my mobile device
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13331
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2018, 16:17
Hi Joe01,

If you're not planning to apply to Business School until next year, then you have plenty of potential study time - which is good. From your post, it's not clear whether you have completed the your Course or not - but assuming that you have not, it would make sense for you to keep studying (and taking practice CATs at regular intervals). Since you just took the GMAT, I suggest that you study for another 2-3 weeks, then take a FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections). Once you have that Score, you should post back here and we can discuss the results and how best to proceed.

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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www.empowergmat.com/

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Manager
Joined: 14 Jan 2017
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Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2018, 02:31
Joe01 wrote:
Hi Guys,

I just sat the GMAT exams for the first time after 2 months of studies. I focused mainly on understanding both verbal and quants concepts. However on the test I realized time was indeed an enemy. I could see a question I know I could answer given enough time but alas with 5 minutes remaining I had about 10 questions left on the verbal and same situation in quant.
I scored miserably below 400 though I was aiming at a 700+ score.
How can I do this? I currently use the Ready4GMAT app to study which has proven very useful. But how do I work on my timing because by the time I finish reading and understand a question a minute has already gone by.

Worried guy
Joe01

Posted from my mobile device

Hi Joe,
It's great to hear about your aspiration for MBA. Scoring a 700+ is not an easy task. I also gave my first GMAT some time back and scored a miserable 580, while I also aimed for 700+
I would strongly suggest you to be active on different gmatclub forums. There are a lot of questions here, which you you can practice. You can also follow MODS (moderators) as they are very active and can ask them your doubts directly. I wish you score an amazing one in your next attempt.
Manager
Joined: 14 Jan 2017
Posts: 55
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2018, 23:55
1
Hey Joe, how are the preparations going on? Did you find my PM?
Intern
Joined: 24 Aug 2018
Posts: 5
Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2018, 00:57
Hi aalekhoza,

Thanks for your reply. I have started preparations all over again. This time round I think I need to work on my pacing. I’m also thinking of signing on to e-GMAT course since I have seen a lot of positive reviews.
I’m back at work now and it’s going to be tough but hey I gonna do my best this time round.
How’re are preparations going for you ?

Regard
Joseph

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Target Test Prep Representative
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Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2018, 17:58
1
Hi Joe01,

The good news is that since you are not applying this year, you have plenty of time to study. I’m happy to provide some advice on how to improve your GMAT score, but first I’d like to address your timing issues. Certainly, your question about timing is not a new question. In fact, my students ask me about timing almost every day: How can I improve my timing? How can I get faster?

The first thing to understand is that timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve. Timing does not improve simply by “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed right at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have gained that speed. You never would become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

Thus, if you are just starting out, you should not be so focused on timing. Rather, focus on simply improving your GMAT quant skills for now. You can improve those skills by engaging in linear learning that allows you to slowly build mastery of one GMAT topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts. Once you learn each individual topic, you should then engage in focused practice, which will help improve your timing.

As you begin your focused practice, consider timing this way: When you are doing practice questions, there are three levels of proficiency for each category.

At Level 1, you understand the logic of GMAT quant questions in a category and basically know how to answer them, but you may not get them right, or you at least don’t get them right consistently. This level of proficiency is a good start.

At Level 2, you consistently get questions in a quant category correct, but you are not fast, taking on average well over two minutes per question. This level of proficiency is even better. If you can get right answers consistently, you are well on your way to hitting your GMAT score goal.

At Level 3, you get questions in a category correct consistently, taking around two minutes per question (or sometimes less). When you are at this level of proficiency for a category of GMAT quant question, you are ready to see questions of that type on the test. Now it’s time to work on another question category.

To develop the third level of proficiency, you must allow yourself ample time for deliberate practice. When you first begin practicing, if you try to rush through questions, you’ll find it extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to progress to Level 3. So, when you are practicing, do the questions untimed. Yes, you can be aware of how much time you are taking, but don’t focus on the time. Generally, you need to focus on finding the correct response to each question by mastering the material and learning to use higher-level thinking, rather than on answering questions in less than two minutes (or any other preset time constraint).

The key takeaway is that once your GMAT knowledge improves, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of your reaction time when seeing a particular question. For example, consider the following simple question with which many students who are beginning their prep struggle:

14! is equal to which of the following?

(A) 87,178,291,200
(B) 88,180,293,207
(C) 89,181,294,209
(D) 90,000,000,003
(E) 91,114,114,114

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? If you are able to quickly recognize that using the “5 x 2 pair rule” will allow you to attack the problem quickly and efficiently (see the solution below).

Solution:

14! = 14 × 13 × 12 × 11 × 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1.

Notice that there is at least one (5 × 2) pair contained in the product of these numbers. It follows that the units digit must be a zero. The only number with zero as the units digit is 87,178,291,200.

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT quant question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

So, since you scored 400 on your most recent practice exam, you may want to look at HOW you have been preparing, and potentially make some changes. Moving forward, you need a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build GMAT mastery of one topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts.

For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, 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.

Sentence Correction, on the other hand, 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.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, 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 the answer choices create. 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 in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? 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 in a Sentence Correction question, 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 are answering Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. For instance, 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 that would have extended your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, you will want to 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 Sentence Correction questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

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 verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

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.

Good luck!
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Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2018, 02:36
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the insight. The (5x2) rule you applied in solving the 14! question interests me. Is there a way you can help me understand this better and any other rules I could arm myself with ?

Regards
Joseph

Posted from my mobile device
Manager
Joined: 10 Apr 2018
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WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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30 Aug 2018, 22:53
Joe01 wrote:
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the insight. The (5x2) rule you applied in solving the 14! question interests me. Is there a way you can help me understand this better and any other rules I could arm myself with ?

Regards
Joseph

Posted from my mobile device

Hi Joseph,

I would suggest to go for a course like Target test Prep (anything that suits you). Most of the courses offer free trail and you should use that before you finalize on a course.
I have subscribed to Target Test Prep, so far it has brought a lot of improvement to my quant skills (although I am to overcome my habit of misreading or habit of choosing something else as answer cause question is asking something else).

Another advise, I would be interested in giving any newcomer is - please buy a course from [color=#0000ff]MARKETPLACE
(it's at the top of GMATclub webpage) and gain some discount mostly the valuable GMATclub tests for free. I came to know about TTP or for that matter any course from this form (although, I was not a registered member and just a visitor those days) and I purchased courses, by going on those companies sites - a mistake (and loss of some bucks ).

Hope this helps.

Thanks
The Graceful
-------------------------------------------
Every expert in any field was a beginner once.[/color]
_________________

The Graceful
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Every EXPERT was a beginner once...
Don't look at the clock. Do what it does, keep going
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Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT  [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2018, 01:50
Hi Joe01,

I am sorry your scores were not in line with your expectations. With the right resources and strategy, you will be able to reach your target score. Timing issue is just a symptom of a bigger problem – process to solve GMAT questions. If your process is inefficient you are likely to reach an incorrect answer despite spending more time on the questions. You must look at building your core abilities and the process to approach questions along with conceptual knowledge of the topics tested in GMAT.

Attend the free RC webinar this weekend to learn the core skills required to ace GMAT RC. Register here to reserve your spot.

Regards,
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Re: I just failed terribly in the GMAT &nbs [#permalink] 04 Sep 2018, 01:50
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# I just failed terribly in the GMAT

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