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# Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+

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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15294
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2018, 13:29

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize - and it takes into account a number of different factors (far more than just the number of correct/incorrect responses). As such, you shouldn't be wasting your time trying to figure all of that out. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. Assuming you took this CAT in a realistic fashion that matches up with what you'll face on Test Day, we have to assume that the result is accurate.

Many Test Takers face pacing problems while dealing with either the Quant or Verbal section (or both) at some point in their studies - so you're not alone. Pacing problems don't exist on their own though - they're the results of OTHER problems (in simple terms, "your way" of approaching the section is causing the problem). To solve all of these problems (pacing, accuracy, score, etc.), you have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics - so that you can approach each prompt in an efficient way.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 24
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2018, 16:55
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize - and it takes into account a number of different factors (far more than just the number of correct/incorrect responses). As such, you shouldn't be wasting your time trying to figure all of that out. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. Assuming you took this CAT in a realistic fashion that matches up with what you'll face on Test Day, we have to assume that the result is accurate.

Many Test Takers face pacing problems while dealing with either the Quant or Verbal section (or both) at some point in their studies - so you're not alone. Pacing problems don't exist on their own though - they're the results of OTHER problems (in simple terms, "your way" of approaching the section is causing the problem). To solve all of these problems (pacing, accuracy, score, etc.), you have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics - so that you can approach each prompt in an efficient way.

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

Hi Rich,

I wanted to ask you a couple more questions. I took another practice today, Manhattan Gmat prep. I scored 590 (however I posted in here earlier & I guess since I did not confirm my last answer in both verbal & Quant sections I received a "Not Answered" in my final results on both lowering my score around 3 percentile each. So my score may be around ~600 area). Anyways, without that correction I scored 34V 37 Quant. In Verbal I was hitting very hard level questions, I was between 81-91 percentile from questions 15-35 however once I reached question 35 I realized I was very low on time, the remainder of the questions I spent around 45 seconds per question. It lowered my score down to 71st percentile missing 5/6 of the last questions & not "confirming" my last problem left me with a Not answered & lowered my score.

I felt comfortable on Quant section pacing wise & know I can do better than my score indicated today on Quant, however for Verbal I run into the same problem, I've sped up my sentence correction a bit but today I got 4 reading passages again, two of them long & I ended up not having enough time on the last 5 verbal questions though I was doing well on getting problems correct. My questions for you would be: How can I work towards fixing this reading/pacing problem on verbal? I can get hard CR/RC questions correct, but they are eating up too much time I think & sentence correction has gotten a bit better I'm around 600-700 level there. & When would you suggest I take my next GMAT? I would like to finish my applications by the end of march but if need be I will retake the GMAT again after I schedule this one if I didn't do well
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15294
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2018, 21:31

Many Test Takers become too fixated on the 'implied level' of the questions that they're working on - instead of what really matters: defining WHY they're getting questions wrong and becoming more efficient at approaching the overall Exam. It's also worth noting that just because a 3rd party describes a question as "700 level" does not necessarily make it so. All of this comes down to how you're approaching the GMAT - and the Tactics you use (including how you read prompts, how you take notes, etc.). Assuming that your goal is still 660+, it's not clear how long it would take you to get to the point that you're consistently scoring at that level. Based on what you've described, if the pacing issues that you've described on this CAT are ones that you often face, then you will have to focus on learning and practicing new Tactics that will allow you to answer Verbal questions more efficiently (re: faster).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 24
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2018, 10:00
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

Many Test Takers become too fixated on the 'implied level' of the questions that they're working on - instead of what really matters: defining WHY they're getting questions wrong and becoming more efficient at approaching the overall Exam. It's also worth noting that just because a 3rd party describes a question as "700 level" does not necessarily make it so. All of this comes down to how you're approaching the GMAT - and the Tactics you use (including how you read prompts, how you take notes, etc.). Assuming that your goal is still 660+, it's not clear how long it would take you to get to the point that you're consistently scoring at that level. Based on what you've described, if the pacing issues that you've described on this CAT are ones that you often face, then you will have to focus on learning and practicing new Tactics that will allow you to answer Verbal questions more efficiently (re: faster).

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

My previous goal score was 640+ not 660+, I think I am trending upwards towards 640 & yes I will continue to solve these issues with the questions and not be satisfied with getting harder level questions. For pacing however, I need some help when it comes to verbal would you be able to recommend any tactics to speeding up verbal pace?
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 24
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2018, 09:40
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

Many Test Takers become too fixated on the 'implied level' of the questions that they're working on - instead of what really matters: defining WHY they're getting questions wrong and becoming more efficient at approaching the overall Exam. It's also worth noting that just because a 3rd party describes a question as "700 level" does not necessarily make it so. All of this comes down to how you're approaching the GMAT - and the Tactics you use (including how you read prompts, how you take notes, etc.). Assuming that your goal is still 660+, it's not clear how long it would take you to get to the point that you're consistently scoring at that level. Based on what you've described, if the pacing issues that you've described on this CAT are ones that you often face, then you will have to focus on learning and practicing new Tactics that will allow you to answer Verbal questions more efficiently (re: faster).

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

Hi Rich, I am taking the gmat this thursday. I took another GMAT kaplan practice test 2 days ago with real setting again, following all official rules & 8 min breaks, I scored a 610 this time. 34V 40 Quant. Last time my practice tests were much higher than GMAT prep/my official gmat score went way down. Would you even suggest I take a GMAT prep exam with 4 days left until my GMAT? What are some good things to do with 3-4 days remaining before your exam. My goal was 640+ but I believe I may even take 1 more gmat after this since I have an April 15th deadline, I would like to get 600+ on this one which seems well within my range this time! Would another GMAT prep practice test be useful for pacing purposes? I was going to run through exam mistakes and keep going over them as well as OG Quant section this week for the last few days before the exam, any suggestions on studying the last 3 days before exam?
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15294
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2018, 11:05

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 24
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2018, 16:13
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

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

Hi Rich,

I just finished my 2nd official GMAT & i'm having some trouble comprehending my low score. I scored a 530. V(28) Q(34) IR 6. In the last 2-3 weeks I have taken 2 Kaplan practice CATs and MGMAT.

My scores were 610,620,~610 (i was deducted 3% from verbal/quant for not clicking "next" tho I answered the question). These were taken under realistic conditions, driving to the library, taking the exam at the same time as today, only allowing myself 8 min breaks during necessary sections, not drinking or eating during my exam, not opening anything other than what was on my page etc. I am just really struggling to put together a plan now that I have done this much lower and I am nearing deadlines. Taking this exam I thought i did SIGNIFICANTLY better & around the same if not better than my practice scores. I am just really struggling to figure out what I should do to improve and carry it into the official test. The test conditions couldn't have been better, there were no other people in the room with me the entire test. I set up my scratch paper just as I do for my practice tests. I called the test center and they said I could come early and start right away ( I did this so I could take my exam at the same time that I took my practice exams). I just really am not understanding the low score, and what to do from here. Very disappointed as I'd like to get applications in, but being someone who is switching focus in career paths and applying for an MBA I feel my GMAT is very vital to my applications and I keep under performing especially compared with my practice tests.

Just not sure what to do.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15294
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2018, 10:40

I'm sorry to hear that this attempt didn't end with a significantly better result. The situation you've described is remarkably similar to the one you described in early February - including your CAT scores and the Official Score result - so there are clearly some consistent 'issues' with how you're studying and/or how you're taking the Official GMAT. In simple terms, "your way" of approaching this process continues to lead to Official results in the low-500s. To score in the mid-600s or higher, you cannot afford to continue approaching the process in this way.

Have you considered purchasing the Enhanced Score Report for this Exam? 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.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2018
Posts: 24

### Show Tags

23 Mar 2018, 13:10
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

I'm sorry to hear that this attempt didn't end with a significantly better result. The situation you've described is remarkably similar to the one you described in early February - including your CAT scores and the Official Score result - so there are clearly some consistent 'issues' with how you're studying and/or how you're taking the Official GMAT. In simple terms, "your way" of approaching this process continues to lead to Official results in the low-500s. To score in the mid-600s or higher, you cannot afford to continue approaching the process in this way.

Have you considered purchasing the Enhanced Score Report for this Exam? 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.

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

Thanks rich, Yes I will purchase the ESR score this time because I am really unsure of what went wrong, I'd really appreciate that if you could help me analyze it I am still feeling incredibly disappointed today and unsure where to even start preparing for the next one now, I also feel like I should purchase the GMAT prep next exam pack, I took all my Kaplan practices & MGMAT in realistic fashion (something I wasn't doing last time) and I definitely expected to score within the 590-630 range when I finished exam . How soon is the ESR available to purchase & review? Also not sure what I should do studying wise right now.

EDIT: I downloaded the report, I am very confused at the Quant section scoring.. My problems were medium to high level, didn't get many correct near the end of test but remained in medium level and scored 26th percentile? I have the copy of the report downloaded, and have attached it in this post. If you could analyze it for me that would be really great, thank you so much. I also think I will purchase the GMAT prep exam packs rather than using any others CATS.
Attachments

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15294
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+  [#permalink]

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24 Mar 2018, 17:27

I sent you a PM with some notes/suggestions based on your ESR.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2018, 17:27

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# Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+

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