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

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

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New post 11 Feb 2018, 21:07
Hello all! I've been looking at the forum for some time as I was studying for my gmat, eventually test day came & though I thought I was doing decent getting my score was heartbreaking.

For background: My first diagnostic taken with Kaplan i scored a 530 (V:34, Q:28)
I studied a bit on my own using a basic Kaplan book. took another exam scored 570 (V32: Q:36)

I decided to purchase Veritas prep 6 week course, online live classroom. It seemed face paced but I had time to study so I followed the path. Before I started the course I took a GMAT prep exam to see where I was at. I scored a 610 (V:33, Q 40). I was instructed to take a Veritas prep exam as my diagnostic instead, with Veritas I scored a 570.(V:31 Q:36). I followed the course and a month later scored 590, a week after that another 590. My exam was 2/9/17. A week before the exam date I went back to GMAT prep to take an exam, my score dropped significantly to 530. Verbal went significantly lower to (V:27 Q 35). I took the GMAT a week later after continuous studying and scored a 500!!!!! lower than all of my practice exams, lower than my diagnostics, lower than I was expecting entirely. I felt rushed on the exam, i felt like i saw hard questions early then near the end of both sections i noticed the questions were way too easy. I scored a 500 (V: 30 Q: 27) !! lowest Quant i had scored period.

I am applying for some programs with their average GMATs as 660-670. I just purchased the 3 GMAT official books, and am retaking the exam end of February before the March 1st deadlines for Round 3. Could you guys offer some advice with these books to get both averages more consistent? What is the best way to start nailing these basics and carry it over to my actual GMAT exam. Sorry its a long post, would love some encouragement, test day went worse than my worse case scenario.

I'm determined that I can get to the range I want to get to, just need a little guidance.
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2018, 23:12
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I dont think you need any other or new materials. I think you need to figure out what went wrong.

We’re you doing the practice questions and homework? We’re you doing them with a timer or did you give yourself unlimited time? Why was a score a surprise? Usually folks can tell based on their practice performance how they are doing and whether they can answer 100% or 50% of questions.

Lots of people have used the veritas products to get a strong score; it is possible there is some sort of a substantial paradigm shift if you use mgmat or other books/products but likely the issue is elsewhere.

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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 13:08
Hi Mourad,

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: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 14:03
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

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: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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



Hi Rich, I appreciate the help. 1. For a couple I took the entire CAT, my 610 on gmat prep I did the entire thing, along with a couple veritas prep tests entirely. A couple of them I elected to just do the Quant/Verbal for time saving / studying time instead. 2. Took them in the library, I thought test environment was much nicer, I was pretty nervous before the exam but once it started the nerves went away & I was happy w the test environment. 3. Usually was at a different time when i took the exam but only by a couple hours. 4. I have before, i've paused before due to loud noise where I needed to find headphones or something and didnt want my time to waste. 5. I retook my 610 gmat score once & ended up doing way worse, seeing a couple older problems through me off on GMAT prep.

Early in the test for verbal I noticed i got a question with bold face speaker 1 & speaker 2, I thought they were tougher questions which made me happy and kept pushing. However I felt like near the end i started to rush & had to guess on the last question. As for the Quant section, I felt the same thing i felt I got the first couple problems right, and saw some questions I was not familiar with, one even seemed like a sudoko box solving question.. as time went on I felt myself rushed for time on Quant, eventually at the end I got the easiest inequality I had seen before & I felt bad seeing it. I guessed on the last Quant problem before time ran out. I scored a 5 on IR & thought I did great on the essay so I dont think i will be worried about those in 2 weeks when I need to retake. I have the OG books now & i'm trying to do problems/review quant basics and work on timing.

From practice tests my quant problem solving & verbal sentence correction was what I would miss most.
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New post 12 Feb 2018, 14:26
Hi Mourad,

From your prior post, there were a number of red flags' in terms of how you were taking your CATs. Before we discuss those details though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2018, 14:35
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

From your prior post, there were a number of red flags' in terms of how you were taking your CATs. Before we discuss those details though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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


1. 3 days before I did a Quant/Verbal on veritas prep timed problems. 2 days before I reviewed those problems & went over equations/concepts to memorize. day before I did my taxes, reviewed some materials went to the gym reviewed some flashcards played some playstation to try and keep mind off things and then slept.
2. I slept ok, kept waking up, bad anxiety was pretty anxious before the exam.
3. The closest test center to my house is about 30 -35 mins away. The ride was fine, got there an hour early I was able to start whenever I felt like it since I was early and there weren't many people, at this point my anxiety was pretty much gone got some water. put my stuff away. got inside the test room.
4. No, no distractions occasionally someone would enter the room to sit & start a test
5. I drank water, went to the bathroom, had a granola bar waited a minute or 2 then walked back in.
6. Finished no sections early.
7. Rushed on last 2 problems of verbal, guessed on last one. Rushed on last 2 problems of quant/ felt more rushed on last 10 problems. guessed on the last problem.
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2018, 21:45
Hi Mourad,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at different times (from when you took the Official GMAT), pausing the CATs, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Test Day involves a variety of really specific steps and parameters (including steps before the Test even begins - such as leaving your home, traveling, etc.). Every factor matters, including the psychological ones. When you sit down on Test Day, you KNOW that you're going to be in the Computer Lab for about 4 hours - but if you're just taking individual sections (or taking a CAT without the Essay and IR sections), then you KNOW that you'll be done in 1-2 hours. The attitude and energy that you use during practice will NOT be a match for what you'll need on Test Day, so it's not a proper way to practice.

While it's certainly possible that you had a bit of a 'bad day', your current 'ability level' probably isn't much higher than the mid-500s. Raising a 550 to a 660+ will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. With just 2 weeks of study time left before the end of February, that type of score improvement is likely too difficult to be considered realistic, so you might want to consider shifting your application plans.

1) What are the next set of application deadline(s) after March 1st for the Schools that you're interested in?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 09:40
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at different times (from when you took the Official GMAT), pausing the CATs, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Test Day involves a variety of really specific steps and parameters (including steps before the Test even begins - such as leaving your home, traveling, etc.). Every factor matters, including the psychological ones. When you sit down on Test Day, you KNOW that you're going to be in the Computer Lab for about 4 hours - but if you're just taking individual sections (or taking a CAT without the Essay and IR sections), then you KNOW that you'll be done in 1-2 hours. The attitude and energy that you use during practice will NOT be a match for what you'll need on Test Day, so it's not a proper way to practice.

While it's certainly possible that you had a bit of a 'bad day', your current 'ability level' probably isn't much higher than the mid-500s. Raising a 550 to a 660+ will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. With just 2 weeks of study time left before the end of February, that type of score improvement is likely too difficult to be considered realistic, so you might want to consider shifting your application plans.

1) What are the next set of application deadline(s) after March 1st for the Schools that you're interested in?

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


The next deadlines (final deadlines) would be mid april, I'm not applying to top 20 schools but rather a few in the 30s/40 range & University of Cincinnati by home. While I do understand your point on test days & taking full CATs I'm wondering, how does sitting for the IR/AWA help in practice for the first sections of the gmat? I ended up getting a 5 on IR & thought I wrote a good essay but haven't gotten my score back. You're probably right that when I took the practices my score was inflated and I'm a mid level 500 scorer right now. However, I do have this test in 2 weeks to at least give my self another shot, i'd like to at least try and get as high a score or improve as much as possible within this two weeks. Would you have any advice on that or strategy for covering the OG Guide books. I've been mainly trying to cover basics and do as many practice problems timed as I can which I felt I didn't do enough of before. Also OSU accepts rolling admission so while they don't have a "3rd round" deadline they say apply as soon as you can for better chance as seats fill.

Would love some advice on how to prepare these next 2 weeks before Feb. 28, if I could get my Quant back up to an average percentile I think I'd have a shot at improving to higher 500/ getting a 600 in this time
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 16:42
Hi Mourad,

To start, I think that you need to be clear on your REAL Goal - would you rather get into any of the Schools you're interested in as soon as possible OR would you rather get into your First Choice School (even if that means changing your application plans a bit)?

There's certainly no harm in taking the GMAT in 2 weeks, but that's not a lot of study time - and you would likely save some money (and avoid some aggravation) if you paid the $50 rescheduling fee and pushed back your Exam. Right now, the goal to raise a 500 to a 600 in 2 weeks is likely too difficult to be considered realistic - and it seems like an unnecessary 'middle step' if your ultimate Score Goal is a 660+.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 20:40
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

To start, I think that you need to be clear on your REAL Goal - would you rather get into any of the Schools you're interested in as soon as possible OR would you rather get into your First Choice School (even if that means changing your application plans a bit)?

There's certainly no harm in taking the GMAT in 2 weeks, but that's not a lot of study time - and you would likely save some money (and avoid some aggravation) if you paid the $50 rescheduling fee and pushed back your Exam. Right now, the goal to raise a 500 to a 600 in 2 weeks is likely too difficult to be considered realistic - and it seems like an unnecessary 'middle step' if your ultimate Score Goal is a 660+.

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


Thanks for the responses Rich, I also was pretty nervous about the IR & AWA going into test day. I just got my official scores back & got a 6 on AWA with a 5 on IR without really doing much review on those so I feel like I won't be nervous/taking much time to prepare on those next test day. I've given this some thought now, and would you say its better to apply for final deadline with a better GMAT score than submitting an application in 3rd round with potentially lower GMAT score... I guess i wanted to give it another shot before the deadline just to see if I could hit a decent score, enough to submit. I have been late to the application process since moving from NYC back to Ohio late 2017 when I decided I wanted to pursue an MBA & career switch from Sciences/Biology. Really my top two programs are on 2 different ends of spectrum my top school is OSU which has a 660 GMAT average & my second school is University of Cincinnati with ~ 600 GMAT average. OSU has rolling admission with final deadline in May & University of Cincinnati is March 15 for priority scholarship deadline / June for final deadline with rolling admission as well. The March 1st deadline is for the 3rd/4th/5th choice schools of Kelley School of Business, Broad MSU & Madison Wisconsin, which all have around 660 GMAT averages as well. Would you suggest focusing on the apps of my top 2 schools which have rolling admissions before their deadline? Also would a better GMAT score before final deadline be better than a lower GMAT score in 3rd Round? Thank you for all the help i've really appreciated this & helping me be as realistic as possible.
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2018, 12:44
Hi Mourad,

You've asked some really important questions. In simple terms, you do NOT want to rush to apply with a 'so so' application (at best, you would likely be 'wait-listed'; at worst, you'd be rejected). You have one chance at a strong "first impression" with each School and you don't want to waste those opportunities. Based on your questions, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and application plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

Based on the advice that those Experts offer, we can discuss your study options going forward.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 24 Feb 2018, 13:30
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

You've asked some really important questions. In simple terms, you do NOT want to rush to apply with a 'so so' application (at best, you would likely be 'wait-listed'; at worst, you'd be rejected). You have one chance at a strong "first impression" with each School and you don't want to waste those opportunities. Based on your questions, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and application plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

Based on the advice that those Experts offer, we can discuss your study options going forward.

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


Hi Rich,

Ok so I have decided to hold off on March 1st applications. I would like to apply to my 2 choices that have rolling admission + another school in final deadline if my scores can be raised enough. I did not schedule a GMAT for end of February because I am testing at 550 level right now, and I do not want to submit a so so application to schools though it is already 3rd round. I will however be applying to a school by March 15th & my top choice has rolling admission so I want to be as soon as possible however I want to have a strong application so I can keep pushing for a higher GMAT. I want to make as big of improvements to my GMAT score as I can, I have been doing the OG Gmat book for problems and getting down some basics to easier problems/making sure I time every practice question I do. I think another issue for me is a structured study schedule, I still have the veritas resources from an online course that I have along with the OG guide. I also believe I can get my score back up on practice tests to the 600+ area with a solid study schedule. I appreciate you helping me out, do you think you could give some advice for a study schedule to get up to the 600 level? I took a GMAT prep (retook an earlier exam) today.

I got a bit thrown off by seeing questions I had seen before, threw me off a bit on verbal. I scored 27V & 39 Quant. On the official GMAT test I scored 30V & 29Q, I have been doing more Quant practice problems from the OG in the past 2 weeks which I did not have before, and this time I finished Quant on time not rushed, where as I felt rushed on Verbal & haven't been doing as much verbal practice right now because I was wanting to do more Problem Solving Quant problems.

My typical practice tests have been around 27-34 for Verbal & 33-39 for Quant. Official test went way down for Quant & I think i got very phased by timing issues. Sorry, long message just really wanting to try and get a study plan together to take another test & be confident doing so. Ideally I'd take another in about 3 weeks as I have been studying daily since my last post 2 weeks ago as well. I am also open to taking more than 1 GMAT before applying, Final deadline for my top choice is in Mid April but they say to apply earlier rather than later obviously.
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2018, 15:33
Hi Mourad,

From now on, you really MUST take a NEW CAT each time (one with questions that you have not seen before). Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Score Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc., so we can't assume that this score is accurate. That having been said, we can still get some analysis out of this result.

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; 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'). While a full CAT Analyzer or 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 (not just SCs) did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 14:23
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

From now on, you really MUST take a NEW CAT each time (one with questions that you have not seen before). Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Score Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc., so we can't assume that this score is accurate. That having been said, we can still get some analysis out of this result.

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; 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'). While a full CAT Analyzer or 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 (not just SCs) did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

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


Hi Rich I'm going to answer these separately: For the Verbal Section (typically my stronger section), which I know I am much stronger than my score nearly each question I went back and re-did I got correct just by reading the problem again with no pressure and focusing. Also felt like seeing past problems on verbal threw me off in timing. I downloaded GMAT prep on a different computer with different email so I have 2 brand new tests to work with.
MOST RECENT TEST:

For Verbal (27): Total problems incorrect = 19
1. Silly Mistake - 10
2. Could not remember how to do: 1 (sentence correction using " which after prepositional phrase"
3. Too Hard - 2
4. Low on time - 5 ... I think I felt rushed on multiple questions because of time, when I'm taking too long I start forgetting my simple rules & missing the proper answers by overthinking.. without the time the answer jumps out to me much quicker on verbal.
5. Narrow down to 2 choices: Honestly probably 17/19 that I got incorrect I had narrowed down to the 2 choices or when I redid it I got it right away.

For Quantitative (39): Total Incorrect: 20
1. Silly Mistake: 7
2. Couldnt remember how: 8
3. Too Hard: 5
4. Low on Time: Maybe 1 or 2 were because of low time, i took longer on data sufficiency this time (i felt like), also I guessed on a couple middle of the test that I thought were hard to catch up on time... this time did not guess on last problem of Quant which I credit more to doing more practice problems... I definitely think I can improve Quant still just with timing and nailing more of the questions I know how to do.
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 19:34
Hi Mourad,

The 'pool' of questions that comes with each of the Official practice CATs is far more limited than the pool of questions that you might face on Test Day. Downloading the Official GMAC software onto a second computer and taking those CATs again is NOT a valid way to measure your skills. You will almost certainly see some 'repeat' questions - even when starting 'fresh' from a second download of that software - and that is something that you want to avoid.

Based on your analysis of this CAT, you got 17 questions wrong because of little mistakes (and there are only 78 total questions between the Quant and Verbal sections). Thus, your primary focus right now has to be on eliminating those little mistakes from your work. Losing that many 'gettable' points will keep you from hitting your Goal Score.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 10:50
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

The 'pool' of questions that comes with each of the Official practice CATs is far more limited than the pool of questions that you might face on Test Day. Downloading the Official GMAC software onto a second computer and taking those CATs again is NOT a valid way to measure your skills. You will almost certainly see some 'repeat' questions - even when starting 'fresh' from a second download of that software - and that is something that you want to avoid.

Based on your analysis of this CAT, you got 17 questions wrong because of little mistakes (and there are only 78 total questions between the Quant and Verbal sections). Thus, your primary focus right now has to be on eliminating those little mistakes from your work. Losing that many 'gettable' points will keep you from hitting your Goal Score.

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


Hi Rich,
I have 3 Veritas prep CATs available to me as well as a couple Kaplan, would you recommend using those as my practice moving forward? I will focus on eliminating the little mistakes and losing the "gettable" points. Any tips you could suggest for a study plan or focus based towards this?
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 11:12
Hi Mourad,

As long as you're taking the CATs in a realistic fashion that matches what you'll face on Test Day, the CATs from Veritas and Kaplan will be fine.

If you're making so many little mistakes when you take a CAT, it's not clear what content areas you need to focus on - meaning that until you eliminate most of the little mistakes that you're making, we won't truly know what your 'weak areas' are.

The cause of almost every little mistake that you will make on Test Day will be because you didn't take the proper notes, do the calculations on the pad and label your work. Doing work "in your head" will also CAUSE a pacing problem (since working in that way is inefficient and actually takes longer than writing everything down). Here's a simple way to measure whether you're taking the proper notes or not: if you handed your work pad to another person, would that person understand all of the information that you were given in the prompt, the question that you were trying to answer and the 'steps' that you had worked through? If the answer to any of those questions is 'no', then you have NOT taken enough notes.

I suggest that you start by going back through ALL of your CATs and redoing all of the questions that you got wrong because of a silly/little mistake. Do the work on your pad - step by step - so that you can get in the habit of doing all of the necessary work consistently.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 14:57
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

As long as you're taking the CATs in a realistic fashion that matches what you'll face on Test Day, the CATs from Veritas and Kaplan will be fine.

If you're making so many little mistakes when you take a CAT, it's not clear what content areas you need to focus on - meaning that until you eliminate most of the little mistakes that you're making, we won't truly know what your 'weak areas' are.

The cause of almost every little mistake that you will make on Test Day will be because you didn't take the proper notes, do the calculations on the pad and label your work. Doing work "in your head" will also CAUSE a pacing problem (since working in that way is inefficient and actually takes longer than writing everything down). Here's a simple way to measure whether you're taking the proper notes or not: if you handed your work pad to another person, would that person understand all of the information that you were given in the prompt, the question that you were trying to answer and the 'steps' that you had worked through? If the answer to any of those questions is 'no', then you have NOT taken enough notes.

I suggest that you start by going back through ALL of your CATs and redoing all of the questions that you got wrong because of a silly/little mistake. Do the work on your pad - step by step - so that you can get in the habit of doing all of the necessary work consistently.

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


Hi Rich, I did as you said this week and went through all my CATS redid the problems, studied them and tried working them out on paper with showing work. I was able to do all the easy problems no problem really medium problems were ok but timed on 2 minutes i struggled sometimes. I have been practicing my timing which I have realized is an issue. I just took a kaplan practice test and did so under all regular test conditions taking the full length exam. I scored a 620 which is my best practice test yet and i got excited about that! Verbal i felt a little bit rushed, i got 4 reading passages and 2 were very long and had to scroll down a lot for both, it threw off my timing i think. As for Quant I paced myself very well in the first half, I used the strategy of splitting the notepad into sections with times at bottom to show how many problems to do within how long. However, once I was getting harder problems I was taking longer, and falling further behind until I realized near the last 3rd of Quant my time was very low... I started having to use very little time on easier problems and had to guess on a couple however I got my highest quant score so far. Overall I scored 620 with Verbal 32: Quant 43.

I went back and looked at results and found I did well in the first half getting easier problems correct as i suspected. The last 20 problems were almost all in the "High" difficulty except for the last problem dropped down to "medium" I got 10 of the last 13 quant problems wrong. Verbal was similar, starting strong missing many high level problems/some medium near the end. I think my pacing for harder level problems and being able to maintain this is what contributed to this score more. Thank you very much for the advice, however I am a bit worried about Kaplan's exams as well... as I said earlier I was getting 590's on Veritas, around 580 on Kaplan then the real GMAT and GMAT prep Ive gotten anywhere between 500 and 610. However, this is my highest overall and this was done with as realistic as i could be, not taking extra time or materials etc and doing the entire exam/ taking a rest day before taking my practice yesterday.. What is the best way to go through examining this score? Examining my pacing and improving pacing? And how much should i look into this 620 and when is a good time to take another practice? Sorry this post was longer than anticipated, I am happy w this score because I have definitely been working on Quant section pacing/problems, and I think I can do better on verbal as well!
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 22:40
Hi Mourad,

That's great news about this recent result! It goes to show that you have the ability to properly train and improve. At this point, you should be focused on continuing to review and hone your skills. To hit your Score Goal, you don't have to correctly answer ANY of the questions that you think are too hard or too weird. So on this recent CAT, how many questions did you think were just too difficult? How much time did you ultimately spend on each of those questions? And how many more questions could you have gotten correct if you had just 'dumped' those harder questions and spent that time working on other prompts?

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Rich
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Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+ [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 12:27
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Mourad,

That's great news about this recent result! It goes to show that you have the ability to properly train and improve. At this point, you should be focused on continuing to review and hone your skills. To hit your Score Goal, you don't have to correctly answer ANY of the questions that you think are too hard or too weird. So on this recent CAT, how many questions did you think were just too difficult? How much time did you ultimately spend on each of those questions? And how many more questions could you have gotten correct if you had just 'dumped' those harder questions and spent that time working on other prompts?

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


This is my breakdown of verbal (32): 22 problems incorrect, (does this seem possible to be accurate?) I missed 9 sentence correction, 7 reading comprehension, and 6 critical reasoning. The majority of problems missed were on the second half of the test, i got 2 very long passages & 4 passages total & through off timing to where I was rushed at the end and wore me down having to guess on a couple/ rush responses to almost be guessed. I got 7/10 problems correct on the first 10 questions. I can't seem to improve sentence correction on exams though it's what i've mainly been focused on, but I think I need to improve verbal pacing to finish the test strong instead of guessing at end.

Quant (43): This is easily my best quant section I have scored. My previous high was 39. I got 7 of the first 10 questions correct, I missed 19 total questions (again this seems like a lot of problems wrong for a decent score, is this normal scoring?) I'd say even with time I would not have gotten 10-11 of the questions correct, however I think with more time I could have solved 6-7 more problems. I guessed correctly on 4 problems. I also spent almost 6 minutes on a problem which i can NOT do. I believe I did this because I was very ahead on time at the beginning of the test and I got a hard problem but knew I could solve it, I got the correct answer but definitely did not help for all the other harder problems. I really liked setting up my sheet in sections with times on the bottom, that strategy allowed me to stop looking at the clock so much & just know after each 4 problems whether I needed to speed up/skip/keep going.

Would you have any suggestions for pacing on Verbal ? Long passages have been hurting me time wise and I think overall pacing is a big factor for me which I will continue to improve on. Also my score of 32V43Q seemed unlikely with the amount of problems I got wrong, i've taken a veritas prep test in the past where I got 72% of the problems on verbal correct & still only got a 32 verbal. I know these aren't as accurate as GMAT prep however I'm hoping to take some positives from this & keep studying and keep getting my practice tests in the 610+ area and higher.
Re: Improvement on basics, help/advice needed! GMAT score 500, goal 640+   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2018, 12:27

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