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Looking for advice on 100 points improvement in a month

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New post 09 Nov 2019, 22:28
Hey folks. I gave the official GMAT yesterday after a 6 month long preparation and scored a 630 (Q47 V30). Adding a bit of background, I took up coaching for GMAT in March for 3 months and had planned to give the exam in July. But I'm not strong in Quant and the coaching didn't help me get any better at it so my Quant score never crossed Q40.I started using Manhattan books about a month ago and saw my Quant score get better post that, yet never crossed Q42. I was fairly strong in Verbal and was able to solve most questions in the class so did not really give it much time. In the last 2 mocks I took,I scored V32 and V40 so only practiced a few questions from OG in the last 2 weeks.

Coming to the actual exam, I got a little nervous when I started Verbal and zoned out for the first 15 mins. I'm guessing that's what impacted my score as I ran short of time and had to rush through pretty much all the questions. I'm planning to take the exam again in a month in order to be able to meet R2 deadlines. But I'm not sure if I should continue with self study or give Empower GMAT's score booster plan with 100 point guarantee a try.

Anyone here been through a similar situation and was able to see the improvement within a month? Will it require me to give extensive time each day as I won't be able to spend more than 2 hours a day on weekdays considering my work schedule?


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New post 10 Nov 2019, 00:19
I am certainly not a expert nor have I achieved such a gain but I can give you some general routines, which boosted my skills tremendously, and I've implemented since my first mock.


Know your weaknesses and destroy them.
I know, this sounds pretty boring and is basically in line what everyone already knows but most of the people are only good at the further one while ignoring the latter.

You really got to do the painful stuff. It was very hard for me to realize as well, because the study hours in which I visited the topics I was already good at did satisfy me so much more. Was just fun to blast through some problems and pat myself on the back for getting most of them right, did it bring me further? Certainly not.

I started picking out a physical calender and wrote down every single topic on the quant section that would give me a insecure feel when popping up on the GMAT and ended up writing 6 topics on there. You've got to face your demons. It was a pain in the ass to go through topics which I hated but it was worth it.

I've gained a large amount of self confidence because know I can go in the test with the feeling "whatever comes at me, I am ready" - before I was like "while I am not that bad at quant, I hope topic x, y,z and w doesn't show up". And not even on the real test, but also on the mocks already, I felt extremely pissed and nervous at the same time when for example a combinatoric question popped up. You don't want to feel that.


-> relentlessy work on weaknesses
-> if you don't understand topic xyz, do 100 problems on topic xyz
-> there is no benefit in beating on your craft on the topics you are already good at


Your score shows that you lack some very fundamental concepts or have a weakness in the english language in general.
Not to mean that in a bad way ... I think it is actually positive as you have great room to improve.

For CR I would advise to read the powerscore CR bible. I am a non-native speaker and always excelled in my language classes so I had the cockyness to believe that I do not really need ressources on CR which was far away from the truth.
While I never touched a single ressource on RC (I dont think you need to learn strategies there) its crucial to develop a framework on CR. If you do what I did your approach is based solely on intuition, this might work out on easier problems but on harder problems you are just guessing if you dont have a mechanical framework that lets you eliminate wrong answer choices right away.

RC -> active reading ... can't stress that enough. I did not study RC for a long time and only started recently. At the beginning I performed so poorly because I did not remember a single word of the passage. You've got to train your mind to read actively, and I would advise a minimum of 4 passages per day.

Personally, I always talk to myself when doing RC passages, I also stop often during the passage.

"What did the author imply there?"
"Wait, wtf did that mean?"
"Am I really sure that xyz said yzw? I think I re read this paragraph one more time"

At the end I always prephrase, I close my eyes and try to present to myself the main points.

"So the chapter presents research evidence found by molecular biologists, they found out that some really strange-named jargon word was responsible for xyz. While the first paragraph says this is positive because of ___ the second paragraph undermines that view. There were also other researchers who used the evidence found in paragraph one to build another model which ____, the overall conclusion then was _____, and therefore ____"

Does that make sense?


Probably takes the most time ... you gotta really beat the hell out of you if you want to ace the hard questions on there. Of course, first thing first, know the rules. Write everything down, write mistakes down and move from there.

But imho there is no way round on SC other then practicing thousands of problems, especially if you want to have a shot at the 700 level questions.

I am at a point where I am able to narrow down 2-3 answer choices pretty quickly but the last differing split on 700 level questions is just hell, and very rarely easy or mechanically to eliminate.

Honestly, with your current verbal score I think achieving SC excellence is the least problem. But if you are weak at SC you should at least make sure to get your POE on a high level, know the base rules and eliminate based on them quickly. That should help you for now.

/Edit: Seeing your time constraint. I don't want to sound too harsh, and certainly might not be the suitable expert to give you advise on that, but it might be a little bit too less work-time to improve from 630 to 730.
2 hours a day is not much, if you are working on your quant weaknesses the first hour you have basically only 1 hour left for verbal, which is, looking at your current score, not really a great time allocation. You probably should spend 1 hour per day allone all ready on RC for the next few weeks.

I would highly recommend to see if you could squeeze in 4 hours a day, don't get burned out but see if there is some time leftover.
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New post 10 Nov 2019, 00:34
sushmithabhat - Rather than reply on a study plan that works for others, you should trust the holistic study plan offered by GMAT Club's in-house experts. I am sure this study plan will help you achieve a high score on the GMAT.

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New post 10 Nov 2019, 08:43

I think you covered everything.
Make sure to take mock test because after reaching 700 score, each question takes more time to solve
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Re: Looking for advice on 100 points improvement in a month  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2019, 15:00
Hi sushmithabhat,

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:

1) Over the last 3 months, how many hours do you typically study each week?
2) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. 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 on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: Looking for advice on 100 points improvement in a month   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2019, 15:00
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