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MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(

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MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 07:48
Dear community,

I hope someone here will share their experience with me or can at least offer some sort of advice, because lord knows I'm in need for it!

Last week I took my first mock exam (Manhattan Prep) and was fairly satsified with my score (620). I know it's not a great score but I was proud since it was my first exam and I really struggle with quant (I score very good on verbal though).

Today (7 day later) I took my second mock, this time the Kaplan one and I was shocked. My brain was tired during the test and I was really exhausted because I had studied until late the night befor but I really did not expect to score a 590.

Now I know that expecting my score to improve in a week is much to ask but I am very discouraged at how low it plummeted.
Because of application deadlines and such I have the GMAT scheduled in 20 days and I am very worried. I by no means intend to score over 700 since that just seems fairly unrealistic but i would at least like to score in the upper 600.
I have worked through the entire Mahattan Prep App and am currently doing all of the OG (+ V review;Q review); I also study full-time for the GMAT (no job etc.)

I hope someone here can share their experiences with me or at least offer some advice, whether I am on the right path.
I will forever be greatful! :please

Best wishes
Ana
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 09:09
Anamq wrote:
Dear community,

I hope someone here will share their experience with me or can at least offer some sort of advice, because lord knows I'm in need for it!

Last week I took my first mock exam (Manhattan Prep) and was fairly satsified with my score (620). I know it's not a great score but I was proud since it was my first exam and I really struggle with quant (I score very good on verbal though).

Today (7 day later) I took my second mock, this time the Kaplan one and I was shocked. My brain was tired during the test and I was really exhausted because I had studied until late the night befor but I really did not expect to score a 590.

Now I know that expecting my score to improve in a week is much to ask but I am very discouraged at how low it plummeted.
Because of application deadlines and such I have the GMAT scheduled in 20 days and I am very worried. I by no means intend to score over 700 since that just seems fairly unrealistic but i would at least like to score in the upper 600.
I have worked through the entire Mahattan Prep App and am currently doing all of the OG (+ V review;Q review); I also study full-time for the GMAT (no job etc.)

I hope someone here can share their experiences with me or at least offer some advice, whether I am on the right path.
I will forever be greatful! :please

Best wishes
Ana

Don't worry about mock score right now please. Do official questions as much as you can then after seven days take Official Practice Test 1. Then prepare with OG questions for another seven days and take 2nd practice test. Finally do your best in final day. Don't worry for a moment. Hope you all the best.

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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 10:40
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Please hit Kudos for me.


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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 10:51
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Anamq wrote:

Last week I took my first mock exam (Manhattan Prep) and was fairly satsified with my score (620).

Today (7 day later) I took my second mock, this time the Kaplan one and I was shocked. My brain was tired during the test and I was really exhausted because I had studied until late the night befor but I really did not expect to score a 590.

Now I know that expecting my score to improve in a week is much to ask but I am very discouraged at how low it plummeted.


You shouldn't worry too much about scores obtained on non-official tests. Commercial entities have reasons to keep their scores low. Plus, many of these tests are not fully representative of the actual test. Only use them for test taking practice. If the scores shatter your confidence, then it is best to avoid these tests.

In the last few days, concentrate on official materials, especially the official verbal materials. Strengthen your fundamentals by going through both official and good third-party sources for quantitative materials.

If your confidence is still low, then a reschedule could be considered. There is little point in taking the test, losing one opportunity and remaning dissatisfied. The GMAT is amenable to good practice. GL!
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 10:54
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Technically it is only 30 points between 620 and 590..... The tests are not perfect and there’s clearly some room for improvement in your skills as well so it’s not unnatural to have a difference in scores from test to test. I assume you’ve taken more than just two tests in your prep so you can identify which one is within the trajectory path.

The test that predicts your score the best of all is GMAT Prep. If you are scared then take the gmat prep but you should not need to.

PS. Your practice and OG review should give you an idea how you are performing. Make sure you time each question and limit yourself to 2 mins or so.

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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 12:29
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Hi Ana,

To start, there are a variety of different factors that can influence your performance on a practice CAT (or on the Official GMAT), so those details should not be overlooked. From what you described, you were quite tired when you took that second CAT - so a dip in your Score shouldn't be much of a surprise (you were too tired to perform at your best). That all having been said, GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 2 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). To score at a significantly higher level, you will need to learn and practice the proper Tactics for BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections - and that type of training takes time (far more than just 1 week).

Before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied in total? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each of your CATs?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) What are the exact application deadlines that you are facing?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2019, 03:09
bb wrote:
thouhid wrote:
[

Please hit Kudos for me.


Please have some decency not begging for kudos.

Posted from my mobile device


Why? I am helping others and in return asking for help. I don't see any problem here.
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MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2019, 03:45
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Ana,

To start, there are a variety of different factors that can influence your performance on a practice CAT (or on the Official GMAT), so those details should not be overlooked. From what you described, you were quite tired when you took that second CAT - so a dip in your Score shouldn't be much of a surprise (you were too tired to perform at your best). That all having been said, GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 2 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). To score at a significantly higher level, you will need to learn and practice the proper Tactics for BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections - and that type of training takes time (far more than just 1 week).

Before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied in total? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each of your CATs?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) What are the exact application deadlines that you are facing?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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


Thank you for your answer!
Studies:
1) How long have you studied in total? How many hours do you typically study each week? I have been studying for approximately 4-5 weeks now
2) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each of your CATs? MGMAT Q39 V36; Kaplan Q37 V34

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score? The business schools I want to apply to ask for a minimum of 600 but I would like to at least score 650 (or better of course). I do not, however, expect anything better than 700 since that seems to be out of scope for my timeline
4) What are the exact application deadlines that you are facing? I want to apply in the first application round (october-november), that way I will have my results before christmas
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to? Stockholm School of Economics, BI Norweigan Business School, WHU Otto von Beisheim BS & Wirtschaftsuniversität in Vienna

I have thought about rescheduling (as was advised) but I generally get very nervous before exams, so I really just have to get over it. But do you believe I will be able to improve significantly? I do the OG exercises in sprints (to get used to timing) and also time myself to 2 minutes (sometimes I gain time that I can invest in other exercises).

Maybe for reference: When I do my 10 exercise sprints I always score 6/10 right in Q and a minimum of 8/10 right in V (I only exercise with the medium and hard level questions)

Thank you for your time!
Ana
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2019, 13:01
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Hi Ana,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. You have studied for a little over 1 month - and you now have less than 3 weeks before your Official Test Date. This is meant to say that if you want to score a lot higher, then you will almost certainly need more study time than you have allotted.

From what you describe, your overall plans appear to revolve around the goal that you want to receive word about whether you've gotten into School or not BEFORE Christmas. You might want to consider if that goal is more important than the goal of getting into your first-choice School (and if applying for Round 2 might better improve your chances of getting in). In addition, would earning the 'minimum score' that you referenced guarantee you admission into those Programs (and how do you know that for sure?) or that minimum necessary just to apply?

Regardless of how you choose to study going forward, you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY of the really hard/weird questions to score 600+, but you have to keep the little mistakes to a minimum. "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'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full 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 did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2019, 18:01
Anamq,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, there is no reason to be taking practice tests just a week apart, especially because you are still early in the “learning phase” of your preparation. Thus, I really would not worry about the 590 from your recent practice exam, and, furthermore, it does not really make sense to take any more practice exams until you have significantly improved both your verbal and quant skills.

Also, looking at your current study routine, I'm going to suggest that you need to ensure that you avoid the approach of what I call “practice first and figure the rest out later” -- in other words, doing practice problems before understanding the concepts on which those problems are based, and thus trying to learn solely from reading solutions to problems. Trying to learn in such a way will leave gaps in your knowledge and impede progress.

Moving forward, if you find that you are not effectively improving your GMAT quant and verbal skills, you may consider following more of a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn each quant and verbal topic and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery.
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 01:55
Hi Rich,

thank you for replying! I have looked at my first CAT since I do not believe that the second was true to my performance (I was having a really bad day)
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake? Q 8; This really bugs me because after looking at the solutions I remember exercises I did of this sort and answered correctly; V 1
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?Q 4; Mostly statistics (i struggle with it at uni as well :/)
3) Because the question was too hard?Q 1; I had seen most question types before and practised them
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?Q 2
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?4; these were often silly mistakes as well because it came down to me not reading the rest of the passage in SC or not getting the right inference


Kind regards
Ana
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 02:01
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Anamq,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, there is no reason to be taking practice tests just a week apart, especially because you are still early in the “learning phase” of your preparation. Thus, I really would not worry about the 590 from your recent practice exam, and, furthermore, it does not really make sense to take any more practice exams until you have significantly improved both your verbal and quant skills.

Also, looking at your current study routine, I'm going to suggest that you need to ensure that you avoid the approach of what I call “practice first and figure the rest out later” -- in other words, doing practice problems before understanding the concepts on which those problems are based, and thus trying to learn solely from reading solutions to problems. Trying to learn in such a way will leave gaps in your knowledge and impede progress.

Moving forward, if you find that you are not effectively improving your GMAT quant and verbal skills, you may consider following more of a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn each quant and verbal topic and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery.


Hi there, thank you for your message!
As mentioned earlier in this feed, I do know the basics but I often struggle with considering all of the possibilities (DS) and make silly mistakes.
I do not find the math in GMAT hard but rather the time that puts me under pressure. I do have the Manhattan Strategy Books and I found the number properties one very helpful to freshen up my knowledge but overall it's all math that I have already studied...
But obviously, I am not able to access my knowledge when I need it. Do you think that I will be able to improve if I keep practising or do you recommend a reschedule?

Kind regards
Ana
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 04:51
thanks for that! well noted with thanks! i'd prefer manhattan, though!
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 13:13
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Hi Ana,

From what you describe, you likely have the knowledge to score a 600+ right now on the Official GMAT - but it's your general approach to each question and the inconsistency of your note-taking that are keeping you from scoring higher. These might be issues that you can fix on your own in the next few weeks, so you can decide whether you want to invest in some new study materials or not.

If you are going to stick with your current Test Date, then you could probably squeeze in 2 more practice CATs - with your last CAT about 1 week before Test Day - but you should not take more than that. Your focus right now should be on the 'precision' in your work (meaning that you have to get in the habit of doing every step on your notepad; doing work "in your head" is the WORST way to approach a GMAT question - so you cannot allow yourself to work that way).

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MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 13:44
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Seems you are scared of what scores any CATs throw you. If I were you, I would re-read OG, OG Verbal Review, and OG Quant Review once again.

If time (min. 3 days before the D-day) permits, I do the free gmatprep test 1. Do the test when you are EXHAUSTED, so as to give you lower bound score.

See how the official gmatprep estimate your lower-bound score and review your time/energy management strategy.

Wish you luck.
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 00:41
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Ana,

From what you describe, you likely have the knowledge to score a 600+ right now on the Official GMAT - but it's your general approach to each question and the inconsistency of your note-taking that are keeping you from scoring higher. These might be issues that you can fix on your own in the next few weeks, so you can decide whether you want to invest in some new study materials or not.

If you are going to stick with your current Test Date, then you could probably squeeze in 2 more practice CATs - with your last CAT about 1 week before Test Day - but you should not take more than that. Your focus right now should be on the 'precision' in your work (meaning that you have to get in the habit of doing every step on your notepad; doing work "in your head" is the WORST way to approach a GMAT question - so you cannot allow yourself to work that way).

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


Hi Rich,

thank you for the advice. I am currently revising all of the MGmat books again and doing the problem sets to get a feel for the exercises. I think it's helping me!
Thankfully I haven't made use of my OG Prep CATs, so will do one more for sure this weekend and see how I feel about a second one.

Kind regards
Ana
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Re: MANHATTAN vs KAPLAN - I'm Scared :(   [#permalink] 24 Sep 2019, 00:41
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