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My CAT scores are only getting worse, despite learning a lot new stuff

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New post Updated on: 23 Jan 2018, 15:06
Hello together,

this is my first post here. I'm really desperate right now:

I started learning for the GMAT on October 1st 2017.

To find a base level, I prepared for two days, solving all the GMATPrep Software Practice Questions and then did the “official” GMATPrep Test 1. I scored a 660. However, my quant score was “cheated” because I sometimes paused the exam and checked for the correct solution. Accidentally, I also marked these answers as my answers in some cases, so the Quant Score (43 (84%)) is not indicative. But I scored a 38 (84%) in Verbal without “cheating”.

I continued learning, focusing mainly on Quant. To be honest, my methodology was rather inefficient, as I just used Wileys Online Platform, solving the official OG questions in sets of 5 in timed mode. Afterwards, I checked all the answers and tried to remember everything important. Obviously not the best way....

One month later, on November 5th 2017, I tried the “official” GMATPrep Test 2 and got a score of 650 (Unfortunately I do not have the Verbal and Quant Scores, because I had to reinstall everything on my computer shortly after and forgot about the score). This score was OK, because I was aiming for 700+ and my exam was scheduled for December 21st 2017. Meaning: Almost 2 months left (Minus ca. 1 week for TOEFL preparation in between (I scored 111)).

Unfortunately, I continued to learn like before and did not write down anything….

Moving forward to mid December 2017, still focusing mainly on Quant, I did the Quant parts of 2 additional "offical" GMATPrep Tests:
A. 16th December 2017: “official” GMATPrep Test 3, scoring 47 (73%),
B. 17th December 2017: “official” GMATPrep Test 5, scoring again 47 (73%)

At this point I already knew that it could get very hard to score a 700+. Only a verbal score of 38 could safe me….

On December 21st 2017 I finally had my real GMAT: I scored 670. I was disappointed, but ultimately realized that this was no surprise…. However, I was incredibly angry at myself for not preparing more carefully. For example:
A. In Verbal, I did not even write down “A,B,C,D,E”s on the sheets, in order to cross them off while solving a question.
B. I had to read every single SC answer multiple times, because I never learned to use similarities to cross off multiple choices


After taking a day off, I scheduled another GMAT for 29th January 2018 and restarted learning:
A. I downloaded a list of hundreds of 700-800 quant questions (but sometimes easier ones), sorted by topic. I went through them all, writing down every hack or useful tip. Hence, I even went through many topics a second time, only to be sure that I knew everything essential now.
B. I did the same as in A for Sentence Correction
C. I practiced RC and CR, one of my biggest weaknesses, forever.

The ultimate result:
Every time I do a timed set of hard OG Questions, with questions I have never seen before, I get mostly 80% to 100% right. This is new and feels great!
At the same time, I started doing the Manhattan CAT Tests (I want to keep the remaining “official” GMATPrep Tests until the very end) and the results are devastating:
1. 11th January 2018: CAT1: 580 (Q39, V31)
2. 15th January 2018: CAT2: 630 (Q42, V34)
3. 19th January 2018: CAT3: 610 (Q44, V31)
4. 23th January 2018: CAT4: 580 (Q42, V28)


Can somebody please tell me what the **** is going on?
I honestly do not understand why:
A. My CAT Scores are significantly worse than my real GMAT Score of 670?
B. How can it be, that I get almost all OG hard questions right, but my CAT Score is still **** ****?

Please give me some help or advise! Really desperate right now! I was top 2% in my Bachelor’s degree but still feel extremely stupid right now.

Thank you very much!

Best regards,

Alex

Originally posted by Komodor on 23 Jan 2018, 06:29.
Last edited by Komodor on 23 Jan 2018, 15:06, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 23 Jan 2018, 10:11
It also happened to me. What worked for me is taking some time, and then come back again. Probably you were too stressed.
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New post 23 Jan 2018, 10:37
Komodor wrote:
Hello together,

this is my first post here. I'm really desperate right now:

I started learning for the GMAT on October 1st 2017.

To find a base level, I prepared for two days, solving all the GMATPrep Software Practice Questions and then did the “official” GMATPrep Test 1. I scored a 660. However, my quant score was “cheated” because I sometimes paused the exam and checked for the correct solution. Accidentally, I also marked these answers as my answers in some cases, so the Quant Score (43 (84%)) is not indicative. But I scored a 38 (84%) in Verbal without “cheating”.

I continued learning, focusing mainly on Quant. To be honest, my methodology was rather inefficient, as I just used Wileys Online Platform, solving the official OG questions in sets of 5 in timed mode. Afterwards, I checked all the answers and tried to remember everything important. Obviously not the best way....

One month later, on November 5th 2017, I tried the “official” GMATPrep Test 2 and got a score of 650 (Unfortunately I do not have the Verbal and Quant Scores, because I had to reinstall everything on my computer shortly after and forgot about the score). This score was OK, because I was aiming for 700+ and my exam was scheduled for December 21st 2017. Meaning: Almost 2 months left (Minus ca. 1 week for TOEFL preparation in between (I scored 111)).

Unfortunately, I continued to learn like before and did not write down anything….

Moving forward to mid December 2017, still focusing mainly on Quant, I did the Quant parts of 2 additional "offical" GMATPrep Tests:
A. 16th December 2017: “official” GMATPrep Test 3, scoring 47 (73%),
B. 17th December 2017: “official” GMATPrep Test 5, scoring again 47 (73%)

At this point I already knew that it could get very hard to score a 700+. Only a verbal score of 38 could safe me….

On December 21st 2017 I finally had my real GMAT: I scored 670. I was disappointed, but ultimately realized that this was no surprise…. However, I was incredibly angry at myself for not preparing more carefully. For example:
A. In Verbal, I did not even write down “A,B,C,D,E”s on the sheets, in order to cross them off during solving a question.
B. I had to read every single SC answer multiple times, because I never learned to use similarities to cross off multiple choices


After taking a day off, I scheduled another GMAT for 29th January 2018 and restarted learning:
A. I downloaded a list of hundreds of 700-800 quant questions (but sometimes easier ones), sorted by topic. I went through them all, writing down every hack or useful tip. Hence, I even went through many topics a second time, only to be sure that I knew everything essential now.
B. I did the same as in A for Sentence Correction
C. I practiced RC and CR, one of my biggest weaknesses, forever.

The ultimate result:
Every time I do a timed set of hard OG Questions, with questions I have never seen before, I get mostly 80% to 100% right. This is new and feels great!
At the same time, I started doing the Manhattan CAT Tests (I want to keep the remaining “official” GMATPrep Tests until the very end) and the results are devastating:
1. 11th January 2018: CAT1: 580 (Q39, V31)
2. 15th January 2018: CAT2: 630 (Q42, V34)
3. 19th January 2018: CAT3: 610 (Q44, V31)
4. 23th January 2018: CAT4: 580 (Q42, V28)


Can somebody please tell me what the **** is going on?
I honestly do not understand why:
A. My CAT Scores are significantly worse than my real GMAT Score of 670?
B. How can it be, that I get almost all OG hard questions right, but my CAT Score is still **** ****?

Please give me some help or advise! Really desperate right now! I was top 2% in my Bachelor’s degree but still feel extremely stupid right now.

Thank you very much!

Best regards,

Alex


Hi
Firstly, I would say that the Gmatprep tests are the best approximation to your actual Gmat test. Other tests may not be very accurate, since a lot of parameters go in the test that simulating everything may not be possible. Normally, the MGMAT tests are harder than the actual test, especially the Quant section. So, don't worry too much about it. But I would suggest to go through each and every question of the test and analyze why you made a mistake incase you got it incorrect or check if there is an easier way to solve a question, incase you took a long time to solve a question. Similarly check for the questions you got wrong due to a silly mistake. These are the low hanging fruits and if you can improve on these aspects, it will immediately boost up your score. Lastly appear for a Gmat prep test for a correct assessment.
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New post 30 Jan 2018, 10:47
Hey all!

Thanks for the replies!

It worked great to take a step back and also not to care about the Manhattan CAT Scores

I took my GMAT yesterday:

Sadly, I had a blackout at Quant. I needed like 5 Minutes (!) for the first question :/ Overall, the questions were extremely hard and I had to guess the last 10 questions. All the time during the test I had to think about my terrible performance in quant. Verbal went okay...

I got a Q46, which is even below the quant scores I got in my GMATPrep Tests and in my last real GMAT, even though I learned quant like stupid for the past month. However, I performed quite good in verbal with V39. Ultimately, I got a 690. Kind of sad that my blackout cost me a 700+ score...

Will try again next month...
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New post 30 Jan 2018, 10:53
Missed by a whisker... Are you ordering ESR? How were your gmat prep verbal scores? Did I find gmat prep verbal more difficult than real exam? Or it was vice versa?

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New post 11 Feb 2018, 09:17
Sorry for the late reply.

Ordered ESR for both

3 days before my real exam i took GMATPrep Exam 6 and got a Q48 and V38.

I never noticed any difference in difficulty between GMATPrep Exams and the real GMAT.

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New post 13 Feb 2018, 00:41
Hi

For Quant, maybe you could try GMAT club tests. For people who are bordering on 46/47 in quant and want to reach near 50, its a general opinion that GMAT club tests are helpful to those people.
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New post 13 Feb 2018, 11:48
Komodor wrote:
Sorry for the late reply.

Ordered ESR for both

3 days before my real exam i took GMATPrep Exam 6 and got a Q48 and V38.

I never noticed any difference in difficulty between GMATPrep Exams and the real GMAT.

Posted from my mobile device


Hi Komodor,

In case you are looking for experts' comments on the ESR, then you may attach them on this post itself or here - https://gmatclub.com/forum/information-on-new-gmat-esr-report-beta-221111.html . You may remove the personal such as name and ID information from the report before uploading.
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New post 21 Feb 2018, 15:58
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amanvermagmat wrote:
Hi

For Quant, maybe you could try GMAT club tests. For people who are bordering on 46/47 in quant and want to reach near 50, its a general opinion that GMAT club tests are helpful to those people.



Hey, yeah thanks. Already got the GMAT club test questions and they are indeed great!
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New post 04 Mar 2019, 08:51
The same thing is happening to me right now. I'm so very confused.

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New post 05 Mar 2019, 08:05
Hi Bluerang1,

I’m sorry to hear about how things are going with your GMAT. I’m happy to provide some specific advice but first would like to learn more about your situation with the GMAT. I have some questions:
1) How many times have you taken the actual GMAT? Please list the dates on which you’ve taken the GMAT, the total scores, and the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests.

2) How many practice GMAT tests did you take? Please list the dates on which you’ve taken any practice GMATs, the total scores, and the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Also, please tell me where these tests came from (ex: mba.com).

3) Please describe how you studied. For how many hours a day did you study and for how many months? What resources did you use for yoru prep?

4) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?

5) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?

6) For how many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?

7) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.

Once I learn a bit more about you, I can provide some detailed advice.
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New post 06 Mar 2019, 22:24
Hi, Komodor

You don’t have to be frustrated with your mock test scores. Firstly, I want to say that mock tests could not reflect your level and score as it is. It’s true that you put huge effort into studying GMAT and right now you could be just experiencing slump considering that the gaps of score is huge. In this case, you should not be obsessed with your score drop and feel devastated. Studying GMAT is long term journey and it is natural to go through some problems. Why don’t you look back whether you were worn out?

But the obvious problem is that your quant score swings. Considering that you had a blackout after spending about 5 minutes solving the first question, it could be true that you are vulnerable to the situation once you feel the strain on your test. GMAT is time-constraint test and time management is always important. To hit the score over 51 in quant, you should leave enough time for the hardest questions. If you spend 5 minutes in the first question, it could be impossible to get 50-51. So the first thing that you should keep in mind is to solve the basic level questions calmly and without hesitation. I recommend you to regard mock tests as the actual test. With the same mindset, you should be familiarized with the situation. That is, use mock test as a tool to familiarize yourself to the real test. Actually, 2 minutes is enough for you to solve a question. Then, you can also have remaining time for checking errors.
You can also refer to this to hit the target score: https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-ultimate ... 09801.html

To exactly assess your current math skill and receive a customized guide to improve your target score within time the frame you are expecting, we highly recommend you to take our "Free Diagnostic Test" that assesses your skill with 73 questions including all categories and topics. You may try it after registering for the membership.

Please let us know if you have further questions.
You can reach us at info@mathrevolution.com

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Good luck!
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Re: My CAT scores are only getting worse, despite learning a lot new stuff   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2019, 22:24
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