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My GMAT Experience & Journey

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Joined: 27 Dec 2018
Posts: 5
My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2019, 23:30
Hello all. I’ve been reading a lot but haven’t been posting too much.

I have had a lengthy and interesting journey. I just walked out of the exam with a 640 (Q42 and V36) with canceled scores.

Firstly, the exam has been on my mind for years. I took a MGMAT course in 2013, stopped attending after 2 weeks and got a new job in CA and forgot about the exam.

In 2017, I stared studying again with KAPLAN, got discouraging scores and luckily got another job and stopped taking CATS.

In Dec 2018, I resolved to get this thing done. I was able to get access to my KAPTEST materials (used for CATS) and I started using Target Test Prep which I really enjoyed as advised by a Tutor I got to help with Math. I also used the GMATPrep software and had some OG 2019 books.

Test Scores. As I progressed with my studies, my scores got progressively worse leading to an all time low at the exam. Ironically I got my best score towards the beginning of my studies without brushing up on a few topics. Starting on Jan 15.

GMATPrep 1: 720 (Q48, V41)
GMATPrep 2: 700 (Q47, V40)
MGMAT 1: 640 (Q42, V36)
Kaplan In Person: 710 (Q45, V39)
GMATPrep 3: 700 (Q48, V37)
Kaptest 2: 680 (Q45, V39)
GMATPrep 4: 710 (Q47, V41))
GMATPrep 5: 640 (Q42, V36)
MGMAT 2: 660 (Q43, V38)
GMATPrep 6: 670 (Q44, V39)

GMAT: 640 (Q42, V36)

Obviously feeling super discouraged by my downward trend, I also can’t really explain it. I tend to have severe time management issues as it relates to getting to the end of the test. During my best scores, I finished math promptly on time or even with leftover time. I found this harder and harder to do the more I actually studied math. My Verbal was consistently high except a couple of times. Although on my actual exam, I had a short but dense RC that I did not understand very well (and I typically do very well on RC), which may have tarnished my V score.

As for test day— this may be related (hard not to be) but I managed to get into a text fight with a close friend an hour before the exam. I spent the better part of that hour trying to get un-worked up, but I was a bit “off” and then started fearing it would affect my performance. I wasn’t quite able to re-center myself after that. It would be too easy to chalk it all up to that, but it’s on my mind.

Other than that, I can’t seem to combat my declining Math score. As my aptitude increased, my score decreased!

I’d love to talk through my experiences with some of you all and seek suggestions for moving forward.

I feel most confused with Math. I’ve commanded Math extremely well as per Target Test Prep but cannot nail it on the test. With regard to Target, I can hit most hard and medium questions with ease (some of the hard questions do take over 2-3 minutes).

I’ll most definitely need to re-attempt, but it’s a matter of when! I’ve seen really great conversations on here and am looking forward to making this all more of a resource.

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Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2019, 10:48
Hi dantheman11,

The good news is that despite having an “off day,” you scored 640, which score is not a total disaster, right? Also, I know you think you are making excuses that you were thrown off by your text fight; however even the smallest routine changes on test day can negatively affect your performance, so that could be a legitimate reason as to why your score went down.

Assuming that you completed the TTP course, there is no reason why you could not have have hit a Q48 on your actual exam.

That being said, I’d happy to provide some advice of how to move forward with your retake, so I’ll send you a PM and we can chat further.

Let’s do this!!
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Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13797
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2019, 13:58
Hi dantheman11,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. A 640 is still a solid Score though - so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

From what you describe, you could potentially have been too distracted to perform at your best on Test Day. That having been said, you have a great opportunity to pick up points in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections, so retesting is a reasonable idea. Regardless of how you choose to continue studying though, there's something to keep in mind about how you "see" the Exam. The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. To score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.' I suspect that your general "math skills" are fine - you likely have most of the math knowledge you need - but you're "responding" to the Exam in ways that are inefficient.

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 (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

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Intern
Joined: 17 Sep 2018
Posts: 18
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2019, 14:25
Hi - you should probably re-do it. Are those first few results from 2013-2015? I think quant was a bit easier then. Still, you should do some more practice and try again!
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Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Posts: 442
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2019, 01:45
Hi dantheman11

Depending on our Mock scores, I see that you have above average Verbal score.
I believe with little more dedication and effort you can get a good Quant score which would ultimately give you a over all Good GMAT Score.

You should strengthen your basics first and definitely try GMAT Club Quant test.They are a boon for a great Quant score.

All the best!
Cheers
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Intern
Joined: 27 Dec 2018
Posts: 5
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 03:56
Hi All,

Thanks for the feedback so far. Here’s some additional information.

Scott - Will pick up in a PM.

Rich - I very much agreed with your assessment. My target score is 700+. I am mostly shocked because I was consistently in that range on practice exams over the past 6 weeks (via GMATPrep). I am aiming for INSEAD, LBS, HEC or an M7 school in the US. Have had a unique career in consulting/entertainment finance so a few advisors have told me that as an unusual candidate, GMAT score could be an important factor. Had a 3.65 GPA from Cornell University.

Medic - Those practice exams were all in the past 6 weeks.

Best,
Daniel

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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13797
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 15:10
Hi dantheman11,

With a 640, you're closer to a 700+ than you probably realize - but you're going to have make some substantive adjustments to how you 'respond' to the Exam to consistently score at that higher level. Based on all of the information that you've provided, I have some follow-up questions about how you took your CATs:

1) You mentioned studying in 2017 and restarting in 2018, but your list of CATs is from just the last month of 2019. How many times did you take each of the Official GMAC practice CATs? For example, did you take the first (free) Official CAT more than once?
2) Did you take your CATs at home?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****
Intern
Joined: 27 Dec 2018
Posts: 5
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2019, 15:22
Hi Rich,

Happy to hear that, of course. I took all CATS exactly once. I know the risk of resetting and hitting repeat questions. I’ve burned through all 6 OG exams, and I’d like to hit reset on the 3 exam packs, but I need enough time to pass to forget the questions...

Back in 2017 I only took 2 CATS, both KAPLAN and I did not post those in the above list. I scored a 640 and 660.

I distinctly remember getting hung up on the Math algorithm after OG 4 and my scores started tanking after that, despite now knowing how to do a whole host of problems I did not know before thanks to TTP.

I took the exams at home all roughly at 2-3pm (my GMAT was at 2pm). I always do Q-V-IR-AWA.

For my 700 scores I always prioritized getting to the end with sufficient time. As I became more apt in MATH, I started spending more time Beginning - Mid and the end was constantly suffering. Even after I resolved to keep a solid pace with Math, I couldn’t do that in practice on the exam.

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 27 Dec 2018
Posts: 5
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2019, 17:42
Hello All.

I got my ESR. Should I post it here? It's not very surprising, which I suppose is a good thing?
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 5443
Location: United States (CA)
Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey  [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2019, 18:42
Hey Dan,

Feel free to post it here. We also could chat further via PM, if you’d like. How have things been going since we last spoke?
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
122 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

Re: My GMAT Experience & Journey   [#permalink] 27 Feb 2019, 18:42
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