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Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results

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Joined: 06 Nov 2018
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Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 06:51
Dear Experts,

I would like to ask how I can improve my skills in taking CAT exams.

According to my recent OG stats (last 2 days), I solved 60 verbal questions with average accuracy exceeding 85% (with E/M/H accuracy at the level of 100%/82%/86% respectively. Questions were more less evenly distributed with predominance of M/H level questions). I was timing myself in each set of question. Moreover, I have completed e-GMAT diagnostic verbal with a quite satisfying result of 80%ile and EMPOWERED free verbal set (19 questions, medium difficulty) with 89% of accuracy (2 mistakes).

These results, basing on 110 questions, reflect a serious improvement if compared to those from November. At the beginning of November, my average accuracy was about 70%/50%/40% for E/M/H questions.

However, the score from GMAT prep test does not reflect this improvement. I have gained V28 from the official test, and this is my best result so far (previously – V22 at the beginning of November). I made 16 mistakes on my last attempt.

How can I improve my performance on real tests? What other factors, except of knowledge, could have influenced on the result?

My target score is 710 and I need to break V36. I am going to pass it by the end of January.

Thank you for your responses! :)
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Re: Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 11:19
RafalD wrote:
How can I improve my performance on real tests? What other factors, except of knowledge, could have influenced on the result?
How "exam-like" were the conditions under which you took that test? And what types of mistakes did you make?
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Re: Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 14:09
Hi! Thanks for reaching out. During all tests (the official one and quizzes) I worked on the same scheme. I was alone in my room and I had just a piece of paper, a pen and a cup of coffee, so the situation was rather “exam-like”. During all quizzes I was timing myself trying to imitate the real exam.
I can not find any key of my mistakes. I have some weak areas that I am aware of, but I did not identify any specific ones that would be my weakest points in this particular test. I mean, even if I made a mistake in “bold text” CR question once, I found a proper answer in the other question of this type. In RC questions I answered wrongly both in general and specific questions, but also had some good answers. Should I look at these mistakes in other way?
I made few mistakes in SC after rejecting 3 options. I did not identify idiom, context or logical meaning properly, but I was able to narrow my choices.
I tried to identify difficulty level of the questions that I answered wrongly. My accuracy was 50/50 by the whole test. At the beginning I had 4 good answers and then made 3 mistakes. Later, I usually made a mistake per 1 or 2 proper answers. According to this, I think that my performance was poor on each difficulty…
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Re: Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 15:26
Hi RafalD,

You've come to find that there's a big difference between performing well on 'blocks' of Verbal questions and performing well on a FULL-LENGTH CAT taken under realistic, test-like conditions. A big part of your training has to focus on the tactics/methods and patterns involved - so that even when you're tired, the 'process' doesn't change. Another part of your training has to be about the physical and psychological ways in which you handle the GMAT. 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:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) Do you have an exact Test Date yet (and if so, then what is it?)?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Rich
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Re: Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 20:18
Hi RafalD,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. I see a few things to consider here:

First, the comparison you are trying to make (OG scoring versus MBA.com test scoring) is not an apples to apples comparison. Remember, since the OG does not contain every type of question from every topic, it’s quite possible that you still have a variety of weaknesses that you have to address in order to improve your GMAT score.

Furthermore, since you are at a V28, it’s clear that you lack the verbal fundamentals you need for a high score, right? So, rather than relying only on practice to improve your verbal skills, you may consider using a course that provides a structured and linear study plan, so you can start with the foundations of GMAT verbal and progress to more advanced topics. By taking such a methodical and gradual approach, you ensure that you fill in gaps in your knowledge and that no stone is left unturned.

Finally, in answer to your questions about how to improve your test performance and what factors other than knowledge may influence your results, I can say that GMAT verbal is not as much a test of knowledge as it is a test of skill in noticing key details in questions and answer choices and in carefully using logic to arrive at correct answers. So, it could be that you have picked up enough knowledge to correctly answer most OG questions but have not developed your skills enough to correctly answer tricky questions with new twists, such as those that appeared on the test you took.

If you’d like any further advice on how to improve your verbal skills, feel free to reach out. You also may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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Re: Need Advice: Discrepancy between general performance and CATs results   [#permalink] 19 Dec 2018, 20:18
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