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Need GMAT Retake strategy

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 14:09
Hello,

I have given my GMAT three times. My scores are 630 then 670 then 570...my 670 breakup is Q47 V35. I studied for roughly 6 months. I used Veratis Prep's online class, OG books and Powerscore CR. How do I break the 700 mark? I scored 720 in one mock two days before my official GMAT (670). I feel like I have exhausted the best resources available and not sure what to do next. I definitely struggle in verbal and my quant scores have been between Q46-Q48. I am targeting T15 MBA programs and Insead. Any advice would be appreciated!
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New post 28 Jan 2019, 14:57
Hi tbztbz,

To start, a 670/Q47 is a solid score - and it could be enough to get you into your first-choice Business School. Since you've named some highly-competitive Programs, it's understandable that you would want to retest though. Given the 'swings' in your 3 Official Scores , it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long did you study before each of your 3 Official GMATs?
2) What study materials did you use before each attempt?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? Did you retake any of your CATs (for example, the earlier ones that you may have taken)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) What application deadlines are you currently considering?

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.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 28 Jan 2019, 15:14
EMPOWERgmatRichC

I studied two months before the first test using Veratis prep and scored 630. Then I took a two months break after which I studied hard for two to three months using OG questions, Powerscore CR and GMAT Club tests and scored 670. Then I studied for another three weeks but I was under a lot of stress due to work and scored below 600.

For my first and third attempts, I did not use any CATs. For my second attempt I did four official gmat CATs. I scored 660 (Q46 V35), 590 (Q41V31), 680 (Q44 V38) and 720 (Q49 V39). I did not retake any of the CATs. My goal score is 720. I am considering Inseads R2 deadline for Jan 2020 and R1 deadlines for T15 programs (Tuck, Wharton, Duke, NYU Stern, Columbia).
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New post 29 Jan 2019, 06:25
tbztbz wrote:
Hello,

I have given my GMAT three times. My scores are 630 then 670 then 570...my 670 breakup is Q47 V35. I studied for roughly 6 months. I used Veratis Prep's online class, OG books and Powerscore CR. How do I break the 700 mark? I scored 720 in one mock two days before my official GMAT (670). I feel like I have exhausted the best resources available and not sure what to do next. I definitely struggle in verbal and my quant scores have been between Q46-Q48. I am targeting T15 MBA programs and Insead. Any advice would be appreciated!


Hi tbztbz,

Welcome to GMATCLUB. Congratulations on a 670! You should study for around 2 months to improve your score. It’s a good thing you have taken a GMAT once. You now know your weaknesses and work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I believe you may benefit from taking a GMATPREP course. If you are willing, there are some great GMAT prep companies that can help you with your preparation.

For verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice.

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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New post 29 Jan 2019, 16:11
Hi tbztbz,

To start, the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically should not take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. By taking a CAT two days before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. Beyond that though, the 'swings' in your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores on your CATs imply that you are likely inconsistent about how you approach questions (re: your note-taking, the Tactics you use, how often you "narrow the answers down to 2 choices and 'guess'", etc.). Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Since you are not facing any immediate application deadlines, you have the freedom to take more time with this next phase of your studies (if you choose to). If you'd prefer to be efficient though, and lock up that higher Score sooner rather than later, then I suggest that you focus on learning/practicing the proper Quant and Verbal Tactics - so that you can use those Tactics every time they apply on Test Day. Given this recent Official Score, you could potentially retest in another 1-2 months and hit your Goal Score.

1) Are you planning to restart/continue your studies now or take some 'time off?'
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Rich
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New post 30 Jan 2019, 19:01
Hi tbztbz,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that 670 is a pretty solid score. However, your scores have been all over the map, a sign that you still have some lingering quant and verbal weaknesses that must be addressed. So, this time around, I suggest you give yourself as much time as you need to fully master GMAT quant and verbal.

To improve your GMAT score to 720, you need to go through quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

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 GMAT Retake strategy   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2019, 19:01
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