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  • Typical Day of a UCLA MBA Student - Recording of Webinar with UCLA Adcom and Student

     December 14, 2018

     December 14, 2018

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    Carolyn and Brett - nicely explained what is the typical day of a UCLA student. I am posting below recording of the webinar for those who could't attend this session.
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PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...

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PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2018, 06:16
Hello everyone,

First of all - I would like to thank you all for this wonderful forum. I found a great deal of energy here during my studies and it has helped me incredibly. I also want to talk everyone who takes time to read and respond to my issue here.

I am a European male, pretty successful in terms of professional career (working for one of the biggest IB/MBB). Studied at top 5 universities worldwide in engineering and have a great GPA. On top, I do have an extremely compelling story to tell and have extensive international exposure. In the beginning, i thought i would succeed at GMAT very quickly and get done with it... but this wasn't the case.

I started my preparation in February with 3 weeks off from work (I just don't have time during the weekdays - its basically work and sleep). My first ever GMATprep CAT was 680 with a Q49 without prior studying. So I thought I would focus on verbal and finish it in 3 weeks.
I purchased e-gmat and followed their verbal method, however, saw very little improvements. Plus timing was a big issue for me in verbal (didn't have time for the last 5 questions and had to guess them many times).
I still wanted to give it a try as I was sometimes hitting 700's in the practice tests and thought a little bit of luck could help me and scored a 580 on the real exam... I was shocked and depressed. I wanted to take it positively (given that I could almost not sleep and the exam was at 8am requiring me to wake up at 6). I thought I needed more time and decided to study 1 hour every day for a while (basically from midnight to 1am or 1am to 2am every day before I went to bed). I was thinking that I could finish it with another week off at the end and take the test. For that purpose, I purchased the Economist gmat package and completed it to 95%. I think it has helped me tremendously to put this in order in my head. My scores ranged from 680 to 740. Towards the end I purchased Kaplan exams and scored an average of 720 in the exams (this was basically 4 months into the studying 1 hour per day and 4-5 hours on Saturday and Sunday).
For the second attempt, I slept good, felt quite good as 2 days before the exam I scored 740 (q50v40) on gmatprep 4. I thought the exam was going great and had a small stupid glitch. The verbal part just wouldn't start because of software issues. The proctor had to restart and I could continue the exam but I ended up losing 3 minutes on the section where the time was just not enough for me. Even though I tried to calm myself I think it had impacted me in a way... End result? 620!!!! I just couldn't make sense of it. I didn't understand and just couldn't comment on the result. I was averaging around 730 at home with scores as high as 770. My lowest score was the first mock I did months ago! (the quant part which I thought was great was the lowest on any mock i did before, so the glitch on verbal wasn't the only responsible for the score...)

I said, OK. Not lucky. I should have been stressed again. I scheduled my 3rd attempt 3 weeks later. Kept studying 1h a day and doing exams on weekends. My mock exams were still around 740 and 730. I reviewed my exams, my notes and kept studying. 3 weeks later... ANOTHER 620... (this time could have been 650 or smth because I could not answer the last 2 questions of quant, i just forgot about the time at the end... So stupid. My ESR says I was around q50 everywhere but got a q48 or smth so the last 2 questions without answer should have penalized me). The verbal was still a catastrophe... In both 620's I got a tremendously long RC passage with very hard questions and RC is my weakest point...

Well, i had no words, couldn't understand anything about the tests I was doing at home... (I used Economist, GMATprep and Kaplan). I had no content gaps. The questions I were doing wrong was either I was falling for the trap or doing a silly mistake or rushing and making a mistake because of that. I said that I would not give up and would give it another try in 2 months. I took around 10 days of vacation to get some rest (the working hours plus this was weighing too much on me) and took around a month of unpaid vacation. Moved into my parent's house so I could study better and have psychological support.
Since, I purchased the new tool of Veritas Prep - Orion and followed it rigorously. I found their exam on the harder side with lots of traps in each question. Scored 690 and 700 in 2 of their tests. Purchased MGMAT exams and scored 680 690 and 700 (without doing any of their questions) and also found their quant extremely difficult (but have been scoring q48's in them). Now that I finished Orion and did 3MGMAT exam and 2Veritas Prep exam, 2 more economist exam (750, 740), and reattempted 3 GMATprep exams I took 6 months ago (scored 770, 740 and 730 - with 30 to 70 points improvements compared to the first attempt) I don't know what to do anymore... (taking the exam in about a week)

Even though I keep scoring at 700+ I dont know if its indicative of anything at all... After all, I scored 3 times 100pt below my mock exams...

And yes, every exam I did at home was in perfect exam conditions, no additional breaks, no pauses, used the official scratch book with their pen...

I need to apply to schools in September. Time for essays wise - I don't know if a month of time will be enough and what the score will be.

And here I am looking for advice from you guys, peers, and experts on what to do and how to approach this. What to do this last week? How to feel about this? How to approach this situation? One thing I know for sure is I can't keep doing this for a long time...


Thank you so much for your time and looking forward to reading you!
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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 04:24
No one here to give me a hand? Time is running and I would really appreciate your support!
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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 04:40
I think it would be helpful to see your ESR for others to help you.

The fact that the real thing has a different algorithm and is harder than mocks has been creeping out lately. I had similar issues. Mocks 740+ and real thing max 690.


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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 09:36
Cimet2018 wrote:
No one here to give me a hand? Time is running and I would really appreciate your support!

It would help to have the ESR to see which areas your accuracy is going down. Other possibility is you might be getting nervous or feeling too much pressure on exam day. In such a scenario it would be better to just relax for a day or two before the exam day and stay away from studies. Do some recreational stuff and go to the exam well rested. Good luck.
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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 09:53
I am pasting the summary of my ESR as it would be harder to put pictures here.

QUANT

Your Quantitative score of 48 is higher than 67% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this section is 39.93.
Your performance on Problem Solving questions was equivalent to a score of 50. Your score is better than 84% of all sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 39.91.
Your performance on Data Sufficiency questions was equivalent to a score of 49. Your score is better than 70% of all sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 39.94.
Your performance on Arithmetic questions was equivalent to a score of 49. Your score is better than 72% of all sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 40.02.
Your performance on Algebra/Geometry questions was equivalent to a score of 50. Your score is better than 83% of all sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 39.88.
Your performance of 66% on Geometry questions is considered Above Average.
Your performance of 80% on Rates/Ratio/Percent questions is considered Above Average.
Your performance of 85% on Value/Order/Factors questions is considered Strong.
Your performance of 83% on Equal./Inequal./Alg. questions is considered Strong.
Your performance of 66% on Counting/Sets/Series questions is considered Above Average.
You completed 29 questions in the Quantitative section. - I stupidly lost track of the time at the end
You responded correctly to 100% of the first set of questions, 86% of the second set of questions, 86% of the third set of questions and 33% of the final set of questions..
The average difficulty of questions presented to you in the first set of questions was Medium, the average for the second set of questions was Medium High, the average for the third set of questions was Medium High and was High for the final set of questions.
The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 2:04, the average time for the second set of questions was 2:27, the average time for the third set of questions was 2:07 and 1:17 for the final set of questions.
Please Note: If you sat for the GMAT exam prior to April 16, 2018 this section contained 37 questions, on or after April 16, 2018 the section consists of 31 questions.


VERBAL

Your Verbal score of 27 is higher than 46% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this section is 27.04.
Your performance on Critical Reasoning questions was equivalent to a score of 31, which is better than 57% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this sub-section is 27.59.
Your performance of 50% on Analysis/Critique questions is considered Weak.
Your performance of 75% on Construction/Plan questions is considered Above Average.
Your performance on Reading Comprehension questions was equivalent to a score of 25, which is better than 41% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this sub-section is 27.29.
Your performance of 20% on Identify Inferred Idea questions is considered Very Weak.
Your performance of 80% on Identify Stated Idea questions is considered Above Average.
Your performance on Sentence Correction questions was equivalent to a score of 25, which is better than 39% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this sub-section is 27.19.
Your performance of 33% on Grammar questions is considered Weak.
Your performance of 66% on Communication questions is considered Above Average.
You completed 36 questions in the Verbal section.
You responded correctly to 75% of the first set of questions, 43% of the second set of questions, 71% of the third set of questions and 25% of the final set of questions.
The average difficulty of questions presented to you in the first set of questions was Medium, the average for the second set of questions was Medium , the average for the third set of questions was Medium and was Medium for the final set of questions.
The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 2:16, the average time for the second set of questions was 1:58, the average time for the third set of questions was 2:12 and 0:30 for the final set of questions.


Obviously, I have a significant timing problem (especially in verbal...). And in quant - I think leaving blanc the last 2 questions decreased my score from q49 or q50 to q48...

My average verbal score ranges between v32-33 to v40's averaging around v36...

----------------------------------

How did you manage to improve your score given that you had kind of same difficulties?

Thanks a lot for your responses!!
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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 09:58
You were heavily penalized for not being able to answer all questions. It is better to guess rather than leave them unanswered.

You obviously seem to have big trouble with your verbal as almost all sections show in the upper 20s, ur best option would be to focus on these areas. Especially take heed of specific areas where u performed poorly and concentrate on them. It is reasonable to expect an increase in verbal up to 32 in short period, although u will have to work hard for this too.


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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 10:02
Cimet2018 wrote:
Hello everyone,

First of all - I would like to thank you all for this wonderful forum. I found a great deal of energy here during my studies and it has helped me incredibly. I also want to talk everyone who takes time to read and respond to my issue here.

I am a European male, pretty successful in terms of professional career (working for one of the biggest IB/MBB). Studied at top 5 universities worldwide in engineering and have a great GPA. On top, I do have an extremely compelling story to tell and have extensive international exposure. In the beginning, i thought i would succeed at GMAT very quickly and get done with it... but this wasn't the case.

I started my preparation in February with 3 weeks off from work (I just don't have time during the weekdays - its basically work and sleep). My first ever GMATprep CAT was 680 with a Q49 without prior studying. So I thought I would focus on verbal and finish it in 3 weeks.
I purchased e-gmat and followed their verbal method, however, saw very little improvements. Plus timing was a big issue for me in verbal (didn't have time for the last 5 questions and had to guess them many times).
I still wanted to give it a try as I was sometimes hitting 700's in the practice tests and thought a little bit of luck could help me and scored a 580 on the real exam... I was shocked and depressed. I wanted to take it positively (given that I could almost not sleep and the exam was at 8am requiring me to wake up at 6). I thought I needed more time and decided to study 1 hour every day for a while (basically from midnight to 1am or 1am to 2am every day before I went to bed). I was thinking that I could finish it with another week off at the end and take the test. For that purpose, I purchased the Economist gmat package and completed it to 95%. I think it has helped me tremendously to put this in order in my head. My scores ranged from 680 to 740. Towards the end I purchased Kaplan exams and scored an average of 720 in the exams (this was basically 4 months into the studying 1 hour per day and 4-5 hours on Saturday and Sunday).
For the second attempt, I slept good, felt quite good as 2 days before the exam I scored 740 (q50v40) on gmatprep 4. I thought the exam was going great and had a small stupid glitch. The verbal part just wouldn't start because of software issues. The proctor had to restart and I could continue the exam but I ended up losing 3 minutes on the section where the time was just not enough for me. Even though I tried to calm myself I think it had impacted me in a way... End result? 620!!!! I just couldn't make sense of it. I didn't understand and just couldn't comment on the result. I was averaging around 730 at home with scores as high as 770. My lowest score was the first mock I did months ago! (the quant part which I thought was great was the lowest on any mock i did before, so the glitch on verbal wasn't the only responsible for the score...)

I said, OK. Not lucky. I should have been stressed again. I scheduled my 3rd attempt 3 weeks later. Kept studying 1h a day and doing exams on weekends. My mock exams were still around 740 and 730. I reviewed my exams, my notes and kept studying. 3 weeks later... ANOTHER 620... (this time could have been 650 or smth because I could not answer the last 2 questions of quant, i just forgot about the time at the end... So stupid. My ESR says I was around q50 everywhere but got a q48 or smth so the last 2 questions without answer should have penalized me). The verbal was still a catastrophe... In both 620's I got a tremendously long RC passage with very hard questions and RC is my weakest point...

Well, i had no words, couldn't understand anything about the tests I was doing at home... (I used Economist, GMATprep and Kaplan). I had no content gaps. The questions I were doing wrong was either I was falling for the trap or doing a silly mistake or rushing and making a mistake because of that. I said that I would not give up and would give it another try in 2 months. I took around 10 days of vacation to get some rest (the working hours plus this was weighing too much on me) and took around a month of unpaid vacation. Moved into my parent's house so I could study better and have psychological support.
Since, I purchased the new tool of Veritas Prep - Orion and followed it rigorously. I found their exam on the harder side with lots of traps in each question. Scored 690 and 700 in 2 of their tests. Purchased MGMAT exams and scored 680 690 and 700 (without doing any of their questions) and also found their quant extremely difficult (but have been scoring q48's in them). Now that I finished Orion and did 3MGMAT exam and 2Veritas Prep exam, 2 more economist exam (750, 740), and reattempted 3 GMATprep exams I took 6 months ago (scored 770, 740 and 730 - with 30 to 70 points improvements compared to the first attempt) I don't know what to do anymore... (taking the exam in about a week)

Even though I keep scoring at 700+ I dont know if its indicative of anything at all... After all, I scored 3 times 100pt below my mock exams...

And yes, every exam I did at home was in perfect exam conditions, no additional breaks, no pauses, used the official scratch book with their pen...

I need to apply to schools in September. Time for essays wise - I don't know if a month of time will be enough and what the score will be.

And here I am looking for advice from you guys, peers, and experts on what to do and how to approach this. What to do this last week? How to feel about this? How to approach this situation? One thing I know for sure is I can't keep doing this for a long time...


Thank you so much for your time and looking forward to reading you!


In the last week you just need to relax and work on your body and mind. Don't attempt any mocks. Eat healthy sleep healthy.
review your flashcards/notes. Watch some motivational videos and do mediate at least for 15 minutes a day. It will be all good, be confident.
_________________

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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT...  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 10:22
nishantd88 wrote:
Cimet2018 wrote:
No one here to give me a hand? Time is running and I would really appreciate your support!

It would help to have the ESR to see which areas your accuracy is going down. Other possibility is you might be getting nervous or feeling too much pressure on exam day. In such a scenario it would be better to just relax for a day or two before the exam day and stay away from studies. Do some recreational stuff and go to the exam well rested. Good luck.


How do you suggest I work on those? I know I am a little weak in :
# inference and specific questions in RC
# Assumption and weakening questions in CR
# Some hard comparison, parallelism and modifier questions in SC.

Should I just solve many questions on each and try to improve my accuracy? Content wise - I know what to do in each of them but during the exam, with time pressure and all - sometimes I just do see the right answer and when I check and redo the questions at the end without the answer key - I usually get it right...

Soo frustrating.
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Re: PLEASE HELP - my big struggle with GMAT... &nbs [#permalink] 03 Aug 2018, 10:22
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