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PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days!

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Joined: 19 Jan 2016
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Concentration: International Business, Operations
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PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2017, 13:53
Hey guys!

First timer here posting but huge fan of the GMATCLUB! I am hoping someone can provide me some guidance because I am lost in what to do next in my study journey. I just completed my 3rd GMAC exam and managed to score lower than the past two. See below:

1st- 490 (Q:33. V:24)
2nd- 480 (Q:33, V:23)
3rd- 420!! :( (Q:28, V:20)

I have used Magoosh and Kaplan Course thus far (its been about a couple of months since I've used them but they were part of the original study Plan). Currently, using Target Test Prep for Quant. However, I don't understand how I keep scoring less. From my practice exams it seems like its very small errors in addition the time constraints might be creating some anxiety making me forget how to apply concepts.

Anyone been on the same boat or have any suggestions on how to improve? I am going to review my errors from the practice exam today. However, my actual exam is this Saturday. YIKES!

Please help!

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2017, 19:55
Hi velaemilio2,

Since your GMAT appointment is in less than 1 week, it's too late to reschedule it. However, you can still use it as a great 'learning experience' and if you end up taking the GMAT again, then you can use your knowledge/experience of Test Day to better plan for that next attempt. Since this is your first post, I'd like to know a bit more about your studies and goals:

1) How long did you study with each of the 3 Courses that you've mentioned?
2) Are these the only 3 CATs that you've taken during your studies? If so, then on what dates did you take each Exam?
3) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?
4) During this CAT, did you have to 'rush' to finish any of the sections (and if you did, then how many questions did you rush through?)?
5) What is your goal score?

Regardless of how you score this Saturday, the GMAT is the same consistent, predictable Exam that it's always been, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2017, 20:32
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi velaemilio2,

Since your GMAT appointment is in less than 1 week, it's too late to reschedule it. However, you can still use it as a great 'learning experience' and if you end up taking the GMAT again, then you can use your knowledge/experience of Test Day to better plan for that next attempt. Since this is your first post, I'd like to know a bit more about your studies and goals:

1) How long did you study with each of the 3 Courses that you've mentioned?
2) Are these the only 3 CATs that you've taken during your studies? If so, then on what dates did you take each Exam?
3) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?
4) During this CAT, did you have to 'rush' to finish any of the sections (and if you did, then how many questions did you rush through?)?
5) What is your goal score?

Regardless of how you score this Saturday, the GMAT is the same consistent, predictable Exam that it's always been, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich



Thanks for responding! I did look into rescheduling my exam date and realized it was too late however I agree with you in that this will serve as an experience and if anything encourage me to take it again.

Here are my responses to your questions.

1) How long did you study with each of the 3 Courses that you've mentioned? I started with Magoosh first to get my "feet in the water" with GMAT concepts which lasted for about 3 months. I then decided that my teaching style requires a more in-classroom feeling and thus opted for the Kaplan live classes (spent way too much money here) but was able to take a couple of their strategies with me. After Kaplan I realized that my Quant was weak and thus started with Target Test Prep (entering my 3rd month with them). At this point I am considering a tutor as I believe that this approach works best with my learning style.

2) Are these the only 3 CATs that you've taken during your studies? If so, then on what dates did you take each Exam? I took an additional exam with Kaplan in the beginning of my studies and scored a 510. In addition to that exam, I took another exam in the actual testing center.

3) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)? Yes.

4) During this CAT, did you have to 'rush' to finish any of the sections (and if you did, then how many questions did you rush through?)? There were times were I did have to rush but I definitely have gotten better at timing and the last two I finished with no problems.

5) What is your goal score? I need to get a 650 for the schools I want to apply to. I understand that with my scores now that seems like a long shot but I'm staying confident.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2017, 11:04
Hi velaemilio2,

Even though this recent score is the lowest of the three that you've listed, those three scores are close-enough to one another that they imply certain consistent behaviors on your part. You correctly answer certain types of questions, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Considering how long you've studied with each of the Courses listed, it's likely that you've developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new 'good habits'). While you've probably worked through lots of practice questions, you haven't honed your Tactical 'skills' - and that's something you'll need to focus on to score 650+.

Since your Test Date is imminent, it's too late to make any big changes to how you approach the GMAT. However, it is worth noting that you don't have to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird to hit your score goal - so it's okay to 'dump' those questions (just take a guess and move on). You can use the time that you'll save by jumping past those hard questions on the other, "gettable" questions.

Once you have your Official Score result, you should post back here and we can discuss how to best proceed with your studies.

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

Rich Cohen

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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!***********************

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2017, 10:10
practice only official questions and revise your notes.

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 18:39
vikasp99 wrote:
practice only official questions and revise your notes.


Yep, that's what I am focusing now. Thanks for the reply!

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Concentration: International Business, Operations
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 15:18
Hey there, I am back with my official score of 470 (Q:29, V:26). I am not too surprised since I was scoring around this range in the last couple of exams. However, the week prior I took a practice exam and received a 530.

The exam was scheduled for 8 AM and I showed up to starbucks a little earlier to do some last minute studying which was probably not the greatest idea. I ended up leaving with a few minutes to spare to reach the testing center. However, I took the wrong route and ended up showing 15 minutes late! I was so shaken since I was not sure if I was going to be let in but the lady said it was okay. Probably not the best way to start the exam.

After my essay and IR I felt okay and was ready for Quant. After taking a break which I didnt time and thus upon my return I didnt have enough time to set up my scratch paper with times to I stay on time. Also, I got fixated on the first problem and that got me towards the end. For Verbal I felt okay but I was getting tired and was still thinking how bad I did in quant.

So there you have it, any extra guidance would be great! Thank you.



EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi velaemilio2,

Even though this recent score is the lowest of the three that you've listed, those three scores are close-enough to one another that they imply certain consistent behaviors on your part. You correctly answer certain types of questions, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Considering how long you've studied with each of the Courses listed, it's likely that you've developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new 'good habits'). While you've probably worked through lots of practice questions, you haven't honed your Tactical 'skills' - and that's something you'll need to focus on to score 650+.

Since your Test Date is imminent, it's too late to make any big changes to how you approach the GMAT. However, it is worth noting that you don't have to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird to hit your score goal - so it's okay to 'dump' those questions (just take a guess and move on). You can use the time that you'll save by jumping past those hard questions on the other, "gettable" questions.

Once you have your Official Score result, you should post back here and we can discuss how to best proceed with your studies.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 3

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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 9560

Kudos [?]: 3179 [0], given: 170

Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 23:01
Hi velaemilio2,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't turn out better (and showing up late likely did 'throw off' your performance a bit), but your Official Score is 'in the range' of your practice CAT scores, so it's not too much of a surprise. To get more responses/advice, I suggest that you also post your story (with as many details as you can relay) in the Shared Experience forum here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/share-gmat-experience-8/

Using this Official Score as a gauge, we can now work up towards your score goal. While I know that you've put in a lot of study time already, it will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study to hit your score goal. You'll have to put an emphasis on learning and practicing some new Tactics, but what I stated before still applies - you won't have to correctly answer ANY hard/weird questions on Test Day to hit your score goal.

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!***********************

Kudos [?]: 3179 [0], given: 170

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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days! [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2017, 09:18
Hi velaemilio2,

One thing that stands out to me about your mention of your Kaplan course is that it sounds like you only took the initial diagnostic exam and the Official Test Day Experience exam. As part of your Kaplan program you would have an additional 7 CATs and a question bank for targeted practice. Also, did you attend any of the Quant-specific GMAT Channel sessions? These are live sessions offered nearly every day of the week to drill deeper in particular topics and question types, and it’s a great way to continue building your skills in specific areas.

If your access to your Kaplan resources has expired, I would recommend that you reach out to our customer care team at 1-800-KAPTEST (or 1-212-997-5886 outside of the US) to discuss your options for regaining these materials for use as you continue to study for the GMAT via your Higher Score Guarantee. We’re here to continue to support you!

Best,
Jennifer
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Re: PLEASE HELP! Scores have declined and exam is coming up in 5 days!   [#permalink] 21 Apr 2017, 09:18
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