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Prep Analysis

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Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35

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06 Nov 2017, 12:02
Hi

I need some help with further analysis on my performance of the GMAT CAT's.
I have adapted this from my error logs that i have kept throughout my preparation.

Please note that I have gone through the Magoosh Quant course, Manhattan books and E-GMAT verbal self study course as part of my prep.
I am aiming for 670-700.
GMAT Default 1: 590 Q:42, V29
GMAT Default 2: 620, Q:44, V31
GMAT EP1 (test 1): 650, Q43, V38
GMAT EP1 (test 2): 600 , Q:42, V31<-- quite disappointed with this score. I didn't get many tough questions compared to test 1.

I have attached my log in this post with some of my analysis. It would be great if an expert or someone from GMAT Club can provide further insights.

Specifically, I am not sure how to time my verbal section as my SC is quite slow and I want to make sure that I leave enough time for RC (strong suit).

Thanks
Attachments

CAT Error Logs.xlsx [183.15 KiB]

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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06 Nov 2017, 15:21
Hi shahMeet,

How many of these 4 practice CATs have you taken before? I ask because in a prior post (back in June) you stated that you had taken the Official GMAT - and some CATs. Retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to measure your skills - and it can often lead to 'inflated' score results (the V38 is a significant 'outlier' relative to your other scores - and we have to question how realistic it is). If most (or all) of these CATs are retakes, then the advice that you need will be different from what I would offer if these were scores based on 'new' CATs.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35

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07 Nov 2017, 01:13
I reset the free GMAT Default but EP1 was fresh and I am yet to take EP2.
I definitely understand where you are coming from. To be honest I didn't remember a single question, but the fact that I had done them before made me a little more relaxed.
Also, I did quite poorly on the the default pack when I took my first CAT - 510 and 540 respectively. Given the new scores, it is also possible that I also faced more medium - high level questions.

Ideally, a V38 is the type of performance I want to replicate. I would like to figure out what I did correct. From the data, i did get quite a few of the last questions incorrect but first 9 were correct.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12882
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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07 Nov 2017, 21:08
Hi shahMeet,

I'd like to know a bit more about how you took your CATs:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

Back in June, you had described your application plans, but I have to assume that those plans have changed at least a little bit at this point.
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

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Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35

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08 Nov 2017, 00:09

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)? Yes under exam conditions
2) Did you take them at home? No, in a library
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT? Yes in the morning
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)? No, I timed my breaks as well.
5) Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)? No. I have been using the GMAT club tests, Magoosh and Scholaranium for practise.
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School? I am going to apply in Round 2. I have my LOR and recommendation organised, just need to write my essays. I have good idea in the direction I want to head in as well (Renewables Energy). Hence, I don't need a fantastic score but let my application, future plans and background do the talking.
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to? Currently I have CEIBS, HKUST, Mcoombs, Berkley, Rottman, and Standford on my list. I have also made my own school evaluation criteria which i will fill out once my GMAT is complete.

I am planning to sit the GMAT in few weeks, please let me know your thoughts. I know 700 is unrealistic but I would like to get around 670 if possible, which could be competitive with my application and smaller pool.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
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Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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08 Nov 2017, 19:38
Hi shahMeet,

We should take a good look at your two more recent CATs. Given all of the data that you've provided, I have to assume that you got a bit 'lucky' when you scored V38 - and that you wouldn't necessarily hit that score again if you took a Test tomorrow. Thus, we really need to analyze your last CAT (the 600/Q42/V31).

After each CAT, it's important to do a full review of your work, with the goal of trying to define WHY you got questions wrong. While a full Mistake Tracker/CAT Analyzer would provide a lot more detail, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer about this performance (and the more EXACT you can be with your responses, the better).

After reviewing each section of this CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?

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

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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35

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09 Nov 2017, 10:04
1) Because of a silly/little mistake? Q3, I was confident i got these correct but I made arithmetic errors on these. I am quite annoyed because I have spent the last few months doing mental maths daily. V2 (both 55% difficulty SC questions). Its harder to pinpoint on CR and RC.

2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do? If you mean in terms of concept, then nothing really stands out. A question would stump me but nothing in terms of, I should know this but I can't remember. On a side note: From analysis I know that stat Q's take a long time to answer (i am thinking i am using longer way to reach the answer) and so do % questions sometimes, I use VIC or just think logically. SC- Parallelism ability is quite low and CR weaken questions are very bad for me, just can't think of many things in the pre-thinking stage (this chews up my time). I have been brushing up on these concepts this week.

3) Because the question was too hard? Q4, V5 - got all these wrong. On some I spent too long trying to figure it out and others I recognised that it was too hard and tried strategic guessing. There were couple of quant and CR questions that I decided to spend the time on and did get them correct. However, I spent almost 4 mins on these. In hindsight, this is not a good use of my limited time. But, I feel if i get the questions that I should be able to do wrong then I will get a lower score.

4) Because you were low on time and had to guess? Q4 with 1 unfinished (not good!), V3 CR questions (this is a general trend for me) since CR takes longer I tend to guess on these and do SC instead. However, I realise that I only get 11 CR so if i am guessing 3-4, plus any i get wrong then, my accuracy can't be above 60%.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12882
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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09 Nov 2017, 12:46
Hi shahMeet,

Based on all of the information that you've provided, I have to assume that you're currently at the 'low-600s level.' Whether you can make the necessary adjustments to hit 670 or not (in just a few weeks) will come down to how quickly you can adjust how you 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT. You currently have 2 big opportunities to pick up points:

1) Quant Scaled Scores in the low-Q40s mean that you did pretty good on most of the 'math' questions that you faced, but you made a number of little mistakes throughout the section and you missed out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' points. 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.'

2) Between the little mistakes and having to 'rush' through questions at the end of the sections, you're missing out on lots of potential points. Right now, the 'hard' questions simply do NOT matter, so you cannot allow yourself to get 'bogged down' when dealing with any prompt that you think is hard/weird. In simple terms, you need to have the discipline to 'dump' those questions so that you'll have more time to nail the 'gettable' questions.

I have no way of knowing how quickly you might be able to hone the necessary skills to pick up all of these points. That having been said, I suspect that you would need another 1-2 months of consistent study to consistently score 670+ on your Tests (and on the GMAT).

1) What is your exact Test Date?
2) What are the exact application deadlines for the Schools that you plan to apply to?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

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Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Intern
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35

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09 Nov 2017, 13:09
1) What is your exact Test Date? I actually haven't set a date but I was thinking about 30th Nov. The last test date available for the year is 13th Dec. I am just concerned that it will not give me sufficient time to create a competitive application, hence i targeted 30th Nov. But if i can't reach my target score then there is no point in applying.
2) What are the exact application deadlines for the Schools that you plan to apply to? R2 Stanford, HAAS and Mcoobms, HKUST are 1-2nd week of January. CEIBS is week 17th Jan and Rotman is 21st Feb. R3 is an issue because of visas especially to the US.
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week? I am putting in 15-18 hours right now. If i do not take my allocated break day then I can push it to 23-25.

Could you please elaborate further on point 1 regarding strategy based approach?
In point 2, do you mean I should just take every question on its merit and as soon as I feel that I can't do it lets say within a min then just dump it. How about questions that are taking me a long time to solve eg Stats, %, Weaken?

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12882
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

Show Tags

09 Nov 2017, 20:49
Hi shahMeet,

A November 30th Test Date would give you less than 3 weeks of study time remaining. Based on your CAT Scores, you'll almost certainly have to make improvements in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections (meaning that you'll need to learn and practice new Tactics) to hit your goal score - and all of that training will likely take more than 3 weeks. Pushing your Test Date back, even if it's just for a couple of weeks, could significantly increase your chances of hitting your goal score. When reviewing your last CAT, you mentioned how you thought 9 questions were 'hard' questions. Assuming that they actually were hard questions, you can afford to get all of those questions wrong and still hit your goal score, but you have to nail the 'gettable' questions.

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!*****

Re: Prep Analysis &nbs [#permalink] 09 Nov 2017, 20:49
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