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Prep and Time Management Advice

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Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 04:45
Hi all,

I just completed my second attempt at the GMAT and scored 610. Obviously, I'm not too thrilled with this as not only is it below my practice exam scores (see below), but it is also lower than my first attempt (660). To provide a bit of background, I'm an engineering student and have spent the summer (approx 3 months) preparing for the exam. I went to tuition and dedicated a lot of my time to studying. Now that it is October, I have returned to uni and cannot dedicate the same amount of time to GMAT revision. The first two weeks of uni were not too intense and, as such, I was still able to dedicate a large amount of time to revision. But seeing as I'll need to do the exam again, I'm not sure when I'll be able to prepare for it or when I'll even take the exam again. I was hoping to apply to universities early as well, since most seem to admit students on a rolling basis. I'm kind of at a loss as to how I should plan my time and when I should take the exam again. I would really appreciate some advice regarding what resources I should use and how I should prepare from now on.

Real Exam
Attempt #1 (17/09/2019): 660
Attempt #2 (05/10/2019): 610

GMATprep Test Scores
Exam #1: 720
Exam #1 (repeat): 680 (admittedly repeating some of the questions made me rely more on memorization rather than on logic)
Exam #2: 710
Exam #3: 710
Exam #4: 740
Exam #5: 690
Exam #6: 710

In the practice tests my quant score has typically been around 46-50, and my verbal score has varied between 32-40, so I usually rely on a higher quant score to compensate for my mediocre verbal score. For some reason, though, I haven't been able to achieve a high quant score in the real exam as I have done in the practice exams. I need to improve my consistency in both the quant and verbal sections, and I would greatly appreciate any advice as to how I can do this.

Many Thanks
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 13:45
Hi contrail,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2019, 07:52
Hi contrail,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT.

Assuming that you took your official practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results show that, on a good day, you are capable of scoring higher than 610 or 660 on the GMAT. Thus, it’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. However, it’s also possible that you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Although I’m unsure of how you prepared, it’s possible that, in your preparation you did not really learn to do what you have to do in order to score high on the actual GMAT. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests. So, for you to hit your score goal, your preparation probably needs to be more complete, meaning that you have to go through the various types of GMAT questions 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 verbal specifically, you have to become more skilled at clearly defining the differences between trap choices and correct answers. Otherwise, you will get stuck guessing between two choices or be surprised to find that you incorrectly answered questions that you thought you answered correctly. Becoming more skilled in this way takes carefully analyzing all of the answer choices to lots of verbal questions to develop an eye for the logical differences between the choices. In other words, you have to go beyond answering practice questions and reading explanations to doing deep analysis of questions to learn to see everything that is going on in them.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills, feel free to reach back out.

Good luck!
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 15:10
contrail wrote:
Hi all,

I just completed my second attempt at the GMAT and scored 610. Obviously, I'm not too thrilled with this as not only is it below my practice exam scores (see below), but it is also lower than my first attempt (660). To provide a bit of background, I'm an engineering student and have spent the summer (approx 3 months) preparing for the exam. I went to tuition and dedicated a lot of my time to studying. Now that it is October, I have returned to uni and cannot dedicate the same amount of time to GMAT revision. The first two weeks of uni were not too intense and, as such, I was still able to dedicate a large amount of time to revision. But seeing as I'll need to do the exam again, I'm not sure when I'll be able to prepare for it or when I'll even take the exam again. I was hoping to apply to universities early as well, since most seem to admit students on a rolling basis. I'm kind of at a loss as to how I should plan my time and when I should take the exam again. I would really appreciate some advice regarding what resources I should use and how I should prepare from now on.

Real Exam
Attempt #1 (17/09/2019): 660
Attempt #2 (05/10/2019): 610

GMATprep Test Scores
Exam #1: 720
Exam #1 (repeat): 680 (admittedly repeating some of the questions made me rely more on memorization rather than on logic)
Exam #2: 710
Exam #3: 710
Exam #4: 740
Exam #5: 690
Exam #6: 710

In the practice tests my quant score has typically been around 46-50, and my verbal score has varied between 32-40, so I usually rely on a higher quant score to compensate for my mediocre verbal score. For some reason, though, I haven't been able to achieve a high quant score in the real exam as I have done in the practice exams. I need to improve my consistency in both the quant and verbal sections, and I would greatly appreciate any advice as to how I can do this.

Many Thanks


get your esr and check where you went wrong. its easy to analyse with esr
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 06:54
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi contrail,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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


Hi Rich,

Thank you so much for your reply!
In response to your questions, here is some information as to how I studied and what my goals are:

1. For the first month of study I was studying around 25 hrs per week. In the remaining months I studied for about 50 hrs per week.
2. I have primarily used questions from the official guide and quant/verbal review books, as well as questions from the gmatclub forum.
3. Here are the dates on which I took the mock tests, as well as the Q/V split of the mocks:

Exam #1: 720 - 31/08/2019 - Unfortunately I don't remember the QV split, since I completed the test at my tuition center.
Exam #1: 680 - 04/09/2019 - Same as Exam #1
Exam #2: 710 - 12/09/2019 - Q51/V34
Exam #3: 710 - 14/09/2019 - Q49/V38
Exam #4: 740 - 15/09/2019 - Q50/V40
Exam #5: 690 - 01/10/2019 - Q50/V34
Exam #6: 710 - 02/10/2019 - Q49/V37

During this time I also completed CATs on a different platform provided by my tuition, but I am skeptical of the platform's validity.

4. My goal is at least 720.
5. I was originally planning to apply at the end of October, since I will have a 1 week break, providing me with the time to do so. Unfortunately I am now unsure if I should reinstate my 660 score, apply now and hope for the best or I should try the GMAT again in December and apply for universities over the holiday break. However, I am aware that applying in the later rounds may decrease my chances of getting into a good school.
6. Within Europe I was considering to apply for LSE, Imperial, Bocconi, Warwick or Oxford (depending on the GMAT score I have obtained). Within the US I would've liked to apply for UCLA and within Canada I would like to apply for UoT.

Since this is my last year of university, I am working hard to ensure that I achieve a first class grade (UK) and I believe it is within reach. As such, I have not had a lot of time to dedicate to the GMAT, but my plan is to systematically work through the fundamentals and dedicate more time and thought to each concept and question. I would like to retake the exam in December or later if it is possible.

Many Thanks,
Contrail
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 12:20
Hi contrail,

First off, your prior 660 is a solid Score, so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, another retest might not be necessary. You're ultimately asking Admissions questions though, so you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There are a variety of factors that can impact your performance on the Official GMAT, but before we discuss any of those potential issues, I have a few follow-up questions about your studies:

1) Can you provide a bit more detail about the course that you took? What practice materials were you given? What was the source of the CATs/mocks?
2) Did you take any of the 6 Official CATs more than once (or see any of the questions before?)?

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 on Test Day (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
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 14:25
contrail wrote:
I'm kind of at a loss as to how I should plan my time and when I should take the exam again. I would really appreciate some advice regarding what resources I should use and how I should prepare from now on.

Real Exam
Attempt #1 (17/09/2019): 660
Attempt #2 (05/10/2019): 610

GMATprep Test Scores
Exam #1: 720
Exam #1 (repeat): 680 (admittedly repeating some of the questions made me rely more on memorization rather than on logic)
Exam #2: 710
Exam #3: 710
Exam #4: 740
Exam #5: 690
Exam #6: 710

In the practice tests my quant score has typically been around 46-50, and my verbal score has varied between 32-40, so I usually rely on a higher quant score to compensate for my mediocre verbal score. For some reason, though, I haven't been able to achieve a high quant score in the real exam as I have done in the practice exams. I need to improve my consistency in both the quant and verbal sections, and I would greatly appreciate any advice as to how I can do this.

Many Thanks


The official prep tests will have somewhat easier level questions. The real test event will be a different experience, so I would urge you not to extrapolate too much from practice tests.

Rather than doing a lot of random problem solving and studying, it is important to make sure that your preparation in the fundamentals are strong. Lack of understanding in even a single topic can lower scores on test day. The test is adaptive, so if you get "easier-medium"-level questions wrong because your fundamentals were weak, the wrong answers will influence what questions you will get later.

Have you considered using textbooks for preparation. Online courses, videos etc are okay to some extent, but they are no subtitute to books. You should also devote much more time to preparation. You mentioned that you do not have much time and will be busy. You will have to find a way to resolve this issue.

I would also suggest that you do not depend on scoring high in quantitative so that you can "cover" for weaknesses in verbal. This is not a good strategy. You must attempt to improve verbal. Even if your quantitative score goes down, you will be able to feel confident in verbal. In short, do not neglect verbal. GL!
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Re: Prep and Time Management Advice   [#permalink] 20 Oct 2019, 14:25
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