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# Problems on the actual gmat

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Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 10:57
I've written the gmat thrice in the past year. My scores have been
640 (Q50 v27)
660 (Q47 v34)
660 (Q50 v30)
However, on Gmatprep official mocks I've always done well (710,690,710,710) with Q50 on all the prep tests. I have no clue what happens on the actual exam. I always seem to mess up on verbal. Is it something about the gmat algorithm that I'm not able to figure out? Or is there any particular strategy that I'm unaware of? Cracking gmat has been my dream. Can you please help me solving my problem? Thank you.

Hrusheekesh
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 14:34
Hi Hrusheekesh,

First off, a 660/Q50 is a strong score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. That having been said, there's no harming in retesting again - and you certainly have the potential to pick up some serious points in the Verbal section.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) On what dates did you take each of your 3 Official GMATs?
2) How long did you study before each attempt?
3) What study materials have you used so far?
4) Have you taken the Official CATs/mocks more than once?

Goals:
5) What is your goal score?
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

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 19:50
Hi,

Thank you for responding to my query. Here are the answers

1) All three attempts came in the last 3 months. Wrote the latest attempt on 4th December.
2) I've been preparing for Gmat for over an year now.
3) I've taken courses from magoosh(full course) and egmat(verbal only). Also, I had approached a local gmat prep firm a couple of months back. I've been working with them on my verbal for 2 months. Also, I've referred to OG 2018 and OG verbal 2019.
4) I had written the first two official mock tests more than once. But when I found that writing the same mock again results in an inflated score, I purchased official mock 3&4. Scored 710 on both (Q50 v34 and Q50 v35)
5) My target score is 720.
6) I'm applying for Mba 2019.
7) Indian school of business, NuS Singapore, hec paris are my primary targets.

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2018, 19:56
I always seem to bog down under time pressure. Also, after getting initial questions right gmat asks such hard questions that I don't have answers to. I need to spend more time to get those questions right. Can not trying to get every question right be the answer? How about after initial 10 questions, I try randomly mark answers for tough questions per every 3-4 questions? Will that work?

Posted from my mobile device
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13341
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 13:22
Hi Hrusheekesh,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 3 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 650 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. If all 3 of your Official Scores are from the last 3 months, then it's possible that you have gotten 'stuck' at this score level - so continuing to study in the same ways as before (with the same study materials as before - will likely NOT get you to your Score Goal.

1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) What are the exact application deadlines for each of the Programs 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

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
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SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2009
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2018, 19:12
1
HrusheekeshJoshi wrote:
I always seem to bog down under time pressure. Also, after getting initial questions right gmat asks such hard questions that I don't have answers to. I need to spend more time to get those questions right. Can not trying to get every question right be the answer? How about after initial 10 questions, I try randomly mark answers for tough questions per every 3-4 questions? Will that work?
You don't need to get every question correct. Trying to get every question correct could lead to a situation where you have very little time left for the questions at the end.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2018, 04:37
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Hrusheekesh,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 3 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 650 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. If all 3 of your Official Scores are from the last 3 months, then it's possible that you have gotten 'stuck' at this score level - so continuing to study in the same ways as before (with the same study materials as before - will likely NOT get you to your Score Goal.

1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) What are the exact application deadlines for each of the Programs 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

Hi,

I'm planning to write another attempt in another 20 days.
I'm looking at deadlines towards end of December and mostly January.
I'll be able to devote at least 15 hours per week.
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2018, 04:49
AjiteshArun wrote:
HrusheekeshJoshi wrote:
I always seem to bog down under time pressure. Also, after getting initial questions right gmat asks such hard questions that I don't have answers to. I need to spend more time to get those questions right. Can not trying to get every question right be the answer? How about after initial 10 questions, I try randomly mark answers for tough questions per every 3-4 questions? Will that work?
You don't need to get every question correct. Trying to get every question correct could lead to a situation where you have very little time left for the questions at the end.

Will the following approach work?

- Make sure I get first few easy-medium questions right. Doing so will take me to medium-high difficulty level questions (the type of questions where my struggle begins and I begin to lose steam).

As I start seeing medium-high difficulty questions, follow this

- See if I can solve the question. If yes then go ahead and solve it.
- If I see a hard question, a question I won't be able to solve within 2-2.5 minutes, I mark the answer in 15-20 seconds and move on.

The big idea is being selective on medium-high or high difficulty questions.
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Jun 2018
Posts: 260
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2018, 05:13
HrusheekeshJoshi
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13341
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2018, 19:05
Hi Hrusheekesh,

Based on the 'swings' in your Official Verbal Scaled Scores, it's likely that you are "narrowing the answers down to 2 choices and then 'guessing'" far too often. Thus, while dumping a few hard questions might help you to score higher in the Verbal section, that choice does nothing to improve how you will handle all of the other Verbal questions that you will fully-attempt to solve. You could potentially improve your Verbal skills in the next 2-3 weeks, but you will have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

1) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical RC, SC and CR prompt?

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!*****

SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2009
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2018, 19:26
HrusheekeshJoshi wrote:
Will the following approach work?

- Make sure I get first few easy-medium questions right. Doing so will take me to medium-high difficulty level questions (the type of questions where my struggle begins and I begin to lose steam).

As I start seeing medium-high difficulty questions, follow this

- See if I can solve the question. If yes then go ahead and solve it.
- If I see a hard question, a question I won't be able to solve within 2-2.5 minutes, I mark the answer in 15-20 seconds and move on.

The big idea is being selective on medium-high or high difficulty questions.
I like the last bit, but there are a few small problems with the initial points. Firstly, test takers are usually not very good at identifying the difficulty level of a question. What looks easy to you could be considered a tough question by the exam. Secondly, all of this is going to take time and mental energy away from what you actually should be doing: solving questions.

Don't underestimate this second point. You will already be trying to minimize the impact that exam pressure and time management have on your ability to solve questions correctly. Don't add analyzing question difficulty to all the things that you need to manage. Instead, just guess whenever you find yourself behind on time. You can find one possible time management strategy here.

To summarize:
1. The "first few" questions are not so critical that you must get all of them correct at any cost.
2. Don't worry about whether a question is easy/medium/hard (see point 3)
3. Unless you are behind on time and need to guess. Then you should guess your way through questions that look tough.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2018, 06:43
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Hrusheekesh,

Based on the 'swings' in your Official Verbal Scaled Scores, it's likely that you are "narrowing the answers down to 2 choices and then 'guessing'" far too often. Thus, while dumping a few hard questions might help you to score higher in the Verbal section, that choice does nothing to improve how you will handle all of the other Verbal questions that you will fully-attempt to solve. You could potentially improve your Verbal skills in the next 2-3 weeks, but you will have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

1) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical RC, SC and CR prompt?

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

On SC, I first read and understand the prompt. While reading at times I identify obvious errors in the prompt. Then I look at all the answer options. Using vertical splits, I try to eliminate the wrong answers and then arrive at the right answer. If I'm stuck between two options many times concision, meaning play a big part in eliminating one answer choice.

On CR, I first read the question. Then I read and understand the prompt. After that I think of an answer that I'm looking for (pre-think on the type of answer I'm looking for). Then through POE I arrive at the answer.

RC is a bit tricky. I've tried couple of techniques like reading thoroughly, skimming etc without a lot of success. In any of these techniques I struggle quite a bit on time management. Eating up more time on RC puts pressure on my CR and SC. I feel RC is the area where I can gain the most. Can you please suggest a balanced approach? Because with reading thoroughly I answer general questions pretty well but not specific questions. Through skimming and going back to relevant parts of the passage, I do well on detail questions but not general questions. A strategy that balances both these can do a world of good. Please advise.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13341
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2018, 12:46
Hi Hrusheekesh,

From what you describe about your approach to the Verbal section, you are essentially 'winging it' through most of the prompts - and it will be difficult for you to score 720+ if you continue to work in this way. The Verbal section of the GMAT is based on a lot of patterns - thus, it's as consistent and predictable as the Quant section is. To hit your Goal Score, you're going to have to retrain to handle the entire Verbal section. Thankfully, you already have a lot of experience, but you may have developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new 'good habits'). If you're a flexible-enough thinker, then you could potentially make those changes in the time that you have, but it will take some significant effort on your part - and you'll have to work with some new study materials. If you're interested in a specific Study Plan, then I'll be happy to offer you one.

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!*****

e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
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Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2018, 05:26
Hi HrusheekeshJoshi,

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com in case of any further queries. We would be happy to help.

Regards,
_________________

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Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2018, 08:42
Hi Hrusheekesh,

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
_________________

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Founder and CEO

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Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 03:27
egmat wrote:
Hi HrusheekeshJoshi,

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com in case of any further queries. We would be happy to help.

Regards,

These are really useful articles. Thank you for sharing.
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 03:48
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Hrusheekesh,

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!

Hi Scott,

Thank you for responding to my query. I've scored 40+ on a couple of gmatclub verbal tests. I've also scored 35+ a few times on manhattan mocks, which are considered tougher than gmat.
On gmat content, I'm quite comfortable on the hard questions from OG. All this makes me believe that some factor other than gmat content is pulling my scores down. Please suggest if there might be other factors than issues with timing and algorithm.
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 04:10
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Hrusheekesh,

From what you describe about your approach to the Verbal section, you are essentially 'winging it' through most of the prompts - and it will be difficult for you to score 720+ if you continue to work in this way. The Verbal section of the GMAT is based on a lot of patterns - thus, it's as consistent and predictable as the Quant section is. To hit your Goal Score, you're going to have to retrain to handle the entire Verbal section. Thankfully, you already have a lot of experience, but you may have developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (and replace with new 'good habits'). If you're a flexible-enough thinker, then you could potentially make those changes in the time that you have, but it will take some significant effort on your part - and you'll have to work with some new study materials. If you're interested in a specific Study Plan, then I'll be happy to offer you one.

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

Hi Rich,

What changes do I have to make? Can you please share those details? Also, please suggest a study plan that fits my case.

Hrusheekesh
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 04:12
Bismarck wrote:
HrusheekeshJoshi

Thank you for sharing the link. I had gone through this video before. But couldn't execute the instructions fully on the test. I guess I need to take couple of mocks using this approach.

Hrusheekesh
Intern
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 15
Re: Problems on the actual gmat  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

13 Dec 2018, 04:13
AjiteshArun wrote:
HrusheekeshJoshi wrote:
Will the following approach work?

- Make sure I get first few easy-medium questions right. Doing so will take me to medium-high difficulty level questions (the type of questions where my struggle begins and I begin to lose steam).

As I start seeing medium-high difficulty questions, follow this

- See if I can solve the question. If yes then go ahead and solve it.
- If I see a hard question, a question I won't be able to solve within 2-2.5 minutes, I mark the answer in 15-20 seconds and move on.

The big idea is being selective on medium-high or high difficulty questions.
I like the last bit, but there are a few small problems with the initial points. Firstly, test takers are usually not very good at identifying the difficulty level of a question. What looks easy to you could be considered a tough question by the exam. Secondly, all of this is going to take time and mental energy away from what you actually should be doing: solving questions.

Don't underestimate this second point. You will already be trying to minimize the impact that exam pressure and time management have on your ability to solve questions correctly. Don't add analyzing question difficulty to all the things that you need to manage. Instead, just guess whenever you find yourself behind on time. You can find one possible time management strategy here.

To summarize:
1. The "first few" questions are not so critical that you must get all of them correct at any cost.
2. Don't worry about whether a question is easy/medium/hard (see point 3)
3. Unless you are behind on time and need to guess. Then you should guess your way through questions that look tough.

Hi Ajitesh,

Your article was useful. Thanks for sharing. I'll use this approach in upcoming mocks and will let you know how it worked.

Hrusheekesh
Re: Problems on the actual gmat &nbs [#permalink] 13 Dec 2018, 04:13

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# Problems on the actual gmat

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