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# Reading Books vs Practicing Questions

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Current Student
Joined: 12 Jan 2018
Posts: 46
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GPA: 3.04
WE: Engineering (Transportation)

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26 Mar 2018, 09:51
I have been on and off in this GMAT preparation mode for the last two months. When I took my first (2 months ago) diagnostic test from the GMATprep, I scored a 680 (Q49 V34). Since my target school has an average GMAT score of around 710, I was highly elated by my performance. However, later into my preparation (a week ago), I attempted a Veritasprep mock test and scored 640 (Q48 V30) which was way below my expectations.

My method of studying usually involves practicing questions from OG and few other sources, analyzing the questions I did wrong and trying not to repeat the same mistakes again. I have referred to just one written material yet i.e., Manhattan SC. I fear that the reason I am not seeing any progress with my scores is because I have not gone through any books in the subjects. Should I refer to more books or should I keep practicing questions? Please help.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15262
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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26 Mar 2018, 13:59
Hi tush1992,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 2 CAT score results show that you performed in a similar 'range' on both CATs (about 660 +/- a few points). This is meant to say that "your way" of approaching the GMAT will likely continue to earn you a score in the mid-600s (give or take). In a prior post, you noted that your Score Goal was 750+. To consistently score at that higher level, you'll need to make some significant adjustments to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

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) What has your typical study routine been like each week for the last 2 months? How many hours do you typically study?
2) Did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) each time?

Goals:
3) Is your goal score still 750+?
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Current Student
Joined: 12 Jan 2018
Posts: 46
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GPA: 3.04
WE: Engineering (Transportation)

### Show Tags

26 Mar 2018, 23:25
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi tush1992,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 2 CAT score results show that you performed in a similar 'range' on both CATs (about 660 +/- a few points). This is meant to say that "your way" of approaching the GMAT will likely continue to earn you a score in the mid-600s (give or take). In a prior post, you noted that your Score Goal was 750+. To consistently score at that higher level, you'll need to make some significant adjustments to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

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) What has your typical study routine been like each week for the last 2 months? How many hours do you typically study?
2) Did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) each time?

Goals:
3) Is your goal score still 750+?
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?

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

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Although I agree that 640 & 680 are just 40 points apart, it's still a bit disappointing to not see any improvement even after preparing .

1) I typically study for 3-4 days a week and about 2-3 hours per day.
2) I took the Full CAT the first time. Skipped AWA the second time.

3) Yes, I still want to touch the 750 mark. I have to do MBA this year under any circumstances and that too from a school within my country. And this school that I mentioned is the only decent one where I am eligible with my amount of work ex. So, even though the average GMAT score of this school is 710, I would prefer to be well above the average to be on the safe side. 710 is just the cutoff score below which I will have to retake my GMAT.
4) Although I haven't booked a slot yet, I would prefer a date around the last week of June.

Hoping for response.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15262
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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27 Mar 2018, 11:31
Hi tush1992,

With a planned Test Date at the end of June, you have 3 months of potential study time available - which is good. Based on what you've described though, there have been some 'issues' with how you've been studying. The 750+ score is the 98th percentile - meaning that 98% of Test Takers never score that high (regardless of how long they study or the number of times that they take the GMAT) - and you have not been properly training to EARN that type of Score. Thankfully, NO Business School requires a GMAT Score that high - so it's important to realize that the score that you "want" and the score that you "need" are not the same thing.

To start, you're studying roughly 8 hours a week - and that's not very much study. While no one here knows exactly what you are capable of (as far as your GMAT Score is concerned), to hit your Goal Score, I would suspect that you would need to commit to a consistent study routine of 15-20 hours a week. In addition, working through random practice questions (or sets of questions) does not provide much 'structure' to your studies - and it's not clear whether you're actually focused on learning Tactics, patterns and the little 'secrets' to the GMAT or not.

Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Current Student
Joined: 12 Jan 2018
Posts: 46
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GPA: 3.04
WE: Engineering (Transportation)

### Show Tags

27 Mar 2018, 23:29
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi tush1992,

With a planned Test Date at the end of June, you have 3 months of potential study time available - which is good. Based on what you've described though, there have been some 'issues' with how you've been studying. The 750+ score is the 98th percentile - meaning that 98% of Test Takers never score that high (regardless of how long they study or the number of times that they take the GMAT) - and you have not been properly training to EARN that type of Score. Thankfully, NO Business School requires a GMAT Score that high - so it's important to realize that the score that you "want" and the score that you "need" are not the same thing.

To start, you're studying roughly 8 hours a week - and that's not very much study. While no one here knows exactly what you are capable of (as far as your GMAT Score is concerned), to hit your Goal Score, I would suspect that you would need to commit to a consistent study routine of 15-20 hours a week. In addition, working through random practice questions (or sets of questions) does not provide much 'structure' to your studies - and it's not clear whether you're actually focused on learning Tactics, patterns and the little 'secrets' to the GMAT or not.

Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

Hi,

Thank you so much for replying. From your inputs, I can infer for sure that I will have to study more. Agreed. I will put in 20 hours a week. Unfortunately, I have 6 days a week office culture. So, I will have to put in substantial time into studying on sundays.

Additionally, as you mentioned that my way of studying is not 'structured'. How do I make it 'structured'? Should I study more from textbooks rather than solving questions?

As far as my target goes, I know it may seem on the higher side. But I have scored in 98th and 99th percentile in a number of competitive exams before. Not trying to brag or anything but I need to get into this B School. Just trying to do whatever it takes
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15262
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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28 Mar 2018, 21:16
Hi tush1992,

Certain concepts are tested more often on the GMAT than others, so working with study materials that help you to focus on those concepts first would be a good place to start. In addition, it's not clear whether you're actually approaching GMAT questions in the most efficient ways possible or not. By design, most GMAT questions can be solved in more than one way - and your goal when dealing with any individual question is two-fold. First, you want to try to get the question correct if possible (and in a reasonable amount of time). Second, you want to be efficient with how you handle each question (so that you're not wasting time). It's possible that "your way" of approaching the GMAT has gotten you 'stuck' at this score level.

Given your Score Goal, you would likely benefit from a GMAT Course of some type (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led), so you should plan to investigate the available options. Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at out site (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

If you have any additional question, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
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# Reading Books vs Practicing Questions

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