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Recently Took GMAT need insights on how to study and improve

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 20:15
I took the gmat recently, I got a 49Q 34V (670). On my practice tests including OG (48Q 41V 720) I averaged a 38 on verbal. Even so, I always felt there was more to improve there although I know its a higher percentile. Does anybody have any advice on what books to pick up to raise my verbal above 38 average (best of 41)? Also, does anybody have any advice on what could've happened on the actual test to bomb so bad? I want to take again in two weeks because I think it was just a bad test but any input would be good.
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New post 17 Sep 2019, 23:07
What materials have you already used for verbal? If so, how did you use them?
Did you get the ESR for the gmat you took?
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New post 17 Sep 2019, 23:22
I have mainly been using Veritas. I did not get the esr. But I can say typically my scores come back strong on critical reasoning ~90-95% correct weak on sc 33%-50% and ok 65-85% on rc

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 23:22
philipssonicare wrote:
What materials have you already used for verbal? If so, how did you use them?
Did you get the ESR for the gmat you took?

I have mainly been using Veritas. I did not get the esr. But I can say typically my scores come back strong on critical reasoning ~90-95% correct weak on sc 33%-50% and ok 65-85% on rc

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Re: Recently Took GMAT need insights on how to study and improve  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2019, 20:20
Hi maxxt,

First off, a 670/Q49 is a strong Score, so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, 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's certainly no harm in retesting, but the assumption that one book can help you to raise your Official Score 50 points in just 2 weeks is questionable. 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) How long have you studied? How many hours do 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?

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New post 18 Sep 2019, 22:07
Studies:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
I have been studying off and on for 4 months. I have studied consistently for 1.5 months. I would say typically in that 1.5 months I’ve studied a solid 5-6 hours a day for a total of 35-42 hours per week. 
2) What study materials have you used so far?
I have used veritas which I feel has really helped in addition to problems from the OG books and online question bank. Side note, I definitely notice sc being an issue I have. 
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)?
Q/V/Scaled Date
44/ 37 /670 8 .12 .19
44/38/680 8.18.19
45/39/690 8.26.19
49/36/690 9.2.19
48/41/720 9.8.19
48/39/710 9.12.19

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
My goal is a minimum of 710 ideally a 720 or better

5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
I am trying to apply first round to every school except one which will be impossible because of when I’m able to take the test again. 
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
Darden, Fuqua, Stern, McCombs, Jones, Cox, and Columbia.

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New post 19 Sep 2019, 11:07
Hi maxxt,

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

The good news is that you scored really well on quant, right? That said, I understand that you are not satisfied with your verbal score, so the question we need to ask is why you scored so high on your practice exams but lower on the real 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 V27. 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, particularly in verbal, 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, particularly for verbal, 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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New post 19 Sep 2019, 16:56
Hi maxxt,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've studied consistently for only 1.5 months, then that might help to explain the dip in your Official Score. It's also worth noting that 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 CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 700 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. The 'swings' in your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores are likely due to a few lucky/unlucky guesses on each of your Exams (especially in the Verbal section; if you are frequently "narrowing the answers down to 2 choices", then you could have a 'good day' or 'bad day' based on a handful of 50/50 guesses).

Thankfully, the Verbal section of the GMAT is just as consistent and predictable as the Quant section is, so you can train to consistently score at that higher level. Based on how you described your studies though, I'm concerned that you might try to 'cram' going forward (and that type of approach rarely leads to great results on the GMAT).

1) What is the latest that you would retake the GMAT?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 19 Sep 2019, 18:51
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi maxxt,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've studied consistently for only 1.5 months, then that might help to explain the dip in your Official Score. It's also worth noting that 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 CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 700 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. The 'swings' in your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores are likely due to a few lucky/unlucky guesses on each of your Exams (especially in the Verbal section; if you are frequently "narrowing the answers down to 2 choices", then you could have a 'good day' or 'bad day' based on a handful of 50/50 guesses).

Thankfully, the Verbal section of the GMAT is just as consistent and predictable as the Quant section is, so you can train to consistently score at that higher level. Based on how you described your studies though, I'm concerned that you might try to 'cram' going forward (and that type of approach rarely leads to great results on the GMAT).

1) What is the latest that you would retake the GMAT?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

I plan on studying all day for the next couple. Weeks. The latest I want to take it is early October to apply first round. I understand the 3 months. However when I say consistent I mean more than 4 hours a day. Let me go more in-depth in my past study schedule. I took an online course from January to March. I then took a break because of family matters. I subsequently started studying for 10 hours per week in June. Until August at which point I cranked it up to 36-45 (what I meant by “consistently”). Without knowing me personally or seeing my practice problem results or tests I understand where you are coming from. However, I know myself and know that I need just a few more weeks and can get the score I want.

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New post 20 Sep 2019, 15:20
Hi maxxt,

Statistically-speaking, the additional 50 points that you're looking for would likely require that you study for at least another month - although it's certainly possible that you could improve faster than that IF you were focused on learning and practicing the proper Verbal Tactics. I'm still concerned that by studying so much over the course of just a couple of weeks, you would greatly increase your chances of 'burning out' before Test Day.

Based on all of the information that you have provided, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Verbal Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients finish that Study Plan in under a month, but again - your goal should NOT be to try to 'rush' through any of that material. Your focus has to be on training to 'see' (and respond to) the Verbal section in new ways - and that training takes time and commitment. During that time, you'll also be able to access any of the Quant resources that interest you. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

In addition, regardless of how you choose to continue your studies, you will need a NEW set of practice CATs/mocks to work with. Retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills - since you will likely see some 'repeat' questions that you have already faced. Unfortunately, seeing even a couple of repeats can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all appear to be better than they actually are). Thankfully, you have plenty of options to choose from. Besides the 6 Official GMAC CATs, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you correctly take the CAT in a realistic fashion).

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Recently Took GMAT need insights on how to study and improve  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2019, 01:53
What you should realise and do is that, try to understand your weak areas and improve upon them. Maybe you can start with ESRs.
I offer free ESR evaluation service to help students get the best GMAT score possible.

Check out this link.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/reach-out-to ... l#p2361754
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Re: Recently Took GMAT need insights on how to study and improve  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 00:25
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi maxxt,

Statistically-speaking, the additional 50 points that you're looking for would likely require that you study for at least another month - although it's certainly possible that you could improve faster than that IF you were focused on learning and practicing the proper Verbal Tactics. I'm still concerned that by studying so much over the course of just a couple of weeks, you would greatly increase your chances of 'burning out' before Test Day.

Based on all of the information that you have provided, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Verbal Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients finish that Study Plan in under a month, but again - your goal should NOT be to try to 'rush' through any of that material. Your focus has to be on training to 'see' (and respond to) the Verbal section in new ways - and that training takes time and commitment. During that time, you'll also be able to access any of the Quant resources that interest you. We have a variety of free resources on our site (http://www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

In addition, regardless of how you choose to continue your studies, you will need a NEW set of practice CATs/mocks to work with. Retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills - since you will likely see some 'repeat' questions that you have already faced. Unfortunately, seeing even a couple of repeats can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all appear to be better than they actually are). Thankfully, you have plenty of options to choose from. Besides the 6 Official GMAC CATs, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you correctly take the CAT in a realistic fashion).

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

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

Just wanted to give an update. While I unfortunately did not get a 720 as I had hoped I was right in thinking my verbal was flukey. I scored a 710 this time. My quant dropped so I’m not happy but I’ll accept the 90th percentile seeing as I do not have time or energy to take it again!

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Re: Recently Took GMAT need insights on how to study and improve  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 21:12
Hi maxxt,

I'm happy to hear that you were able to improve your Overall Score. What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for this 2nd attempt?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: Recently Took GMAT need insights on how to study and improve   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2019, 21:12
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