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Retake Strategy

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Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 06:56
Hi guys,

I was hoping to get some study advice for my GMAT retake. I took the GMAT today and was not satisfied at all with my result. I got a 560 Q39 V28, which is quite below my
last two CATS - Economist GMAT 670, GMAT Prep 640. I was especially surprised by the low Verbal score. In every CAT I have taken so far my verbal was never below 31 and therefore it is especially frustrating (perhaps I also should mention that I was not able to sleep well the night before the test and probably only got like 4 hours of sleep and felt quite exhausted in the morning). For the test, I chose the order Quant - Verbal - IR & Essay.

I have been studying for about 10 weeks (approx. 150-200h) using the MGMT books, some material from gmat club and of course the OG (covered all of the quant and verbal questions). My score goal is about 650. I plan to take the GMAT again at the beginning of September and continue to study next week (need a few days off right now). I have nothing else to do until September besides taking the GMAT, so I plan to put all my energy into the prep and study for at least 5-6h per day for three weeks. I believe my problem is that although I know the theory, I have trouble putting it into practice.

I was planning to go through the Manhattan guides again while simultaneously working with the questions available here on gmat club. First of all, I want to work through some of the easy 500 Level questions from the different topics till I hit 90% accuracy and then move on to the 600 level questions and so on. Moreover, I plan to purchase the exam Pack 1&2 from GMAT prep as preparation (I believe those are the most accurate CATs).

What do you guys think about my approach? Any suggestions? Are 3 weeks of solid studying enough to raise my score to roughly 650 or do I need more time?

Thanks a lot :)

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Re: Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 09:58
Chief92 wrote:
Hi guys,

I was hoping to get some study advice for my GMAT retake. I took the GMAT today and was not satisfied at all with my result. I got a 560 Q39 V28, which is quite below my
last two CATS - Economist GMAT 670, GMAT Prep 640. I was especially surprised by the low Verbal score. In every CAT I have taken so far my verbal was never below 31 and therefore it is especially frustrating (perhaps I also should mention that I was not able to sleep well the night before the test and probably only got like 4 hours of sleep and felt quite exhausted in the morning). For the test, I chose the order Quant - Verbal - IR & Essay.

I have been studying for about 10 weeks (approx. 150-200h) using the MGMT books, some material from gmat club and of course the OG (covered all of the quant and verbal questions). My score goal is about 650. I plan to take the GMAT again at the beginning of September and continue to study next week (need a few days off right now). I have nothing else to do until September besides taking the GMAT, so I plan to put all my energy into the prep and study for at least 5-6h per day for three weeks. I believe my problem is that although I know the theory, I have trouble putting it into practice.

I was planning to go through the Manhattan guides again while simultaneously working with the questions available here on gmat club. First of all, I want to work through some of the easy 500 Level questions from the different topics till I hit 90% accuracy and then move on to the 600 level questions and so on. Moreover, I plan to purchase the exam Pack 1&2 from GMAT prep as preparation (I believe those are the most accurate CATs).

What do you guys think about my approach? Any suggestions? Are 3 weeks of solid studying enough to raise my score to roughly 650 or do I need more time?

Thanks a lot :)

Dear Chief92,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, I want you to read this blog article carefully.
Lower on the Real GMAT than on Practice Tests
That article, and the recommendations it makes, are highly germane to your situation.

Your basic plan sounds good. I would say, in addition to all the GMAT-related work you are doing, you should also read for an hour a day. Read the business news in respected newspapers and journals. Challenge yourself to read difficult material. See:
How to Improve Your GMAT Verbal Score

Finally, I will say: if you sign up for Magoosh, you can qualify for our score guarantee. Here's a free example of a SC Lesson.
Substantive Clauses
Here's a free CR question:
Soft Drinks Manufacturer
Here's a free SC question:
The melting of world glaciers
Once you submit either one of those questions, the following page will have a full video explanation. Each one of Magoosh's 1000+ practice questions has its own VE: this sort of immediate feedback is what can accelerate your learning.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2017, 10:41
Hi Chief92,

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. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you complete the sections in the same 'order' as you took on Test Day?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
5) 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.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

It's possible that you just had a "bad day" - the poor night's sleep that you described could have certainly hurt your performance (but we have to 'rule out' a number of other factors before we place all the blame on how you slept).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 10 Aug 2017, 10:53
Thanks a lot for your responses. I definitely believe that the bad night sleep did affect my score at least to some degree.

Concerning your questions:
1. I have never taken the entire CAT, just the quant and the verbal part because I selected the order Quant - Verbal -IR & AWA. I believe because of the selected order the IR and AWA had no
impact whatsoever on my Quant and Verbal score since it comes afterward.
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes always in the morning but not exactly at the same time
5. No
6. No, but in the gmat prep test I have already seen 2-3 questions

I have purchased the advanced score report to get a better understanding of my score. In the verbal part, I have especially lost points in SC and made many mistakes within the first set of questions.
In quant, I had trouble with Algebra/Geometry and also made many mistakes in the first and last set. Please find the screenshots to my advanced score report down below.

I am very happy about any further suggestions/recommendations from you guys, especially based the results from my advanced score report. I am very eager to reach my score goal of 650 and I am also willing to put in the required work and effort.

Thanks :)
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Re: Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 16:31
Hi Chief92,

From your prior post, there were a few 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) Can you go into a bit more detail about your poor night's sleep? When did you go to bed? When did you wake up? Etc.
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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www.empowergmat.com/

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 20:27
Chief92 wrote:
Moreover, I plan to purchase the exam Pack 1&2 from GMAT prep as preparation (I believe those are the most accurate CATs).
Do you want to take a look at question pack 1 as well? It also allows you to choose questions by difficulty level (easy/medium/hard).
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New post 11 Aug 2017, 00:53
AjiteshArun wrote:
Chief92 wrote:
Moreover, I plan to purchase the exam Pack 1&2 from GMAT prep as preparation (I believe those are the most accurate CATs).
Do you want to take a look at question pack 1 as well? It also allows you to choose questions by difficulty level (easy/medium/hard).


Seems like a good idea, thanks for the info. Do you know whether those questions are also part of the exams in exam package 1&2 or just purely for practicing?

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 00:59
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Chief92,

From your prior post, there were a few 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) Can you go into a bit more detail about your poor night's sleep? When did you go to bed? When did you wake up? Etc.
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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


Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

please find my answers below:)

1) I did my last cat on Friday morning, reviewed it in the afternoon, some reviewing of old questions and notes Saturday and Sunday, no studying on Monday (GMAT was on Tuesday morning)
2) Went to bed at 10 pm but could not sleep at all. I believe I was awake till at least 2.30am and finally fall asleep at around 3 am (look at the clock when I went to the bathroom). Woke up at 6.15 am
3) About 45 minutes, arrived at the test center at 7.50 am and the test was at 8.30 am
4) No
5) Went to toilette, drank energy drink and had a PowerBar
6) No
7) In Quant, I had to rush on two problems in the last part of the questions to finish on time

Last edited by Chief92 on 11 Aug 2017, 01:40, edited 2 times in total.

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 01:15
Chief92 wrote:
Seems like a good idea, thanks for the info. Do you know whether those questions are also part of the exams in exam package 1&2 or just purely for practicing?
QP1 has a different pool of questions. It's not adaptive though.
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New post 11 Aug 2017, 12:09
Hi Chief92,

Based on the information that you've provided, there are two big factors that impacted your performance (and overall expectations) on Test Day.

First, Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's at least partially what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at home, seeing repeat questions, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.' By extension, some (or most or all) of your CAT scores were not accurate. This means that your actual 'ability level' was probably in the low-600s (and not in the mid-600s to high-600s).

Second, the poor night's sleep appears to have impacted your performance across the entire Exam - so you likely would have scored higher if you had slept better. Unfortunately, there's no way to determine how much better you might have scored. All things being equal though, I still think it would have likely been in the 600 - 650 range). Whether you would have been satisfied with that score or not is also something of a hypothetical.

All things considered, I think that you could potentially hit your score goal in the timeframe that you've described. However, you will have to be really 'efficient' with your studies - and you won't be able to spend time the necessary time on all subjects, so you'll have to focus on a few 'big point' categories and hone those skills. If you have the flexibility to push back your next Test Date, then that extra study time (even if it's just a couple of weeks) could significantly improve your chances of hitting your score goal.

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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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!***********************

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Re: Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 13:32
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Chief92,

Based on the information that you've provided, there are two big factors that impacted your performance (and overall expectations) on Test Day.

First, Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's at least partially what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at home, seeing repeat questions, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.' By extension, some (or most or all) of your CAT scores were not accurate. This means that your actual 'ability level' was probably in the low-600s (and not in the mid-600s to high-600s).

Second, the poor night's sleep appears to have impacted your performance across the entire Exam - so you likely would have scored higher if you had slept better. Unfortunately, there's no way to determine how much better you might have scored. All things being equal though, I still think it would have likely been in the 600 - 650 range). Whether you would have been satisfied with that score or not is also something of a hypothetical.

All things considered, I think that you could potentially hit your score goal in the timeframe that you've described. However, you will have to be really 'efficient' with your studies - and you won't be able to spend time the necessary time on all subjects, so you'll have to focus on a few 'big point' categories and hone those skills. If you have the flexibility to push back your next Test Date, then that extra study time (even if it's just a couple of weeks) could significantly improve your chances of hitting your score goal.

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


Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

first of all thanks a lot for your detailed explanation! I absolutely agree with you. I believe my level was in the low 600s but the poor night sleep costs me some points. I was especially surprised by the low score in SC as I previously thought that SC is my strength. I was also able to hit an accuracy between 65-80% on medium/hard sets on Wiley and GMAT OG verbal guide.

I have planned to retake the exam at the beginning of septmber, giving me a solid 3 weeks of studying where I want to average 30h/week of studying. Already bought the exam pack1&2 and will also buy the question pack and use these materials in addition to the gmat club question bank for my preparation (starting with the easy 500 level questions and doing a bunch of those in the different categories). But I am not going to set a fixed date for my retake because I want to see how the gmat prep exams are going (roughly 1 test per week). Once I reach my desired goal of approximately 650 in the last two of the practice tests then I believe I am good to go. But if I do not reach this level by the beginning of September, I will postpone the test.

The latest possible date for the exam would be the end of September. Do you think my approach described above makes sense or would it be better to just take the test by the end of September giving me more time to study? However, I will have one week of study break in September because I am on holidays and during this time I can't/won't study.

Thanks :)

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Re: Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2017, 14:27
Hi Chief92,

I think that you plan sounds reasonable. Now that you've faced the Official GMAT, you might also think about how you can make each CAT 'experience' match up with what you faced on Test Day. The more detailed you can be about these types of issues, the better you should be prepared for when you retake the GMAT.

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!***********************

Kudos [?]: 3411 [0], given: 172

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GPA: 3.57
Re: Retake Strategy [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2017, 01:44
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Chief92,

I think that you plan sounds reasonable. Now that you've faced the Official GMAT, you might also think about how you can make each CAT 'experience' match up with what you faced on Test Day. The more detailed you can be about these types of issues, the better you should be prepared for when you retake the GMAT.

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



Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it! Any more tips/recommendations concerning my preparation in the upcoming weeks? I believe based on the results from the advanced core report I should focus on Algebra/Geometry and SC.

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Re: Retake Strategy   [#permalink] 12 Aug 2017, 01:44
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