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retake strategy (underperformance in real test)

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retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2018, 08:32
Hey Guys,

I took the GMAT a few days ago and scored a 610 (37 Quant, 35 verbal). I was a lot better on the practice tests. The Verbal score was the same as in the practice tests, but the quant was a mess.
My practice scores were as followed:

Gmat Pill test: 620 (43Q, 32V) 2 weeks before real GMAT
Official test 1: 680 (47Q, 36V) 1 week before
2: 660 (46Q, 34V) 1 week before

So I am thinking about retaking the GMAT. The problem is that I have to do that in the next 35 days and I don´t have much time to study since I have to write my bachelors thesis during that time. I guess I could invest 1-2 hours per day on GMAT preperation. Since I am aming at German Masterprograms I don´t need that a high of a score for my targetschool. I guess a 630 would be enough. I think it would be best to invest the most time on Quant and try to maintain my level on the Verbal. How can I do this the best possible way? Thanks for your advice in adavance!
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retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Apr 2018, 11:39
Hi MMMbusiness,

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 all of 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 take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) Did you take any of these CATs BEFORE? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

Today, GMAC announced that some changes are going to be made to the format of the Exam - there's a discussion thread about that here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-is-chan ... 62569.html

In addition:
6) What application deadline(s) are you currently facing?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Originally posted by EMPOWERgmatRichC on 03 Apr 2018, 12:56.
Last edited by EMPOWERgmatRichC on 04 Apr 2018, 11:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2018, 13:26
Hey Rich,

Thank you for your answer.
During CATS I did Quant, Verbal and Integrated Reasoning in that order. I left out AWA. For my targeted schools only verbal and Quant matter so I didn´t invest much time on these. The order was the same on my real exams
I took the CATs at home most of the time in the afternoon. The real exam was in the morning with only 4-5 hours of sleep so that might have been an issue.
I tried to do the CATs as realistic as possible so I didn´t had aditional breaks or pauses. In my CAT´s I had like 1-2 questions I had seen before.
After the real exam I had the feeling that I made a few stupid mistakes in the first Quant questions.
My deadline is the 31th of May but I think the school I want to go to wants the complete results before deadline so the deadline for the GMAT would be 10th of May.
And I can´t invest much time on preperation.



When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) Did you take any of these CATs BEFORE? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?


6) What application deadline(s) are you currently facing?
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retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 01:36
MMMbusiness wrote:
Hey Guys,

I took the GMAT a few days ago and scored a 610 (37 Quant, 35 verbal). I was a lot better on the practice tests. The Verbal score was the same as in the practice tests, but the quant was a mess.
My practice scores were as followed:

Gmat Pill test: 620 (43Q, 32V) 2 weeks before real GMAT
Official test 1: 680 (47Q, 36V) 1 week before
2: 660 (46Q, 34V) 1 week before

So I am thinking about retaking the GMAT. The problem is that I have to do that in the next 35 days and I don´t have much time to study since I have to write my bachelors thesis during that time. I guess I could invest 1-2 hours per day on GMAT preperation. Since I am aming at German Masterprograms I don´t need that a high of a score for my targetschool. I guess a 630 would be enough. I think it would be best to invest the most time on Quant and try to maintain my level on the Verbal. How can I do this the best possible way? Thanks for your advice in adavance!


Hi MMMbusiness,

If you plan to give you GMAT in just over a month, I would highly recommend you to focus on your Quant score as it seems you can really improve your with that.

You can try out the MGMAT guides as they are phenomenal and cover the entire syllabus really well. MGMAT. MGMAT's Foundation of GMAT Math guide is very helpful to brush up your basics. I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase the latest version of OG and the verbal review for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ma ... ml?fl=menu

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2018, 11:04
Hi MMMbusiness,

Given the limited timeframe you've described - and the limited number of hours that you can commit to studying - there will be a limit to how much you could improve on this recent Official 610. Thankfully, you're actually closer to a 630+ than you realize - and the little mistakes that you think you made on Test Day likely cost you those missing points (and additional points beyond those).

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 what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Test Day involves a variety of really specific steps and parameters (including steps before the Test even begins - such as leaving your home, traveling, etc.). Every factor matters, including the psychological ones. When you sit down on Test Day, you KNOW that you're going to be in the Computer Lab for about 4 hours - but if you're just taking individual sections (or taking a CAT without the Essay and IR sections), then you KNOW that you'll be done in 1-2 hours. The attitude and energy that you use during practice will NOT be a match for what you'll need on Test Day, so it's not a proper way to practice. All of the 'differences' involved in how you took your CATs could explain why your Quant Scaled Score dropped on Test Day. You weren't properly prepared for THAT full day, so your score fluctuated.

Thankfully, those are relatively easy issues to fix - and now that you've taken the Official GMAT, you know the EXACT details of what happens on Test Day, so you can better train to mimic those details during your CATs. You won't have to learn anything new to hit your Score Goal - and you won't have to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird on Test Day - but you do need to eliminate the little mistakes from your work (and that will require a certain amount of practice/repetitions on your part).

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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Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 08:30
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi MMMbusiness,

Given the limited timeframe you've described - and the limited number of hours that you can commit to studying - there will be a limit to how much you could improve on this recent Official 610. Thankfully, you're actually closer to a 630+ than you realize - and the little mistakes that you think you made on Test Day likely cost you those missing points (and additional points beyond those).

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 what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Test Day involves a variety of really specific steps and parameters (including steps before the Test even begins - such as leaving your home, traveling, etc.). Every factor matters, including the psychological ones. When you sit down on Test Day, you KNOW that you're going to be in the Computer Lab for about 4 hours - but if you're just taking individual sections (or taking a CAT without the Essay and IR sections), then you KNOW that you'll be done in 1-2 hours. The attitude and energy that you use during practice will NOT be a match for what you'll need on Test Day, so it's not a proper way to practice. All of the 'differences' involved in how you took your CATs could explain why your Quant Scaled Score dropped on Test Day. You weren't properly prepared for THAT full day, so your score fluctuated.

Thankfully, those are relatively easy issues to fix - and now that you've taken the Official GMAT, you know the EXACT details of what happens on Test Day, so you can better train to mimic those details during your CATs. You won't have to learn anything new to hit your Score Goal - and you won't have to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird on Test Day - but you do need to eliminate the little mistakes from your work (and that will require a certain amount of practice/repetitions on your part).

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


Alright thank you very much Rich!
So I will go for the retake. I asked at my target Business school about the deadline. I have a little more time than I thought, about 1 and a half month.
So I plan to practice 1-2 hours per day and take a practice test every week. Do you have any other advice on how to maintain skill level on the Verbal?
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GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 16:19
Hi MMMbusiness,

You haven't defined the study materials that you were using nor how you were specifically studying, but you appear to consistently score around V35 during your practice (and on Test Day), so to maintain your Verbal skills at this current 'level', my general advice would be to continue studying for the Verbal in the same ways that you did before.

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

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Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2018, 12:54
for studying I used the Official Guide, the Verbal and the Quantitative Guide. i worked trhrough all the questions and reviewed my mistakes
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Location: United States (CA)
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GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test) [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2018, 10:16
Hi MMMbusiness,

Based on the limited study time you've described, you have to be really efficient with the time that you can spend on your studies. Since it doesn't appear that you followed a formal Study Plan, we need to better define WHY you were getting questions wrong in the past. To start, you should look back at your prior practice CATs and choose the score that's closest to how you performed on the Official GMAT (610/Q37/V35).

After reviewing each section of THAT CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) In the Verbal section, how many questions did you "narrow down to 2 choices" but still get wrong?

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

Re: retake strategy (underperformance in real test)   [#permalink] 08 Apr 2018, 10:16
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