Hello Experts,

I took my first official GMAT a few days ago and scored a 600:

Q34 - 26th percentile (not good enough)

V39 - 89 percentile

IR3 - 26 percentile - need to improve timing

Although this was my highest total score after 3 practice

MGMAT CATs, this was the first time my quant score dropped. It was steadily increasing during my CATS and was at 38 in my last CAT 4 days before the exam. I was hoping to at least match or improve on this quant score (turns out if I had at least matched it, I may have scored closer to 640). On the other hand, verbal of 39 was my highest in this section.

I've registered to retake the exam in 3.5 weeks in the second week of January as this is the only available date before some of my round 2 deadlines. I actually have (or maybe now had) 3 other deadlines prior to my next exam but I'm now uncertain if to still apply to these schools with a score of 600 which is below their averages (in two cases it falls in the middle 80% but I don't know how much this counts?).

My target score is at least a 650 and I'm really hoping to achieve this by my next exam. I'm optimistic by the fact that I improved from 490 to 600 in the last 3.5 weeks.

That being said, I need some assistance planning the next few weeks to achieve my goal. My main focus is improving quant to at least the 38 I achieved before if not higher and also IR which I've been stuck at a score of 3.

On Quant, I was disappointed to see that very few of the areas that I studied and practiced a lot (and was generally better at) actually came on the test such as:

1. Geometry - usually my strongest area - about 2 questions came and they were on solids - not a single one on triangles or circles and their special properties.

2. Distance/Work questions - not a single one.

3. Age questions - zero

4. Units digits, sequence (recursive/arithmetic) - zero

5. Exponents - about 1-2 questions

Incidentally, I got many questions in the topics which I didn't get to study thoroughly or in some cases at all - probability, co-ordinate geometry and functions (yes 2-3 functions questions which I had seen not 1 in any practice CAT).

On the IR, I know my issue is timing and I also didn't study or practice IR. The only time I did it was on the 3 CATS. I'm not sure what the appropriate strategy should be for this - how many questions should I skip? How many do I need to get right at a minimum to get at least a 4 or 4.5? Any advice on this is greatly appreciated.

I would also appreciate any guidance on how to structure these next few weeks to improve my quant and IR (and still keep my verbal up). Should I go back and learn new material in probability, coordinate geo, functions etc.? Or since its only about 3 weeks, should I continue with doing practice questions and CATs until then? Basically, I'm not sure what I should do differently to boost my score.

Lastly, I received my ESR today and would like some assistance in getting the best insights out of it but I'm not quite if or how I can share it here.

Looking forward to any feedback - thanks!