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Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?

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Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 07:16
I recently took the GMAT and was highly surprised by the result. My actual score was much lower than what I expected, much much lower from what I was consistently achieving with different practice tests whatsoever. It was really disheartening.

I think part of the reason was test day anxiety. It was much harder for me to focus than usual and I was stressing a million times more before confirming each answer choice. I was not confident in answering most of the questions, and that had never happened to me before.
Another mistake I committed was changing my strategy just a few days before the test. Given the importance of the first 15 questions for each section, I ended up giving considerably more amount of thought and time to them.

As a result of both, I found myself scrounging for time. For eg., I found myself with less than a minute on average for the last 15 questions on the verbal.

I ended up canceling the scores.

Bygones are bygones, with eyes forward, I am looking forward to my second attempt.
Any tips on how should I be prepping for this?
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Re: Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 10:23
First step forward: Order the ESR and give it a week's time to analyze, dissect each section for timing, difficulty and various parameters. Only then come up with a plan on what's next. Its a great tool to let you know your weakest areas and where a little effort might produce the best ROI.
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Re: Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 10:52
Hi abansal1805,

In a post last month (https://gmatclub.com/forum/20-days-left ... l#p1966186) you discussed how you were going to take the GMAT on December 10th, which was about 20 days away. Did you end up taking the GMAT on that date or did you push it back a bit?

We discussed that this type of 'cramming' might be problematic - and that you would likely need another 2 months of study to hit your Score Goal. It certainly appears that whatever you did during that time was not enough, but could you go into a bit more detail about how you spent your time? In addition, how did you end up scoring on the Official GMAT (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

Regardless of how you might feel about this recent attempt, it's worth noting that the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. You'll have to change how you 'see' (and respond to) the Exam to hit that higher level though.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 19:09
abansal1805 wrote:
Given the importance of the first 15 questions for each section, I ended up giving considerably more amount of thought and time to them.
The whole "first X questions" thing is not something that should impact your timing strategy. Sure, those who get high scores have great accuracy in the first X (first 10, first 15...), but then they have great accuracy in the later questions too.

I strongly suggest that you not set aside extra time for any set of questions. Take a little more time in the beginning if it helps you get going, but don't leave yourself with too little time in the end.
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Re: Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 19:13
abansal1805

See if this post helps.
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Re: Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 02:44
Hi,

I would suggest taking an online GMAT course, this way you feel allot more comfortable taking the GMAT on test day.

Feel free to visit our blogs http://exampal.com/gmat/blog/
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Re: Retaking the GMAT: Now where to begin?  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2017, 02:37
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi abansal1805,

In a post last month (https://gmatclub.com/forum/20-days-left ... l#p1966186) you discussed how you were going to take the GMAT on December 10th, which was about 20 days away. Did you end up taking the GMAT on that date or did you push it back a bit?

We discussed that this type of 'cramming' might be problematic - and that you would likely need another 2 months of study to hit your Score Goal. It certainly appears that whatever you did during that time was not enough, but could you go into a bit more detail about how you spent your time? In addition, how did you end up scoring on the Official GMAT (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

Regardless of how you might feel about this recent attempt, it's worth noting that the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. You'll have to change how you 'see' (and respond to) the Exam to hit that higher level though.

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


Dear Rich,
Due to deadlines creeping up pretty fast, I had no better choice but to take a risk and give it a shot. I took my GMAT on 20th Dec.
I have a very important deadline on 15th January that makes me worried about my 2nd attempt.

In terms of timing, I broke down my timing like this:

Verbal
Q.1-10 25 mins
Q.11-20 20 mins
Q.21-41 30 mins

Quant
Q.1-10 30 min
Q.11-20 20 min
Q.21-37 25 min

My Official GMAT Score was 590 (V29, Q42)

I was consistently scoring 650-680 on most of my practice tests. So I strongly feel the problem was not as much with concepts as with test taking. What do you think my strategy should be going forward, and how can I capitalize best if I am to take the test before 15th January?

Please let me know
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New post 28 Dec 2017, 08:14
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Hi abansal1805,

There are a number of different things to discuss, but we should start with your practice CATs. 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 take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take 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 ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

There are also some issues with how you paced yourself (in simple terms, you "over-committed" to the first 10 questions in each section). With your current timeline, you only have about 2 weeks of potential study time remaining - but your Score Goal will likely require at least another 1-2 months of consistent, guided study.

1) What are the next round of deadlines AFTER January 15th?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 28 Dec 2017, 11:24
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi abansal1805,

There are a number of different things to discuss, but we should start with your practice CATs. 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 take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take 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 ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

There are also some issues with how you paced yourself (in simple terms, you "over-committed" to the first 10 questions in each section). With your current timeline, you only have about 2 weeks of potential study time remaining - but your Score Goal will likely require at least another 1-2 months of consistent, guided study.

1) What are the next round of deadlines AFTER January 15th?

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


Dear Rich,

To help you better understand my situation, I will try to be as honest and precise as possible in answering your queries.

1) I took the entire practice tests in the following order: Quant, Verbal, IR, and AWA.
I saved the AWA question for practice later and skipped writing it.

2) Yes, took them at home. (The pad provided during the test sorta threw my note-taking strategy away especially for Verbal RC)

3) Took them at the same time every day for 4 days consecutively before the test.

4) Paused only in case of an emergency, else I did not.

5) Did not take any CAT more than once. I did take the 2nd Practice Test with GMAT Prep and the score was 720. Unreliable since I had seen a lot of questions in the Verbal Section before. Else, I took exams with Veritas, Princeton and Experts Global averaging around 650.

The next round of deadlines is only tight due to ISB on 15th January and that is also the last round.
If not, my primary choice of program is Masters in Financial Engineering at Nanyang Tech. and the deadline for the same is 28th Feb. (Sorta requires a very high Quantitative Score)
Lastly, some of the other programs that I am highly interested in are due on 1st April.

I totally agree with your point of requiring 1-2 months of consistent studying.

Studying the whole situation, what sort of recommendation would you provide me?
PS: I have PM'd you my ESR

Thank You
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New post 28 Dec 2017, 14:56
I'd love for someone to challenge my point of view, but I think the whole idea of spending more time on the first x questions is flawed. In my opinion, all this does is put you behind in your race against the clock, which, in an already very stressful situation, can add even MORE stress. I went in with the strategy of trying to get every question right regardless of when it was presented to me, and trying to stay within the 2 minute per question time limit. Of course there are a few exceptions to this: if you're on the cusp of getting a solution and you need a little more time, or if you've spent ~45 seconds reading the problem and come to the conclusion that you aren't armed with the process you need to solve it (educated guess and move on).

I understand that some of these strategies can be helpful in certain circumstances, but I think that too many people focus on these tips and tricks when your success on the exam is 95% dependent on just knowing the material, or having done enough preparation that you're properly equipped for any type of question the exam throws at you.
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New post 28 Dec 2017, 15:51
So, I'll be honest here. I am being judgemental here but looking at the limited sentence construction in your posts above, I am sure you can score much higher than V29. I was in your shoes not too long ago. Here's what I would recommend you do:

(i) Take the course on GMATPrepNow dot com. Highly recommend it, helped me get from 710 to 760. Plus its cheap!
(ii) Attempt the entire OG and it'a supplements (quant review and verbal review). Review the incorrect questions to see WHY you attempted them wrong - i.e. wrong formula, guess, short on time etc. Doesn't have to be an elaborate tracker though.
(iii) Take the GMATClub Quant Tests. They will really help you lose your anxiety by making you comfortable with the format. You will also be able to see through what seem to be very tough questions after 8-10 tests. Review each test on the same day you attempt them. Helped me go from Q48>Q50.

After you're done with all of the above. Do the following:

(iv) Take the official GMAC CATs. 2 are free (which you've taken so ignore them) and 4 are paid. Spread the four across and don't attempt on consecutive days (at least a day between each, but possibly 2-3).

After you do the above, do the following:

(v) No questions / tests for 2 days before the exam. Light revision and then just chill, get a drink, watch a movie, whatever makes you not-anxious.
(vi) On the test day, do some light reading in the morning (newspaper?). It ensures your mind isn't asleep when you hit your first question in the test.

Other than this find which centre is the best in your city, as that has a MAJOR impact. I am in Delhi and hated the Pearson Vue centre in Yusuf Sarai. The Ansal Uni one on my third attempt was much more peaceful and relaxed.

Now all of this might not sound like a plan for 15 days. But ISB and NTU have some of the most competitive selection rates. So I would suggest don't burn another $250. Take a couple of months to do this peacefully and kill it.

I am a fellow Indian and struggled with the GMAT for 3 years. Feel free to PM if you've questions :)

Good Luck!
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