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Retest strategy

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Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2018, 04:36
Hi all, I scored a 680 (Q39 V42) on the GMAT recently. I am trying to do a retest in the next 30 days and looking for some structure and support. I'm considering getting an Economist GMAT subscription because I like the structure, but I've also considered GMAT Club tests + Math Revolution. Since I'm weaker in Math I wasn't sure if the second option was the best for me, but then I saw something on this forum about the Economist GMAT CATS - Verbal is harder but Quant is easier :(. I don't want to lose my V42 while I study to improve my Quant! My target score is 730 and I am looking to apply this September in R1 for Fall 2019 admission.

1) How long have you been studying? Four Months - Feb, Mar, Apr, and May 2018. I did a Manhattan Prep in-class program for 9 weeks and then did self-study for the next 12 weeks or so. During the MPrep class I hadn't figured out a viable work/study schedule, so I only did the interacts for Feb and March. In April, I got up two hours early in the morning to study and then forced myself to leave work in the early evening so I could study for another hour before bed. In April I completed all of the MPrep lessons, and in May I completed the entire OG18 book.

2) When are you planning to take the GMAT? - Next 30 days or so. July 2-July 17 timeframe.

3) Did these CATs include the Essay and IR sections? And if so, then did you take those sections? Yes
MPREP 1 - Feb 1 - 620 Q38 V36 (taken before class started as a diagnostic)
MPREP 2 - Mar 1 - 630 Q39 V37
MPREP 3 - Apr 1 - 600 Q39 V34
MPREP 4 - Apr 22 - 640 Q38 V38
MBA.com 1 - May 13 - 710 Q46 V41
MPREP 5 - May 20 - 660 Q42 V38
MBA.com 2 - May 25 - 700 Q46 V40
MPREP 6 - May 28 - 660 Q40 V40
Official Exam - June 1 - 680 Q39 V42

4) Have you used any other resources besides the book and the practice problems that you mentioned? MPrep books and OG18. I bought the LSAT Supertest 1 to improve verbal in late May, which I feel helped. I still have multiple sections of that left.
I also have five Paper GMAT tests which I used to work on timing - my OG questions I always kept a timer on, but I kept working until I could complete the problem and then checked the answer and reviewed right away afterward. I would "soft bail" between 2-3 mins, look away, make a final guess, but then continue to solve and record another answer if I was indeed able to work out the question.
I kept an error log, but in retrospect, I didn't review it enough. I had a tutor (briefly) who encouraged me to see lots of problems vs. study the same problems over and over. I feel like seeing lots of new problems was useful, but I never revisited my wrong answers except right after I got them wrong and reviewed at that point.
I reviewed https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-way-to-inc ... 38750.html, https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-way-to-inc ... 38750.html, https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 42810.html, https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 41670.html, https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-error-log-129501.html, but I think my Quant just sucks in general, and I couldn't find anything about keeping verbal up. I'm also nervous that I've used up 6/6 MPrep tests, which are supposedly the best ones, and I'm pissed at MBA.com because those were giving me a more optimistic view of my Quant scores.

Hope this was all of the information you needed! Thanks in advance for the help.
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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2018, 11:50
Hi RefError,

To start, a 680 is a strong score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice Business School. That having been said, a Q39 could be considered a 'red flag' at certain Programs, so retaking the GMAT (with the goal of raising that Quant Scaled Score) is understandable. 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 4 recent CAT scores - along with your Official GMAT Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 680 +/- a few points).

The Q39 means that you made lots of little mistakes as you worked through the Quant section AND you missed out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' questions.The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. Thus, beyond working on the 'precision' in your work, to score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.'

After taking each CAT, it's important to do a full review of your performance (with the goal of defining WHY you got questions wrong). While a full Mistake Tracker or CAT Analyzer would provide more detail, there are some basic questions that you should look to answer after you take each CAT (and the more specific you can be with your answers, the better). Since you scored Q40 on your last CAT (which is really close to how you scored on the Official GMAT), I'd like to know a bit more about your performance in that Quant section.

After reviewing the Quant section of this CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math 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?

Beyond those questions, I'd also like to know a bit more about your timeline and your goals:

1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2018, 16:11
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi RefError,

To start, a 680 is a strong score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice Business School. That having been said, a Q39 could be considered a 'red flag' at certain Programs, so retaking the GMAT (with the goal of raising that Quant Scaled Score) is understandable. 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 4 recent CAT scores - along with your Official GMAT Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 680 +/- a few points).

The Q39 means that you made lots of little mistakes as you worked through the Quant section AND you missed out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' questions.The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. Thus, beyond working on the 'precision' in your work, to score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.'

After taking each CAT, it's important to do a full review of your performance (with the goal of defining WHY you got questions wrong). While a full Mistake Tracker or CAT Analyzer would provide more detail, there are some basic questions that you should look to answer after you take each CAT (and the more specific you can be with your answers, the better). Since you scored Q40 on your last CAT (which is really close to how you scored on the Official GMAT), I'd like to know a bit more about your performance in that Quant section.

After reviewing the Quant section of this CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math 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?

Beyond those questions, I'd also like to know a bit more about your timeline and your goals:

1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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


Rich, thank you so much for your response and analysis.
In general, I did review all of my CATs right after (or up to a day after) I took them. More than half the time it seemed to be silly mistakes :(. Here are my responses to your other questions:
After reviewing the Quant section of this CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake? - I would say approximately 50% would be silly mistakes
2) Because there was some math that you just could not remember how to do? - This would be 40%
3) Because the question was too hard? - This would be 10%
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess? - I would say max 1-2 questions per exam. Usually this isn't at the end, it's somewhere in the middle where I am skipping 1 on my page of four (using the MPrep Paper timing method).

Beyond those questions, I'd also like to know a bit more about your timeline and your goals:

1) What is your goal score? 730
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School? This fall for entry in Fall 2019. Ideally Round 1 for my top 5 schools.
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to? Harvard, Booth, UPenn, Tuck, and Columbia are my top programs. Beyond that, Northwestern, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, UVA, and NYU would be my next picks.
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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2018, 12:50
Hi RefError,

From what you describe, you likely have varying issues with the Quant section involving some 'math skills', your organization (and how it leads to little mistakes) and your general approach (the Quant section is NOT a 'math test', so you should not think of it in those terms). Little mistakes can be a broad category - as an example, I asked HOW MANY questions you got wrong for each of those reasons, but you answered with the "approximate percent." On Test Day, on some of the prompts, it's possible that you weren't actually answering the question that was asked.

That all having been said, you're closer to a 730 than you probably realize, but you will have to work on (and hone) some specific skills to consistently score at that higher level.

1) Have you scheduled another Test Date yet (and if so, then what date did you choose?)?
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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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2018, 14:38
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi RefError,

From what you describe, you likely have varying issues with the Quant section involving some 'math skills', your organization (and how it leads to little mistakes) and your general approach (the Quant section is NOT a 'math test', so you should not think of it in those terms). Little mistakes can be a broad category - as an example, I asked HOW MANY questions you got wrong for each of those reasons, but you answered with the "approximate percent." On Test Day, on some of the prompts, it's possible that you weren't actually answering the question that was asked.

That all having been said, you're closer to a 730 than you probably realize, but you will have to work on (and hone) some specific skills to consistently score at that higher level.

1) Have you scheduled another Test Date yet (and if so, then what date did you choose?)?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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


Rich,
Thanks - I appreciate the straight talk.
1) Yes, my test date is Monday, July 2.
2) I was carving out about 24 hours per week prior to the first test and should be able to do that again for the next three weeks as well.
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2018, 11:28
Hi RefError,

With a July 2nd Test Date, you have about 3 weeks of study time available. Based on your Official Score, you could potentially pick up 50 points in the Quant section during that time, but you'll have to be really 'efficient' with your studies going forward.

Based on everything that you've described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Quant Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in well under a month, so that Study Plan should fit your timeframe. 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.

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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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/

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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2018, 01:31
Hey RefError - just a small addition to this discussion:

As 680 is already a high score, you may find this blog post useful: How to Improve an Already High GMAT Score

https://exampal.com/gmat/blog/how-to-im ... mat-score/
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Re: Retest strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2018, 12:32
Did you end up retaking? How did it go? What strategies worked well for you?
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Re: Retest strategy &nbs [#permalink] 18 Sep 2018, 12:32
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