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At the end of September I posted about my first gmat experience and how upset I was with my score- 600. Well, I took the test again yesterday after a month of intense studying. The good news is I went up to a 660. The bad news is I spent most of my effort on the math section and only went up by 1 scaled point. Plus, 660 is still under every single practice test I've taken- usually around 700 for the Gmat prep.
What is going on here? I've made an error log, gone over everything I've gotten wrong, posted here, understood every concept.
Is it just that I'm not smart enough to conquer this test? I just don't understand as math has always been my forte. I work in a quantitative professon, I've passed several high level math tests before, and my math and verbal have always been on about the same level in standardized tests. Yet this one tells me I'm in the 50-ish percentile for math and 90-ish percentile for verbal.
I went though probably a total of 1/3 of the GMAT official guide 11th edition w/ an error log. I could probably do the rest of the book...but will anything help me? Am I just too dumb to figure out what mile Dick and Jane meet at if he left 2 hours later going at a different rate? This is just so upsetting.
I don't want to give up but I'm running out of time. My first apps are due 12th of December. I don't want to apply unless I score 700, and I don't want to apply with a 50-ish percentile math score. I've worked so hard and gotten barely any results....what else can I do?
One problem I still have is that I still didn't finish the quant section. I thought I was doing well on time and was pretty sure I cruised through the first 10 problems- maybe getting #8 wrong. Then I made some bad addition/multiplication errors when I got to an average problem (that wasn't hard beyond my own screw ups) and lost a lot of time redoing it. All of the sudden I had 8 minutes left and 12 problems to go. I ended up leaving the last 3 unanswered. Could this be what dropped my score so much, even if I got the first 10 questions right?
I need some major confidence boosting, so if anyone can help me please post here and I will sincerely appreciate it. thanks
First off you're not dumb, anyone who tries to attack this crazy exam and doesn't give up is already smart.
One thing you should try is getting Kaplans Qbank, it's $200 and well worth the money. Since everyone on this forum agrees that Kaplans CATs are the most challenging then in using the Qbank, which provides exam like questions would be a great benefit to your study regime.
When I say exam like questions, I don't mean some fluffy questions. I mean questions that will put you through your mental paces. One of the best things about it is you can curtail it to your needs.
What that means is if you want to do 50 geo & algebra then you can. If you want to do just modifiers and strengthen questions, fine. Alot of the questions will compliment what you're doing in the OG. Also the Qbank keeps the error log for you and then gives you a detailed report of what you've done total and for that particular quiz.
One thing you might want to try is cross refrencing your OG error log with Qbank reports and then you will see that score sky rocket, by then you should really be able to hone in on your weak areas.
Kaplan has retooled their CATs to supposedly look like the real thing, whether they do or not, I'll let you guys know when I take the exam. One other source you might want to try is Manhattan GMAT. Their study manuals are pretty detailed, with the exception of CR & RC.
They list all the OG problems by category. For me it saved time, because in the assignment lists, they tell you which problems they consider to be the most challenging.
Anyway keep you chin up and if you have any other questions, email me.
Congrats! 660 is definitely a good score and 600 to 660 is even better. Based on you profile and where you are applying to, this may be enough. But, Cheer up! If you decide to give test another try, I am sure you will do much better.
Two things here that look good -
1. Math score can be improved in a shorter time + from what you say, your background will definitely help you. Just need to identify the key areas and work on them.
2. You have identified where your problem is - Time Management!
Try solving questions in batches of 20 or 30 and mark all those that for which you needed more than 2.5 mins. Look what is the shorter way or why you took the longer route. If you post your question here, you will see various approaches. See what is different btw your's and the quickest. That should help you scrape off the extra time from each Q and will give you more time in the end.
Also, on the real test, never leave Q's unanswered. Maybe, you would have got 10 points more even if you had answered all three wrong!
First off Jenn, I feel your pain. What you feel right now is completely understandable and you have the right to wollow in it. This test was a real bugaboo for me as it has been for most. I was scoring in the 700s on all my practice tests (except Kaplan) and I got a stinking 610 on the real thing. I knew I could do better, so I studied some more, took it again, got a 640. Still not satisfied, I studied some more, took it again, got a 610. Yep, I went down. Imagine how I felt. But I told myself that the GMAT is just a test, not an indication of IQ or absolute B-school ability or good looks or charm, it's just a test of a few concepts and time management. I got too nervous and rattled when I had to guess and overall I just wasn't positive in my previous tests. I took a month to remedy that and I took the test again (4th time) and got a 710 (remember, there was only 1 month between tests).
Second, 660 is a great score. I know you did not do well in quant part, but at least you know where your weakness is. One thing to note is that a low GMAT quant can be overset by high quant horsepower in your job. I know you want to apply to school this year and apply in the second round (I can see by your dec 12 deadline that you are applying to Haas). You can't re-take the GMAT until next month, so the earliest you can take it is Dec 1. Will your official scores make it to Haas by dec12? Maybe, but I doubt it. Here are a couple of options
1. Apply with what you have. Really shine in your essays and LOR and prove to adcoms that your high quant job is indicative of your quant abilities.
2. Maybe apply to a different school that has a second round deadline in early January. This way, you can study up on your quant, stay polished on your verbal, re-take the test in early Dec, and have your official scores ready by deadline.
3. Wait until next year. yea I know this is not what you want to hear, but I had to go though making that decision a year ago after I got a 610. IN the meantime, work hard on your GMAT to improve it and have your essays, etc ready for round 1 next year.
Overall, you doing great and your working hard and it will pay off, I promise you. Take a day off and relax, talk it over with friends and family. If you decide to re-take try to work on your time management and your mental attitude. Stay positive. YOU CAN DO THIS.
Thanks for your kind words guys
Do you know where I can get this kaplan bank of questions? I've actually taken the full blow kaplan course and it sucked so I'm not sure I can trust them again.
Also, what books would you recommend for hard core math help besides OG 10? Should I get OG 11? Shoud I get Kaplan 800 or the Kaplan math workbook? I'm really not into spending another $200 to kaplan
You maybe good at math, but this test is not really testing math as much as your ability to use a limited number of quantitative tools to solve unlimited number of problems.
I would encourage you to practice with our math challenges. These are some really difficult questions and they will be frustrating to solve. Just like difficult homework problems help you prepare for the test, the purpose of these difficult problems is to help you master the concepts under timed conditions.
Time management should be your primary target. Not finishing a section definitely hurts your score. You never want to spend too much time on a problem. This advice of not spending too much time on a question comes straight from GMAC.
Devise a strategy for the first 15 questions. You have to move on after you have spent 3-4 minutes on a question. if you are doing well on time after the first 15-20 questions, you will have better control over the test.
Also, getting the difficult problems incorrect does not hurt your score as much as getting easy problems incorrect. Keep your focus on eliminating errors and concentrate harder on the easier problems. We may let our guard down on the easy problems and its very easy to mistake on those.
You can also practice your timing with Qbank. One thing that can really help is the silent timer. You can purchase it from silenttimer.com. It's a neat little gizmo that you can set to certain time constraints.
I want to do the challenges.....I'm going to start posting more by responding to other people's questions in the forums until I hit 200. I'll always remain active of course, but can you review me as soon as I hit 200? I promise they will be quality posts. Also, do my posts count where I posted questions? I think I posted some helpful problems along the way.
15 Nov 2005, 20:37