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Score drop from 630 to 600... Help needed

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Joined: 27 Nov 2015
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Score drop from 630 to 600... Help needed  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 08:08
I am feeling super disappointed today. I have been preparing for GMAT for over a 3 months now and I feel that I am going no where forward with it.

3 weeks ago I attempted my first GMAT and scored a 630 (V 37, Q 39). It was clear to me that while verbal needed to be improved a bit, I needed to significantly improve Quant. So the next 3 weeks I studied hard and did about 50~60 quant questions a day for each topic...

I gave my second attempt today and to my disappointment, I scored 600 (V 27, Q 47). This time around, I did decent on quant but ended up sacrificing my verbal score. Now I am lost as to what to do now. I was intermittently solving SC and CR questions during my practice sessions and I was getting them right most of the time. So I feel that the score drop from 37 to 27 in the actual exam is too much.

I immediately cancelled my score so I do not have the breakdown of the 600. I am super disappointed with myself for now. I know I will get back on the GMAT journey after giving myself some breathing space.

But in the meantime, I would really appreciate some feedback on what I should do to improve and more specifically how to balance studying Verbal and Quant.

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Re: Score drop from 630 to 600... Help needed  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 11:28
Hi rnn,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. Your drop in Verbal Scaled Score in such a relatively short amount of time is interesting. From your increased Quant Scaled Score, you clearly have the capacity to learn and improve. However, Verbal skills do not generally 'fade' so quickly, so we'll need to examine your studies (and your 2 Official GMATs) in more detail. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long have you studied in total?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Score drop from 630 to 600... Help needed  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 18:04
Hi rnn,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. The good news is that you are capable of scoring a V37 and Q47; however, you need to do this on one GMAT. Moving forward, just take a more balanced approach in your prep. Rather than focusing solely on quant or verbal for a prolonged period of time, try to incorporate both verbal and quant prep into each study session, or at least alternate between quant and verbal. For instance, if you study for 3 hours on a given night, then study 1.5 hours of verbal and 1.5 of quant. If you’d like to get in longer sessions for the sections, then do 3 hours of quant prep one night and 3 hours of verbal prep the next night.

Regarding how to improve your skills, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about How to Learn More, Learn Faster, and Retain More Knowledge While Preparing for the GMAT.

Good luck!

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Re: Score drop from 630 to 600... Help needed   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2019, 18:04
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