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# Score Improvement Increase

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 10

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01 Mar 2017, 11:23
Hello all... and thank you in advance for any input or help anyone provides. So heres my scenario

Starting studying Mid 2016, took an in person class did all the practice test and by the end of that was averaging 550-580 on Practice Cat exams. Sat in December for the real exam and scored a 370.. Picked up studying again in February, retook the Kaplan course online and thus far have taken 3 practice gmat exams scoring from 450 - 530. My exam is coming up on 3/20/17. Realistically my goal is to get a 550. Is this something that is feasible or am i setting up false expectations for myself. Thanks again!

Vito
Intern
Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Posts: 17

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03 Mar 2017, 16:58
I think it's more than doable. Your actual score of 370 was probably due to anxiety and nervousness. Easier said than done, but relax and learn how to manage your time. It seems like you possess the knowledge to reach your goal, just a matter of execution during the test. GOOD LUCK!
Intern
Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 6

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03 Mar 2017, 22:21
I think that you can get the score that you want. good luck!
SVP
Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 2280
Location: New York, NY

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05 Mar 2017, 14:10
Top Contributor
That's definitely a realistic goal. Be sure to review mistakes you make so you don't make them over and over again. That's the key. Also, focus on getting all the easy questions correct and don't psych yourself out on the harder ones.

See if this helps in your studies: http://www.gmatpill.com/sentencecorrect ... ythons.mp4
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07 Mar 2017, 03:14
veets13 wrote:
Hello all... and thank you in advance for any input or help anyone provides. So heres my scenario

Starting studying Mid 2016, took an in person class did all the practice test and by the end of that was averaging 550-580 on Practice Cat exams. Sat in December for the real exam and scored a 370.. Picked up studying again in February, retook the Kaplan course online and thus far have taken 3 practice gmat exams scoring from 450 - 530. My exam is coming up on 3/20/17. Realistically my goal is to get a 550. Is this something that is feasible or am i setting up false expectations for myself. Thanks again!

Vito

Yes a score of 550 can be achieved. You have to work on your weaknesses whether quant or verbal. Dont forget that practice CATs do not use the same algorithm as the real test.
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Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 10

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07 Mar 2017, 12:20
Thank you everyone!! Verbal specifically sentence correction has been my biggest weakness. So that's what i have been working on.. along with a little math just to make sure my scores don't drop there.
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07 Mar 2017, 15:35
Hi Vito,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. Since you've been back to studying for just 5 weeks, there might be an issue with how accurate these CAT results are. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

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'll take the 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?

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

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Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 10

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17 Mar 2017, 09:42
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Vito,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. Since you've been back to studying for just 5 weeks, there might be an issue with how accurate these CAT results are. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

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'll take the 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?

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

Hi Rich, and thanks for taking the time to respond.. Heres my responses

1) I normally skip the essay ( I'm a pretty good writer and scored very high on my actual GMAT
2) Mostly at home.. My two most recent scores being 460 and 530 i took at a coffee shop
3) Different times.. Normally same days (every Sunday.
4) I did pause to solve a problem, never longer breaks or anything
5)questions dont ever really look familiar. Somtimes when I use the Qbank in Kaplans website as sometimes they are repeat questions.
Manager
Status: Single
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WE: Asset Management (Advertising and PR)

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17 Mar 2017, 10:10
I think it's more than doable. but you gotta make sure to be in exam conditions, also why are you not following a class online like e-gmat, to boost up the basics and everything.

You might have a problem of concentration or stress as well, try to eat well and practice EFT for example to reduce that.

Let me know how it goes, good luck!
Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 10

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17 Mar 2017, 10:15
Ross2018 wrote:
I think it's more than doable. but you gotta make sure to be in exam conditions, also why are you not following a class online like e-gmat, to boost up the basics and everything.

You might have a problem of concentration or stress as well, try to eat well and practice EFT for example to reduce that.

Let me know how it goes, good luck!

I have taken the kaplan course not once.. but twice now.. second time they offered it for Free online since i scored below my initial CAT on my first in person class.

Thanks,

Vito
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17 Mar 2017, 17:09
Hi Vito,

Is your Official GMAT still scheduled for 3/20/17? I ask because that's in just a couple of days - so it's too late to make any big changes to how you approach the Exam (and you shouldn't try to "cram" during these last couple of days - it would likely do more harm than good). There have been some issues with how you took your CATs - and they produced some unrealistic score results. It's not practical to go into all of that now though, since you can't undo any of that and it's too late to take any more practice CATs. Instead, it's worth noting that to hit your score goal, you don't have to correctly answer ANY questions on Test Day that you think are too hard or too weird - so you should consider 'dumping' any questions that both you (just take a guess and move on). You can then use all of that time you save from those 'dumped' questions on the rest of the questions (which should be 'gettable' as long as you have enough time to do the necessary work).

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 10

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20 Mar 2017, 08:27
Well I just finished my exam.. 420.. 50 points higher then last time. Q25 and V23. Which is quite opposite of how I scored on my practice CAT's. I usually scored 35-37 on my Quant and 17-20 on Verbal. Not sure what the problem could be.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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20 Mar 2017, 10:33
Hi Vito,

Now that we have a more recent GMAT score to use as a basis for comparison, we can talk about how best to proceed.

To start - we should discuss how you took your CATS. Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By skipping sections, taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.' Since those CAT scores were not giving you an accurate sense of your abilities, you weren't able to focus on the proper subjects so your Official scores didn't significantly improve.

Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. However, raising a 420 to a 550+ will take some significant effort and will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study.

1) Have you used any other practice materials besides the Course that you mentioned?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

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Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2017
Posts: 10

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20 Mar 2017, 10:54
Hi Rich,

The man study materials I have been using is Kaplan's website, the Official Guide book, and manhattan preps sentence correction book.

Thanks,

Vito
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Joined: 19 Dec 2014
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Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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20 Mar 2017, 11:51
Hi Vito,

Continuing to study in the same ways as before (and with the same materials as before) will likely not lead to the big score improvement that you're after. As such, some changes to your study materials and study routine are in order. Before we can talk about how best to proceed, I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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Joined: 08 Oct 2015
Posts: 41

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27 Mar 2017, 08:51
Hi Vito,

I have a few thoughts on how you can build on this experience and boost your score. First, you said in an earlier post that you did pause to solve a question at times. If you meant that you occasionally suspended the test and then resumed after finishing the question, that would falsely elevate the practice test score. Skipping sections will also result in misleading results and shortchange the opportunity to build your endurance for the full exam. Have you ordered an Enhanced Score Report? That would be helpful in evaluating your pacing and performance across your GMAT so that you can use that information in planning the next stage in your studies.

Second, it’s crucial to go back and review all of the questions that you complete in practice with an eye on what you can learn from that question in the future. You should be keeping notes on what trips you up on certain question types so you can study those topics and practice avoiding those errors in the future. Certainly, you may already be doing this. I just wanted to be thorough in my advice.

Third, if you just began your online Kaplan course in February, you should still have access to your online materials. Have you been attending sessions on Kaplan’s GMAT Channel? These are live sessions offered nearly every day of the week to drill deeper in particular topics and question types, and it’s a great way to continue building your skills in specific areas. I would definitely recommend joining some GMAT Channel sessions as you continue to study. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there’s a way that we at Kaplan can continue to support you in your GMAT studies!

Best,
Jennifer Kindy
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29 Mar 2017, 15:34
Hi Vito,

I’m glad you reached out and I’m happy to help! Given that your GMAT score is still in the low 400s despite putting in a decent amount of prep, it’s likely that the way you have been studying is preventing you from achieving your 550 score goal.

Since your quant and verbal scores seem to be stuck in relatively low percentiles, you may want to start by going back and relearning the foundations of GMAT quant and verbal.

In my experience, I’ve see that when students focus their study efforts on difficult GMAT topics while neglecting the basics, their GMAT scores do not get off the ground. Remember, the key to hitting your goal score is getting all of the easy and medium questions correct, plus as many of the hard questions as possible correct. You can miss a reasonable number of hard ones. Getting hard ones right drives your score up, but missing them does not drive your score down too much. However, missing medium and, especially, easy questions drives your score lower. Furthermore, if you can’t correctly answer easy and medium-level questions, you probably will not see hard questions on the test.

Thus, knowledge of the basics, or lack thereof, can make or break your GMAT quant score. Yes, you know about fractions, ratios, and decimals, for example, and those concepts are simple in theory, but are you skilled at solving GMAT quant questions involving these topics? Certain types of questions may seem easy to you, but how long are you taking to answer them? Often people don’t work on the types of questions that are seemingly easy for them, with the result that those people use up a lot of time answering such questions. It may be that one of the things you need to do to increase your GMAT quant score is get better at handling the most basic concepts, and then build upward from there.

Once you have strengthened your foundations, you can move on to more specific quant topics. When studying these topics, you should devote sufficient time to first fully learning each topic and then working on your weaknesses within the given topic. You goal is not to practice until you begin to get questions from these areas correct; your goal is to practice until you can’t get questions from these areas wrong.

For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure to practice many questions just on Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a remainder question wrong, for instance, ask yourself why you got it wrong. 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 thoroughly analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to more efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant knowledge. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for many quant topics.

You should also follow this process for verbal topics. For example, if you are reviewing Critical Reasoning, be sure to practice a large number of questions just from Critical Reasoning: strengthen and weaken the conclusion, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. Once you complete that practice, thoroughly analyze your wrong answers to determine your weaknesses within Critical Reasoning, and spend some time eliminating those weaknesses. Once those weaknesses have been addressed, move on to the next verbal topic.

In your practice, take your time. Don't be satisfied with knowing how to get an answer. Only be satisfied when you get a right answer. You can practice getting right answers consistently by shooting for streaks of right answers. For example, if you are doing SC questions, see how many you can get right in a row. Then do the same thing with CR and with DS. Can you get five in a row right? Ten? Twenty? You don't have to be too concerned with timing at this point. Let the clock run. Just focus on ACCURACY. You can be sure that once you learn to get right answers consistently, you will be able figure out how to get them faster. As you get stronger and stronger with the material, you can begin holding yourself to more stringent time constraints.

From what you’ve said and given your improvement so far, if you can study hard and “smart,” and give yourself enough time to expand your GMAT knowledge, it seems likely that you can hit your goal on test day. Of course, if as the test date approaches you don’t feel like you’re ready, you could always push the test date back.

If you have any further questions or would like further advice, feel free contact me directly.
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Re: Score Improvement Increase &nbs [#permalink] 29 Mar 2017, 15:34
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# Score Improvement Increase

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