GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

 It is currently 16 Oct 2019, 18:20

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Intern
Joined: 18 Mar 2018
Posts: 11
Location: Indonesia
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Simon '21 (A\$)
GPA: 3.53
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

16 Oct 2018, 21:50
Hi everyone,

I just took my first GMAT test today and I scored 550 (Q41, V25). This is the lowest score among all my practice test scores in GMATPrep and even lower than my diagnostice test. I feel shattered right now as just like everyone else, I'm targeting to get at least 700. I plan to apply for the second round of admission which mostly due in January, as you know.

When I took Practice Test 1 and 2, I did not record the result but I remember I scored 580 in Practice Test 1.
I then bought the on demand course from Veritas Prep, watched the videos and skillbuilder, but I have been solving questions mostly from the official questions only. In fact I already solved all questions from OG 2018, analyzed my mistake, and tried the wrong questions again and again. And, I also used Manhattan SC.
Here are my practice test scores:
5 Sept : 670 (Q48, V 34)
21 Sept : 650 (Q 44, V35)
30 Sept: 680 (Q45, V 38)
2 Oct: 690 (Q48, V36)
Two days ago, I reset one of the practice test and scored 760 (Q50, V42). But I know this one is inflated because I saw some questions I had already seen before.

I don't know how my score could turn out to be as low as 550. I felt a little bit nervous in the beginning but I noticed that I needed to spend quite a lot of time on the first 3 questions. After the first break, I felt too relaxed during verbal and maybe this caused my verbal score to go down to V25. Other than those, I don't know why.

I have used all 6 practice tests from GMAT and now I'm lost on what to do or where to start and if its possible for me to reach my target score if I take GMAT again next month.

I do not want to give up on my MBA dream but because of some situations at work and everything, I really need to apply for 2019 fall intake.

Can anybody suggest where should I restart my preparation and what should I do right now?

I haven't stopped crying since after leaving the test center. I really thought I could make it.
e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2861
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

17 Oct 2018, 01:58
1
1
Hi @alviravalia,

It is natural to feel disappointed with a lower than expected score. Having said that, with the right attitude and retake strategy, I am sure you will be able to get to your target score. Here are a few students who were able to reach their target score despite low score in the first test:
• Bruno improved from a 540 to 730 in 1 month. See how he focused on "logical approach" and building "core skills". Click here to watch his amazing video debrief.
• Prawee (550 to 740) used all the books and local coaching classes but was unable to improve her GMAT score beyond a certain point. She finally scored 740 in her 5th attempt and got a \$180,000 fellowship cumulatively from 3 top business schools. She is currently pursuing MBA from Kellogg. There was a time when Kellogg was not even on her radar. Click here to watch her interview.
• Abhijay improved from 560 (V20) to 710 (V38). Click here to watch his inspiring video debrief.

To plan your retake, I would recommend that you go through the articles mentioned below. If you have any further concerns regarding your retake, please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com.

Regards,
_________________
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15263
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

17 Oct 2018, 21:58
Hi elviravelia,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. 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:

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 took 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: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Intern
Joined: 18 Mar 2018
Posts: 11
Location: Indonesia
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Simon '21 (A\$)
GPA: 3.53
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Oct 2018, 02:15
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
No, I usually only do the quant and verbal section and then skip the IR and AWA. But I always choose the sequence where I solve quant or verbal prior to IR and AWA.
2) Did you take them at home?
Yes always at home.
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
No, I always take it on the afternoon but my test was in the morning at 9 am. Do you think this really affect my performance?
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.)?
Only skipping sections (IR and AWA)
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?
Yes I did. I reset one the practice test once and scored 760. However, I realized that that was an inflated score. Still, I could not believe my score would drop to as low as 550.

As I have used all of my practice tests, I wonder how I can 'measure' my ability from time to time before the retaking the test next month.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15263
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Oct 2018, 11:35
Hi elviravelia,

Which practice CATs have you used so far? While the most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly).

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the travel time to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
RC Moderator
Joined: 24 Aug 2016
Posts: 790
GMAT 1: 540 Q49 V16
GMAT 2: 680 Q49 V33
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Oct 2018, 11:41
Hello elviravelia.

you can also check if the causes described below applies to you :
https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 46658.html
_________________
Please let me know if I am going in wrong direction.
Thanks in appreciation.
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 8069
Location: United States (CA)
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Oct 2018, 18:07
1
Hi elviravelia,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. First off, it appears that you have been studying for only about 6 weeks, right? (Since your first practice test was on Sept. 5?) Many folks have to study for as many as 4+ months to achieve a 700 on the GMAT. So, it’s quite possible that with some further dedicated prep, you can improve your GMAT score, OK?

Assuming that you took your practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results of those exams show that you should have been able to score higher than 550 on test day. It’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. Honestly, the fact that you cried after your exam shows that you probably put an immense amount of pressure on yourself to succeed.

Furthermore, since you studied for only about 6 weeks, you probably were unable to fully master GMAT quant and verbal, and thus lingering weaknesses were exposed on test day. Moving forward, you need to take more thorough approach to your preparation. For verbal, since you seem to be weaker in that topic, you need to go back to the foundations and work your way to more advanced topics. For quant, although you probably do not have to start with the foundations, you still should follow a linear and thorough study plan so you can determine and fix any and all remaining quant weaknesses. Let’s look at some specifics for how to structure your study plan, starting with verbal.

Say you begin studying Critical Reasoning. First, you need to ensure that you fully understand the essence of the various question types. Do you know the importance of an assumption within an argument? Can you easily spot a conclusion? Do you know how to resolve a paradox? Do you know how to properly evaluate cause and effect? Do you know how to properly weaken or strengthen an argument? These are just a few examples; you really need to take a deep dive into the individual Critical Reasoning topics such that you develop the necessary skills to properly attack any Critical Reasoning questions that you encounter.

As you learn each Critical Reasoning problem type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you incorrectly answered a Weaken the Argument question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing that you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

Although your quant is stronger, you can follow a similar process for that section. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 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.

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.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
_________________

# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
122 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

Intern
Joined: 18 Mar 2018
Posts: 11
Location: Indonesia
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Simon '21 (A\$)
GPA: 3.53
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Oct 2018, 22:46

I just received my ESR and it looks like I performed really, really poor on Critical Reasoning (18th percentile!!). Quite surprising for me because I used to be able to answer all Critical Reasoning questions on the beginning of my preparation so I neglected CR and focused on other areas such as SC and Quant.

Your posts give me a lot to think about and I will restart my preparation after analyzing my mistakes. Most probably need to enroll to another prep course out there.

Thanks again!
Intern
Joined: 18 Mar 2018
Posts: 11
Location: Indonesia
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: Simon '21 (A\$)
GPA: 3.53
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

18 Oct 2018, 22:55
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi elviravelia,

Which practice CATs have you used so far? While the most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly).

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the travel time to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

Hi Rich,

I used all 6 official practice exams from GMAC. I have access to several CAT from Veritas but I limited my preparation on official questions only so I did not use any of them.
Do you think this limiting my preparation to official questions only also affected my result?

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
I solved more OG questions 3 days before Test Day, did another practice exam 2 days before Test Day, and reviewed my notes and wrong questions 1 day before Test Day.
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
It was difficult for me to fall asleep and I lied on the bed for 2 hours before I fell asleep.
3) How long was the travel time to the Test Center from your home?
It was close (only 15 minutes) and the transportation was comfortable. I arrived 50 minutes early at the test center. Apparently they just let me start right after they scanned my palm and took my picture. I scheduled for 09:00 AM but I guessed I started my test around 8:45 AM or something.
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
As I started early, most people came after me into the Testing Room and I was quite distracted as I noticed people were walking back and forth behind me.
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
I only took the first break after Quant but I believed it ruined my concentration. I got way too relaxed after the break and could not concentrate during Verbal section so I performed very poorly and got only V25! I always got around V34-V38 on my practice tests. I plan not to take a break on my next attempt. But I'm not sure if this is a good idea.
6) Did you finish any sections early? 7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?
No I needed to rush on the last 3-4 questions both on Quant and Verbal and guessed around 1-2 questions on the last of each section.
Intern
Joined: 16 Sep 2018
Posts: 14
Location: India
Schools: ISB '20 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
GPA: 4
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

19 Oct 2018, 00:33
1
HI Elviravelia

You have the potential to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

I believe building your foundations rock solid will enable you face any challenge on the GMAT.

I myself scored a 750, and trust me, if the basics are in place, you can get there easily.

You can refer my post https://gmatclub.com/forum/scoring-750- ... 76872.html for deeper insights, and let me know if you want any help from my side.

Best of luck for the next attempt!

Regards
Mohit
Thread Master - Part Time MBA Programs
Joined: 11 Jan 2018
Posts: 145
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

19 Oct 2018, 11:00
1
elviravelia wrote:

I just received my ESR and it looks like I performed really, really poor on Critical Reasoning (18th percentile!!). Quite surprising for me because I used to be able to answer all Critical Reasoning questions on the beginning of my preparation so I neglected CR and focused on other areas such as SC and Quant.

Your posts give me a lot to think about and I will restart my preparation after analyzing my mistakes. Most probably need to enroll to another prep course out there.

Thanks again!

Please try Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible. This will teach you how to approach each type of CR questions. I was able to increase my accuracy from ~40% to ~90% after going over this book. Remember, you need to connect a missing gap between premises and conclusion for a lot of CR questions.
Re: Scored 550 on real GMAT after scoring higher on practice exams   [#permalink] 19 Oct 2018, 11:00
Display posts from previous: Sort by