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Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation

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Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2019, 20:44
Hi,
I appeared for GMAT on 17th May,2019 and scored an abysmal 620(Q50,V24,IR3) on the test day.Needless to say,cancelled outright.I had been preparing for GMAT for about 5 months.After that I moved to Canada and only now have I resumed my preparation.I referred to Manhattan GMAT textbooks,GMAT Clud questions and OG2019.My score in 5 Manhattan tests hovered around 620 on an average and in the 2 GMAT tests I scored 660(Q50,V31) and 640(Q49,V28).

I am attaching my ESR for review.I am struggling with CR and that translated into my score,although I was not that bad either.I believe lack of sleep a night before exam wore me down during the exam.I was unable to focus right from the beginning of the exam(Sequence-->Quant,Verbal,IR,AWA).Whatever the reason,the score was utterly discouraging and I am finding it hard to pick myself up.I need help and guidance from experts.How differently should I approach preparation this time?
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Re: Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2019, 21:13
Hi arpitkansal,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not turn out better. 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 various CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 640 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes.

Before we discuss the data in your ESR, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long did you study before your first Official GMAT? How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) Have you taken any practice CATs/mocks in the last month? If you have, then how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
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Re: Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2019, 21:32
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi arpitkansal,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not turn out better. 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 various CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 640 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes.

Before we discuss the data in your ESR, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long did you study before your first Official GMAT? How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) Have you taken any practice CATs/mocks in the last month? If you have, then how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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



Hey Rich,

Reply to your queries point wise:

1) How long did you study before your first Official GMAT? How many hours did you typically study each week? -I made it a habit to study for 3 hours each day and gave mocks over the weekend.Spent another day analyzing the answers.I worked for 6 days a week and studied precisely for 5 months although I faced distractions on personal front during this time.My wife had to undergo a surgery in April.I lost almost 20 days of prep as I was distracted during that time.
2) Have you taken any practice CATs/mocks in the last month? If you have, then how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?I resumed my preparation only 3 days ago after 17th May,2019 as I moved to Canada.
3) What is your overall goal score?My goal is 730+
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?I am planning to apply from January,2020.
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?I am focusing on 1year MBA programs. INSEAD and/or IMD are my target schools
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Re: Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2019, 15:34
Hi arpitkansal,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional notes.

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Rich
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Re: Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2019, 11:33
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Hi Arpit,

First off, let’s look at the good news - Q50 is awesome my friend! So, nice job. Looking at your ESR it’s clear that CR and SC are dragging down your verbal score, so here is some advice you can follow to improve both your CR and SC skills. I’ll start with SC.

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, to be successful in Sentence Correction, 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 less than 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 none of those reasons are 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 answers were always the ones 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 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 put in the necessary time to see the differences between answers 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 to arrive at that answer and what you could do differently 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 do differently to extend your streak.

Regarding Critical Reasoning, your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, 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.

Another major mistake that people make when training for CR is that they do practice questions too fast. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what is going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely won't learn to do so by spending a few minutes per question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend up to fifteen minutes per question, learning to see what there is to see. Here is a way to look at this process: If you get a new job in a field in which you are not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do. So, what do you do? You do the job correctly, if not as quickly as those around you, and you make sure that you learn all the angles, so that you do the job well. Rushing through the job and doing it incorrectly would not make sense. As you gain more experience, you learn to do the same job more quickly.

Think of Critical Reasoning questions similarly. Your job is to do what? To get through questions quickly? Not really. Your job is to get correct answers. So, first you have to learn to get correct answers, generally at least 10 to 15 in a row consistently, and more in a row would be better. Doing so is doing your job, and if it takes you fifteen minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it.

Only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently should you work on speeding up. Remember, working quickly but not doing your job is useless. Better to work slowly and learn to do your job well. You can be sure that with experience, you will learn to speed up, and then you will still be doing your job well, i.e., getting correct answers consistently.

Finally, a crucial aspect of getting correct answers to Critical Reasoning questions is noticing the key differences between trap choices and correct answers. Trap choices can sound temptingly correct, but they don't get the job done. The logic of what a trap choice says simply doesn't fit what the question is asking you to find. So, to find correct answers, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following article:

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Scored abysmal 620(Q50 V24,IR3) after about 5 months of preparation   [#permalink] 21 Aug 2019, 11:33
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