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# Share your thoughts on my GMAT journey

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Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 115

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08 Mar 2011, 08:05
I have been studying for a few weeks now and my GMAT test date is fast approaching - 2.5 weeks to go.

I had taken the real GMAT in Sept 2010 and tottaly bombed it(490 39Q,20V). I have managed to improve my VErbal score to 32-33 in my practice tests. My CR accuracy is still very very low. I get only 30% of the OG 12 Questions right.I have bought 2 books for CR - MGMAT CR and Powerscore CR bible. Both are great book, but, the books don't seem to translate into any strategy for me . I'm a non-native English Speaker and still managed to improve my RC and SC. Not being able to improve CR is really demoralizing to me.

My GMAT practice scores CAT are as follows:

MGMAT CAT 1 - 530 40Q, 22V <----1st week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 2 - 540 33Q, 34V <----2nd week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 3 - 590 42Q, 30V <----last week of Jan 2011
GMAT prep 1 - 630 43Q, 34V <----1st week of Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 4 - 590 42Q, 33V <----mid - Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 5 - 630 43Q,34V <-----taken last week
I took all CAT under official (timed) conditions except for not attempting the AWA. I even went to my local public library to take 3 of these tests in that environment.

Any thoughts on what I could expect in the real exam ?Unfortunately, I'm having amnesia with my past real GMAT experience . CAnnot remember my practice scores also that led to the 490.

I need a 650 for a sure admit in my target school. However, I'm pushing myself for a 680-700.

Please share your GMAT or GMAT prep experience for my situation so that I can make the best of the few days that I have.

Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 115

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [2], given: 115

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28 Mar 2011, 07:05
2
KUDOS
wishbone, best of luck with your up-coming GMAT. I wpuld have thought of a GMAT retake had I socred around 50 points below my practice tests average. My real score was a 120 point below average! That is no joke. I had not much issue with the content. After a few weeks, I was able to answer problems, understand explanations, think logically and critally etc. But, looks like I'm not made for the test. May be I might think of a retake, once my mind stabilizes, or may be not.
For now, I'm done with the GMAT.

Kudos [?]: 70 [2], given: 115

Current Student
Status: Chuffed
Affiliations: Tuck - Class of 2013
Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 96

Kudos [?]: 36 [1], given: 2

Location: United States
Schools: Tuck '13 (M)
GPA: 3.93
WE: General Management (Consumer Products)

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09 Mar 2011, 05:29
1
KUDOS
Firstly, if you've been getting 630 in your practice tests then you ARE a smart person. I suspect that you are now at the stage of of feeling like poop every time a CR question comes up. I got the same way with DS on the quants. Just remember that there is no difference between critical reasoning and having an argument with your friends over a friendly beer.

For me, critical reasoning questions are about eliminating choices rather than spotting the correct one right away.

I took this example from the CR section of the forums:

Learning how to build a nest plays an important part in the breeding success of birds. For example, Dr. Snow has recorded the success of a number of blackbirds in several successive years. He finds that birds nesting for the first time are less successful in breeding than are older birds, and also less successful than they themselves are a year later. This cannot be a mere matter of size and strength, since blackbirds, like the great majority of birds, are fully grown when they leave the nest. it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that they benefit by their nesting experience.

Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument?
(A) Blackbirds build better nests than other birds.
(B) The capacity of blackbirds to lay viable eggs increases with each successive trial during the first few years of reproduction.
(C) The breeding success of birds nesting for the second time is greater than that of birds nesting for the first time.
(D) Smaller and weaker blackbirds breed just as successfully as bigger and stronger blackbirds.
(E) Up to 25 percent of all birds are killed by predators before they start to nest.

So firstly what is the underlying argument of the passage... I read it to be "as black birds get better at nesting, through experience over time, they are more successful at breeding".

Check the question again ... Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument?

Weaken is the crucial word here. Now look for arguments that strengthen the passage as they will be the easiest to spot.

Rule out C. C would suggest that the passage is correct.

Now check for answers that have nothing to do with the argument.

Rule out D and E. They make no mention of nesting practice in relation to breeding ability.

At this point you have given yourself a 50/50 chance of getting the answer.

Look closely at A. While it does talk about the nesting abilities of blackbirds it is comparing them to other species rather than to different members of the same species. It neither strengthens or weakens the argument.

So the Answer must be B. And it is. It says that it is their ability to lay eggs that can hatch that increases over time and with maturity, and that leads to better breeding ability. Not, as the passage suggests, their ability to build better nests.

This is a somewhat difficult question, where you need to find the statement that casts most doubt on the conclusion of the passage rather than outright disagreeing with it. The method I used however works for me on all CR questions.

Kudos [?]: 36 [1], given: 2

Manager
Affiliations: The Earth organization, India
Joined: 25 Dec 2010
Posts: 190

Kudos [?]: 15 [1], given: 12

WE 1: SAP consultant-IT 2 years
WE 2: Entrepreneur-family business 2 years

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09 Mar 2011, 05:54
1
KUDOS
hey i got scores very similar to wat u have here, u should easily get the 650, i got a 47-34 5.5--> 650.

but dont expect a huge jump in the test day, be calm u should get a 40 verbal in gmat if u are managing it in the MGMAT. focus on the quant in the last 2 weeks., u might reach a 670 if u go in an awesome state of mind,
_________________

Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

Kudos [?]: 15 [1], given: 12

Director
Status: -=Given to Fly=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 827

Kudos [?]: 249 [1], given: 78

Location: India
Schools: Haas '18, Kelley '18
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 710 Q48 V40
GMAT 3: 750 Q51 V40
GPA: 3.5
WE: Education (Education)

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09 Mar 2011, 07:30
1
KUDOS
What an improvement!

From 490 to 630! A 140 point improvement is definitely a reason to feel very good about yourself!

For a score of 650, you need 44 in Quant and 37 in verbal... Now if you can propel the Quant score to 46, a verbal score of 35 will get you a 650
_________________

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

Kudos [?]: 249 [1], given: 78

Manager
Status: Just trying to make mom and dad proud :)
Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 102

Kudos [?]: 19 [1], given: 0

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09 Mar 2011, 09:16
1
KUDOS
RHB wrote:
For me, critical reasoning questions are about eliminating choices rather than spotting the correct one right away.

I definitely agree with this. Process of Elimination helps in all three sections of verbal to a great degree. I am trying to use this stratgey more consciously now. Have you been actively marking off incorrect answers and eliminating them? Definitely try this because it was not only save you time but also eliminate unnecessary details.

Kudos [?]: 19 [1], given: 0

Manager
Status: TIME FOR 700+
Joined: 06 Dec 2010
Posts: 202

Kudos [?]: 49 [1], given: 55

Schools: Fuqua
WE 1: Research in Neurology
WE 2: MORE research in Neurology

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11 Mar 2011, 13:23
1
KUDOS
gmatdone wrote:
I have read your post. i am facing a lot of problem in RC. my accuracy level is only 40%. can you suggest me any good strategy. which books i should follow . normally i dont take any notes while solving RC. I have heard a lot about RC 99. can you suggest me is it worth doing it? can it help me improve my accuracy. my gmat is in 5 weeks.

thanks.

heygirl wrote:
I have been studying for a few weeks now and my GMAT test date is fast approaching - 2.5 weeks to go.

I had taken the real GMAT in Sept 2010 and tottaly bombed it(490 39Q,20V). I have managed to improve my VErbal score to 32-33 in my practice tests. My CR accuracy is still very very low. I get only 30% of the OG 12 Questions right.I have bought 2 books for CR - MGMAT CR and Powerscore CR bible. Both are great book, but, the books don't seem to translate into any strategy for me . I'm a non-native English Speaker and still managed to improve my RC and SC. Not being able to improve CR is really demoralizing to me.

My GMAT practice scores CAT are as follows:

MGMAT CAT 1 - 530 40Q, 22V <----1st week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 2 - 540 33Q, 34V <----2nd week of Jan 2011
MGMAT CAT 3 - 590 42Q, 30V <----last week of Jan 2011
GMAT prep 1 - 630 43Q, 34V <----1st week of Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 4 - 590 42Q, 33V <----mid - Feb 2011
MGMAT CAT 5 - 630 43Q,34V <-----taken last week
I took all CAT under official (timed) conditions except for not attempting the AWA. I even went to my local public library to take 3 of these tests in that environment.

Any thoughts on what I could expect in the real exam ?Unfortunately, I'm having amnesia with my past real GMAT experience . CAnnot remember my practice scores also that led to the 490.

I need a 650 for a sure admit in my target school. However, I'm pushing myself for a 680-700.

Please share your GMAT or GMAT prep experience for my situation so that I can make the best of the few days that I have.

aristotle prep SC, very handy, use it, learn it, great resource, and inexpensive
_________________

Back to the grind, goal 700+

Kudos [?]: 49 [1], given: 55

Manager
Joined: 27 Jan 2011
Posts: 198

Kudos [?]: 13 [1], given: 6

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11 Mar 2011, 15:37
1
KUDOS
Hey girl: would you say Aristotle are good practice books for RC and CR; I am suddenly finding a scarcity of material for these 2 topics, OGs and MGMATs are my pillar points, but I find though the material is good it lacks in quantity!

Posted from my mobile device

Kudos [?]: 13 [1], given: 6

Manager
Status: One last try =,=
Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 139

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

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14 Mar 2011, 10:53
1
KUDOS
Just want to share my 2 cents here.

In the last two weeks of preparation, it is essential to take full-length practice tests to familiarize yourself with the real GMAT. But more importantly, you should analyse and learn from your problems. I read somewhere that you MUST know why a correct answer is correct and why a wrong answer is wrong. Well, I know it takes time, but it's worth it.

I think that SC questions in real GMAT are tougher than those in GMATPrep, but the concepts tested are the same :D.

If you want to do OG problems, I suggest designing mini sets to practice in timed mode. For example, for a quant set, you pick up 22 PS problems + 15 DS problems from OG; for verbal set, you choose 4 RC passages + 10 CR problems + 15 SC problems.

I personally think that you should devote the last 2 weeks to practicing full-length CAT tests, analyzing and learning from your mistakes, rather than do OG problems.

BTW, have you rescheduled your test date? If you feel confident and well-prepared, don't do that

Best of luck!
_________________

There can be Miracles when you believe

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

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16 Mar 2011, 11:47
1
KUDOS
windofchange wrote:

- Quant: Most people will agree that OG quant questions are easier than those in real test. However, the concepts/knowledge tested, in my opinion, are the same.
- RC: OG problems are relatively as tough as real GMAT problems.
- SC: SC problems in real test are trickier.
- CR: I think the level of difficulty is similar.

Keep on fighting till the end!!!!
Good luck! :D

windofchange, thanks for ur support here! I'm really happy to receive some kind of support.

I'm happy to know that CR and RC are of comparable levels in the real test with the OG. Quant does seem a little easy based on OG questions but I'm not too concerned of Quant(not aiming for a 50+). My target is to bring up the verbal score. I'm expecting 44 on the quant in the real test because all my tests upto now have indicated the same(including mgmat and gmat prep tests). I get stuck on word problems so will review that next week. I plan to set one day for GMAT quant word problems!
I'm concentrating on Verbal because I tend to forget strategy/rules if I dont keep in touch .

I agree with you on the quality over quantity thing. I did the same in my last GMAT attempt-Did not go anywhere,and scored miserably! This time I made it a point to turn all the questions that I get wrong into flashcards/concepts. This is really helping me.

About my CR strategy - I really don't know what exactly it is . But, what I did was : re-read through Powerscore CR and my flashcards(based on powerscore CR). Then, I started to see a pattern in CR questions. I did some 4-5 OG questions for practice. Ofcourse, it is very imp to master CR by question type. EG. LEarn the strategy for weaken question and do 4-5 medium level CR questions. This drills the strategy into us. This is what I did too. It took me almost 4-5 days for this. Hope that helps.

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

Manager
Status: One last try =,=
Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 139

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

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20 Mar 2011, 07:56
1
KUDOS
heygirl,

I totally agree with you that we cannot get a solid score without mastering Verbal section. Thanks for your inputs :D.

If you run out of official CR problems, you can find more in GMATPrep CR.pdf compiled by Whiplash. However, be aware that your GMATPrep score may be inflated because of overlapping questions. I read somewhere that LSAT CR questions are quite good, you may want to try the free CR question bank of Aristotle http://www.aristotleprep.com/free-resou ... stion-bank.

Try your best! I am crossing my fingers for you
_________________

There can be Miracles when you believe

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

Intern
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 41

Kudos [?]: 1 [1], given: 0

Location: India

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20 Mar 2011, 19:06
1
KUDOS
going by my experience, ur quant score will be higher than MGMAT. Gmat quant, although tricky, is not as difficult as MGMAT. Keep your fingers crossed for the verbal. . ATB

Kudos [?]: 1 [1], given: 0

Manager
Joined: 27 Jan 2011
Posts: 198

Kudos [?]: 13 [1], given: 6

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23 Mar 2011, 14:04
1
KUDOS
Hey girl, you are almost there, don't let these scores affect you! Great you are trying to calm yourself; at this point that's the best strategy, try to keep the daily routine of practicing few problems in next 2 days, but don't take any more CATS, 1 at the max, just de-stress, my sincere best wishes & good luck for the test.

Posted from my mobile device

Kudos [?]: 13 [1], given: 6

Director
Status: -=Given to Fly=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 827

Kudos [?]: 249 [1], given: 78

Location: India
Schools: Haas '18, Kelley '18
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V37
GMAT 2: 710 Q48 V40
GMAT 3: 750 Q51 V40
GPA: 3.5
WE: Education (Education)

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23 Mar 2011, 19:55
1
KUDOS
Impressive Quant Score :

Did you run out of stamina after the quant session or were you able to complete quant and verbal in good form?

Sometimes, test takers tend to perform well in the quant session but burn out early and perform less efficiently in the verbal section. This could probably explain the discrepancy in the scores.
_________________

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

Kudos [?]: 249 [1], given: 78

Manager
Status: One last try =,=
Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 139

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

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23 Mar 2011, 21:35
1
KUDOS
heygirl wrote:
Yes, I need to do a 5 CR and 5 SC daily. Will also glance through some OG problems for SC. I might take one more CAT on Friday too.I feel that after taking many MGMAT CATS , I kind of got used to the scoring used there. This helped me stabilize my scores to 630-640 in MGMAT CATS. So, will see if this strategy will help for GMAT prep too! We definitely need to get used to the screens and scoring of the GMAT prep. I noticed that GMAT prep, and probably the real GMAT too, does not allow us to take a guess on our scores . For example, in my today's practice test, I did not see any combinatorics or complicated word problems(which I am bad at!!!).I saaw just one probabilty question and that was very simple,may have been a 600 level question. I literally cruised through the Quant section and guessed through only 2-3 questions. I thought I would land a 40 or 42 but was pleasantly surprised with a 46 . I had the opposite feeling for the VErbal section though and scored a 25.

Heygirl,
One CAT on Friday is a good idea. Do not burn yourself out . A set of 5CR + 5SC + 1 or 2RC is more than enough. One more thing, you may want to revise the flashcards you have made if you have enough time. Do not let the practice test score get you down, you can do better than that on the real GMAT.

Do not eat rich food and do get enough sleep the night before the test. I remember reading a post on this forum, which said that on the test day, we can activate our brain by doing some easy quant problems (but do not look at the answer key!).

Well, I am waiting for your 600+ debrief ^^.

Best of luck!
_________________

There can be Miracles when you believe

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

Manager
Status: One last try =,=
Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 139

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

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25 Mar 2011, 12:23
1
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heygirl wrote:
I'm almost there. My G-Day is tommorow!
I reviewed the Powerscore CR bible yesterday. This really helped me retain the CR concepts . Also went through the Verbal flashcards posted by whiplash in the Verbal forum. Did not do any Quant practice/review. Also, too a GMAT prep test this morning and got a 560 Q35, V 32 Lol, looks like my score is going lower and lower! I don't know what to expect tommorow but will still go in with a positive mind, This is my lowest quant score ever and the test exposed my weak areas : I'm bad at those problems that combine avg,mean etc and some co-ordinate geometry and I got a lot of these on this test!

So target for today: review all my flascards and sleep early today! Tommorow will wake up and do 2-3 problem from Quant and 2-3 Cr/SC questions before I head to the centre. My test is at 12 noon.

Hey girl,
First of all, congrats on the verbal score
I don't think the test is intelligent enough to reveal your weaknesses , so do not assume that these question types show up because the test "knows" that they are your weak areas :D.
So come to the test center and think that you are prepared to deal with ANY problems the test can throw at you . If you don't know how to answer a question, then use the POE, make an educated guess, and move on.
You should feel confident because you have done anything you can to prepare for the test. If I were you, I would do the following:
1. Do not think about the practice test and make (unnecessary) assumption
2. Relax and eat a healthy meal
3. Pray for the best

Keep on Fighting till the end!

_________________

There can be Miracles when you believe

Kudos [?]: 120 [1], given: 32

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

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27 Mar 2011, 08:08
1
KUDOS
windofchange wrote:
heygirl wrote:
Yes there is time for 2012admissions.however, on second thoughts I want to rethink my decision to retake The GMAT

You must be very tired after the exam, so have a break. Let us know if you decide to retake.
Have a nice weekend!

yes, im mentally tired more than anything else. not sure if i would want to retake though

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

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27 Mar 2011, 20:38
1
KUDOS
After what seems like days, I realised that it is just over a 36 hours that I got out of the GMAT test center. I was in a terrible state of mind and am thinking of gaining my confidence and strength. Finally, decided to post here. Life has to move on. Never seen such a low score on any practice test, neither the diagnostic test, so definitely shocked, disappointed, disheartened, sad and depressed. As I mentioned, I scored a 480, 10 points lower than my last attempt that I took almost cold(3 weeks study), and I'm sure no one would be interested in a loser's debrief, so I'm going to do without it here on this forum.

I freaked out and panicked in the Quant section,ran out of time and the result was a Q 33. I was already exhausted with the AWA. I only wish I had practiced a few more essays so that I would not have to think that much. Another big mistake - I took a practice test 24 hours before my real test. That drained me out. Verbal was going ok , I thought I would be able to manage a 25 and I got a 23,pretty close. Somehow, I was able to guess the question levels in the test. I feel our intuition gets trained after taking a few GMAT prep tests - fantastic tests I believe.

Last edited by heygirl on 28 Mar 2011, 05:48, edited 1 time in total.

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

Manager
Status: Just trying to make mom and dad proud :)
Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 102

Kudos [?]: 19 [1], given: 0

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27 Mar 2011, 22:11
1
KUDOS
I understand that you feel dejected but you are now better equipped for another attempt because you know exactly what went wrong: 1) you panicked, 2) timing and 3) not practicing AWAs enough. In a lot of debriefs I have read, people are absolutely shocked with their scores and have no idea where they went wrong. I am sure if you address the specific issues you listed, you will definitely do better should you decide to retake.

Kudos [?]: 19 [1], given: 0

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

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28 Mar 2011, 05:52
1
KUDOS
ibbys , Entwistle , thanks ! I felt good reading your posts in the morning. atleast something positive in my life.

ibbys, i dont know if I want to go ahead with a retake now. No point in giving another GMAT test. I will have 3 GMAT tests to my credit then, in one calendar year.

Entwistle, May be 480 does reflect my potential and I'm just not a candidate for b-school. Perhaps, I cannot perform under pressure who knows? If I take another GMAT prep test this week I might score around 600 and that might make me feel even worse because it will confirm that I cannot perform under stress.

anyway, thanks guys for being there. I know I've disappointed a lot of people, more than I have disappointed myself.

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

Re: Share your thoughts on my GMAT journey   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2011, 05:52

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