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Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)

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Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 17:12
Hi,

In April I took the GMAT after self-studying (using gmatclub and official GMAT) and scored a 700 with a 48Q/37V. I took some time off for personal reasons and am looking to retake the exam. I am planning about 10-12 weeks of studying. I am working full-time so I will try to do 1-2 hours a day with 3-4 hours on the weekends. Should I take a course for the retake? The e-gmat course looks pretty promising but I have heard how it might not help native speakers as much for verbal. Additionally, would it help me raise my quant score 1-2 points?

I'm leaning towards taking a course since I have not really touched GMAT material in a few months. Thoughts?
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 04:32
jzheng3 - Welcome to GMAT Club and congratulations on getting a 700 score on the GMAT!

I would recommend that you review an excellent forum post on retake plan: Retaking GMAT Strategies!
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 09:29
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Hi jzheng3,

I think taking a self-study course would be a good idea. Regarding which course to use, in addition to seeking advice in this thread, take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses, and also read through some GMAT success stories to see what materials have worked well for other test-takers.

Also, would you like some general advice on how to improve your verbal and quant skills?

You also may find my it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2019, 19:34
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Hi jzheng3

First off, a 700/Q48 is an outstanding Score, so you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is probably not necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There's no harm in retesting, but 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:

Studies:
1) How long did you study before your 1st attempt? What type of studying have you been doing since then? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far? What 'brands' of practice CATs/mocks have you used?
3) Have you taken any practice CATs since your Official GMAT? Going back to the beginning of your studies, how have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
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?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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New post 13 Aug 2019, 07:18
EMPOWERgmatRichC

1) I studied for about 10-12 weeks. I tried to do at least 10 hours a week.
2)First time I studied, I used the Official GMAT 2019 guide and gmatclub explanations. Nothing else really. I took one official gmat mock in the beginning and one Veritas Prep a few weeks before my exam.
3)Haven't really studied much/taken any mocks since the exam.
4) I'm trying to get 740+
5)Probably not for another 2-3 years. I just graduated undergrad.
6)M7

Thanks!
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New post 13 Aug 2019, 07:20
ScottTargetTestPrep

Thanks for the reply. And yeah I'd love some advice!
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2019, 16:00
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Hi jzheng3

Focusing on the GMAT now - years before you'll actually 'need' your Score - is a smart choice. From what you described, it appears that your studies were built around working through lots of practice questions (but not necessarily focusing on Quant or Verbal Tactics). Your Official Score shows that you're a strong critical thinker overall, so to hit your Score Goal, your focus during this next phase of your studies should be on learning the Tactics, patterns and little 'secrets' of the Exam. You could potentially hit your Score Goal in 1-2 months.

GMAT skills can 'fade' over time, so since it's been about 4 months since you took the Official GMAT, you should plan to take a new FULL-LENGTH CAT sometime soon - and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss how best to proceed.

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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2019, 18:51
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jzheng3 wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep

Thanks for the reply. And yeah I'd love some advice!


To improve your quant score to a higher level, 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. 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, types that you would rather not see, and types 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.

ou also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Please reach out with any further questions.
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2019, 17:38
EMPOWERgmatRichC

I took a Sigma-X mock test from e-gmat and did pretty poorly on quant. Ended up scoring a 640 with a 39/39 split... I found the quant pretty difficult. Quant skills are very rusty.
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2019, 17:06
Hi jzheng3

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, but retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills - since you will likely see some 'repeat' questions that you have already faced. Unfortunately, seeing even a couple of repeats can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all appear to be better than they actually are).

Thankfully, you only used 1 of the 6 Official CATs during your prior studies - and 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 correctly take the CAT in a realistic fashion). As such, you should plan to use CATs from any of those sources during this next phase of your studies.

If this recent practice score is accurate, then you will have to put in some time to regain your prior Quant skills. That having been said, you've given yourself plenty of time to study (and you might not necessarily need 10-12 weeks to hit your Goal Score). Have you decided on whether you'd like to work through a more formal Study Plan or not?

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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 13:29
EMPOWERgmatRichC

Yeah, I certainly want to. I signed up for e-gmat for verbal. Not sure what exact direction to take.
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 15:26
Hi jzheng3

If that course includes its own study plan, then it would make sense at this point to follow that plan and see how well you improve. If you find that you get 'stuck' at a particular Verbal score level, then you should post back here (or you can feel free to PM me directly) and we can discuss how you might adjust your studies. What are your current plans for the Quant section?

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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 15:30
EMPOWERgmatRichC

I heard there's no easy way to get to a 50+ on quant using a course or anything. I was planning on just doing all the hard problems on gmatclub and really focus on my weaknesses/relearning certain topics that I am weak at.
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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 16:57
Hi jzheng3

To start, a Q50+ is a really high Score in the Verbal section, so the idea that there would be an "easy" way to achieve that type of result is not realistic. That having been said, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so the idea that a Course couldn't help you to score at that high level in the Quant section might be the silliest idea I've ever heard about the GMAT. Was the person who told you that trying to sell you tutoring?

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Re: Should I take a course for a retake? (700 48Q/37V)   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2019, 16:57
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