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Struggles with GMAT

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Struggles with GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2019, 13:31
Hey everyone

I'm really desperate to be honest and maybe someone on this platform can help me out/share their experience:

I have taken my first GMAT after almost 2 months full time study. To be fair I wasn't scoring too well in my mock exams (580, 590, 690) so my overall score of 600 in the actual exam was no surprise. I decided to try once again, now studying while working full time and took the GMAT again today- with a disappointing 590. My Quant score hasn't changed overall and my Verbal score decreased (but to be honest I think that's only because I wasn't very focused during that part). All my practice exams were 710, 730 and only one was 690, so I really don't know what I did wrong this time. I prepared with Target Test Prep this time, and everything went smooth.

I already thought about taking the test again in 16 days, without the pressure and a short study break (some friends suggested that the continuous "pressure" of working and studying full time might have exhausted my brain as well) but honestly right now I don't know how to proceed. So any advice is appreciated :(
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New post 04 Dec 2019, 13:47
Paulinanoelle wrote:
Hey everyone

I'm really desperate to be honest and maybe someone on this platform can help me out/share their experience:

I have taken my first GMAT after almost 2 months full time study. To be fair I wasn't scoring too well in my mock exams (580, 590, 690) so my overall score of 600 in the actual exam was no surprise. I decided to try once again, now studying while working full time and took the GMAT again today- with a disappointing 590. My Quant score hasn't changed overall and my Verbal score decreased (but to be honest I think that's only because I wasn't very focused during that part). All my practice exams were 710, 730 and only one was 690, so I really don't know what I did wrong this time. I prepared with Target Test Prep this time, and everything went smooth.

I already thought about taking the test again in 16 days, without the pressure and a short study break (some friends suggested that the continuous "pressure" of working and studying full time might have exhausted my brain as well) but honestly right now I don't know how to proceed. So any advice is appreciated :(


how much time did you spend studying?
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New post 04 Dec 2019, 13:48
goobo wrote:
Paulinanoelle wrote:
Hey everyone

I'm really desperate to be honest and maybe someone on this platform can help me out/share their experience:

I have taken my first GMAT after almost 2 months full time study. To be fair I wasn't scoring too well in my mock exams (580, 590, 690) so my overall score of 600 in the actual exam was no surprise. I decided to try once again, now studying while working full time and took the GMAT again today- with a disappointing 590. My Quant score hasn't changed overall and my Verbal score decreased (but to be honest I think that's only because I wasn't very focused during that part). All my practice exams were 710, 730 and only one was 690, so I really don't know what I did wrong this time. I prepared with Target Test Prep this time, and everything went smooth.

I already thought about taking the test again in 16 days, without the pressure and a short study break (some friends suggested that the continuous "pressure" of working and studying full time might have exhausted my brain as well) but honestly right now I don't know how to proceed. So any advice is appreciated :(


how much time did you spend studying?



overall? a bit over 3 months I suppose, first two months 4-6 hours a day and afterwards 2 hours a day.
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New post 04 Dec 2019, 21:29
Hi Paulinanoelle,

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. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) On what dates did you take EACH of your Official GMATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) How long have you studied in total?
3) What study materials have you used over the course of all of your studies?
4) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) 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 04 Dec 2019, 23:34
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Paulinanoelle,

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. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) On what dates did you take EACH of your Official GMATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) How long have you studied in total?
3) What study materials have you used over the course of all of your studies?
4) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
5) What is your overall goal score?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) 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.

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


Thank you for your reply Rich.

1) I took my first GMAT exam on October 14 (Q35/V38); I took the second GMAT yesterday, so December 4 (Q35/V36) I'm not entirely sure if my verbal score was 36 or 37.
2) I have studied at total of 3 months and 1 week
3) I have used the OG 2018, OG Quant, as well as the Manhattan Books for Quant. Then, for the second exam I have used Target Test Prep. For Verbal I did not prepare at all, apart from reading a lot in English.
4) 04 March 2019: 550 (Q32/V34)
15 September 2019: 580 (Q39/V30)
October 02 2019: 590 (Q39/V32)
October 11: 690 (Q47/V38)
November 23: 710 (Q46/V41)
November 26: 710 (Q49/V38)
December 01: 730 (Q49/V40)

5) My overall goal score is to be above 650/660. So I wouldn't say I'm aiming for a super high score here. But I still couldn't manage...
6) My plan was to apply on January 15 latest. So the latest for me to possibly retake is December 23.
7) SSE, WU, NHH


That might be an option, thanks!
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New post 05 Dec 2019, 09:38
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Hi Paulinanoelle,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. Honestly, since you did not score lower than Q46 on your last 4 practice exams, it seems likely that nerves/anxiety played a role on test day. I mean your practice test scores show that you are very good at GMAT quant, right?

The reality is that your friends may be right; it sounds as though you’ve put a tremendous amount of pressure on yourself, and as though that pressure really affected your test-day performance. So, if you do plan to retake, I think you need to go into the GMAT with an entirely different mindset. You need to go in treating the GMAT like any other day and also maybe cut down on your prep prior to your retake. Certainly, keep studying, but just don’t sleep, breath, and eat the GMAT. If you can do all that, I don’t see why you would not perform to your ability level on test day. Also, I see that you are using TTP, so feel free to reach out to me directly, and we can discuss how to further leverage the course for your retake.

I’ve got your back, my friend.
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New post 05 Dec 2019, 10:26
Two months do not appear to be sufficient time given that your mock scores were on the low side. Clearly, you would need to work on both sections, preferably at the same time.

It is essential to have srong grasp on fundamental concepts in both sections. Test questions will combine many of these concepts for which logical reasoning will be need to solve. Becoming comfortable with combination of concepts and solving quickly will be some of the keys to doing well.

Working and studying intensely at the same time cannot be sustained for long periods. Breaks are essential to get the most from study. Distractions should be avoided if possible. So, a short vacation from daily life and focus on studying could be helpful.

Go to test day only when you are ready for the most part. It is wasteful to use the actual test as a practice session. Cheers.
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New post 05 Dec 2019, 16:44
Hi Paulinanoelle,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. As such, your 2 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time you took the GMAT (about 600 +/- a few points) - even though you took those Exams almost 2 months apart. You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. There's a significant performance difference between a Q35 and a Q49 though - so I'm not sure that we can explain that drop away as just being the result of anxiety.

As it stands, with a 600, you're closer to scoring 650 than you probably realize, but it's possible that you have developed some 'bad habits' during your prior studies that are keeping you from scoring higher on the Official GMAT. By extension, you would have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' and respond to the Exam to pick up those missing points. With a planned retest date in less than 3 weeks, you'll need to be really efficient with your time going forward, so I have a few questions about your timeline and goals:

1) Are there later application Rounds after January that you would consider?
2) What is the minimum GMAT Score that you would be comfortable applying with?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 05 Dec 2019, 18:18
You lack one thing, I guess. Have you done all OG2020 (or former versions) questions thoroughly? Any prep alone is not sufficient to score to your highest for gmat

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New post 07 Dec 2019, 02:54
chondro48 wrote:
You lack one thing, I guess. Have you done all OG2020 (or former versions) questions thoroughly? Any prep alone is not sufficient to score to your highest for gmat

Posted from my mobile device


Not the OG2020 but yes, I did all the questions from a former guid (+seperate Quant guide questions). There were some I did not understand but I worked through them to grasp the concept and understand where I went wrong.
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New post 07 Dec 2019, 02:58
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Paulinanoelle,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. As such, your 2 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time you took the GMAT (about 600 +/- a few points) - even though you took those Exams almost 2 months apart. You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. There's a significant performance difference between a Q35 and a Q49 though - so I'm not sure that we can explain that drop away as just being the result of anxiety.

As it stands, with a 600, you're closer to scoring 650 than you probably realize, but it's possible that you have developed some 'bad habits' during your prior studies that are keeping you from scoring higher on the Official GMAT. By extension, you would have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' and respond to the Exam to pick up those missing points. With a planned retest date in less than 3 weeks, you'll need to be really efficient with your time going forward, so I have a few questions about your timeline and goals:

1) Are there later application Rounds after January that you would consider?
2) What is the minimum GMAT Score that you would be comfortable applying with?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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



Thanks for your input! To answer your questions: no there is no later application round for me to apply, and the minimum score I would feel comfortable applying with would be a 650. I know that at the moment I can invest 2 hours a day for studying + the weekends.
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New post 07 Dec 2019, 17:15
Hi Paulinanoelle,

I've sent you a PM with some notes and additional questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 21 Dec 2019, 05:29
Hey just a quick follow up to let you all know: I retook the test yesterday and scored a 650 (Q44/V35). I'm not overwhelmed, but I'm okay with the score and at least feel like this is a score I can send to the business schools I'm applying to. Thanks for all your help!
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Re: Struggles with GMAT   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2019, 05:29
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