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Stuck at 680!

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Intern
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 4

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17 Sep 2017, 16:28
I've taken 3 GMAT Prep official tests and scored the same on all 3 - any pointers on how to get "unstuck?"

Exam 1: Quant: 46, Verbal: 37
Exam 2: Quant: 44, Verbal: 39
Exam 3: Quant: 42, Verbal 41

I've been focusing on Quant and that score is going down! Haven't studied verbal at all and that is going up!
Intern
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 18
Location: India

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17 Sep 2017, 18:17
This is a very unusual pattern.
I highly doubt that you can get Q42 after getting Q46 earlier. Were you tired, uninterested in giving prep 3 test?

Even I have reached score plateau during my preparation. I have been through lot of debriefs and found that the solution to climb above scores such as 700+ is selectively targeting your weak areas.
Compare the questions that you got wrong in your practice sets and figure out which topic scares you the most such as Number properties, modifiers etc. Then focus only on those areas by going through their theory and then solving specific questions. For both these you can take help of gmat club.
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 8102
Location: Pune, India

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18 Sep 2017, 02:47
jessicalin01 wrote:
I've taken 3 GMAT Prep official tests and scored the same on all 3 - any pointers on how to get "unstuck?"

Exam 1: Quant: 46, Verbal: 37
Exam 2: Quant: 44, Verbal: 39
Exam 3: Quant: 42, Verbal 41

I've been focusing on Quant and that score is going down! Haven't studied verbal at all and that is going up!

My suggestion would be to ignore the score and instead focus on identifying your weaknesses. You have taken 3 tests - figure out why your Quant score is going down. Do you have problems in certain topics? Or do you have problems in advanced applications of some? Also,find out which is your weakest section in Verbal and pay some extra attention to that for a few days.
Use the tests to gauge how you can improve your score in both Quant and Verbal.
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18 Sep 2017, 12:07
Hi jessicalin01,

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 3 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 690 +/- a few points). After taking each CAT, it's important to do a full review of your performance (with the goal of trying to determine WHY you got questions wrong). Beyond that analysis, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Have you taken any CATs besides these 3 (and how have you scored on them?)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Intern
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 4

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18 Sep 2017, 12:30
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi jessicalin01,

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 3 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 690 +/- a few points). After taking each CAT, it's important to do a full review of your performance (with the goal of trying to determine WHY you got questions wrong). Beyond that analysis, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Have you taken any CATs besides these 3 (and how have you scored on them?)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Hi Rich,

1) I've been studying for a couple of months, with more intensity in the past month.
2) I've used the official guide, and done the practice problems from GMAT Prep and the exams were from the free pack and exam pack 1 & 2. I've supplemented with Magoosh flashcards and used some of the tricky questions on gmatclub
3) No

4) 720-730
5) Two weeks
6) Depends on score
7) Depends on score

When I look into the question types I get wrong, they're variable! There's no real trend. I think for Quant, my problem is trying to identify the quick way to solve problems. I feel like I get tripped up over probability and counting questions, but actually tend to do pretty okay on them in the CATs I've taken.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 11815
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170

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18 Sep 2017, 12:45
Hi jessicalin01,

At higher-and-higher scoring levels, the GMAT becomes really 'sensitive' to little mistakes (especially on 'gettable' questions), so we need to know a bit more about your most recent CAT score.

After reviewing each section, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you "narrow down to 2 choices" and get correct/incorrect?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Intern
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 4

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18 Sep 2017, 19:57
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
jessicalin01 wrote:
I've taken 3 GMAT Prep official tests and scored the same on all 3 - any pointers on how to get "unstuck?"

Exam 1: Quant: 46, Verbal: 37
Exam 2: Quant: 44, Verbal: 39
Exam 3: Quant: 42, Verbal 41

I've been focusing on Quant and that score is going down! Haven't studied verbal at all and that is going up!

My suggestion would be to ignore the score and instead focus on identifying your weaknesses. You have taken 3 tests - figure out why your Quant score is going down. Do you have problems in certain topics? Or do you have problems in advanced applications of some? Also,find out which is your weakest section in Verbal and pay some extra attention to that for a few days.
Use the tests to gauge how you can improve your score in both Quant and Verbal.

Thank you! I think I end up over-complicating problems and miss obvious solutions, kind of across the board, not just in one question type.
Intern
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 4

Show Tags

18 Sep 2017, 20:02
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi jessicalin01,

At higher-and-higher scoring levels, the GMAT becomes really 'sensitive' to little mistakes (especially on 'gettable' questions), so we need to know a bit more about your most recent CAT score.

After reviewing each section, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you "narrow down to 2 choices" and get correct/incorrect?

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

I am making silly mistakes. As I review, some of them I'm totally kicking myself because the answer is obvious. Others, I'm just over-complicating the problem and not seeing the easy solution. And towards the end of this last one, I did run out of time, which doesn't usually happen. I ended up guessing on the last two questions. I spent way too much time on a very hard problem, which I ended up getting correct, but probably wasn't worth it.

It's questions like "Let a,b,c,&d be nonzero real numbers. If the quadratic equation ax(cx+d)=-b(cx+d) is solved for x, which of the following is a possible ratio of the 2 solutions" where I immediately go to start multiplying it out and thinking about how to solve for x using the quadratic formula, instead of seeing the commonality of the (cx+d) on both sides and combining it into (ax+b) * (cx+d) = 0
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 11815
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170

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19 Sep 2017, 11:09
Hi jessicalin01,

If the most common 'cause' of your wrong answers is silly/little mistakes, then your focus should be on the 'precision' in your work. Taking the proper notes and doing the necessary work "on the pad" (NOT 'in your head') is an essential part of keeping those little mistakes from happening. To hit your goal score, you really have to keep the little mistakes to a minimum; until you eliminate those mistakes completely, then 'hard' questions aren't really worth your time.

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Re: Stuck at 680!   [#permalink] 19 Sep 2017, 11:09
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