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# Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve

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Intern
Joined: 07 Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 11:14
Hi,

I have re-started preparing for GMAT since last couple of months. Before starting this preparation, I had tried my hand at GMAT a couple of years back and managed to score 690. The objective of re-taking GMAT is to be able to score in 740-760 range. I am using Economist GMAT prep tool, but seem to have stuck in the 680-700 range. How should I navigate my preparation in order to score closer to my target score?
I am sharing the details of the exams I have taken so far - probably might help give you a context of my performance so far. My score in Verbal has been consistently low even after decent practice.

03/02/18 Economist 680, Q-50 , V-34 , IR-2
09/03/18 Economist 640, Q-51 , V-28 , IR-4
17/03/18 Economist 590, Q-50 , V-23 , IR-7
24/03/18 Manhattan 680, Q-47 , V-36 , IR-3.03
30/03/18 GMAT Prep 700, Q-49 , V-35 , IR-7
02/04/18 Economist 680, Q-51 , V-34 , IR-8
07/04/18 Economist 680, Q-50 , V-35 , IR-6
09/04/18 GMAT Prep 670, Q-49 , V-31 , IR-8

Admitted - Which School Forum Moderator
Joined: 21 Mar 2018
Posts: 290
Concentration: Finance
Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 11:27
1
itsme0301 wrote:
Hi,

I have re-started preparing for GMAT since last couple of months. Before starting this preparation, I had tried my hand at GMAT a couple of years back and managed to score 690. The objective of re-taking GMAT is to be able to score in 740-760 range. I am using Economist GMAT prep tool, but seem to have stuck in the 680-700 range. How should I navigate my preparation in order to score closer to my target score?
I am sharing the details of the exams I have taken so far - probably might help give you a context of my performance so far. My score in Verbal has been consistently low even after decent practice.

03/02/18 Economist 680, Q-50 , V-34 , IR-2
09/03/18 Economist 640, Q-51 , V-28 , IR-4
17/03/18 Economist 590, Q-50 , V-23 , IR-7
24/03/18 Manhattan 680, Q-47 , V-36 , IR-3.03
30/03/18 GMAT Prep 700, Q-t49 , V-35 , IR-7
02/04/18 Economist 680, Q-51 , V-34 , IR-8
07/04/18 Economist 680, Q-50 , V-35 , IR-6
09/04/18 GMAT Prep 670, Q-49 , V-31 , IR-8

What part of verbal do you suffer the most ? SC RC or LR ?
Did you finished OG ?
Do you read daily ? Outside of GMAT prep, do you read anything and what is on your reading plate, what sources ?
Is vocabulary a problem, are you a native speaker or not ?
It really helps to identify what part of verbal is your weakness and focus on that. It would also help to add a book from another prep company in that area or take their full verbal course, to see do you improve more with some change of perspective or style of teaching.
_________________

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13064
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2018, 11:47
1
Hi itsme0301,

First off, a 690 is a strong score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be 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:

Early last week, GMAC made a formal announcement defining some changes that will be taking place to the format of the Official GMAT (beginning April 16, 2018). These changes primarily impact the overall length of the Exam (meaning the number of questions in the Quant and Verbal sections as well as the amount of time that you’ll have to complete each of those two sections). In theory, a shorter Exam could make it easier for a well-prepared Test Taker to score higher. Unfortunately, practice CATs in the new 'format' don't exist yet - but once they become available, you should plan to take one (so that we can get a better sense of how you perform under these new conditions).

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 recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 680 +/- a few points) - so your current skills seem to be in line with your skills from a few years ago. To score at a significantly higher level, you're going to have to change how you "see" (and respond to) the Verbal section of the Exam.

1) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for your Official Score (the 690)?
2) Do you have an Official Test Date yet (and if so, then what is it?)?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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: 07 Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Re: Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

09 Apr 2018, 13:42
[/quote]

What part of verbal do you suffer the most ? SC RC or LR ? RC
Did you finished OG ? 75-80%
Do you read daily ? Outside of GMAT prep, do you read anything and what is on your reading plate, what sources ? Not an avid reader, but if you could guide me, I am happy to read some material to improve my reading speed and comprehension skills
Is vocabulary a problem, are you a native speaker or not ? [i]Not a native speaker but vocab is not a prob

It really helps to identify what part of verbal is your weakness and focus on that. It would also help to add a book from another prep company in that area or take their full verbal course, to see do you improve more with some change of perspective or style of teaching.Any good ones you suggest?[/quote]

What part of verbal do you suffer the most ? SC RC or LR ? RC
Did you finished OG ? 75-80%
Do you read daily ? Outside of GMAT prep, do you read anything and what is on your reading plate, what sources ? Not an avid reader, but if you could guide me, I am happy to read some material to improve my reading speed and comprehension skills
Is vocabulary a problem, are you a native speaker or not ? [i]Not a native speaker but vocab is not a prob

It really helps to identify what part of verbal is your weakness and focus on that. It would also help to add a book from another prep company in that area or take their full verbal course, to see do you improve more with some change of perspective or style of teaching.Any good ones you suggest?
Intern
Joined: 07 Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Re: Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

09 Apr 2018, 13:57
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi itsme0301,

First off, a 690 is a strong score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be 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:

Early last week, GMAC made a formal announcement defining some changes that will be taking place to the format of the Official GMAT (beginning April 16, 2018). These changes primarily impact the overall length of the Exam (meaning the number of questions in the Quant and Verbal sections as well as the amount of time that you’ll have to complete each of those two sections). In theory, a shorter Exam could make it easier for a well-prepared Test Taker to score higher. Unfortunately, practice CATs in the new 'format' don't exist yet - but once they become available, you should plan to take one (so that we can get a better sense of how you perform under these new conditions).

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 recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 680 +/- a few points) - so your current skills seem to be in line with your skills from a few years ago. To score at a significantly higher level, you're going to have to change how you "see" (and respond to) the Verbal section of the Exam.

1) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for your Official Score (the 690)?
2) Do you have an Official Test Date yet (and if so, then what is it?)?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Hi Rich,

Thanks for such an elaborate response.
I will definitely try to speak to admission experts to evaluate my profile against the schools I want to apply to. I have, though, got rejected from few B-schools a couple of years back with the same score. But that could be due to multiple reasons.

I want to get a significantly higher score to compensate for not-so-good GPA and I think getting a high GMAT score definitely would be the most trustworthy way of doing that, along with other methods. Perhaps, I want to give one last shot before moving into the application phase. Please find my responses to your queries below:

1) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for your Official Score (the 690)? Q - 49, V- 36
2) Do you have an Official Test Date yet (and if so, then what is it?)? I am planning to book a date in mid June 2018
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School? I am planning to apply for the 1st round of Aug 2019 admissions
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to? I am planning to apply to a few from the list (though the list is not limited to): Judge, Said, IMD, Insead, LBS, Ross, Tuck, Fuqua, ISB India
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13064
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

09 Apr 2018, 20:13
Hi itsme0301,

If we remove the one 'outlier' from your CAT scores over the last 2 months (the 590), then you're performing at a remarkably consistent level. By extension, "your way" of approaching the GMAT will likely continue to earn you a score in the high-600s. You might have developed some 'bad habits' that are keeping you from scoring higher (which will take time to 'fix' - and replace with new 'good habits').

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix '). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing the Quant and Verbal sections of this recent CAT, 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' but still get wrong?

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!*****

Admitted - Which School Forum Moderator
Joined: 21 Mar 2018
Posts: 290
Concentration: Finance
Re: Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 Apr 2018, 10:52
itsme0301 wrote:

What part of verbal do you suffer the most ? SC RC or LR ? RC
Did you finished OG ? 75-80%
Do you read daily ? Outside of GMAT prep, do you read anything and what is on your reading plate, what sources ? Not an avid reader, but if you could guide me, I am happy to read some material to improve my reading speed and comprehension skills
Is vocabulary a problem, are you a native speaker or not ? [i]Not a native speaker but vocab is not a prob

It really helps to identify what part of verbal is your weakness and focus on that. It would also help to add a book from another prep company in that area or take their full verbal course, to see do you improve more with some change of perspective or style of teaching.Any good ones you suggest?[/quote]

What part of verbal do you suffer the most ? SC RC or LR ? RC
Did you finished OG ? 75-80%
Do you read daily ? Outside of GMAT prep, do you read anything and what is on your reading plate, what sources ? Not an avid reader, but if you could guide me, I am happy to read some material to improve my reading speed and comprehension skills
Is vocabulary a problem, are you a native speaker or not ? [i]Not a native speaker but vocab is not a prob

It really helps to identify what part of verbal is your weakness and focus on that. It would also help to add a book from another prep company in that area or take their full verbal course, to see do you improve more with some change of perspective or style of teaching.Any good ones you suggest?[/quote]

If you want more dense and challenging material suitable for RC practice then The Atlantic and New Yorker.
Regarding book or full course I suggest that you read reviews here and pick two the most to try, trial version for course and starting to read their books, then you can decide which one works best for you.
What works for somebody doesnt have to work you and have same appeal and vice versa. Therefore is best to try before deciding to which one you will stick.
_________________

Re: Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve &nbs [#permalink] 10 Apr 2018, 10:52
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# Stuck at 680-700 mark! I have roughly 2 months in hand. How to improve

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