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Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.

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Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2016, 17:55
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Hi,
Yesterday I took Gmat for the 5th time and scored 710. My last few scores have been

720 Q50, V38 Oct'14
710 Q50, V36 Dec'15
710 Q50, V37 July'16
710 Q50, V35 Sep'16

Anybody in my place would understand the frustration and disappointment I'm going through after repeated failures in Verbal. I just can't solve the puzzle. I have probably tried everything. I have solved almost all the official questions multiple times. Exhausted all the mock series available whether official or from gmat prep companies. I'm so burnt up right now that I just don't know what to do. I have even tried GRE and LSAT material to fix my RC and CR.

Here are some of the problems that I think I'm facing.

* SC has always been my strong point. But in the last two attempts, I'm finding it difficult as I'm averaging more than 90 sec per question and not getting more than V40.

* CR: I think this is still on control now but I consistently take more than 2 mins.

* RC: this is also in control now but again I take over two mins per question.

From the last few ESRs, I have also observed that in the last 10 questions my accuracy levels are less than 50%, prolly because overall I end up spending too much time that for the last 10 questions I get 15-16 mins.

Another problem that probably worked against me is that I took less mocks. Overall this year I prepared for 6 months but took only 6-7 mocks. This is again because I have exhausted most that are available out there.

Another problem is nerves. Throughput the test, I could feel my heart pumping really fast as if I'm doing some cardio workout. And in the last 10 question, it gets even worse. A related problem this past week had been a lack of sleep. I study at night but overtime my schedule shifted from sleeping 4 in the morning to 7-8 in the morning and fixing my sleep time led to lack of sleep in the last week. I think I averaged only 4 hrs during this past week. I hardly get adequate sleep the night before the exam but this time the lack of sleep extended for more than a week.

Before anybody suggests that 720 is a good score and I should apply, I want to mention that in 2014 I applied to 7 schools and ended up getting wait listed by just one school and rejected by others. None of the schools I applied to ranks in top 10. I'm an Indian IT male so I come from a very competitive group. My profile is decent but nothing extra ordinary. So nothing less than a 750 can help me get an admit in a decent MBA program.

Another thing I would like to mention here is that I have never been able to fully justify myself about why I want to do MBA? From the heart, I'm a geek and love to tinker with technology. I dream of building a technology company. So my main motivation is to become a tech entrepreneur. So every now and then I play with ideas and than back out from working seriously on most of them. I just feel that during MBA, I can have time, people, network, resources to build something successful. But we all know that one can do all this without MBA. I also feel that I need to have a bigger view and find the role of a product manager as much appealing as of an entrepreneur. So somewhere there is an ambivalence about MBA. Sometimes I say to myself that it is good to have one then other times I feel so excited about ideas that I just don't want to do anything else but to work on those ideas.

Right now, I'm looking for suggestions about what is the best way forward. I'm totally lost and have lost a lot of valuable years of my life because of indecision and lack of clarity. I'm feeling very reluctant to apply with the same score again, but if I don't that I will lose R1. Or should I try again? What should my study plan in that case? Would a personal tutor help?

I would request experts to please pitch in.
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New post 13 Sep 2016, 21:55
Hi! I got the same score yesterday! Q50 V 38 ( 720 ).
Yes , I understand when you say that this is not exactly a great score when it comes to engineers from India applying at B-Schools. Could you tell me which all schools you had applied to initially? I am not looking at top 20 colleges either, since I dont have a great profile ( Marine Engineer, below par CGPA, 4 years of work ex).
I used EGMAT ONLINE and was quite confident of getting a V40, however things did not work out.
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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 08:11
Sorry to hear about your struggle. Can you post the ESR's so that I can take a closer look at your past performances before giving you any specific advice? The 700+ territory is not easy to get deep into; you probably don't need to hear more general advice.
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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 11:27
Hi tarunktuteja,

You have to remember that Business Schools look for strong OVERALL applicants. With a 710-720 score, you have that 'piece' of the application covered - so your GMAT score was NOT why you were rejected by any of the Schools that you applied to. The broader issue is likely the way that you 'marketed yourself' to the Schools that you applied to. The way that you describe yourself (and your goals) in this post is NOT what Business Schools want to hear. If any of these ideas appeared in your essays or during interviews, then that's far more likely to be a factor in why you were rejected than your GMAT score. There might also be other factors in your overall application that stood out as 'red flags' to the various Admissions Committees. This is all meant to say that you likely do not need to retake the GMAT, but you DO need to work with an Admissions Expert on your application(s). There's a Forum full of them here:

ask-admission-consultants-124/

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tarunktuteja wrote:
Hi,
Before anybody suggests that 720 is a good score and I should apply, I want to mention that in 2014 I applied to 7 schools and ended up getting wait listed by just one school and rejected by others. None of the schools I applied to ranks in top 10. I'm an Indian IT male so I come from a very competitive group. My profile is decent but nothing extra ordinary. So nothing less than a 750 can help me get an admit in a decent MBA program.

Another thing I would like to mention here is that I have never been able to fully justify myself about why I want to do MBA? From the heart, I'm a geek and love to tinker with technology. I dream of building a technology company. So my main motivation is to become a tech entrepreneur. So every now and then I play with ideas and than back out from working seriously on most of them. I just feel that during MBA, I can have time, people, network, resources to build something successful. But we all know that one can do all this without MBA. I also feel that I need to have a bigger view and find the role of a product manager as much appealing as of an entrepreneur. So somewhere there is an ambivalence about MBA. Sometimes I say to myself that it is good to have one then other times I feel so excited about ideas that I just don't want to do anything else but to work on those ideas.

Right now, I'm looking for suggestions about what is the best way forward. I'm totally lost and have lost a lot of valuable years of my life because of indecision and lack of clarity. .

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 14:03
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HiLine wrote:
Sorry to hear about your struggle. Can you post the ESR's so that I can take a closer look at your past performances before giving you any specific advice? The 700+ territory is not easy to get deep into; you probably don't need to hear more general advice.


Hi HiLine
Please find attached the ESR(Verbal only) of my last three attempts. Thanks for your help.

Regards
Tarun
Attachments

File comment: ESR Verbal part 2 December 15 retake
ESR-Dec15-2.JPG
ESR-Dec15-2.JPG [ 59.34 KiB | Viewed 1463 times ]

File comment: ESR Verbal part 1 December 15 retake
ESR-Dec15-1.JPG
ESR-Dec15-1.JPG [ 110.65 KiB | Viewed 1467 times ]

File comment: ESR Verbal part 2 July 16 retake
ESR-Jul16-2.JPG
ESR-Jul16-2.JPG [ 60.96 KiB | Viewed 1465 times ]

File comment: ESR Verbal part 1 July 16 retake
ESR-Jul16-1.JPG
ESR-Jul16-1.JPG [ 109.18 KiB | Viewed 1468 times ]

File comment: ESR Verbal part 2 Sep 16(recent one) retake
ESR-Sep16-2.JPG
ESR-Sep16-2.JPG [ 61.44 KiB | Viewed 1470 times ]

File comment: ESR Verbal part 1 Sep 16(recent one) retake
ESR-Sep16-1.JPG
ESR-Sep16-1.JPG [ 106.33 KiB | Viewed 1467 times ]

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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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A quick glance at the number of questions correct.
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Number of Q correct.JPG
Number of Q correct.JPG [ 42.64 KiB | Viewed 1392 times ]


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New post 15 Sep 2016, 03:03
@EMPOWERgmatRichC

Thanks for your reply. I agree to an extent on the analysis that there are other red flags which might have worked against me. I asked schools about the reason for rejection post interview. I was presented with two main reasons: Lack of clarity about the post MBA goals and Gmat score. I also felt that I was not at my best in interviews. Atleast I did not sound confident and I used to be nervous at times. Another problem that was pointed out both by gmat consultants and schools adcom is gmat score. In tech heavy schools such as Tepper, UCLA and both rank between 10-20, Indian IT males usually have a 750 and above score. Anything less than that is a red flag, unless there are other bright spots in the profile. So by increasing the gmat score I'm trying to better my chances on one of the counts.

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New post 19 Sep 2016, 00:29
I would appreciate suggestions from anyone of you. Please share your thoughts.

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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2016, 11:45
Hi tarunktuteja,

If you're convinced that you have to retake the GMAT, then you're going to have to focus on your Verbal skills. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability - and your last two Official GMAT results show that you essentially performed the exact same way on those two Exams. Thus, you're fairly consistent in both the things that you do well and in the little mistakes that you make. The 'swings' in your CR, RC and SC performances on these two Exams imply that you're 'narrowing the answers down to 2 choices and then "guessing"' far too often though. With your score goal, you're likely going to need a V40+, so while your overall performance in the Verbal section is really good, we need to adjust 'your way' of dealing with that section so that the process of answering questions is more formalized and Tactical. Learning how to spot the common wrong answers (so that you can avoid them) would also be beneficial.

1) When are you planning to retest?

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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2016, 15:10
Quote:
From the last few ESRs, I have also observed that in the last 10 questions my accuracy levels are less than 50%, prolly because overall I end up spending too much time that for the last 10 questions I get 15-16 mins.


This is probably a significant part of your problem. You're working your way up to a level of performance that you can't sustain, by spending too much time on questions at the beginning. Then, you're faced with questions that are too hard for you, and not enough time to do them. When this happens, your score ends up dropping to lower than what you would've gotten if you'd just stayed at the same (slightly lower, but still quite high) level that you could sustain throughout the test.

Have you practiced timing specifically at all? If not, I'd recommend that you start.
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Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 20 Sep 2016, 09:22
ccooley wrote:
Quote:
From the last few ESRs, I have also observed that in the last 10 questions my accuracy levels are less than 50%, prolly because overall I end up spending too much time that for the last 10 questions I get 15-16 mins.


This is probably a significant part of your problem. You're working your way up to a level of performance that you can't sustain, by spending too much time on questions at the beginning. Then, you're faced with questions that are too hard for you, and not enough time to do them. When this happens, your score ends up dropping to lower than what you would've gotten if you'd just stayed at the same (slightly lower, but still quite high) level that you could sustain throughout the test.

Have you practiced timing specifically at all? If not, I'd recommend that you start.



ccooley

Thanks for your reply. I did not take a lot of mocks this time as I had exhausted mocks in my previous attempts. I was practicing according to following timing strategy


Question Time Left
1 75
5 65
10 55
15 ~45
20 ~36
25 ~27
30 ~18
41 ~1

My problem is that by the time I finish question 10 I'm left with around ~53 mins. This has usually been the case. We all have heard a lot that first 10 questions are important so it important to mark them correctly. From the ESR also, it can be seen that my accuracy remains high in the first 10 questions but I take around 2.2 mins. I think I don't need to take that much time as most of the time I'm just confirming the correct ans again and again. Also I have seen that most of the first 10 questions are usually medium level so those should be done fast. So I think instead so spending 20-22 mins on those first 10 questions I should target them in 15-18 mins. Also for the last 11 questions I should keep around 18-20 mins as I usually remain very nervous during that time. Please let me know whether my timing strategy make sense. I will try this timing strategy on Manhattan mocks after that.

Originally posted by tarunk31 on 20 Sep 2016, 09:09.
Last edited by tarunk31 on 20 Sep 2016, 09:22, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 20 Sep 2016, 09:15
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi tarunktuteja,

If you're convinced that you have to retake the GMAT, then you're going to have to focus on your Verbal skills. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability - and your last two Official GMAT results show that you essentially performed the exact same way on those two Exams. Thus, you're fairly consistent in both the things that you do well and in the little mistakes that you make. The 'swings' in your CR, RC and SC performances on these two Exams imply that you're 'narrowing the answers down to 2 choices and then "guessing"' far too often though. I think I agree with you on this.


With your score goal, you're likely going to need a V40+, so while your overall performance in the Verbal section is really good, we need to adjust 'your way' of dealing with that section so that the process of answering questions is more formalized and Tactical. Learning how to spot the common wrong answers (so that you can avoid them) would also be beneficial.

1) When are you planning to retest?

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


EMPOWERgmatRichC

Thanks for your reply.
I'm planning to retest as soon as possible as I think I have studied enough so I don't want to waste the effort that I have put so far. But I'm looking to change the status quo. I want to understand what I'm doing wrong and how should I approach GMAT now. I have already spent a lot of money, though money really doesn't matter if I'm getting the results. But right now I just don't want to book GMAT again without knowing exactly what to do.
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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2016, 10:38
Hi tarunktuteja,

Based on all of the information that you've provided, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Verbal Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients finish that Study Plan in under a month, so it would fit your schedule perfectly. During that time, you'll also be able to access any of the Quant resources that interest you. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2016, 04:43
well .. this is the advice I received... to do non stop LSAT RC for atleast 2 hours a day..(preferably at the end of d day) and then measure ur accuracy for questions in the last half hour.. i have been told that this works for some people.. as in it imroves the comprehension skills which translate to more points in verbal.. but I noticed ur trouble is with CR.. so am not sure how much atl help..
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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2016, 05:05
kshitij ghildiyal wrote:
well .. this is the advice I received... to do non stop LSAT RC for atleast 2 hours a day..(preferably at the end of d day) and then measure ur accuracy for questions in the last half hour.. i have been told that this works for some people.. as in it imroves the comprehension skills which translate to more points in verbal.. but I noticed ur trouble is with CR.. so am not sure how much atl help..

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. Actually I did that. I don't have any problem as such in any individual area. My problem is timing. The reason for low accuracy in CR is that because of lack of time I tend to leave a lot of CR questions. In fact, in my last attempt I was getting stuck in SC.

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Re: Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2016, 19:23
tarunktuteja wrote:
kshitij ghildiyal wrote:
well .. this is the advice I received... to do non stop LSAT RC for atleast 2 hours a day..(preferably at the end of d day) and then measure ur accuracy for questions in the last half hour.. i have been told that this works for some people.. as in it imroves the comprehension skills which translate to more points in verbal.. but I noticed ur trouble is with CR.. so am not sure how much atl help..

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. Actually I did that. I don't have any problem as such in any individual area. My problem is timing. The reason for low accuracy in CR is that because of lack of time I tend to leave a lot of CR questions. In fact, in my last attempt I was getting stuck in SC.

Regards
Tarun


I can tell you one thing brother, your GMAT score is not what is getting you rejected. You and others who have a score of 720 or higher have the benefit of not getting what we call a desk reject. You are probably filtered through to the next grader just based on your high GMAT score and when they look at your essay and other materials you are doomed. I would suggest editing or even networking with people who are in these top 20 business schools and get them to give you advice. Or spend $5000-6000 dollars on a really phenomenal Admissions agency to have them write an essay or change it for you. Being Indian IT with 720 doesnt get you rejected as many people think. Its other parts of your application that makes you inferior to other Indian IT males with 750. They wont reject you because there are other 10 Indians with 750. They reject you either because your essay was sub par and your recommenders didnt write an amazing letter as you would have thought. I would investigate into that further.
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Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2016, 18:43
tarunktuteja wrote:
My problem is timing. The reason for low accuracy in CR is that because of lack of time I tend to leave a lot of CR questions. In fact, in my last attempt I was getting stuck in SC.

Regards
Tarun


Your problem is about timing, but probably in a different way than you thought. You tried to answer too many questions. Look at the final quarter. You tried to answer all questions there but got only 25% of them correct. What would have happened if you had instead attempted 5-6 questions and got most of them right while randomly guessing the very last questions? Your Verbal score would have been higher, if not significantly higher.
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Stuck at 710-720, V35-37, for the past two years. Urgent help needed.   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2016, 18:43
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