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Stuck in a Loop

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Stuck in a Loop  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 13:32
what's the problem?
I have been prepping for my 2nd GMAT attempt for about 8 months, but now I need some advice on way forward.
PS feel free to jump to queries to avoid other BS.

Background-
27 M, Energy Engineer, New Zealand. Solid volunteering with ok work experience (not many opportunities in a small country)
Schools: Stanford, Haas, McCoombs, Rottman, Babson, HKUST, Peking.
Careers: General Management in Energy sector, enterprise or VC with Asia focus. Not really interested in consultancy / investing.
Target Score: 700, with my background I feel a 680-690 will be ok (obviously not good enough for Stanford).
GMAT Score 1: 550 Q39 V27 IR3
It is clear that I needed to improve both Quant and Verbal reasoning quite significantly.

2nd Attempt Journey-
My aim was to improve my foundation concepts and apply X technique to solve the questions. So I:
-made a 5 month planner with 1 day off + exercise + social life and work.
-worked through few test prep courses (Magoosh & E-gmat quant courses + E-gmat SC and CR). Most of the questions for my practice were from the test prep company so I still had quite a few OG questions left.
-kept error logs with revised testing on mistakes. However, I feel i didn't internalise these; not sure what I could have done better though.
-Read books and articles on wide range of topics to improve my knowledge.

I thought i was "ready" to move onto CATs after slogging through it for 5 months (slipped my deadline). My scores (spaced out 1.5 weeks each):
Manhattan (Reset) CAT1A: 660 Q43 V37 IR1- had to guess quite a few of the quant questions, just tried to do the ones I know correctly). Verbal felt too easy so I knew that wasn't a correct score
Manhattan (Reset) CAT2A: 660 Q44 V36 IR1 - same as CAT1A. There were a few repeats in Verbal but I guessed on them.
GMAT Prep (Reset) CAT5A: 570 Q42 V26 IR4 - shock! CR = 33%, RC = 44% and SC= 68%. Did few silly errors on quant (usually get 1-2 easy questions wrong). Hit and miss with medium questions. I really cannot explain the verbal, I completed everything on time and none of the questions felt too difficult. FYI there were numerous questions where I choose between the correct/incorrect answer ie correct POE but faltered on the last step.
Manhattan (Reset) CAT 3A: 630 Q41 V35 IR4

I gave up the idea of doing any more tests as the verbal is not a true reflection of GMAT tests, so i just went back to basics searching for what i can do to improve.

Thoughts/Analysis on journey so far:
-I had similar issues during my 1st attempt, lot of inconsistent scores. However, all cluttered around 550-610. Got pressured into sitting the test from family and friends. Do not want to make the same mistake again.
-I am still quite a way off from my target score. I want to improve quant by 4-5 points, which means eliminating careless mistakes and performing consistently in SC/CR. RC has been a hit and miss for me, sometimes I score in 80-90% and other times its down to 50%.
- I only have GMAT test 6 remaining.
- I feel like I am caught in this loop of studying, questions, CAT, studying only to attain inconsistent results, adding greatly to my frustrations. Now I am down on official resources, CATs, time and without a clear idea of where to go from here.

Queries:
- I have done 5/6 GMAT prep tests twice over the course of 1.5 years. So, how do I accurately diagnose my current level? Consequently, how much i need to improve.
-I am having real difficulty figuring out what areas I need to work on! Is it my concepts, technique, application or timing?
- I have done quite a few if not most OG questions already in the past 2 months (whilst trying to improve my verbal again). So, how do i prepare given such limited OG resources. Should I just do LSAT questions for CR/RC? If so, I don't know if its my logic, precision reading etc. that's the issue or application/timing. What about SC resources? Unfortunately, I don't have a clear track of which verbal ques I haven't attempted.
- Any suggestions to get from 43-48 in quant? I am also slow at understanding what the question wants especially in word problems, so i will start doing timing drills to improve this. I have done a lot of work on mental math so I am reasonably confident in my ability to solve. My plan is to just do tons of medium level questions from E-gmat until I reach 80% accuracy.
- Any suggestions for IR, I haven't gone above 4.

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Re: Stuck in a Loop  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 13:40
shahMeet wrote:
what's the problem?
I have been prepping for my 2nd GMAT attempt for about 8 months.


This is your issue. Sorry to interrupt you in the first sentence but don't really need to read or think about anything else - taking this long to prep is impossible to improve your score.
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Intern
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Re: Stuck in a Loop  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 17:55
Thanks for your response BB. Yes, you are correct and I have spent too long prepping but I am not seeing any other alternative.

I followed a 4 month plan with logs etc including practise tests without the desired results. Afterwhich, I tried focusing on my weaknesses for couple of months, ie quant to my improve score. However, this didn't yield the desired results so I am seeking assistance to diagnose what the issues are.

GMATNinja also mentioned that fixing verbal issues can take more than few months. I am spending my spare time reading wide range of material to improve my precision and knowledge base as well.
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Re: Stuck in a Loop &nbs [#permalink] 24 Mar 2018, 17:55
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