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Taken GMAT twice and need help in preparing for a retake!

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Taken GMAT twice and need help in preparing for a retake!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2017, 17:52
Hey guys.

I need help figuring out what to do next. I've been studying for nearly 4 and a half months already and took the GMAT twice. My first run was a 650 (Q42 V38) on May, so I got the extended report and noticed my main problems were SC and RC. So I focused for an entire month on SC and on reviewing Quant. Two days ago I took the GMAT once again and a lowered 10 points to a 640 (Q43 V35). I bought the extended report once again and noticed a huge improvement on SC but a TERRIBLE performance on RC (and to be honest I didn't practice it much). I feel like I've been out of focus in my study. I feel I can reach the 700 but I think I'm missing something.

Right now I'm focusing on verbal, specially RC to get that boost. Also, my performance on "Arithmetic" could be a bit higher, how can I study for this? What should I do for verbal? I plan to retake the test on 3 weeks. Any advice on this? I'm a little desperate to tell you the truth, I'm tired of this test and all it entails.

Attached is a table with detail from my GMATs. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
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New post 03 Jul 2017, 19:31
Hi felipeangelm,

Based on your first Enhanced Score Report, neither SC nor RC were "weak" categories for you (you performed really well in both). While you're clearly still focused on the Verbal section, you could potentially pick up ALL of the missing points that you're looking for in the Quant section. Is there a particular reason why you didn't focus on the Quant for your second attempt (and why you're not focusing on it now?)?

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New post 03 Jul 2017, 20:23
Hey!
Well, "weak" when compared to CR. I focused on SC and managed to get a huge increase in that section while maintaining my performance in CR fro my second attempt. I need to improve my RC and my overall verbal will increase for sure.

Regarding quant, I did focus on it after my first GMAT. I used Manhattan's Problem Set Guide and re did all of the Official Guide's problems broken up by section (FDPs, Word Problems, Algebra, Geometry, etc.). I was surprised to only see one point increase in my quant score. I can't understand why. I felt so good during the GMAT, I thought during the exam I was around Q45-46. The Enhanced Score Report points my "weakness" on Arithmetic, as my score on Algebra/Geometry was pretty decent. What exactly does this include? How can I raise my score here in Quant? What strategy should I use? I was planning on doing random sets (medium/hard difficulty) from the Official Guide Quant Review, and probably a few CATs (quant only) from Manhattan.

Thanks for your reponse.

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi felipeangelm,

Based on your first Enhanced Score Report, neither SC nor RC were "weak" categories for you (you performed really well in both). While you're clearly still focused on the Verbal section, you could potentially pick up ALL of the missing points that you're looking for in the Quant section. Is there a particular reason why you didn't focus on the Quant for your second attempt (and why you're not focusing on it now?)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 03 Jul 2017, 20:47
Hi

I think you need some overall practice of each section/topic, with special focus on Arithmetic. Your RC score in first test was not that bad, so I wont say its your weak area. But something must have happened in your second test, which accounts for low RC score.
Were you feeling fatigue whilst doing Verbal section?

Its also possible that you are not following a very good strategy for the exam. Did you spend too much time on a few questions of Quant? Of Verbal? Because while doing a test, when stuck on a particular question, its generally advised to mark a guess and move on, save time for other questions which you can do right. Did you follow that during test? in both Quant and Verbal?
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New post 04 Jul 2017, 06:44
Hi,

Yeah I agree, I need to focus on arithmetic. I'm stuck at 39 there. But what exactly is arithmetic? Should I do more fractions, decimals, percents, powers, roots, etc. questions?

Regarding the strategy, I think I managed my time pretty well. It was just enough to finish the entire section. Also, I never spend too much in a question I know I can't solve, I usually guess like you say and move on. I don't understand what happened on RC, I was very surprised to see that score.

Should I do a few CATs to practice overall? What are your suggestions?

amanvermagmat wrote:
Hi

I think you need some overall practice of each section/topic, with special focus on Arithmetic. Your RC score in first test was not that bad, so I wont say its your weak area. But something must have happened in your second test, which accounts for low RC score.
Were you feeling fatigue whilst doing Verbal section?

Its also possible that you are not following a very good strategy for the exam. Did you spend too much time on a few questions of Quant? Of Verbal? Because while doing a test, when stuck on a particular question, its generally advised to mark a guess and move on, save time for other questions which you can do right. Did you follow that during test? in both Quant and Verbal?
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New post 04 Jul 2017, 07:52
Hi,

650 is a decent score. You should dedicate around 2 months to improve your score. It’s a good thing you have taken your GMAT. You now know your weaknesses and work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for 2 months, you are sure to achieve your goal.

Also for verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase the latest version of OG and the verbal review for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... 68383.html

Hope this helps. All the best.
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New post 04 Jul 2017, 10:46
felipeangelm wrote:
Hi,

Yeah I agree, I need to focus on arithmetic. I'm stuck at 39 there. But what exactly is arithmetic? Should I do more fractions, decimals, percents, powers, roots, etc. questions?

Regarding the strategy, I think I managed my time pretty well. It was just enough to finish the entire section. Also, I never spend too much in a question I know I can't solve, I usually guess like you say and move on. I don't understand what happened on RC, I was very surprised to see that score.

Should I do a few CATs to practice overall? What are your suggestions?

amanvermagmat wrote:
Hi

I think you need some overall practice of each section/topic, with special focus on Arithmetic. Your RC score in first test was not that bad, so I wont say its your weak area. But something must have happened in your second test, which accounts for low RC score.
Were you feeling fatigue whilst doing Verbal section?

Its also possible that you are not following a very good strategy for the exam. Did you spend too much time on a few questions of Quant? Of Verbal? Because while doing a test, when stuck on a particular question, its generally advised to mark a guess and move on, save time for other questions which you can do right. Did you follow that during test? in both Quant and Verbal?


Hi

from your replies I think the problem then is that there is a definite scope of improvement for you in some areas, maybe some concepts.
650 is not a bad score at all, but still not sufficient to crack those target colleges.

I think what you need to do is go detail by detail over what study materials/resources you followed for Quant, SC, RC, CR.

Did you religiously make error logs (even a simple notebook with details of q no, source, topic, sub-topic, PSorDS, why is it wrong - careless mistake or conceptual problem or stuck in the middle of question, and the key takeaways/learning from that error. Then that error log needs to be reviewed every few days to see whether work is being done on those action points or not)?

How many practice CATs did you give and from where? Both GMAT prep free mocks? GMAT prep paid mocks (exam pack 1/2)? MGMAT mocks? Did you properly analyse each mock to see how/where you were lacking and then devise another action plan?

If you can compile details of these things, and share it here, experts could really guide you how to go about it. Rohan has already mentioned a few good resources. So I suggest you mention the above details, consult people here and there, then devise a plan and follow it. Lastly, is it important to give the next shot in 3 weeks only? Any particular reason for that?
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New post 04 Jul 2017, 11:58
Hi felipeangelm,

Quant Scaled Scores in the low Q40s mean that you likely did well on most of the 'math' questions that you faced on the GMAT, but you made some little mistakes and you missed out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' points. If your Quant studies focused mostly on working through lots of practice questions (using the same general approaches that you've always used), then that would help to explain why you didn't earn a significantly higher score in that section the second time you took the GMAT. The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a "math test" - it's a 'critical thinking test' that involves lots of little calculations. When I mentioned that you could pick up all of the missing points that you're looking for in just the Quant section, that opportunity depends heavily on your ability to change how you 'see' (and respond to) that section of the Test. By extension, continuing to study as you have been studying will likely need get you to that level.

With a month of consistent, guided study, you could potentially make all of the necessary adjustments to how you handle the Quant section and score a lot higher on your third GMAT.

1) 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 04 Jul 2017, 12:06
I totally agree with you. I think that is my main problem. Specially since my low score in math is on Arithmetic (39). My score on algebra/geometry is on 46/47 which is pretty good. I need to focus on those little mistakes in order to increase the points I need.

I did exactly what you said: I went through a lot of practice questions by topic using the same approach I've always used to no avail. I need to be strategic for the next 4 weeks of study in order to increase the points I need. I now understand that continuing to study this way will not help me.

I estimate I can study between 1-2 hours per day from monday to thursday. 2-4 Hours friday. 4-5 hours per day on saturday and sunday.

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi felipeangelm,

Quant Scaled Scores in the low Q40s mean that you likely did well on most of the 'math' questions that you faced on the GMAT, but you made some little mistakes and you missed out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' points. If your Quant studies focused mostly on working through lots of practice questions (using the same general approaches that you've always used), then that would help to explain why you didn't earn a significantly higher score in that section the second time you took the GMAT. The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a "math test" - it's a 'critical thinking test' that involves lots of little calculations. When I mentioned that you could pick up all of the missing points that you're looking for in just the Quant section, that opportunity depends heavily on your ability to change how you 'see' (and respond to) that section of the Test. By extension, continuing to study as you have been studying will likely need get you to that level.

With a month of consistent, guided study, you could potentially make all of the necessary adjustments to how you handle the Quant section and score a lot higher on your third GMAT.

1) 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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Re: Taken GMAT twice and need help in preparing for a retake!  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2017, 12:23
Hi felipeangelm,

If you could commit that amount of study time over the next 3-4 weeks, then you could potentially improve a great deal; you have to remember though that you have focus on learning and practicing new Tactics (if you just keep answering questions in the same ways as before, then you will likely earn the same score). Based on everything that you've described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Quant Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in under a month, so that should fit your schedule nicely. 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: Taken GMAT twice and need help in preparing for a retake!   [#permalink] 04 Jul 2017, 12:23
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