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Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490

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Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 01:08
I know you all will want the score breakdown first:
QUANT: 27
VERBAL: 31
I also totally bombed the IR: 3

About me: 35 years old - just sold a successful business and I'm now ready to move into a new part of my life. So, this is an important move to get into a top tier school.

I looked at most of the available resources this last week, but didn't spend much time practicing / learning (I wanted to get a 'real' practice in and I knew that I was going to do that today). So, I played around on Magoosh, The Economist, EMPOWERgmat, and e-gmat. I have decided to use EMPOWERgmat I like the structure and the learning methodology the best.

About my score breakdown:

I went through the QUANT section and realized that I made 5 big mistakes, as in I either had the right answer but didn't realize the formatting of the question or I didn't understand the question completely. These things I can and will correct. I missed every geometry question, so that is a huge weakness for me that I need to correct. I also managed to hit the wrong answer on one question, which I think was just stress of testing - again, something that I need to correct.

VERBAL: I missed almost every single SC question, I managed to accidentally get 2 correct. I know where I need to work here.
I missed three questions on the RC and they were all in the same reading section. After review I know what I did wrong and I know that with some practice/training and understanding methodology I will be fine there. It was dumb, and my brain was tired I think. I was also feeling a bit defeated by the SC questions I think.
PS: I missed 2 questions. After looking over my answers and the questions I can not be certain why they were not correct. I'm sure EMPOWERgmat will help me here; it's a standardized test and I know that means it's a game.

I spent the a few days this week trying to cram as much algebra information back into my brain as possible, something that I have not thought about in 20 years, and it showed on the test. I'm sure that with proper training and some help from EMPOWERgmat I'll be ship shape, at least I hope so.

Here's some questions:

1) I have a lot of available time 8-10 hours per day to study. Is that a good idea? If I break that up between QUANT and SC will I be doing myself a favor or not?

2) At this point what is the likelihood that I can hit or break 700 come May 11th? I know that I have the diligence to push myself to work this hard, I'm asking if you guys (the experts) think it is possible.

3) Should I be doing something completely different? Is there a route out there that I haven't thought about?

The reason for the May 11th test date is simple: I live in American Samoa right now and am heading back to the real US of A for a month at that point for vacation. In a perfect world I would go crazy right now, learn everything I need to and hit 700+ before heading on vacation. If that doesn't happen, when vacation is over, I will study more and take the exam again -- on a more comfortable time line.

Thoughts/Questions/Advice?

Thanks in advance,

-Mike
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Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 07:36
Hi Mike
In my opinion, increasing your score from 490 to 700+ with about a month is difficult. I say this because you have to work on both Quant and Verbal and take a few practice tests to hone your test taking ability. You need atleast 2-3 months of consistent study to score a 700+. Empowergmat can definitely help you get there. I think cramming up too much 8-10 hours does not help a lot on the Gmat. You need some time for the mind to get used to the Gmat questions. However, nothing is impossible. There will be fellows on Gmatclub who might have done that. Good that you have identified your weaknesses and started working on it. Start with Empowergmat as soon as possible and see where your prep goes.
Best of luck.
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Re: Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2018, 11:22
Hi Mike,

To start, a 490 a decent initial CAT score under the circumstances (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). Raising a 490 to a 700+ will require that you make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. You've already defined a few BIG areas that you'll need to work on - and that knowledge is good to have. No one here knows you well enough to define exactly what YOU are capable of achieving - but it would likely take at least 3 months of consistent, guided study to hit the type of score improvement that you're interested in. With your current plan, you have a little less than 6 weeks of potential study time - and that will likely limit how much you can improve. You don't have to necessarily change your plans just yet, but pushing back your Test Date is something that you will have to consider.

You have a lot of available study time - which is good - but the volume of study that you're considering is 6 weeks of 'cramming' (and that type of approach rarely leads to great results with Tests such as the GMAT). Studying in that type of volume can actually be detrimental to the process - at a certain point, the human brain just gets tired and you won't actually be learning anything new (you'll end up mowing through lots of practice questions "your way", instead of focusing on learning and practicing the proper Tactics). You will have to keep careful watch on how you feel during your studies - and take 'breaks' accordingly. As a general rule, you should plan to take 1 hour 'off' after every 2 hours of study (with the exception of when you take your CATs - those should each be done in one 4-hour sitting). Thus, if you want to trying studying a lot in the short term, you have to build those breaks into your daily schedule.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2018, 12:20
Hey Rich,

Thanks for your input.

I am planning on beginning the application process within the next few months for start date of Fall 2019, so I have time.

For schools: my top list right now includes UCLA and University of Washington. There are other schools, all in the west.

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2018, 12:25
Hi Mike,

Today, GMAC announced that some changes are going to be made to the format of the Exam - there's a discussion thread about that here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-is-chan ... 62569.html

Since some of the specifics are not yet known, it's going to take a bit of time for all of the available practice resources (including the available practice CATs) to reflect these changes to the Exam. Thus, while the question types, content tested and Tactics will all be the same, under your current timeline you'll have even less time to train for the version of the GMAT that will be administered in May. Given your Score Goal, I think it's almost certain that you will have to take the GMAT at a later date - so some adjustments to your Study Plan will be required.

We're working on adapting the EMPOWERgmat Course to these changes - and we plan to have the updates available as soon as we're satisfied that they match up with this new version of the Test. If you have any additional questions, then just let me know.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Re: Taking GMAT on May 11th -- first practice 490 &nbs [#permalink] 03 Apr 2018, 12:25
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