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Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy

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Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 13:55
I need some assistance in determining potential reasons for a significantly lower test day result than any previous practice test. I also need advice on what my next steps should be to ensure that my second test is prepared for as appropriately as possible. I am highly considering hiring a Private GMAT Coach to do a 1-2 hour study strategy and results analysis. I would not be opposed to a possible Quant tutor as well, but after almost 225 hours of personal study and a full Veritas Course, I want to ensure I am being as efficient as possible with my time.

Test Day:
Timing: I had to do a 10-20 second educated guess on the final question of both Quant and Verbal sections. With approximately ten questions left on both the Quant and Verbal sections I knew I needed to pick up the pace, but it did not have a really constraining effect. I just knew I had to be more efficient with my time. I can only think of one Quant question I truly just skipped over because I was unsure of how to solve it and knew it would take substantial time. The Verbal Questions were pretty demanding and the CR question stems were fairly complex, as opposed to basic Strengthen or Weaken formats.

During Test Mentality: I felt fairly calm. The biggest surprise is I felt as though I was getting questions right in both Quant and Verbal. I honestly expected a score closer to the high 600s. I felt as though I was hitting some pretty consistent "base hits" throughout the test.
Eating, sleeping, morning of were all fairly normal and calm. I certainly did not feel myself have a "freak out" or real significant anxiety the morning of the test.

Pre-Test Study
Final 6 Weeks: For the previous 5 weeks, I had been taking one full Official GMAC Practice Test per weekend. I would then spend approximately 4 days going over the results, reviewing every question I got wrong and possibly doing a day of focused study on a specific topic before taking the next test. This was good, but I felt as though I was not making and truly concentrated study on my weakest areas, but rather just superficial studying from test to test.
Final 2 Weeks: I decided I was not going to take another Office Practice Test and instead take the final two weeks to focus on areas of deficiency. Unfortunately, I did not do any timing or speed drills in those last two weeks and while I was very aware of timing milestones on test day, I think I may have slipped.

Official GMAC Practice Test #1
Total: 680 (82%)
Quant: 44 (52%), Verbal: 39 (89%), IR: 8 (93%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #2
Total: 640 (68%)
Quant: 40 (41%), Verbal: 37 (83%), IR 7 (82%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #3
Total: 690 (85%)
Quant: 45 (57%), Verbal 39 (89%), IR 5 (55%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #4
Total: 730 (95%)
Quant: 47 (63%), Verbal:44 (98%), IR 7 (82%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #5
Total: 670 (81%)
Quant: 43 (50%), Verbal 39 (89%)

OFFICIAL GMAC TEST (Canceled)
Total: 610 (59%)
Quant: 35 (26%) , Verbal 39 (89%), IR: 8 (92%)

Thanks for all of your help!

Mike
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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 16:34
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Hi simpm14,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) When did you begin your studies? Were you studying a consistent number of hours each week - and did you increase those hours in the weeks leading up to Test Day?
2) Did you take any other CATs/mocks besides these 5 Official CATs? If so, then how did you score on those other CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 23:38
Your verbal score is amazing!!! Improving quant is not as challenging as verbal. I recommend you to cover MGMAT math books. If you are more comfortable with online course, then you can opt for TTP. But you really do not need an online course. All information you need to crack quant is available free of charge. You may also want to check out this page https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-gma ... 44512.html

If you need any help with Quant, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards
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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2019, 08:13
Rich,

Thanks so much for the reply and the help. To your questions:

Studies:
1) I started my study in late December. Average study was 11.85 hours a week, I would say fairly consistent, range was from 5 hours (due to work responsibilities) to 23 hours. In the final 4 weeks before the test I studied 19.75, 15.75, 14, and 23.
2) I took 2 additional Veritas GMAT practice tests prior to the 5 Official CAT exams listed:
Veritas Practice Test (March 10)
Total: 620 (63%)
Quant: 38 (33%), Verbal: 37 (82%)

Veritas Practice Test (March 25)
Total: 640 (68%)
Quant: 44 (50%), Verbal: 34 (71%)

Goals:
3) Overall goal score is 710-720.
4) Round 1 2021 for a 2022 Class, but due to my current work position and some availability, I want to get a score in the books now.
5) Harvard, MIT, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown

***Note, I was wrong in my initial post, I flipped my scores. Correct: I scored a 39 in Quant and a 35 in Verbal.

I purchased a score report with my initial GMAT package, but had wrongfully assumed that since I canceled by score I was not able to use it. Gmatclub will not let me attach the ESR because I am a new member so I have emailed it to you directly. Some trends that I see:

a) In both Quant and Verbal my timing is skewed and becomes pretty rushed on the last quarter of the exam

Verbal
b) SC continues to be a weak spot and deficiency. I need to clarify what they mean by "Communication" questions vs "Grammar" questions
c) Disappointed with my RC performance. I understand I need to get this right. I need to clarify what "IDENTIFY STATED IDEA" means and work on those questions

Quant
d) EQUAL./INEQUAL./ALG: Continue to be a weak spot and Deficiency
e) I am very surprised to see my DS performance equal to my PS performance. Traditionally I do much better on DS (1.44 PS questions wrong to 1 DS questions wrong on 5 Official Practice Tests). In my last two weeks of study I focused almost entirely on PS problems (because they were a deficiency), but that may have inadvertently weakened my DS performance

Please let me know what else you see and some recommended study strategies or plans. If you know of appropriate consultants or companies, I am certainly willing to pay for a guided training plan. What seems most realistic is being provided homework and a dedicated plan/hourly breakdown that I execute on my own with the ability to reassess and reevaluate with each practice test. At this point I just want to ensure I am studying as efficiently as possible in order to achieve the highest possible score.

Thanks for all of your help.

Mike
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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2019, 08:24
simpm14 wrote:
I need some assistance in determining potential reasons for a significantly lower test day result than any previous practice test. I also need advice on what my next steps should be to ensure that my second test is prepared for as appropriately as possible. I am highly considering hiring a Private GMAT Coach to do a 1-2 hour study strategy and results analysis. I would not be opposed to a possible Quant tutor as well, but after almost 225 hours of personal study and a full Veritas Course, I want to ensure I am being as efficient as possible with my time.

Test Day:
Timing: I had to do a 10-20 second educated guess on the final question of both Quant and Verbal sections. With approximately ten questions left on both the Quant and Verbal sections I knew I needed to pick up the pace, but it did not have a really constraining effect. I just knew I had to be more efficient with my time. I can only think of one Quant question I truly just skipped over because I was unsure of how to solve it and knew it would take substantial time. The Verbal Questions were pretty demanding and the CR question stems were fairly complex, as opposed to basic Strengthen or Weaken formats.

During Test Mentality: I felt fairly calm. The biggest surprise is I felt as though I was getting questions right in both Quant and Verbal. I honestly expected a score closer to the high 600s. I felt as though I was hitting some pretty consistent "base hits" throughout the test.
Eating, sleeping, morning of were all fairly normal and calm. I certainly did not feel myself have a "freak out" or real significant anxiety the morning of the test.

Pre-Test Study
Final 6 Weeks: For the previous 5 weeks, I had been taking one full Official GMAC Practice Test per weekend. I would then spend approximately 4 days going over the results, reviewing every question I got wrong and possibly doing a day of focused study on a specific topic before taking the next test. This was good, but I felt as though I was not making and truly concentrated study on my weakest areas, but rather just superficial studying from test to test.
Final 2 Weeks: I decided I was not going to take another Office Practice Test and instead take the final two weeks to focus on areas of deficiency. Unfortunately, I did not do any timing or speed drills in those last two weeks and while I was very aware of timing milestones on test day, I think I may have slipped.

Official GMAC Practice Test #1
Total: 680 (82%)
Quant: 44 (52%), Verbal: 39 (89%), IR: 8 (93%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #2
Total: 640 (68%)
Quant: 40 (41%), Verbal: 37 (83%), IR 7 (82%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #3
Total: 690 (85%)
Quant: 45 (57%), Verbal 39 (89%), IR 5 (55%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #4
Total: 730 (95%)
Quant: 47 (63%), Verbal:44 (98%), IR 7 (82%)

Official GMAC Practice Test #5
Total: 670 (81%)
Quant: 43 (50%), Verbal 39 (89%)

OFFICIAL GMAC TEST (Canceled)
Total: 610 (59%)
Quant: 35 (26%) , Verbal 39 (89%), IR: 8 (92%)

Thanks for all of your help!

Mike


As per practice test score, you are doing exceptionally well in the verbal section. However, you have a very good scope to improve the quant score. While practicing the question, try to do with timer, then you will be habituated with time. all the best. :thumbup:
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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2019, 10:59
Hi Mike,

I've emailed you an analysis of your ESR and some additional notes and questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2019, 19:23
Hi Mike,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. Assuming that you took your official practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results show that on a good day, you are capable of scoring higher than 610. Thus, it’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. However, it’s also possible that you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day, meaning that in your preparation, you did not really learn to do what you have to do in order to score high on the actual GMAT. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests. To hit your score goal, your preparation probably needs to be more complete, meaning that you have to go through the various types of GMAT questions carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills.

With all that said, when do you plan to retake the GMAT? Do you need any general advice on how to improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills? Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2019, 08:40
Dear Mike,

From your result, I think you might have made a couple of mistakes on your Quant. You will have to study the ESR find out what you need to correct. I believe you are not far off from your target score, just work more on your weakness.

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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2019, 06:42
Hi simpm14,

Your verbal score is pretty much in line with your Mocks.

For Quant, I would suggest you go thru Manhattan Quant guides and couple them with GMAT club tests, which will help you reach Q48+.
Improving Quant is way easier than improving verbal.

So, IMO with little more hard work for quant, you should reattempt.

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Re: Test Day Disappointment, Need Advice for More Efficient Study Strategy   [#permalink] 21 Jun 2019, 06:42
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