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Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it

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Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 16:57
Hi,

I just finished taking my first GMAT and it has left me basically pondering what life even is anymore especially after getting a 420 on it. I spent about 2 months studying for it using the Kaplan Prep Plus book; 1 hour every week day, 3-4 hours on Saturdays, and then 8-10 hours every Sunday (this insane study schedule was due to my hectic work schedule which should slow down now since tax season is almost over). When I went into the test I was confident and I thought I was ready to take on the GMAT, I had taken 3 practice tests (530, 560, 480 in order) and 1 pretest (460). I was aiming for a 600 or at least a 580 and thought I would be able to accomplish this or at least get close to it. As you can tell I didn't even get close to my desired score... But I will not let this deter me but will rather motivate me to work even harder and retake the test in the beginning of May.

A friend suggested that the gmatclub is a great place to ask for advise and help so here I am asking for help from anyone willing to help me. I am looking to retake the GMAT around May 5th and hope to begin a study plan by the end of next week. This is the major reason why I am asking for help is if anyone knows of an effective 1 month plan study plan that they would recommend, as well as other prep material for me to go over or any other suggestions on how I can prepare myself for round 2 of the GMAT. My desired score is still a 600 I know its a long shot to make up that many points but why not at least try to go all out for it?

Thank you so much,
Nick
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New post 25 Mar 2018, 08:59
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hi,

I just finished taking my first GMAT and it has left me basically pondering what life even is anymore especially after getting a 420 on it. I spent about 2 months studying for it using the Kaplan Prep Plus book; 1 hour every week day, 3-4 hours on Saturdays, and then 8-10 hours every Sunday (this insane study schedule was due to my hectic work schedule which should slow down now since tax season is almost over). When I went into the test I was confident and I thought I was ready to take on the GMAT, I had taken 3 practice tests (530, 560, 480 in order) and 1 pretest (460). I was aiming for a 600 or at least a 580 and thought I would be able to accomplish this or at least get close to it. As you can tell I didn't even get close to my desired score... But I will not let this deter me but will rather motivate me to work even harder and retake the test in the beginning of May.

A friend suggested that the gmatclub is a great place to ask for advise and help so here I am asking for help from anyone willing to help me. I am looking to retake the GMAT around May 5th and hope to begin a study plan by the end of next week. This is the major reason why I am asking for help is if anyone knows of an effective 1 month plan study plan that they would recommend, as well as other prep material for me to go over or any other suggestions on how I can prepare myself for round 2 of the GMAT. My desired score is still a 600 I know its a long shot to make up that many points but why not at least try to go all out for it?

Thank you so much,
Nick


Hi nwillenborg93

From your post it does not look like that you studied any Official material. Is that so? If Yes, then sorry to say you did a great mistake. First of all You must get used to solving OG questions and give all Official tests available. You need to identify your weak areas and then strengthen those areas by using GMAT preparatory materials. There are many preparatory materials available in this club as well, you can try to use them.
Also as per you mock results, you should have deferred your exam because you were not scoring 600+ so it would be highly optimistic to think that one can get 600+ score if the previous record says otherwise.

First things first -
1. Identify your weak areas
2. Make a list of those areas
3. Get a good preparatory material that explains the concepts
4. Solve all OG questions
5. Give all OG tests
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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 10:09
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hi,

I just finished taking my first GMAT and it has left me basically pondering what life even is anymore especially after getting a 420 on it. I spent about 2 months studying for it using the Kaplan Prep Plus book; 1 hour every week day, 3-4 hours on Saturdays, and then 8-10 hours every Sunday (this insane study schedule was due to my hectic work schedule which should slow down now since tax season is almost over). When I went into the test I was confident and I thought I was ready to take on the GMAT, I had taken 3 practice tests (530, 560, 480 in order) and 1 pretest (460). I was aiming for a 600 or at least a 580 and thought I would be able to accomplish this or at least get close to it. As you can tell I didn't even get close to my desired score... But I will not let this deter me but will rather motivate me to work even harder and retake the test in the beginning of May.

A friend suggested that the gmatclub is a great place to ask for advise and help so here I am asking for help from anyone willing to help me. I am looking to retake the GMAT around May 5th and hope to begin a study plan by the end of next week. This is the major reason why I am asking for help is if anyone knows of an effective 1 month plan study plan that they would recommend, as well as other prep material for me to go over or any other suggestions on how I can prepare myself for round 2 of the GMAT. My desired score is still a 600 I know its a long shot to make up that many points but why not at least try to go all out for it?

Thank you so much,
Nick


Hi Nick,

First of all don't despair.

Second, there are many study plans here or online.

The one thing I would suggest you, is that you along with Kaplan prep review pick only one additional prep company and their books, since you want to devise one month plan. In one month time period you will not have time to go for more and adding more could easily backfire.

Now, you just need to pick up one course that either you trust the most or it is affordable to you, or it is win win from your perspective in those terms.

For instance, do you want brand "sure" thing and don't ask how much it cost ? Or you need quality, but just basic course, without extra service, like private (online or office) tutoring etc. ?

Also, you need to pay attention do you want improve in general or you need to tailor your study more toward quant or verbal ?

Here in review section you can see what other people think about various courses if that helps you to decide.

There is not one size fits all, just what is most suitable for you.
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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 11:04
Hi Nick,

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. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 17:46
Hey Rich,

1) I took the entire CAT each time, I tried different orders every time I took one though to see what I was most comfortable with and I found Verbal Quant IR and Essay was the best method during practice because verbal was always my stronger point

2) I took all the tests at home

3) I took the test at 8am but most of the times when I took the CAT’s I took them either after noon or at night

4) I am guilty of taking longer than 8 minute breaks or pause from time to time while taking the practice tests

5) Yeah I took 5 tests did better on them than I did on the actual test that counted sadly and knew what type of questions to expect


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New post 26 Mar 2018, 10:44
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hi,

I just finished taking my first GMAT and it has left me basically pondering what life even is anymore especially after getting a 420 on it. I spent about 2 months studying for it using the Kaplan Prep Plus book; 1 hour every week day, 3-4 hours on Saturdays, and then 8-10 hours every Sunday (this insane study schedule was due to my hectic work schedule which should slow down now since tax season is almost over). When I went into the test I was confident and I thought I was ready to take on the GMAT, I had taken 3 practice tests (530, 560, 480 in order) and 1 pretest (460). I was aiming for a 600 or at least a 580 and thought I would be able to accomplish this or at least get close to it. As you can tell I didn't even get close to my desired score... But I will not let this deter me but will rather motivate me to work even harder and retake the test in the beginning of May.

A friend suggested that the gmatclub is a great place to ask for advise and help so here I am asking for help from anyone willing to help me. I am looking to retake the GMAT around May 5th and hope to begin a study plan by the end of next week. This is the major reason why I am asking for help is if anyone knows of an effective 1 month plan study plan that they would recommend, as well as other prep material for me to go over or any other suggestions on how I can prepare myself for round 2 of the GMAT. My desired score is still a 600 I know its a long shot to make up that many points but why not at least try to go all out for it?

Thank you so much,
Nick


Hi
Sorry to hear that your Gmat didn't go well. A score of 420 suggests that you need to improve in both Quant and Verbal. For Quant, I would suggest to go through the Ultimate Quant megathread by Bunuel. It contains sufficient theory and will definitely help you to get acquanted with the question types of Gmat. For practice, use the OG, Quant review and Verbal review. For Verbal refer to the MGMAT guides.
It will definitely help you score a 650+.
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New post 26 Mar 2018, 14:10
Hi Nick,

From your prior post, there were a number of 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those details though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 16:17
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hey Rich,

1) I took the entire CAT each time, I tried different orders every time I took one though to see what I was most comfortable with and I found Verbal Quant IR and Essay was the best method during practice because verbal was always my stronger point

2) I took all the tests at home

3) I took the test at 8am but most of the times when I took the CAT’s I took them either after noon or at night

4) I am guilty of taking longer than 8 minute breaks or pause from time to time while taking the practice tests

5) Yeah I took 5 tests did better on them than I did on the actual test that counted sadly and knew what type of questions to expect





Are you generally nervous test taker ?
Those 5 test was from whih prep company ?
Did you had good night sleep before the test ?
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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 17:40
billionaire wrote:
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hey Rich,

1) I took the entire CAT each time, I tried different orders every time I took one though to see what I was most comfortable with and I found Verbal Quant IR and Essay was the best method during practice because verbal was always my stronger point

2) I took all the tests at home

3) I took the test at 8am but most of the times when I took the CAT’s I took them either after noon or at night

4) I am guilty of taking longer than 8 minute breaks or pause from time to time while taking the practice tests

5) Yeah I took 5 tests did better on them than I did on the actual test that counted sadly and knew what type of questions to expect





Are you generally nervous test taker ?
Those 5 test was from whih prep company ?
Did you had good night sleep before the test ?


Yeah I sometimes have test anxiety from time to time but I didn’t feel as anxious as I’ve done before when taking tests

The 5 tests were from Kaplan

Slept 8 hours didn’t wake up until my alarm went off


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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 17:45
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Nick,

From your prior post, there were a number of 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those details though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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


Rich,

To answer your following questions

1 I worked all day and then kept studying once I got off work and took a bunch of quizzes

2 Slept like a baby I don’t have problems falling asleep but it was weird earlier during the week I kept waking up to study but the last 2 nights leading up to it I slept all night and woke up feeling rejuvenated

3 the car ride was a 20 min drive

4 no distractions I was fully focused on the test

5 during the 8 minute breaks I drank water walked around and stretched to get my blood flowing

6 didn’t finish any sections early finish them with about a few seconds here and there

7 I had to rush through some questions because I realized I was behind schedule and wouldn’t finish in time mid way through the test so I sped through a few questions

I hope these answers help you out

Thank you,
Nick


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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 12:48
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hi,

I just finished taking my first GMAT and it has left me basically pondering what life even is anymore especially after getting a 420 on it. I spent about 2 months studying for it using the Kaplan Prep Plus book; 1 hour every week day, 3-4 hours on Saturdays, and then 8-10 hours every Sunday (this insane study schedule was due to my hectic work schedule which should slow down now since tax season is almost over). When I went into the test I was confident and I thought I was ready to take on the GMAT, I had taken 3 practice tests (530, 560, 480 in order) and 1 pretest (460). I was aiming for a 600 or at least a 580 and thought I would be able to accomplish this or at least get close to it. As you can tell I didn't even get close to my desired score... But I will not let this deter me but will rather motivate me to work even harder and retake the test in the beginning of May.

A friend suggested that the gmatclub is a great place to ask for advise and help so here I am asking for help from anyone willing to help me. I am looking to retake the GMAT around May 5th and hope to begin a study plan by the end of next week. This is the major reason why I am asking for help is if anyone knows of an effective 1 month plan study plan that they would recommend, as well as other prep material for me to go over or any other suggestions on how I can prepare myself for round 2 of the GMAT. My desired score is still a 600 I know its a long shot to make up that many points but why not at least try to go all out for it?

Thank you so much,
Nick


Hi nwillenborg93,

It’s a good thing you have taken your GMAT Mock once. You now know your weaknesses and work on them. I believe you need to focus on both Quant and Verbal.

However, given how close your GMAT date is, I personally do not think one should adopt any new method on the final leg of their GMAT Preparation. It may be nice to give a couple of mocks (the official ones) and work on your weaknesses, but trying something new might not work in anyone’s favour. However if you want to improve on any individual area such as Sentence Correction, you may subscribe to the individual SC course as you can finish the whole course in 10 days (with proper dedication). If however you are only looking to indentify and improve on your weak areas, I would encourage you to purchase the e-gmat scholaranium. It is without a doubt, one of the best practice tools for verbal and will indeed help you on the final leg of your preparations.

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.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 21:29
Hi Nick,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, taking longer breaks, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Test Day involves a variety of really specific steps and parameters (including steps before the Test even begins - such as leaving your home, traveling, etc.). Every factor matters, including the psychological ones, so you have to put the necessary effort into making sure that you take your CATs in a way that 'matches up' with as many aspects of Test Day as possible. If you don't do that, then we won't have a clear idea of how well you might perform on Test Day.

In addition, it's possible that you were trying to do too much during the last few days before your Official Exam. If you were working a lot and studying during those last 3 days, then you might have been too tired to perform at your best. It's also not clear whether you took the GMAT on Friday or Saturday - but in either case, that would be at the 'end' of the work week, when you would likely not have been at your best. Most Test Takers actually perform at their best on a Monday morning (after they've had the prior weekend to rest a bit and do a little light studying).

Thankfully, those are relatively easy issues to fix - and now that you've taken the Official GMAT, you know the EXACT details of what happens on Test Day, so you can better train to mimic those details during your CATs. That having been said, to raise this 420 to a 580+ though, you're going to have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections - and all of that work will likely take at least another 2-3 months of consistent, guided study.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Took my first GMAT scored a dreadful 420 on it  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 23:49
nwillenborg93 wrote:
Hi,

I just finished taking my first GMAT and it has left me basically pondering what life even is anymore especially after getting a 420 on it. I spent about 2 months studying for it using the Kaplan Prep Plus book; 1 hour every week day, 3-4 hours on Saturdays, and then 8-10 hours every Sunday (this insane study schedule was due to my hectic work schedule which should slow down now since tax season is almost over). When I went into the test I was confident and I thought I was ready to take on the GMAT, I had taken 3 practice tests (530, 560, 480 in order) and 1 pretest (460). I was aiming for a 600 or at least a 580 and thought I would be able to accomplish this or at least get close to it. As you can tell I didn't even get close to my desired score... But I will not let this deter me but will rather motivate me to work even harder and retake the test in the beginning of May.

A friend suggested that the gmatclub is a great place to ask for advise and help so here I am asking for help from anyone willing to help me. I am looking to retake the GMAT around May 5th and hope to begin a study plan by the end of next week. This is the major reason why I am asking for help is if anyone knows of an effective 1 month plan study plan that they would recommend, as well as other prep material for me to go over or any other suggestions on how I can prepare myself for round 2 of the GMAT. My desired score is still a 600 I know its a long shot to make up that many points but why not at least try to go all out for it?

Thank you so much,
Nick


Hello

Prep Books

1. Manhattan GMAT Quant Guides
2. Manhattan GMAT Verbal guides
or Aristotle Verbal Guide for CR critical reasoning bible is best book with 300+ pages of comprehensive Data

Start with Quant, learn the concepts tested on GMAT. After learning, practice your learned section with timed practice. You can also take quizzes to meet the pace of GMAT. 1 Month for learning concepts and 15 days of practice and same with the verbal. When completed all the concepts learning and handsome practice. Take full length CATs, know your estimated score. Analyze the result with Correct/incorrect questions, pacing analysis trace your mistakes and learn from them, make an error log to know your mistakes in the previously attempted questions

Best Mocks

1. Official GMAC (50+50$)
2. Manhattan GMAT (49$)

Good Luck
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