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Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!

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Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2018, 12:28
1
Clearly I am disappointed, but to some extent I am also happy I did so poorly. If I had scored around what I have been averaging (upper 600's, lower 700's) I would have brushed it off and not paid much attention on improvement. So what happened?

I scored a (I think, don't even remember anymore) a 490. I received a 27 verbal (ouch!) and a 45 quant (whatever, not the worst). My aim was lower 40's verbal, mid-upper 40's quant. I don't care about a Q50. I think there are multiple reasons why I did so poorly:

1. It was my first CAT exam after 5 years and I am no longer used to test taking
2. My practice exams have always been in my PJ's in my comfortable home
3. In addition to 2, I do not practice with super uncomfortable headphones (they hurt my ears a lot)
4. I do not practice IR or AWA at home, though it doesn't matter because I push them to end I received a 6 on my IR which I will take any day (I score 8 on my practice exams when I do do it)
5. I did not follow ANY of my own advice when I did verbal. I read the passage, read the question, picked an answer I liked, and was done in maybe 1 minute. I had 5 minutes left at the end of my verbal section
6. I did not account for small things such as do not wear clothing with too many pockets because they will security check you every time and take away valuable time or don't drink too much water before a section because stress makes me want to pee more (don't judge)

Verbal was interesting to me. SC is my strongest subject because English is my native language. The verbal section had maybe 25 SC questions, 2 passages with maybe 3 questions each and 3-4 CR. Even if I answer every RC and CR wrong, I must have answered a really good amount of SC wrong. Which sucks because I know SC very well. I don't know what to pin this on other than stupid mistakes or stressful conditions.

I have 2 weeks under my next exam (I knew I would need more than 1 exam so I bought multiple in one shot). My goal now is simple: work with my private tutor and drill down RC and CR. Practice 20-30 SC every day and keep reviewing math.

Last thing: I found the official verbal to be easy. I know that sounds funny because I received my lowest ever verbal score in it, but it is what it is. I found the math to be easier than my average (I've been using GMAT Club) so I was shocked to see a 45 even though I score around 45 in GMAT Club Quant tests. IR was crazy hard so I was surprised to see a 6. I never practiced AWA so I could care less about it, though I did write over 4 paragraphs so kind of knew what I was doing.

As for my practice materials, I used:

1. The official guide (all 3)
2. GMAT Club Quant tests
3. Manhattan exams (utterly useless IMO. Their math is easy, but requires too many steps and their verbal is a joke IMO. Never comes close to the real thing)
4. Starting now - a private tutor for verbal RC and CR

Completely unrelated to this, but why is there a tag in this forum called Worthless Post? Would anyone in their right mind actually use that?
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Re: Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2018, 03:30
The verbal section had maybe 25 SC questions, 2 passages with maybe 3 questions each and 3-4 CR.

Are you sure about the number of questions in each subsection in Verbal?

I mean where on Earth do you get to see 2 passages and 3-4 CR, really? :dazed :shocked
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Re: Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2018, 13:15
strivingFor800 wrote:
Clearly I am disappointed, but to some extent I am also happy I did so poorly. If I had scored around what I have been averaging (upper 600's, lower 700's) I would have brushed it off and not paid much attention on improvement. So what happened?

I scored a (I think, don't even remember anymore) a 490. I received a 27 verbal (ouch!) and a 45 quant (whatever, not the worst). My aim was lower 40's verbal, mid-upper 40's quant. I don't care about a Q50. I think there are multiple reasons why I did so poorly:

1. It was my first CAT exam after 5 years and I am no longer used to test taking
2. My practice exams have always been in my PJ's in my comfortable home
3. In addition to 2, I do not practice with super uncomfortable headphones (they hurt my ears a lot)
4. I do not practice IR or AWA at home, though it doesn't matter because I push them to end I received a 6 on my IR which I will take any day (I score 8 on my practice exams when I do do it)
5. I did not follow ANY of my own advice when I did verbal. I read the passage, read the question, picked an answer I liked, and was done in maybe 1 minute. I had 5 minutes left at the end of my verbal section
6. I did not account for small things such as do not wear clothing with too many pockets because they will security check you every time and take away valuable time or don't drink too much water before a section because stress makes me want to pee more (don't judge)

Verbal was interesting to me. SC is my strongest subject because English is my native language. The verbal section had maybe 25 SC questions, 2 passages with maybe 3 questions each and 3-4 CR. Even if I answer every RC and CR wrong, I must have answered a really good amount of SC wrong. Which sucks because I know SC very well. I don't know what to pin this on other than stupid mistakes or stressful conditions.

I have 2 weeks under my next exam (I knew I would need more than 1 exam so I bought multiple in one shot). My goal now is simple: work with my private tutor and drill down RC and CR. Practice 20-30 SC every day and keep reviewing math.

Last thing: I found the official verbal to be easy. I know that sounds funny because I received my lowest ever verbal score in it, but it is what it is. I found the math to be easier than my average (I've been using GMAT Club) so I was shocked to see a 45 even though I score around 45 in GMAT Club Quant tests. IR was crazy hard so I was surprised to see a 6. I never practiced AWA so I could care less about it, though I did write over 4 paragraphs so kind of knew what I was doing.

As for my practice materials, I used:

1. The official guide (all 3)
2. GMAT Club Quant tests
3. Manhattan exams (utterly useless IMO. Their math is easy, but requires too many steps and their verbal is a joke IMO. Never comes close to the real thing)
4. Starting now - a private tutor for verbal RC and CR

Completely unrelated to this, but why is there a tag in this forum called Worthless Post? Would anyone in their right mind actually use that?


I’m happy to provide some advice if you are looking for it, but I do have a number of questions that will allow me to learn some more about your situation with the GMAT:

1) How many times have you taken the actual GMAT? Please list the dates on which you’ve taken the GMAT, the total scores, the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Can you please include the Enhanced Score Reports from any GMATs you’ve taken in the last four months? Even if you’ve canceled the score, you can still order the Enhanced Score Report.

2) How many practice GMAT tests did you take? Please list the dates on which you’ve taken any practice GMATs, the total scores, the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Also, please tell me where these tests came from (ex: mba.com).

3) Please describe how you studied. How many hours a day did you study and for how many months?

4) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?

5) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?

6) How many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?

7) Have you ever had accommodations on any test? For example, extra time, a private room, or extra breaks? Do you have any medical diagnoses that could impact your studying or GMAT performance, such as ADHD, generalized anxiety, depression, or learning disabilities?

8) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.

9) Is there anything else that I should know? Anything else you’d like to tell me?

Thanks!
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Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 08:41
Back with an update.

So I was obviously very sad about my dismal score so I got myself a private tutor for verbal (my wife happens to be excellent at it) and practiced about 30 verbal questions every day. In the 1 week of study I did between my 2 exams, I took the GMAT Prep 1 test again and raised my score from a 650 to a 760. Of course, this score is inflated as I knew some of the answers, but an improvement nonetheless. The stupid thing I did was pay absolutely no attention to math thinking that I already know math so it will be fine. This is where I messed up.

I took the 2nd GMAT this weekend and received a dismal 690 (100 point jump; q44, v40, ir7). I was happy about verbal, but I know I can score a 45+. Quant was a sad bummer. My quant averages have been 49 on practice exams and that is what I was shooting for, but did not obtain.

As far as the second exam goes, this one was very different. Verbal had 3 passages and the first one had 6-7 questions. It felt like it would never stop. The good thing was that I understood the passage very well so I'm 99% sure I answered them all correctly.

Math on this exam was particularly very hard. I don't remember exact problems (nor will I share), but it certainly had me scratching my head quite a bit.

Anyhow, I have 2 more weeks until the next one. The goal here is simple - forget the total score, aim for a v45+ and a q49+. That should probably add to 760, but again, forget the total.

Let's see how the next one goes.

P.S. please stop PM'ing me asking to be my private tutor. I appreciate the offer, but I already have one for verbal and do not need one for math.
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Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 17:45
1
A 100-point jump is pretty awesome! So, while a 690 is a nice starting point, it will take some serious prep to bring your score up to a 760. Can you give yourself more than just two weeks?

To increase your quant and verbal scores to a more advanced level, you need to study each topic "with a fine-toothed comb" to determine your exact weaknesses. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By properly analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to more efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant knowledge. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant and verbal topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

In the case of verbal, let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number questions just from that topic: strengthen and weaken the argument, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific CR question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? Again, you must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When you do dozens of the same type of question one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of the questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently.

The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

You also may find it helpful to read my article for more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions

Manager
Manager
avatar
S
Joined: 29 Sep 2017
Posts: 113
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Leadership
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.3
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
GMAT ToolKit User Reviews Badge
Re: Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever!  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 10:11
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
A 100-point jump is pretty awesome! So, while a 690 is a nice starting point, it will take some serious prep to bring your score up to a 760. Can you give yourself more than just two weeks?

To increase your quant and verbal scores to a more advanced level, you need to study each topic "with a fine-toothed comb" to determine your exact weaknesses. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By properly analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to more efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant knowledge. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant and verbal topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

In the case of verbal, let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number questions just from that topic: strengthen and weaken the argument, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. Once complete, do a thorough analysis of each incorrect question. If you got a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why you got it wrong. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific CR question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? Again, you must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When you do dozens of the same type of question one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of the questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently.

The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

You also may find it helpful to read my article for more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!


Thanks for the great advice. Yes, that's what I'm doing now. I'm focusing on ensuring I understand why I got a question wrong so I do not repeat the same mistake again. The good news is that I am seeing my verbal constantly go up and up so I am ever more confident about it. I just need to spend the time practicing math so I can repeat my practice scores on the real exam.
_________________

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Re: Took the real GMAT - got my worst score ever! &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jul 2018, 10:11
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