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# Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks

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Intern
Joined: 05 Oct 2018
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Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2019, 15:23
Hi all,

I was studying hard for the GMAT from Oct-Dec 2018 but did not feel like I was making any progress. My first practice tests were 620 and my last one in December was 640 Q37 V41. Verbal has always been my strength so I was focusing on quant study but wasn't moving forward. Due to some other issues I stepped away from studying for a few months and am preparing to take the test in 3 weeks. My goal score is 700, but, I would keep any score above 660. I'm just not sure whether to focus on bumping quant up to ~40 with minimal verbal study or whether to go verbal 45+ and focus on maintaining what I have in quant. My gut says bump quant because my weaknesses in it, specifically number properties and fractions decimals percents, word problems and algebra are hit or miss. I'm grateful for any guidance provided. I have access to numerous study materials so it really is just a question of where to focus and how best to achieve that target score. Thank you in advance!
Senior Manager
Joined: 31 Aug 2016
Posts: 266
Location: India
Concentration: Operations, Finance
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V33
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GPA: 2.81
Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2019, 18:55
cjordanksu8 wrote:
Hi all,

I was studying hard for the GMAT from Oct-Dec 2018 but did not feel like I was making any progress. My first practice tests were 620 and my last one in December was 640 Q37 V41. Verbal has always been my strength so I was focusing on quant study but wasn't moving forward. Due to some other issues I stepped away from studying for a few months and am preparing to take the test in 3 weeks. My goal score is 700, but, I would keep any score above 660. I'm just not sure whether to focus on bumping quant up to ~40 with minimal verbal study or whether to go verbal 45+ and focus on maintaining what I have in quant. My gut says bump quant because my weaknesses in it, specifically number properties and fractions decimals percents, word problems and algebra are hit or miss. I'm grateful for any guidance provided. I have access to numerous study materials so it really is just a question of where to focus and how best to achieve that target score. Thank you in advance!

hi cjordanksu8

In my opinion, you should quickly identify your weak areas by going through the questions you got wrong. Devote more time on the weak areas while maintaining a practice in your strengths areas. Also during this last phase of your preparation, you should focus only on official questions. Check out this article by GMATNinja
thanks
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Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2019, 23:02
Hi cjordanksu8,

Many Business Schools view an Applicant's Quant Scaled Score as an indicator of how that Applicant might handle the 'academic side' of the Program - and a Quant Scaled Score in the Q30s or low-Q40s won't impress anyone (and it might even be seen as a 'red flag' at certain Programs). As such, it would likely be better for your overall application if you focused on improving your Quant skills during this next phase of your studies. Those types of Quant Scores imply that you correctly handle most of the "math" questions that you see during the Exam, but you make a number of little mistakes throughout the section and you miss out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' points. Beyond working on your general math skills and organization, it's important to remember that the Quant section is NOT a 'math test'; it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. By extension, if you focus on Quant Tactics, then you'll be better able to increase your GMAT Score AND better impress how Business School Admissions Officers will view your potential to handle their Programs.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
2) When is your exact Test Date?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Joined: 05 Oct 2018
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Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2019, 07:08
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

Rich,

I should have mentioned that I will be going for an online MBA not that that means I wish to perform poorly by any means. At this point I'm targeting Kelley and Ross. Originally I was going to apply for upcoming fall class but I think I need to wait and start either spring '20 or fall '20 since I had to put off prep for so long. Since that is the case, I can take the test anytime I just know it would not be wise to drag out prep over a long period of time.

No Date Kaplan Diagnostic Test 630 Q42 V35
10/7/18 Official GMAT Practice 640 Q36 V41
11/6/18 " " 640 Q37 V41
12/11/18 MGmat 640 Q38 V38

I took a test yesterday after no real study since mid December

MGmat 620 Q38 V36

When I was studying in earnest I completed a little more than half of the problems in OG and was also using Magoosh videos and practice problems.

Thanks for the insight thus far.

Christopher
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Joined: 29 Jan 2015
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WE: General Management (Non-Profit and Government)
Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2019, 08:25
cjordanksu8 wrote:
Hi all,

I was studying hard for the GMAT from Oct-Dec 2018 but did not feel like I was making any progress. My first practice tests were 620 and my last one in December was 640 Q37 V41. Verbal has always been my strength so I was focusing on quant study but wasn't moving forward. Due to some other issues I stepped away from studying for a few months and am preparing to take the test in 3 weeks. My goal score is 700, but, I would keep any score above 660. I'm just not sure whether to focus on bumping quant up to ~40 with minimal verbal study or whether to go verbal 45+ and focus on maintaining what I have in quant. My gut says bump quant because my weaknesses in it, specifically number properties and fractions decimals percents, word problems and algebra are hit or miss. I'm grateful for any guidance provided. I have access to numerous study materials so it really is just a question of where to focus and how best to achieve that target score. Thank you in advance!

Hi cjordanksu8,

Since you are doing excellent in Verbal, you should focus all your time in improving your Quant. 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 practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/what-to-do-3 ... 52506.html

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2019, 21:14
Hi Christopher,

To start, GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your various CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 640 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You're actually really close to a 660+ right now (and by extension, not that far from a 700+), but you would have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Exam to consistently score at the 700+ level.

If you're considering applying at a later time, then you have the freedom to take your GMAT whenever you choose (and retake it later on if you really want to take the GMAT in 3 weeks).

1) Going forward - and assuming that you want to take the GMAT in 3 weeks - 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: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2019, 06:36
EMPOWERgmatRichC

Rich,

You're absolutely right. I make the same mistakes pretty consistently it seems. Also, I can instantly recognize if I have no chance on a quant problem but am unsure how to guess strategically on the higher level problems. Ultimately, I do not have to take the GMAT in 3 weeks so I have more time if I need it. I can consistently study 15-20 hours per week whether I take it in 3 weeks or wait longer. The only caveat is that I cannot consistently block out that time into designated chunks. I may have to study some here study some there as work allows. Thanks so much for your insight thus far.

Christopher
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2019, 12:43
Hi Christopher,

Business Schools generally do NOT care if you retake the GMAT, so you can approach the next phase of your studies however you like - and you could take the GMAT in 3 weeks and retest later if you choose.

You stated that you would 'keep' any Score that was 660+, but if you're dead-set on scoring 700+ (meaning that you would retest until you hit that Score), then you can save some money and aggravation by pushing back this upcoming Test Date. With a few 'tweaks' to how you handle the Quant section, I think that you could be scoring 660+ right now - but you would likely need more than 3 weeks to get to the point that you were consistently scoring 700+.

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, but your goal shouldn't be to 'rush' through any of that material. 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 just let me know (you can also feel free to contact me directly).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2019, 06:44
Hi cjordanksu8,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, since you previously prepared for about 3 months and did not make any significant improvement, you really need to look at HOW you were preparing and make some changes. Furthermore, since you are now applying on later application deadlines, you should give yourself as much time as you need to improve both your quant and verbal skills. Time is not a factor, so why not use that to your advantage, right?

Assuming that you reschedule your GMAT, the question becomes HOW you can improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills. Since you recently scored a Q38/V36, it’s clear that you have some room for improvement in both sections. Thus, I recommend following a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually tackle each verbal and quant topic and practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. By studying in such a way, you will be able to methodically fill in knowledge gaps and improve your skills.

Certainly, if you’d like more detailed advice on how to study for quant and verbal, feel free to reach out. Also, if you find that you need additional prep materials, check out the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and [url=https://gmatclub.com/reviews/highest-rated-gmat-courses/best-for-verbal-34] verbal courses.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read the following article about the phases of preparing for the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks  [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2019, 09:57
Thanks for the guidance all. I am going to schedule my exam for mid-April that way I will still have time to brush up for a second test if necessary before May 15th application deadline. I have the time to study hard and consistently so I will put it to good use.
Re: Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks   [#permalink] 03 Mar 2019, 09:57
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# Unsure where to focus - GMAT in 3 weeks

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