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What went wrong on my GMAT?

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What went wrong on my GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2017, 09:34
Dear all,

I’m a fulltime working 30 year-oId professional from Europe and plan to start a MBA program by next year. I started my prep journey a couple of months ago, back in August 2016. Having a non-quant background and being out of high school for around ten years, I literally had to (re)learn quant from scratch. To get started, I subscribed to a MAGOOSH in order to brush up my math foundations. After having watched all the videos I sat for my first GMATPrep CAT and scored a 430 (Q25, V24). Then I worked through all the Manhattan Quant books from cover to cover and did lots of problems in the OG and a few months later sat for my second GMAT Prep CAT (480 – Q31, V25). As my Quant score was slowly improving, I decided to book my first GMAT appointment and to continue studying.

After hundreds of hours of self-study, and as my first GMAT test date was approaching, I decided to reward myself for the hard work with a Manhattan in-person Prep Course. I really liked the Manhattan strategy guides and wanted to stay in the same study frame work. As Manhattan Prep courses are not offered in my home country, I booked a two week Boot Camp in the UK.

The boot camp was a great experience; both instructors were very smart and the syllabus was well rounded. I studied almost non-stop for two weeks, every morning a couple of hours before the course and every night after the course. In addition, I sat for three MGMAT CATS over the course of the two weeks. Here are my MGMAT CAT scores:

1) Start of BC: 570 (Q37, V31) - w/o IR and Essay
2) After first week of BC: 550 (Q37, V29) - incl. IR and Essay and under simulated test conditions
3) End of BC: 580 (Q38, V32) - incl. IR and Essay and under simulated test conditions

My GMAT happened to take place only two days after my last Boot Camp Session. As I am aiming for a 650 overall score and as my prep CATS weren’t in that score range yet, I already knew before taking the test that I would have to retake my GMAT at least once after this initial attempt. This is fine because I am not aiming to apply to Business School before 2018 – so I still have almost one year to achieve my goal.

Anyhow I had a very frustrating but even more confusing result in my first GMAT, in which I scored a 530 (Q25, V37). While my Quant score dropped dramatically to almost before studying level, I had an all-time best score in Verbal. I was anticipating the opposite to be honest, since Manhattan CATS are considered to be a little tougher on the Quant a little easier on the Verbal end.

Well, my GMAT score shows me something completely different. I was quite shocked when I first saw my very weak quant score since I had almost exclusively studied Quant for the last six months. At test day, I would justify it with my mental condition when sitting for the GMAT. Doing the two week Boot Camp was much more exhausting than I expected and I felt a little burnt out at the end - so the timing probably wasn't perfect. But how could I then achieve such a stellar result in Verbal? I am planning to retake the GMAT in six weeks from now and want to make sure to modify my study plan in the best possible way.

Should I just keep on redoing timed OG question sets in order to gain more confidence in quant?

Any comments on this would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Tobias

Last edited by Tobias Johannes on 05 Apr 2017, 02:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What went wrong on my GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Apr 2017, 10:08
Tobias Johannes wrote:
Dear all,

I am already following the discussions in this forum for some time and now feel that it’s time to share my own story.

I started my prep journey a couples of months ago, back in August 2016. Having a non-quant business background and being out of high school for around ten years, I literally had to (re)learn quant from scratch. I subscribed to Magoosh and saw all the quant videos twice (great platform by the way), then I worked through all the Manhattan Quant books from cover to cover and did lots of problems in the OG and on Magoosh. As my Quant score was slowly improving over the course of the last months, I decided to book my first GMAT appointment. I am not planning to apply to Business School before 2018 so I still have plenty of time for potential retakes.

After having watched all the Magoosh videos by end of August, I sat for my first GMAT Prep CAT (430 - Q25, V24). Then, a couple of months later, after having completed all the Manhattan Quant books, I sat for my second GMAT Prep CAT (480 – Q31, V25), from January to March, I studied regularly and felt that I could improve my Quant score further. Still at this point, I hadn’t done too much for verbal, since I thought it would be good to invest my time in Quant until I pass the 40 points barrier.

As my first GMAT date was approaching I thought it would be good to do a prep course, in order to go through all the basics, again, and to learn some strategies and to finally learn for the Verbal part of the GMAT. Since there are no prep courses offered in my home town in Germany, I decided to take two weeks off from work and to enrol to a Manhattan GMAT Boot Camp (a ten-session full time intensive program) in another city. I thought it would be a great idea to do the course just before my first real GMAT, leaving only two days between the end of the course and the real test. Here is what happened:

The boot camp was a great experience; both instructors were very smart and the syllabus was well rounded. I studied almost non-stop for two weeks, every morning, a couple of hours before the course and every night after the course. In addition, I sat for three MGMAT CATS over the course of the two weeks: 1)March 18, 570 – Q37, V31 2)March 24, 550 - Q37, V29 and 3)March 31, 580 – Q38, V32.

On April first, I flew back home to Germany, tried to relax as much as possible the next day and had my real GMAT on April 3 (yesterday). I had a very frustrating but even more confusing result of 530 – Q25, V37. While my Quant score dropped dramatically to almost before studying level, I had an all-time best score in Verbal. I was anticipating the opposite to be honest, since Manhattan CATS are considered to be a little tougher on the Quant end a little easier on Verbal. Anyhow, my GMAT score shows me something completely different. I was quite shocked when I first saw my very weak quant score but would justify it with my tired out condition when sitting for the GMAT – doing the two week Boot Camp was much more exhausting than I expected. But how could I then achieve such a stellar result in Verbal? I am planning on retaking my GMAT in six weeks from now and want to make sure to modify my study plan in the best possible way. I am aiming for an overall score of 650.

Any comments on this would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Tobias



Many moons ago( in 2009 , wow, I am that old) I took GMAT and scored 720 (Q47, V42). I am not sure if that qualifies me for answering your question but few lessons I learned then and trying to relean now are :

1) Each individual has different levels of intellect and emotional quotient. For acing the exam, you need to identify yours. In simpler term, you need to condition yourself to perform under stress because that's what GMAT measures in a way.
2) GMATPREP. Sounds like you never tried official mock tests. When taken without repetition, they are best indicators of your actual score (+/- 20)
3) Learning from mistake: I have started this GMAT journey after 8 years and I forgot 99% of material.Subjects such as Geometry or Overlapping Sets where I used to play, I ache now like anything. So what I am doing ? Everyday I am reviewing my previous day's mistakes and trying to identify what made me fail
4) GMAT CLUB : Try to solve at least 5 PS+ 5 SC + 5 DS + 5 CR questions ( specially questions from Bunuel). Couple of caveats : There are some crap questions posted which will never appear on real gmat 2) use the stop watch associated with each question while answering.

That's all come to my mind. Again, I am yet to crack the exam, so dont know whether my approach is correct or not but hope this helps.

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Re: What went wrong on my GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2017, 22:28
Tobias Johannes wrote:
Dear all,

I’m a fulltime working 30 year-oId professional from Europe and plan to start a MBA program by next year. I started my prep journey a couple of months ago, back in August 2016. Having a non-quant background and being out of high school for around ten years, I literally had to (re)learn quant from scratch. To get started, I subscribed to a MAGOOSH in order to brush up my math foundations. After having watched all the videos I sat for my first GMATPrep CAT and scored a 430 (Q25, V24). Then I worked through all the Manhattan Quant books from cover to cover and did lots of problems in the OG and a few months later sat for my second GMAT Prep CAT (480 – Q31, V25). As my Quant score was slowly improving, I decided to book my first GMAT appointment and to continue studying.

After hundreds of hours of self-study, and as my first GMAT test date was approaching, I decided to reward myself for the hard work with a Manhattan in-person Prep Course. I really liked the Manhattan strategy guides and wanted to stay in the same study frame work. As Manhattan Prep courses are not offered in my home country, I booked a two week Boot Camp in the UK.

The boot camp was a great experience; both instructors were very smart and the syllabus was well rounded. I studied almost non-stop for two weeks, every morning a couple of hours before the course and every night after the course. In addition, I sat for three MGMAT CATS over the course of the two weeks. Here are my MGMAT CAT scores:

1) Start of BC: 570 (Q37, V31) - w/o IR and Essay
2) After first week of BC: 550 (Q37, V29) - incl. IR and Essay and under simulated test conditions
3) End of BC: 580 (Q38, V32) - incl. IR and Essay and under simulated test conditions

My GMAT happened to take place only two days after my last Boot Camp Session. As I am aiming for a 650 overall score and as my prep CATS weren’t in that score range yet, I already knew before taking the test that I would have to retake my GMAT at least once after this initial attempt. This is fine because I am not aiming to apply to Business School before 2018 – so I still have almost one year to achieve my goal.

Anyhow I had a very frustrating but even more confusing result in my first GMAT, in which I scored a 530 (Q25, V37). While my Quant score dropped dramatically to almost before studying level, I had an all-time best score in Verbal. I was anticipating the opposite to be honest, since Manhattan CATS are considered to be a little tougher on the Quant a little easier on the Verbal end.

Well, my GMAT score shows me something completely different. I was quite shocked when I first saw my very weak quant score since I had almost exclusively studied Quant for the last six months. At test day, I would justify it with my mental condition when sitting for the GMAT. Doing the two week Boot Camp was much more exhausting than I expected and I felt a little burnt out at the end - so the timing probably wasn't perfect. But how could I then achieve such a stellar result in Verbal? I am planning to retake the GMAT in six weeks from now and want to make sure to modify my study plan in the best possible way.

Should I just keep on redoing timed OG question sets in order to gain more confidence in quant?

Any comments on this would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Tobias


Hi Tobias Johannes ,
As per GMAC , the score that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability.
-You should stick to GMAT Prep mocks as they are the best indicators of your performance . Attempt prep company tests - MGMAT , Veritas etc only when you have taken the 6 GMAT Prep tests .
- You can order an EST to investigate where did you go wrong
- Quant - Veritas and Manhattan guides , Questions in Bunuel's signature
- GMAT Club tests - best for quant practise .
- Make an error log and try to categorize the errors and learn from them

Hope this helps!! :)
_________________

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. - Henry Ford
The Moment You Think About Giving Up, Think Of The Reason Why You Held On So Long
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Re: What went wrong on my GMAT?   [#permalink] 07 Apr 2017, 22:28
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