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Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!

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Joined: 06 Jun 2018
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Location: India
Schools: HBS '21
GMAT 1: 490 Q35 V21
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Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 09:28
1
Hello all club members,

This might be a slightly long post. Many of you might not be able to relate to the my current state of mind yet I'll try to give you all the feel of being in my shoes to the closest extent possible.

I'm almost 25 years old, working in the top global startups and as kid always dreamt of business and management as career down the line. I'm really glad that so far all the opportunities favoured me in coming a long way with above averages diverse career experience, by running a company for a breif while and working in India for 2 global startups in helping setting up initial operations. I have working from 6+ years both full time and part time while I started our company back in college. Which still running btw with a dedicated employees to take care and couple of partner monitoring it, I'm only involved in strategical planning and decision right now giving me enought space to go ahead with my dreams!

Now with all those dreams and average profile I always wanted to get in to a top b-school majorly for the diversity and exposure I could get and ofcourse for the ROI as well till I clear of my loans and save a little to boot start or expand the new/current business.

Having said that, now to chase my dreams I planned to take my GMAT. Knowing about my academic background, which is as poor as 55%, as per indian standards, which test highly on content than comprehensional ability (no complaints), I planned on getting a high GMAT score of 700+ being too optimistic.

Now that I know I need a high score, there comes my work life balance at the under staffed, moderately paid global startup. Though GMAT is on my mind from couple of months, with my work and poor time management skills, I didn't get a chance to even peak at the exam pattern!

Finally to give myself a push and deadline to abide by, with also my poor decisions making skills, I've opted for a date which was 3 weeks away and felt accomplished on my first small step towards my dream! But, to worsen that further more, I also schedule both my IELTS writing and speaking in the middle of these 2 weeks I have. Leaving my self with only 12 days for the D-day.

Fought almost a small battle at office to get 2 weeks leave, and 3 days working to complete all tasks at hand and to handover the work. Now, with time at hand and deadline ahead. I've started by giving my GMAT mock, by Manhattan, to familiarise myself with the exam's pattern and I've scored 550. Not a very bad score to start with I guess.

Now, with a base score and atleast 150+ points to improve at hand, in less than 10 days and self study as the method I was overwhelmed by the amount resources I could find online, I felt like a kid lost in the candy store with all the free test, videos, forums and pdfts.

Luckily, to channel my focus a little my friend had an OG '13 review and verbal review. I started solving and completed 120+ qns with 95% accuracy in quant, without knowing they were from ordered by easy to hard difficulty, gaining confidence. And now I also downloaded 700-800 qns from a PDF I found in Club and started solving it and boom!, All the confidence Vanished. Similar story in for verbal though accuracy was 70% for starting OG qns.

Now, after the realisation kicked in, I started watching videos with concepts on verbal and quant from perp GMAT and Veritas. Which ate all the limited-time I had. I'm now left with 6 days. I thought, now is the good time to give a mock, to see where I stand, with all the new concepts I've learnt. Also, my IELTS in the next 3 days.

GMATPrep 1 - 550. Still the same score was shocking. But I just reviewed at without proper explanation available and only answers. And moved in with IELTS leaving me 2 days for D-day.

Now to check my retention and also to test where I stand. I gave GMATPrep 2 - 530. Worse. I though I had paid more attention this time and further worse.

Now, just trying to brush up and recollect techniques. I've spent other 2 days also learning AWA and IR at the same time, which I so far only skipped during mocks!

On D-Day [Today]
I went early to test centre, everything was quite comfortable. I started with AWA and IR to warm up a little. I felt, I really did a good job on AWA. Confidently, started quant and realised seconds later that I've clicked next choosing the wrong answer for 4-5 times and unlike GRE I can't go back and I'm so envying GRE takers now!

And verbal I struggled 6 mins first CR qn rereading it so many time and still not able to comprehend I don't know why. Half way through verbal I realised that I screwed up the pace. Started hurrying and messing up more.

Score - 490 q 35 v 21 ir7 and AWA - expecting 5 atleast.

What went wrong? Why was my score decreasing? Any tips? I'm planning to retake in Jan.


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Re: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 10:01
Hi 700inyourdreams,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort to have scored higher yet. In addition, 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 Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 520 +/- a few points). In simple terms, you've been performing at the same general level. To earn a much higher score, you're going to have to make some significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. With a planned retake in January, you now have plenty of time to study and improve - but you have to commit to the proper study routine.

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 your timeline and your goals:

1) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) Going forward, 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: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 22:25
Hi @7100inyourdreams,

I am sorry that your scores were not in line with your expectations. But from what you have describes, your preparation has not been structured and that is reflected in your score. The good thing is you have enough time till your next attempt to work on your score. I would recommend that you go through this article on Personalized Study Plan for 100+ points Score Improvement to plan for your next attempt. A structured approach will help you get to your target score as it did for these students:
    • Richa followed a methodical approach and improved from 470 to 720 (V16 to V39). Click here to learn how she achieved this feat.
    • Askul improved from 520 (Q44 V17) to 710 (Q48 V40). He leveraged the live session and mastered our "3-step" process in SC and "Pre-thinking" process in CR to improve. Click here to read his inspiring GMAT journey.
    • Anurag improved his score from 530 (V18) in mocks to 710 (V38) with the help of our course. Click here to learn about his incredible GMAT journey.
    • Bruno improved from a 540 to 730 in 1 month. See how he focused on "logical approach" and building "core skills". Click here to watch his amazing video debrief.

If you need any further guidance, please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com.

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 23:03
It is typical for the real score to be lower than the practice scores. And I think you knew that you were not going to get a good score, given your practice test scores and how much time you managed to dedicate to your studies.

For your re-take in January, take your studies seriously, prepare an error log, improve your fundamentals in both Quant and Verbal, practice problems in the Official Guide, and take a couple of timed practice tests. Make sure you study not only hard but also smart. Devote 10-15 hours per week to studying the right way. You have to be honest with yourself. If you feel that you're not getting better, change your approach. If you're running out of time, hire a tutor.

I would also recommend that you check the success stories on this board to have an idea of whose situation may be similar to yours so you can copy his methods. And don't be afraid to ask questions. We are here for you.
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Re: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2018, 17:11
Hi 700inyourdreams,

Thank you for sharing your story. I will start by saying something very important: THE GMAT IS A BEAST.

Successfully preparing for the GMAT takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. In fact, the vast majority of test-takers need well over 2 weeks (more like 3+ months) to successfully prepare for the GMAT.

So, why is your score decreasing? Well, the simple answer is that you have not fully developed your GMAT quant and verbal skills, so your many weaknesses are getting exposed each time you take an exam. That being said, if you are looking for advice on how to move forward with your prep, feel free to reach out, and I’d be happy to help.

I also wrote a couple of articles that you may find helpful:

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT and how long to study for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.
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Joined: 06 Jun 2018
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Re: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2018, 09:33
Thanks everyone for the prompt reply and suggesting that with proper time it’ll be possible this time. Now trying to take out some time for long work days. Thanks :)

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Re: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation!  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 05:56
1
Hi 700inyourdreams.

Scoring 700+ on the GMAT takes having a certain skill set. So, to hit your score goal, you have to develop that skill set, and you won't do so by simply running through dozens of questions to "get the hang of it".

So, overall, it sounds as if you have to slow WAY down in your GMAT prep and come up with a plan for developing that skill set, and that plan will probably include the following, among other things:

- Going over the practice tests that you have already taken to figure out what skills you have to develop to get more correct answers.

- Finding materials or a self-study course that you can use to help you to develop those skills in a methodical, organized, thorough manner.

- Learning concepts and developing skills one by one to drive your expected GMAT score up point by point. Part of what you will have to do in order to develop these skills is answer practice questions slowly and carefully, training yourself to do what it takes to get correct answers consistently.

- Taking more practice tests to see how things are going and to find weaker areas to target in order to drive your score higher.

Doing all of these things can take hundreds of hours, and scoring high on the GMAT is often the result of good project management. So, to hit your score goal, you need to take stock of this situation and manage this project as you would any other fairly significant project.
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Re: Worst GMAT ever! Need guidance, help, analysis & motivation! &nbs [#permalink] 23 Oct 2018, 05:56
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