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500 to 550 in 6 weeks desperate for advice

This topic has 7 expert replies and 4 member replies
Setarehrrr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
26 Mar 2017
Posted:
15 messages

500 to 550 in 6 weeks desperate for advice

Post Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:26 pm
Hi! I am in need of a solid 50 points if not more increase , I just need a 550 for my score to get admitted and after a a month of studying I increased to 500 but I feel like defeated and just not optimistic Sad i struggle during quant questions if I haven't seen a question exactly the way it is I get scared and also reading comp i struggle with .... i have 6 weeks approx ,... fully committed no full time work just time for the gmat ! Please give me some advice ! I am using Manhattan prep and magoosh

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Post Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:26 pm
Hi Setarehrrr,

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 yet. This is meant to say that since you've studied for just one month, you will likely improve as you continue to study, learn all of the necessary content and hone your Test-Taking skills.

1) From your post, it's not clear whether you've taken 2 practice CATs or more. Have you taken the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?
2) What is your exact Test Date?
3) How do you know that a 550 is all that you 'need?'

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

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Setarehrrr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
26 Mar 2017
Posted:
15 messages
Post Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:35 pm
[quote="Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com"]Hi Setarehrrr,

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 yet. This is meant to say that since you've studied for just one month, you will likely improve as you continue to study, learn all of the necessary content and hone your Test-Taking skills.

1) From your post, it's not clear whether you've taken 2 practice CATs or more. Have you taken the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?
2) What is your exact Test Date?
3) How do you know that a 550 is all that you 'need?'

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






Hi !
Yes I took 6 CAT actually and started from 400 now I am getting 500 to 510 ...
I want to write May 20th, I have full time dedication to studying and I need 550 bcz I am already accepted conditionally and need a 550 to make it

Post Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:45 pm
Hi Setarehrrr,

To start, it's important to remember that taking lots of CATs will NOT make you a better Test Taker. A CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to put in the necessary practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week.

With your current Test Date, you actually have closer to 8 week of study time remaining - which is plenty of time for you to continue to study and hit your goal score. I suggest that you wait 2 weeks before taking your next practice CAT - then report back here with that score. We can use that result to determine whether you should adjust your studies or not.

1) Just to confirm - did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) each time?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Setarehrrr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
26 Mar 2017
Posted:
15 messages
Post Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:47 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi Setarehrrr,

To start, it's important to remember that taking lots of CATs will NOT make you a better Test Taker. A CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to put in the necessary practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week.

With your current Test Date, you actually have closer to 8 week of study time remaining - which is plenty of time for you to continue to study and hit your goal score. I suggest that you wait 2 weeks before taking your next practice CAT - then report back here with that score. We can use that result to determine whether you should adjust your studies or not.

1) Just to confirm - did you take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) each time?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Hi! I usually do not take the essay section or the IR, just because I am focused and desperate for the 550 ,
Am focus

sukhman Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:54 am
I would say I was in same boat as I improved from 460-500 to 610. That said there is no shortcut to success, You have to learn the content and its going to take more than 6 weeks , it took me more than 6 months .To increase your score you need to focus on Verbal and Quant separately. Math Revolution is good website to learn Maths content , for verbal E-Gmat is good. If you can finish all the content within 6 weeks hats off to you.You also need to practice official questions , I practiced Official Guide 10 Th Edition for Maths it has lot more official questions , you can get it on Amazon.com for as little as $1 add $24 if you live outside of US . Get hold of all old Official Guides on Amazon and start practicing. You also to practice IR Official questions , you can get them free along with latest Edition of Official Guide I got 5 in IR.However I skipped Essay in Mocks but it is okay as you just need good typing speed on D-Day.Buy Exam Pack 1 and 2 and other official questions, they help a lot in practice.

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Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:16 am
You don't need to buy any more books / use any more resources. If you're hovering around 500 and haven't cracked 550 yet, it means that you haven't mastered the material you've already seen yet.

I'm sensing a lot of anxiety from your writing. So first things first, RELAX! The GMAT is an incredibly difficult test, but it's also a very forgiving test - you can get a lot of questions wrong and still do very well! So take the pressure off of yourself. Just tell yourself "sure, I'm going to get a lot of questions wrong, and that's fine. I'm just going to do my best on the ones that seem getable."

Here are some resources that might help you to reframe your thinking around test taking & anxiety:
http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?language=en
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/05/09/stressed-out-meditate-to-lower-your-anxiety-and-boost-your-gmat-score/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2009/11/27/techniques-for-managing-gmat-stress/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2012/01/03/stress-management/

Another thing that students often don't think about, but which can have a huge impact: decision fatigue. When you've made dozens of decisions in a row (as on a GMAT exam), it depletes your ability to make new decisions. One way to combat that - eat something! Increasing blood glucose has been proven to counteract decision fatigue.
“Even the wisest people won’t make good choices when they’re not rested and their glucose is low,”
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?_r=0
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2014/04/09/my-score-dropped-figuring-out-what-went-wrong-2/

Instead of taking a bunch of new practice exams and doing new problems, focus for the next few weeks on just deeply reviewing the ones you've already done. I'm willing to bet that you haven't reviewed them deeply enough! Being aware of what kinds of mistakes you've made will help you to avoid those mistakes in the future, but redoing problems will also boost your confidence by solidifying & confirming what you already know.

Here's more on reviewing and redoing:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/03/09/why-you-should-be-redoing-gmat-problems/

So in conclusion, remember to BREATHE while you're taking this test! Everything tested on the GMAT is learnable, and you are capable of getting a good score. Be kind to yourself! The GMAT isn't worth stressing out over.

Good luck!

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Harvard Graduate School of Education


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Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:30 am
Hi Setarehrrr,

You still have plenty of time to study and improve - so you just have to be disciplined about how you approach the next phase of your studies.

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 likely what has happened here. By skipping the Essay and IR sections, you took shorter, easier Exams that required less work from you - and that is NOT what Test Day will be. As such, when you take CATs in the future, you really MUST take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) and do so in a manner that 'matches up' with the variables that you'll face on Test Day (strange location, time of day, travel time to the Test Center, etc.).

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Setarehrrr Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
26 Mar 2017
Posted:
15 messages
Post Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:25 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi Setarehrrr,

You still have plenty of time to study and improve - so you just have to be disciplined about how you approach the next phase of your studies.

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 likely what has happened here. By skipping the Essay and IR sections, you took shorter, easier Exams that required less work from you - and that is NOT what Test Day will be. As such, when you take CATs in the future, you really MUST take the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) and do so in a manner that 'matches up' with the variables that you'll face on Test Day (strange location, time of day, travel time to the Test Center, etc.).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Thank you, yes I understand . I just have a lot of fear of failure and keep thinking maybe I can't do it , I know that 550 isn't the hardest score to get but for me it was already a lot of effort to get 500 on practice test ....I already have gotten accepted to one of the top business schools and this is due to my amazing portfolio and job but I took the real exam and got a 440 that was without studying much I just wanted to try ... I am now starting from scratch using Manhattan prep all course books and seeem to be learning but I have fear !!! And only approx 8 weeks

Post Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:59 am
Quote:
I am now starting from scratch using Manhattan prep all course books and seeem to be learning but I have fear !!!
You're in good company. Many people suffer from test-taking anxiety, and there's good deal of research indicating that our perception about how well we test influence our performance. It might be worthwhile for you to consider some mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to boost scores on standardized tests: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-meditation-improves-memory-attention/275564/

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Post Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:07 am
At the risk of piling on more work, here's a video on combating test anxiety: http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/general-gmat-strategies?id=1252

As part of managing anxiety, it's crucial that you adopt the proper mindset/attitude on test day. To this end, you may be interested in reading the following articles:
- http://www.gmatprepnow.com/articles/mindset-and-body-language-gmat-destroyer
- http://www.gmatprepnow.com/articles/junior-girls-volleyball-scoring-big-gmat

Cheers,
Brent

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Post Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:43 am
Oh, anxiety. It's a bitch!

Let's be clear here: While you cannot score your best unless you have mastered content and employ the best test-taking strategy, all your knowledge and skills wont count for much unless you're in your best mental state while taking the exam. Anxiety. Lack of focus. Fear of failure. Procrastination. Low self esteem. Self talk consisting of, 'I've never been a good test taker..." I've heard it all and as one of the only, if not the only, test prep company that addresses the mental game, I know more than a little something about what to do about it, and am happy to share some resources so you can get on your best game.

Statistics state that 35% of college students are impacted by extreme anxiety. Consider all those who have the kind that isn't paralyzing. Many to most. Statistics also point to a 12% increase on test scores when a student doesn't have their aniety. I've seen more. Much more. In fact, I've seen 230 points more on the GMAT getting a student over their anxiety the weekend before their Monday exam. And this is not unusual.

You can easily and quickly get out of your own way by firing your inner critic with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), visualization/hypnosis, Neuro-Linguisitic programming, Sound Therapy and a multitude of other techniques. For starters, you can listen to the 30 minute sampler on my website provides quick snippets of various tecniques. For many people: this is enough! Just listen to it when you have no other distractions, and definately don't listen while driving. Here is the link: http://testprepny.com/full-potential-audio-program/

How does your anxiety manifest? Can't sleep well? Sweaty palms? General unease? Have you felt this way before? What did you do about it in the past?

It's really not just about 'breathing right' and yoga, meditation and an exercise regime, are all amazing, but take time to build up a practice to gain their full effects. You gotta check out the big guns which are the techniques I mentioned above, and more.

Let us know what's happening in this front and I can give you some more specific things to check out.

Best,

Bara

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