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540 on the GMAT test.When should I retake it? Need 600

This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies
ANASTASIA2017 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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22 Dec 2017
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540 on the GMAT test.When should I retake it? Need 600

Post Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:06 pm
Hello everyone.

I had my exam yesterday and I scored 540 on GMAT (Q39/ V27). I feel very disappointed and frustrated. The test started with an inequation type of question(I admit I hadn't practiced them a lot) and I suffered a great level of stress for the first 15 minutes, being unable even do some very simple math, as my hand was shaking. So, as you can imagine the CAT test poped up many questions of this topic, which I probably answered wrong. By the time I reached the Verbal part, I felt already tired and sleepy and the letters were jumping in front of my eyes. So in the Reading part I got SLAUGHTERED. On the GMAT prep simulation tests I had scored 490 (1st), 510 & 550 and 580&580 (last one 2 days before the exam) on the KAPLAN tests. Those were all the simulations I did and I had been practicing for 2months and a half. As I am a wroking person during the last month I used to spend 1:30-2hrs on weekdays and about 5 hours on weekends (total >10hrs for both days combined). For the last week I took 6 days off work and I studied 8-10 hours each day.
I had always been a bit of a math-ophobic and Verbal is really my strong point in simulations and especially on the printed practice tests I get 33-35/41, always respecting the time limit.
I really need to get a 600, as otherwise the univeristy will not accept me , and I am already 27 years old, I need to have a master and my financial situation doesn't allow me to take the GMAT exam multiple times. I was thinking of retaking it on the 20th of February. Please, help me and advise me accordingly.

Thank you in advance,
Ana.

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Post Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:00 pm
Hi Ana,

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, most of your CAT scores -along with your Official GMAT Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 550 +/- a few points). You're actually closer to a 600+ than you probably realize, but you're going to have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the overall Exam. 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) What study materials have you used so far?
2) When you took your CATs, did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

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Post Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:45 am
Hi Ana,

From these 2 posts, it's not clear whether you were actually taking adaptive practice CATs or just pencil-and-paper Exams during 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. Thus, taking pencil-and-papers Tests is NOT a realistic way to measure your skills - you have to take FULL computer-adaptive CATs for that. 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. If you skip sections, taking the CATs at home, do anything else that you can't do on Test Day, etc., then you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Test Day involves a variety of really specific steps and parameters (including steps before the Test even begins - such as leaving your home, traveling, etc.). Every factor matters, including the psychological ones. When you sit down on Test Day, you KNOW that you're going to be in the Computer Lab for about 4 hours - but if you're just taking individual sections (or taking a CAT without the Essay and IR sections), then you KNOW that you'll be done in 1-2 hours. The attitude and energy that you use during practice will NOT be a match for what you'll need on Test Day, so it's not a proper way to practice. All of the 'differences' involved in how you took your CATs could explain why your Verbal Scaled Score dropped on Test Day. You weren't properly prepared for THAT full day, so your score fluctuated.

Thankfully, those are relatively easy issues to fix - now that you've taken the Official GMAT, you know the EXACT details of what happens on Test Day, so you can better train to mimic those details during your CATs. It's worth noting that you do NOT need to correctly answer any questions that you think are too hard or too weird to hit your Score Goal - so working on "advanced Quant" is not necessary.

1) 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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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Post Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:34 am
ANASTASIA2017 wrote:
Hello everyone.

I had my exam yesterday and I scored 540 on GMAT (Q39/ V27). I feel very disappointed and frustrated. The test started with an inequation type of question(I admit I hadn't practiced them a lot) and I suffered a great level of stress for the first 15 minutes, being unable even do some very simple math, as my hand was shaking. So, as you can imagine the CAT test poped up many questions of this topic, which I probably answered wrong. By the time I reached the Verbal part, I felt already tired and sleepy and the letters were jumping in front of my eyes. So in the Reading part I got SLAUGHTERED. On the GMAT prep simulation tests I had scored 490 (1st), 510 & 550 and 580&580 (last one 2 days before the exam) on the KAPLAN tests. Those were all the simulations I did and I had been practicing for 2months and a half. As I am a wroking person during the last month I used to spend 1:30-2hrs on weekdays and about 5 hours on weekends (total >10hrs for both days combined). For the last week I took 6 days off work and I studied 8-10 hours each day.
I had always been a bit of a math-ophobic and Verbal is really my strong point in simulations and especially on the printed practice tests I get 33-35/41, always respecting the time limit.
I really need to get a 600, as otherwise the univeristy will not accept me , and I am already 27 years old, I need to have a master and my financial situation doesn't allow me to take the GMAT exam multiple times. I was thinking of retaking it on the 20th of February. Please, help me and advise me accordingly.

Thank you in advance,
Ana.
You've noted that you spent ~10hrs/week studying - that's great! But you haven't told us *how* you were studying. Many students study inefficiently, thinking that they need to "cover" as much material as possible.

The best thing you can do for both quant and verbal is to focus more on REVIEWING than on doing. In fact, don't do a single new problem until you have DEEPLY reviewed all of the ones you've done so far! Here's some advice on how:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2015/02/06/break-good-gmat-study-habits-learning-science-can-teach-us-effective-gmat-studying/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2014/11/19/gmat-review-game/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/01/30/the-last-two-weeks-before-your-gmat-part-2-review/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/04/20/error-log-the-1-way-to-raise-your-gmat-score/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2016/03/23/how-to-review-easy-gmat-quant-questions-and-why-theyre-important/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/03/09/why-you-should-be-redoing-gmat-problems/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/08/24/advanced-error-log-tie-your-hands-behind-your-back/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2016/03/10/want-to-do-better-on-gmat-quant-put-your-pen-down/

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Harvard Graduate School of Education


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ANASTASIA2017 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
22 Dec 2017
Posted:
3 messages
Post Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:07 am
Hello Rich.C@empowergmat.com ,

Thanks so much for answering me again! My inner confusion and disappointment have been cleared up, after your advice.

I took indeed 5 CAT tests (with the scores mentioned in my previous message). The Paper tests 1-8 I mentioned, were just practice exercises, in the form of the GMAT test. But, i believe that for my abilities 5 were not enough. I needed more in order to build confidence, I just didn't have the time, as I live 1 hour drive away from the closest Prep Centre.

I started again some private lessons last week and I will have 5 of them until the next OFFICIAL exam, which is scheduled for the 20th of February 2018, while I have planned another 5 simulation CAT tests.

I can devote 2-3 hours per week day on studying and 12 hours on weekends.
What do you suggest?

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ANASTASIA2017 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
22 Dec 2017
Posted:
3 messages
Post Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:35 am
Hello, Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com
Thank you so much for your reply.
1) I used the GMAT Review 2015 to study for Quantitative theory, Data Suff. exercices and Problem Solving. I had also collected some material from friends who had already taken the GMAT exam, which was organized in Paper Tests (1-8) including Quant & Verbal Part, having the same style as the GMAT test (37 questions in Quant, 41 in Verbal). I noticed that quite a few word problems or d.s. exercises where from the GMAT Review book or from CAT tests. Every week, I used to prepare these tests and then checking the answers. I started from 15/37 in Quant and 24/41 in Verbal and by the time I got to the last tests I was scoring 24/37 and 34/41. In the end, I studied all those exercises twice (apart from the Reading Part which I thought I shouldn't study again).
For the Verbal I studied the Manhattan Sentence Correction 2012 Review and the Critical Reasoning from GMAT Review 2015.
2) I didn't take the full exam in my CATs neither in the actual test, as I don't need it for my application.
3) I have already applied to the Business School I am interested in and the School has informed me that they will wait for my GMAT scores.
4) From schools that need the GMAT, I am only applying to Rotterdam School of Management (I live in EU).

I just bought the Manhattan Advanced GMAT Quant and started studying. Do you recommend it? And I also read somewhere that I sould also read articles from business newspapers and when I practice the Reading part I should take some notes. What do you think?
Last, but not least, I have to manage my stress in order to be have a clear mind. Do you have any tip?

Thank you once again,
Ana.

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