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580! GMAT Beat me big time... Experts pls help

This topic has 1 expert reply and 6 member replies
gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600

580! GMAT Beat me big time... Experts pls help

Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:59 pm
After
3 months of preparation and a slew of 700+ scores in practice tests, I appeared in GMAT on 16 July. By the time AWA and IR passed, my confidence was building up, nerves getting relaxed and chin getting up. I did everything alright, took my breaks etc. When finally i saw the score however, my world crashed around me. I blinked once and stared hard. Leaned on screen and again stared. However,the dreaded figure on screen did not change. 580! Quants 36 and Verbal 34. A big dream of 15 years had come to an end and the silence of my mind was deafening.

For the first time in many years I wept like a child, off course not then and there (However, I do not remember how I came back home).

I have done a short analysis after it sunk in. My quant score 36 is on 40 percentile, which is pass mark in normal exam (yuck). If I need to go places, percentile needs to be doubled. However, in my practice tests also, my quants score always dwindled between 34 to 44. The high score was largely due to a good show in verbal. But Verbal 34 is flabbergasting for me as I scored a 38 in my first practice test and after some time, it never came below 42 in any test I took, many times going 49.

In test, I felt quants was way to easy and was sure that score will be average (easy questions means less marks, I believe). All the problems on verbal however, felt a bit lengthy, CR, SC and RC all of them. I also found Verbal tougher than the same from OG, CR Bible and 1000 SCs.

My confidence has broken. I need to take the test again by 1st September as I can't afford to loose a year. And my overall profile is good enough to get me a top 25 school provided I score a 700 which I was sure of. I am afraid however, I am not in a good financial or time position to afford a fresh course. Can some body advise to improve my quant score by 12 marks or to 80 percentile. Experts please reply.

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gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600
Top Reply
Post Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:03 am
Day 1 :

First day of the re-preparation. And I needed to recheck my standing on the road.

Did a GMAT prep test. Afresh. And the results are slightly surprising. I scored 630 which is a big low from my previous highs. Quants 39 ( 20 correct 17 wrong, 50%tile ). Verbal 37 ( 29 correct 12 wrong, 80%tile ). Surprise because this is my lowest score after I started practice. However, I felt lot of similarities in my real test and this prep test. I carefully tried to follow some of the advises given by experts in various threads regarding trying to simulate the "real" condition.

This is how I simulated, last night I was deliberately up late for some time as at the day of my test I could not sleep well and felt much agitated. Around 8.30 went off zooming on my bike for a 15 minute ride on Bangalore roads and came back after 20 minutes. (hell traffic! office goers).

Started after having the same breakfast of yogurt and tea.

Integrated reasoning went well for two questions. After that I suddenly stumbled a calculation block in my mind on a silly sphere problem. (9.0 out of 10 times I easy solve it). However, twice doing the calculations did not fetch my desired result. Moved on after loosing some time, by the time I came on fifth problem I was in severe time constraint.Had to guess in some.

Lesson- I feel that one needs to ensure that the question attempted is totally correct as half correct answer is always wrong in GMAT. One cant guess half and solve half.

Quantitative aptitude- Started off confidently, However, I feel I need to work on concepts. One pattern is emerging that one cant afford to loose too many marks at start as a wrong start will impact difficulty level achieved and overall marking. Not too many questions from permutation and combinations and probability means that these question appear only when one goes at his best with number system and general arithmetic. Also, the accuracy needs to improve all the time. Predictably,the data sufficiency takes less time if concept is right.

Lesson- Need to work on number system and data sufficiency.

Verbal - Some of the shortcomings in verbal as I noticed is that one needs to read slow enough to understand the question, but fast enough to avoid boredom while reading. Also, it seems CR appears in RC questions as well. In fact, the two questions which I missed in RC were actually CR questions. Also, I found difficult to solve general type questions. Anyway, RC has been my strength always. The pattern of most mistakes in Sentence correction continued with RC coming in between. Also, three answers were wrong because I avoided my hunch and felt answers logically getting were right. Seems I need to listen to my heart more than my mind. However, I mismanaged the time again and now I realised that as happened in actual test, I felt hard to concentrate as overall time was piling up.

Lesson- (i) Practice reading fast. (ii) Make habit of sitting for more time in one stretch. (iii) CR questions usually make one read all the options . Practicing more CR automatically helps in RC as well. (iv) There are usually more than three RC passages and one appears quite late. In my real test the last passage started at question number 35. Full of boredom, I did not concentrate hard.

Mistakes done in my real test-
(i) Appeared without taking sufficient practice tests with actual pattern i.e. with AWA and IR.
(ii) Time management could have been better.
(iii) Didn't practice sufficient data sufficiency questions, solving DS makes concepts clear about tools in hand to solve the questions correctly.
(iv) The weak start in quants. Strong start of the test is very very important. It can literally make or break the test. If the questions from permutations, probability, co ordinate geometry do not appear early in quants section and boldface or verb tense do not do not appear early in verbal section, test is going in wrong direction. One needs to improvise early.
(v) Stamina was less and by the end of verbal section, fatigue took over the senses.
(vi) Should have taken proper rest before the test. Also, should not have appeared in morning considering I am not a morning person.
(vii) I should have avoided driving to test center, Cab would have been a better choice.

I have always learned my lessons hard way and again paid for it. However, I feel there is still something missing. Hope mates for GMAT and experts shall read this and advise something more. I will be thankful for the comments.

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gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600
Top Reply
Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:25 am
Dear Jim

As you advised, I collected my errors and prepared the log now. It would be so kind of you to have a look and point out some broad patterns of lacunae in my preparation.

Jim@StratusPrep wrote:
First things first... you need to get an understanding of what your weak areas are. Have you kept any type of log of the questions you did and what you got right/wrong?
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gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600
Post Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:03 am
Day 1 :

First day of the re-preparation. And I needed to recheck my standing on the road.

Did a GMAT prep test. Afresh. And the results are slightly surprising. I scored 630 which is a big low from my previous highs. Quants 39 ( 20 correct 17 wrong, 50%tile ). Verbal 37 ( 29 correct 12 wrong, 80%tile ). Surprise because this is my lowest score after I started practice. However, I felt lot of similarities in my real test and this prep test. I carefully tried to follow some of the advises given by experts in various threads regarding trying to simulate the "real" condition.

This is how I simulated, last night I was deliberately up late for some time as at the day of my test I could not sleep well and felt much agitated. Around 8.30 went off zooming on my bike for a 15 minute ride on Bangalore roads and came back after 20 minutes. (hell traffic! office goers).

Started after having the same breakfast of yogurt and tea.

Integrated reasoning went well for two questions. After that I suddenly stumbled a calculation block in my mind on a silly sphere problem. (9.0 out of 10 times I easy solve it). However, twice doing the calculations did not fetch my desired result. Moved on after loosing some time, by the time I came on fifth problem I was in severe time constraint.Had to guess in some.

Lesson- I feel that one needs to ensure that the question attempted is totally correct as half correct answer is always wrong in GMAT. One cant guess half and solve half.

Quantitative aptitude- Started off confidently, However, I feel I need to work on concepts. One pattern is emerging that one cant afford to loose too many marks at start as a wrong start will impact difficulty level achieved and overall marking. Not too many questions from permutation and combinations and probability means that these question appear only when one goes at his best with number system and general arithmetic. Also, the accuracy needs to improve all the time. Predictably,the data sufficiency takes less time if concept is right.

Lesson- Need to work on number system and data sufficiency.

Verbal - Some of the shortcomings in verbal as I noticed is that one needs to read slow enough to understand the question, but fast enough to avoid boredom while reading. Also, it seems CR appears in RC questions as well. In fact, the two questions which I missed in RC were actually CR questions. Also, I found difficult to solve general type questions. Anyway, RC has been my strength always. The pattern of most mistakes in Sentence correction continued with RC coming in between. Also, three answers were wrong because I avoided my hunch and felt answers logically getting were right. Seems I need to listen to my heart more than my mind. However, I mismanaged the time again and now I realised that as happened in actual test, I felt hard to concentrate as overall time was piling up.

Lesson- (i) Practice reading fast. (ii) Make habit of sitting for more time in one stretch. (iii) CR questions usually make one read all the options . Practicing more CR automatically helps in RC as well. (iv) There are usually more than three RC passages and one appears quite late. In my real test the last passage started at question number 35. Full of boredom, I did not concentrate hard.

Mistakes done in my real test-
(i) Appeared without taking sufficient practice tests with actual pattern i.e. with AWA and IR.
(ii) Time management could have been better.
(iii) Didn't practice sufficient data sufficiency questions, solving DS makes concepts clear about tools in hand to solve the questions correctly.
(iv) The weak start in quants. Strong start of the test is very very important. It can literally make or break the test. If the questions from permutations, probability, co ordinate geometry do not appear early in quants section and boldface or verb tense do not do not appear early in verbal section, test is going in wrong direction. One needs to improvise early.
(v) Stamina was less and by the end of verbal section, fatigue took over the senses.
(vi) Should have taken proper rest before the test. Also, should not have appeared in morning considering I am not a morning person.
(vii) I should have avoided driving to test center, Cab would have been a better choice.

I have always learned my lessons hard way and again paid for it. However, I feel there is still something missing. Hope mates for GMAT and experts shall read this and advise something more. I will be thankful for the comments.

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gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600
Post Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:25 am
Dear Jim

As you advised, I collected my errors and prepared the log now. It would be so kind of you to have a look and point out some broad patterns of lacunae in my preparation.

Jim@StratusPrep wrote:
First things first... you need to get an understanding of what your weak areas are. Have you kept any type of log of the questions you did and what you got right/wrong?
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This post contains an attachment. You must be logged in to download/view this file. Please login or register as a user.

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The Haz Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
27 Jun 2012
Posted:
12 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
10
Test Date:
9 Aug 2012
GMAT Score:
760
Post Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:27 pm
I'm no expert, but glancing through your results I see two major issues with your spreadsheet which actually seem to be in line with your real GMAT score:
1. Your deficits appear to be in almost all sections, so you shouldn't focus on any one in particular.
2. It seems that you are getting many easy and medium difficulty problems incorrect, not just hard. This is a sign that you're either not understanding, or just missing many of the main ideas. It doesn't mean you can't do the math (or verbal).

If I was in your situation I would:

  • Stay strong! It takes work, but if you put in the time and effort, you can make this up.
  • Go back and look through those wrong answers starting with the easy ones. Or go and do the OG problems using the MGMAT OG Archer Lite (which is free). If you're going to do new problems, also mark the ones you are guessing on so that if you get them correct you still remember to go over them.

  • First determine the type of mistake you made: logic, misread, etc. This is extremely important, and you might want to use a spreadsheet to track this.
  • Next look at the solution, if one is available.
  • Try to think of a second way you could do the problem for quant.
  • Redo it with a timer. Mark it to redo again either a few hours later (after reviewing other problems) or the next day. Don't wait too long as this is your reinforcement period.
  • If get the problem wrong, go back to the first step. If not, get your time under two minutes before unmarking it.

  • Do the same for the medium questions too. It will take awhile.
  • Now take a practice exam and do the same thing as above, except also go through every correct answer as well to make sure that you didn't just get it right by chance.

  • All of this takes time, so don't give up!

When I was a teaching fellow, many of my students liked to "review" their incorrect answers, which basically consisted of them saying "Oh yeah! I know how to do that." However, they never answered the question, "If I know how to do it, why did I do it this other way? What exactly was going through my mind?" Often if you redo the problem, you will often hit this same thought process again and hopefully have a real Aha! moment in which you discover where you actually went wrong.

Again, just stay strong. It seems like you put so much work in before, so it makes sense to me that you will need to change how you work. For instance, I was looking at answers right after doing problems and that actually hurt me when it came to the practice exams in that I didn't feel comfortable submitting an answer. We all do things that create habits and expectations for ourselves that we don't realize and many can be detrimental during an exam like the GMAT.

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gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600
Post Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:26 pm
During my practice tests of verbal, I scored usually 1-3 wrong in RC, 3-6 in SC and 3-4 in CR ( total maximum 6-8 mistakes). In quants, my correct and wrong in both DS and PS are equal, usually 7 each. Now in quants I find difficult what other find as well, Combinations, Probability, number system. However, in exam I did not get a sibgle probability question and only one permutation. I guess I messed up early in exam and paid the penalty. Also, a question, do the difficulty level achieved in quants carries over in verbal?

Jim@StratusPrep wrote:
First things first... you need to get an understanding of what your weak areas are. Have you kept any type of log of the questions you did and what you got right/wrong?

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gautamkumar Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 May 2012
Posted:
33 messages
Target GMAT Score:
750
GMAT Score:
600
Post Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:44 am
No replies...!!! Anyway I'll go ahead and see if I can make my day on my own. May please be forgiven to post this thread under Beat the GMAT as I feel it is where this thread should belong after September 1, 2012.

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