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70 point increase a long shot?

This topic has 4 expert replies and 6 member replies
nk18967 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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70 point increase a long shot?

Post Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:53 pm
Hello!
I had taken the 9 week study course at MGMAT and my first attempt at the GMAT was yesterday (about a month from when my last class ended).
Verdict: Disappointed with my score of 630 (Q40, V35). I had been at a 650 in the last 2 prep tests I took (the MGMAT #5 CAT and the GMAT Prep Exam #2) but in both attempts, I had pretty much bombed one section (ie, Q45, V34 on MGMAT's #5 CAT and Q38 V41 on The GMAT Prep exam). Honestly, I had hoped I would do well on both sections and get the score I needed. In an ideal world, a Q45 and V41 would be perfectly fine with me! Razz
Moving on, I scheduled another exam for September 17th and now deciding how to start my re-take preparation. Not sure where I am going wrong (other than total inconsistency) and how can I study smarter to up my scores for Q and especially V. Would love ANY suggestions because as this point, I'm not sure if I should start re-solving/ analyzing problems or go back to my MGMAT Foundations books...How do I know if there are content holes in Quant or I need to apply more 'strategies'... Verbal is telling me that I most definitely have some content holes- but where do I begin?
For me, an ideal score would be around +/-700 for the universities I am planning to apply to. Timing has always been a problem on Quant but I am trying to work on fixing that!
I could also use some advise on what resources (learning aids and questions) I should use for my re-take prep. I tend to remember all the 'correct answers' especially on CR problems therefore even though I try to actually think through the problems, I am biased in my thinking... Sad Will the GMAT Exam packs and question packs be enough for my retake preparation?

One major takeaway from this experience has been that I should adjust my expectations to what the scores have really been telling me in the past. The only way I have a real shot at a 700 is if I have been scoring at or above a 700 'consistently' in my CATS.

Any help appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
GMAT Hopeful

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Post Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:11 am
Hi nik18967,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability, so even though your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores are fluctuated a bit, your Official Score is in line with your last couple of practice CAT scores. With a Q40/V35, you have the potential to pick up some serious points in both sections, especially if you shift to a more 'strategic' way of thinking. A September 17th Test Date gives you plenty of time to continue studying and improving, but we'll have to be efficient with that time.

1) What Schools do you plan to apply to?
2) What application deadlines are you facing?

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

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nk18967 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:33 am
Hi Rich!
Thanks for your response. You are right, my score is in fact in line with my previous CATs. I was hoping that for the real thing, I would be consistently good in both Quant and Verbal and not fluctuate like I have been doing- guess that's something to work on for September Smile
I'm planning to apply to NYU and CBS- the earliest deadline I have is CBS- I believe that is first week of Oct some time.
But, I don't think I can apply with the current score I have. My application wouldn't see the light of day!

Im really confused about how I should start my re-take prep now. I have good material, but I'm not sure I'm using it properly.

Thanks!

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Post Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:41 pm
Hi nk18967.

Increasing one's quant score tends to be pretty straightforward. You mostly just have to analyze your practice tests, possibly using the Manhattan analytics for the Manhattan tests, and figure out what types of questions you don't really know how to get right consistently and what types you need a lot of time to answer. Then work on those types topic by topic.

If you get better at handling maybe ten types of questions, your expected quant score should be above the 45 that you mentioned. If getting better at ten types is not enough, then work on some more types. It's pretty simple. If you are better at getting right answers, your score goes up.

When you practice, don't worry about the clock too much. Take pretty much as much time as you need to get right answers. I see people's scores go up all the time just from switching to practicing timed to practicing untimed. When you practice untimed, you learn to get right answers. AFTER you learn to get right answers, you can speed up.

For some more quant questions, you could sign up for a free practice account here. http://bellcurves.com One of the best things about the BellCurves question bank is that the questions are categorized, which makes them perfect for the type of topic by topic practicing that you need to do to get your quant score to you goal.

What you said about reasoning your way to verbal answers sounds spot on. If you can consistently prove wrong answers wrong and right answers right you will score high on verbal. The question pack is a good source of verbal questions. Also, once you have used up GMAT Prep 1 and 2, you could go find one of the documents out there that have all of the verbal questions from those two tests. When you take the tests you see 82 verbal questions. The 82 you see come from a bank of hundreds. Another source of verbal questions is the Veritas Question Bank.

Take your time practicing verbal too, and work on SEEING WHAT YOU NEED TO SEE in order to get the questions right. You might get some ideas from these posts.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/an-alternative-approach-for-rocking-gmat-verbal-t282025.html

http://www.beatthegmat.com/how-do-i-master-gmat-sentence-correction-t288121.html#762120

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Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:10 am
Hi nik18967,

You've named some highly competitive Schools, so a higher GMAT score (and especially a higher Quant Scaled Score) would be helpful to your applications. With a Q40, you would have made a number of little mistakes throughout the section and missed out on lots of 'strategy-based' points. The V35 means that you likely lost some significant points in at least 1 of the 3 major Verbal categories (SC, RC and CR). As such, it's likely that the Quant work that you'll need to do will take more effort overall. While you could continue to use the study materials that you have, if you're just going to continue approaching questions in the same ways as before, then you might not be able to make that big leap forward in score. To that end, you might want to invest in some new study materials and learn/practice some new Tactics.

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

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Thanked by: nk18967
Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:26 am
And if you're looking for more additional practice questions, check out our question bank here: https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat-question-bank/

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nk18967 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:52 am
Thank you for the great suggestions Marty, Rich and David! Smile

Marty- I'll try to start doing Quant problems un-timed to make sure I have a grasp on the content- that seems like a good idea! I'll check out bellcurves and the Veritas verbal question bank (after I have gone through GMAT's question bank).

Rich- Yup- lost major points on RC. Sentence correction was strong, but could have done better on CR as well. RC was by far my weakest. You said i should invest in new study material- any suggestions/ recommendations? Any particular way I can learn about more strategic thinking? There are a couple of test taking strategies that I should have used more- estimation, working backwards etc... I'm assuming the strategic thinking you're talking about comes with practice?

Any suggestions on how I should divide my study time? I'm currently starting with Manhattan's Foundations of Verbal book for RC (thought I should start right at the bottom for RC)... 50-50% Split between Quant and Verbal?

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Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:30 pm
nk18967 wrote:
Yup- lost major points on RC. Sentence correction was strong, but could have done better on CR as well. RC was by far my weakest.

...

I'm currently starting with Manhattan's Foundations of Verbal book for RC (thought I should start right at the bottom for RC)
Starting with that sounds good, but don't get caught up in too much madness working on RC. What really matters for getting RC questions right is noticing what the passages say and what they DON'T say. Handing RC questions is pretty straightforward.

Read the passage, noticing the structure of the passage and what the passage is basically getting at, and notice where the details lie, so that you can go back and use them when you are choosing answers.

You don't have to remember every little detail. More you have to get the gist of things and be able to find details as necessary.

Then do the questions very carefully, pretty much ALWAYS going back to the passages to make sure that what you think you read is actually what the passage says.

If the question asks about something the passage states, go back and figure out what the passage states, as opposed to what you might think it states after a quick read.

If the question asks what the main idea of the passage is, look at the passage as a whole and really figure out what the main idea is, and, by the way, the first paragraph does not necessarily have to have much to do with the main idea. So don't get fooled by first paragraphs or by anything else into thinking that the main idea is something that it is not.

Not getting fooled is maybe the most important part aspect of doing RC questions. Don't get fooled by the passages and don't get fooled by the answer choices.

While there is more that can be said about RC, a lot of what is said is distracting fluff or gimmicky strategies. Either you see what's going on or your don't. So learning to see what's going on is the key to rocking RC.

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nk18967 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Posted:
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Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:41 pm
Marty Murray wrote:
Then do the questions very carefully, pretty much ALWAYS going back to the passages to make sure that what you think you read is actually what the passage says.

If the question asks about something the passage states, go back and figure out what the passage states, as opposed to what you might think it states after a quick read.

If the question asks what the main idea of the passage is, look at the passage as a whole and really figure out what the main idea is, and, by the way, the first paragraph does not necessarily have to have much to do with the main idea. So don't get fooled by first paragraphs or by anything else into thinking that the main idea is something that it is not.

Not getting fooled is maybe the most important part aspect of doing RC questions. Don't get fooled by the passages and don't get fooled by the answer choices.

While there is more that can be said about RC, a lot of what is said is distracting fluff or gimmicky strategies. Either you see what's going on or your don't. So learning to see what's going on is the key to rocking RC.
Haven't been going back to the passages a lot b/c I tend to get lazy!!! Embarassed Terrible! I'll keep this in mind!

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Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:51 pm
nk18967 wrote:
Marty Murray wrote:
Then do the questions very carefully, pretty much ALWAYS going back to the passages to make sure that what you think you read is actually what the passage says.
Haven't been going back to the passages a lot b/c I tend to get lazy!!! Embarassed Terrible! I'll keep this in mind!
OMG. You are planning to read that entire Foundations of GMAT Verbal book etc., and the fact of the matter is that getting lazy in verbal is DOOM, and that is much of what is killing your performance.

Much of why I pretty much always score 50+ in verbal is sheer determination. If I slack off, I can miss questions too.

I seem to hear all the time that people want to score higher on the test but they slack off in verbal, or just want to get done with it. An example of the opposite happening is what happened when a person working with me felt that she had not done well in quant when she was taking the actual GMAT. She was so annoyed by what had happened in quant that she decided to destroy verbal, and she scored higher in verbal than she ever had before, just because she decided to.

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Post Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:11 pm
Hi nik18967,

Based on everything that you’ve described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Total Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in well under 2 months, so it might just fit your schedule perfectly. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an Account.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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

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