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A defeating 550 on GMAT! - need advice on how to start again

This topic has 2 expert replies and 4 member replies
dustystormy Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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A defeating 550 on GMAT! - need advice on how to start again

Post Thu May 26, 2016 2:06 am
A day before I had my GMAT and I scored 550 (Q-49, V-18). I was scoring 650 in Manhattan mocks (Q-45, V34) and GMATPrep (Q-48, V30) but 550 on the main exam was not expected. I was tossed by two long RC one after another starting from question 8 to 15 and later I was puzzled and screwed up the rest.
I want to take a week off and then start a fresh round of preparation. Meanwhile, I need advice of experts on how to channelise my efforts to improve on verbal.

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OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Thu May 26, 2016 4:56 am
dustystormy wrote:
A day before I had my GMAT and I scored 550 (Q-49, V-18). I was scoring 650 in Manhattan mocks (Q-45, V34) and GMATPrep (Q-48, V30) but 550 on the main exam was not expected. I was tossed by two long RC one after another starting from question 8 to 15 and later I was puzzled and screwed up the rest.
I want to take a week off and then start a fresh round of preparation. Meanwhile, I need advice of experts on how to channelise my efforts to improve on verbal.
Hi dustystormy,

A score of V 18 clearly shows a lack of fundamentals in the Verbal section.
In your studies so far,

1. Did you follow any preparatory course/book?
2. Did you give full length mock CATs including the AWA and IR?
3. Did you solve the OG and the Verbal Review?

Usually such a big gap in the mock CATs and the GMAT can be attributed to some inappropriate way of preparation.
Take the one week break and then start afresh.

Try to drill down deep in the Verbal section,

SC: The questions test various concepts such as S-V agreement, modifiers, parallelism etc. Find out what troubles you.
CR: There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc.
You need to find that out and then practice them
RC: This again can be drilled down into different types of questions and also different topics. See what questions and topics trouble you the most and then practice accordingly.

As an addition, start preparing an error log and keep a note of all the mistakes you made and the lessons you learnt from the problems. This will ensure you do not make the same mistake again.

Make sure you complete all of the OG and the Verbal review and if required, you can buy the Question pack1 from mba.com

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Post Thu May 26, 2016 9:47 am
Hi dustystormy,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day.

If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once?

Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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

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dustystormy Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu May 26, 2016 8:14 pm
Thank you experts for your prompt reply.
I had followed Manhattan SC & CR, OG-16 and Verbal OG-16 for my preparation. I had taken full length test of Kaplan, Manhattan and GMATPrep. In Kaplan tests I skipped IR and AWA but attempted the same in Manhattan and GMATprep tests. The scores of the test are

Kaplan 1 - 550
Kaplan 2 - 620
Kaplan 3 - 650
Kaplan 4 - 680
Kaplan 5 - 680

Manhattan 1 - 610
Manhattan 2 - 640
Manhattan 3 - 640
Manhattan 4 - 610
Manhattan 5 - 640

GmatPrep 1 - 630
GmatPrep 2 - 640

I have not attempted any test twice and usually I tried to start the test around the same time as scheduled GMAT test.

My weak areas in verbal that I can improve tremendously are CR and RC. Generally I was able to get 50% accuracy in CR and RC and I think, after reading other post, that these topic can be aced. Further, I think the reason for poor performance in verbal was fear and lack of confidence. I will appreciate if experts can suggest me the path forward for the same.

Post Thu May 26, 2016 10:04 pm
Hi dustystormy,

For the basis of comparison, I'd like to know your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each of the CATs that you took in FULL (meaning the ones in which you took the Essay and IR sections).

In addition, I'd ilke to know how you spend the last few days before your Official GMAT and a bit more about Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Top Member

Post Thu May 26, 2016 10:37 pm
Hi dustystormy.

Scoring high on GMAT verbal is all about vision and use of logic to make decisions. So to score higher, you need to develop more skill in those areas.

To get better at getting the right answers to CR and RC questions, probably your best bet is to work on questions of each type, taking as long as necessary, even hours per question! to figure out why every wrong answer is wrong and every right answer is right.

By doing that you will train yourself to see what you have to see in order to achieve a high hit rate in verbal, and as you develop an eye for seeing what you need to see, you will naturally speed up until you can get the answers in under two minutes each.

You need to go from using explanations to creating the explanations for yourself, and think about this. Unlike SC, CR and RC don't involve the use of any rules or concepts that you have to learn. You just have to get better at seeing the details and logic of what's going on.

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m.w.murray@hotmail.com
http://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

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OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Fri May 27, 2016 10:59 pm
dustystormy wrote:
My weak areas in verbal that I can improve tremendously are CR and RC. Generally I was able to get 50% accuracy in CR and RC and I think, after reading other post, that these topic can be aced. Further, I think the reason for poor performance in verbal was fear and lack of confidence. I will appreciate if experts can suggest me the path forward for the same.
As I said earlier, you need to find out your pain areas. Remember what cannot be measured, cannot be improved.

Look at the following bifurcation as a guide and then identify your weak areas:

CR: There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc.
You need to find that out and then practice them
RC: This again can be drilled down into different types of questions and also different topics. See what questions and topics trouble you the most and then practice accordingly.

Try to practice as much as you can.
A good way to practise is to solve 15 CR, 15 SC and 3 - 4 RCs everyday in a timed fashion.
Once you have completed the drill, go back and analyse each question carefully.

_________________
Ankur
99th Percentile GMAT Tutor | Optimus Prep™

Optimus Prep™ GMAT Courses:
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Optimus Prep™ Rates:
GMAT Private Tutoring Online: $80-100/hr.*
GMAT Private Tutoring In-Person: $130-150/hr.*
GMAT On Demand Course: $299 (Use Discount Code BEATTHEGMAT111)*

*All GMAT Courses Have A 50 Points Score Improvement Or Full Refund Guarantee

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