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Breaking through a Plateau

This topic has 2 expert replies and 3 member replies
RynLeigh Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
06 Jul 2016
Posted:
3 messages
GMAT Score:
740

Breaking through a Plateau

Post Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:16 am
Hi everyone,

I've been using the math-heavy 3-month study plan from Magoosh and am currently working through Week 5. I feel like I understand the math itself better but am still making silly mistakes in practice. My calculated Quant score through Magoosh hasn't really budged. I'm studying 2-3 hours a day (usually in the morning before work) and I think part of it is just rushing through to get everything done.

Has anyone else experienced something similar? How do you push through the plateau to make progress? How long did you have to study before you saw results?

I took the GMAT cold about 6 weeks ago and got a 650 - 42Q, 38V - but am aiming for a 720. Quant is where I need the help the most.

Thanks!
Ryn

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Post Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:27 am
Hi Ryn,

First off, a 650 is a strong score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. That having been said, raising a Q42 shouldn't be too difficult - and you've already self-identified that you're making silly/little mistakes - so you have some areas that you can work on.

The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test'; it's a critical thinking test that requires that you do lots of little math steps as you work through it. In that way, you likely need to focus more on Quant Tactics to raise your score than on just 'math skills.'

1) Since your Official GMAT was 6 weeks ago, have you taken any practice CATs since then? How did you score?
2) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?

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

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Knitgeek Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:12 am
Hi Ryn,

I'm facing something similar with my verbal score in Magoosh. I would say try taking another CAT. My scores on my practice CATS have been going up where the calculated score in Magoosh has been pretty much stuck. I attribute part of my plateau in Magoosh to the fact that I'm not as focused with my practice as when I'm doing a practice test. I also take more "risks" in practice in both the math and verbal.... I'll try an new strategy or shortcut to see how it works for me which doesn't always lead to the same accuracy as test conditions.

I agree with Rich, download the GMATPrep tests and take one. If it's matching up with what your scores are in Magoosh you've probably hit an actual plateau and need to find some new tactics for studying. If it's higher I would say you're probably in a similar boat to what I'm dealing with. In that case I would say not to worry about the Magoosh score too much and just keep working through everything.

Hope that helps

RynLeigh Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
06 Jul 2016
Posted:
3 messages
GMAT Score:
740
Post Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:28 am
Thanks for the replies KG and Rich!

With the study plan I'm on I'm slated to take my first practice test this weekend and will post the results afterwards. Hopefully it will show progress being made!

I'm scheduled to retake the GMAT at the end of August so I can apply for R1 of schools. My top 3 choices are UCLA, Stanford, and MIT, so I really need to get above a 700 to be in the running (I got a 7 on IR and a 5.5 on AW but have heard schools don't really take those parts into consideration). I have 8 years of experience working in tech/hyper growth startups (marketing, customer support, and operations - managing teams for the last 4 years), but want to expand my view of the business world and eventually start my own thing.

Post Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:29 pm
Hi Ryn,

Since you're now less than 2 months away from your next attempt at the GMAT, you should plan to take FULL-LENGTH CATs (with the Essay and IR sections) at regular intervals (1 FULL CAT every 1-2 weeks). Doing so should help you to hone a number of Test-taking skills while providing you information on any content-related areas that you still need to improve on.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

RynLeigh Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
06 Jul 2016
Posted:
3 messages
GMAT Score:
740
Post Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:37 pm
I just finished my first practice exam and scored a 690! The breakdown was 43 Quant/40 Verbal. I'm planning on spending a lot of time on the questions I missed specifically in Quant to try them again and see what I did wrong. I did notice I had more time at the end of the Quant section this run-through then I did when I took my first test, so it's possible that better budgeting of my time will help a lot too.

I'm feeling a lot better that my score went up overall but bummed Quant didn't go up more. I'm still 7 weeks away so I'm going to double down and keep studying.

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