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Exam pack 1 vs Exam pack 2

This topic has 6 expert replies and 5 member replies
joealam1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
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Exam pack 1 vs Exam pack 2

Post Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:19 am
Hi all,

This might sound a bit odd, but can we buy and install exam pack 2 without buying exam pack 1 prior to that??

The reason is that i've came across some questions on the web and they turned out to be from Exam pack 1, so i am a bit concerned that if i encounter the same problems (given the fact that the question banks is very limited on these exam packs) my score will be inflated to a point that i won't be able to assess myself properly.

I have another concern as well in case someone is able to give me some insights.

I've recently taken gmat prep exam2 (the free one) and i got a score of 730 (Q:49 and V:40).

However i've encountered some questions in both sections that i've came across on websites like "Beat the GMAT" and others (3-4 in quantitative which i actually did wrong), (4 in verbal of which 2 i've got them wrong and between the 2 that i got right only 1 i still had the right answer in mind)

In GMAT prep exam 1 i scored 670 (Q:48 and V:33) and this was a retake (1st time was taken 3 months ago, and i scored 650)

However prior to that i've taken 3 MGMAT CATS and got the below score:
CAT1: 640 (V:34)
CAT2: 630 (V:34)
CAT3: 590 (V:34) (the most recent, 1 week before gmatprep exam2)

So my verbal was pretty much stagnant for almost 2 months although i've worked intensively on that section, but it didn't move a bit, yet suddenly my score increased dramatically in the gmat prep 2 exam.

To note as well that there was one striking difference between gmat prep exam 1 and exam2, on the first i got the last 5 answers wrong as i running out of time, but in exam 2 i got the first 8 questions correct and the last 7 questions correct as well and i didn't have to rush through the answers at the end. I had the impression that my time management was just to the point, neither too slow nor too fast.

Given all the above, how much do you think my score is inflated?? i am in the 700's range??

My exam is on the 9th of september, and i still have only 5 full days of study (4th,5th,6th,7th and 8th of september), any idea on how i should spend these 5 days to get the most out of them?

I was thinking about taking 2 gmat prep exam from pack 1 or 2, and revise the questions from question pack 1, without going back to the OG problems as i still remember most of them, and i don't think that seeing a familiar problem add that much of a value.

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

regards,

Joe

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Post Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:52 am
Hi Joe,

Each of the two Exam Packs are individual products, so you shouldn't need to purchase one to use the other. I would guess that www.mba.com has more information on the matter though.

The 'accuracy' of a CAT score is based heavily on how realistically YOU choose to take the CAT. To that end, I have a few questions about how you took your CATs:

1) What were your scores on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
5) 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.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:52 pm
joealam1 wrote:
Hi all,

This might sound a bit odd, but can we buy and install exam pack 2 without buying exam pack 1 prior to that??

The reason is that i've came across some questions on the web and they turned out to be from Exam pack 1, so i am a bit concerned that if i encounter the same problems (given the fact that the question banks is very limited on these exam packs) my score will be inflated to a point that i won't be able to assess myself properly.

I have another concern as well in case someone is able to give me some insights.

I've recently taken gmat prep exam2 (the free one) and i got a score of 730 (Q:49 and V:40).

However i've encountered some questions in both sections that i've came across on websites like "Beat the GMAT" and others (3-4 in quantitative which i actually did wrong), (4 in verbal of which 2 i've got them wrong and between the 2 that i got right only 1 i still had the right answer in mind)

In GMAT prep exam 1 i scored 670 (Q:48 and V:33) and this was a retake (1st time was taken 3 months ago, and i scored 650)

However prior to that i've taken 3 MGMAT CATS and got the below score:
CAT1: 640 (V:34)
CAT2: 630 (V:34)
CAT3: 590 (V:34) (the most recent, 1 week before gmatprep exam2)

So my verbal was pretty much stagnant for almost 2 months although i've worked intensively on that section, but it didn't move a bit, yet suddenly my score increased dramatically in the gmat prep 2 exam.

To note as well that there was one striking difference between gmat prep exam 1 and exam2, on the first i got the last 5 answers wrong as i running out of time, but in exam 2 i got the first 8 questions correct and the last 7 questions correct as well and i didn't have to rush through the answers at the end. I had the impression that my time management was just to the point, neither too slow nor too fast.

Given all the above, how much do you think my score is inflated?? i am in the 700's range??

My exam is on the 9th of september, and i still have only 5 full days of study (4th,5th,6th,7th and 8th of september), any idea on how i should spend these 5 days to get the most out of them?

I was thinking about taking 2 gmat prep exam from pack 1 or 2, and revise the questions from question pack 1, without going back to the OG problems as i still remember most of them, and i don't think that seeing a familiar problem add that much of a value.

Any insight would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

regards,

Joe
My understanding is also that so long as you have the original GMATPrep software, you can purchase any individual product and run it. My advice: get both sets of exams anyway. They're drawing questions from larger banks, so you'll see plenty of new questions. If you see a repeat, make sure that you allow a full 2 minutes to tick off the clock and be honest with yourself. If you're not entirely sure if you'd answer a similar question correctly, then miss it intentionally.

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joealam1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Aug 2016
Posted:
74 messages
Thanked:
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Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
670
Post Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:27 pm
Hi Rich,

Below are my answers:

1) GMAT prep 1: 670 (5-6 weeks ago) (Q:48, V:33) (Q:78% , V:69%)
GMAT prep 2 (taken last week) : (Q:49, V:40) (Q:83%, V:90%)

MGMAT CAT1: 640
CAT 2: 630
CAT 3: 590

on the MGMAT the verbal was exactly the same V:34 72-73%, the quantitative was getting lower and lower

2)I took the entire tests including essays and IR
3)I took them at home, with no distraction from anyone
4) I took them at the same time, 9-10 am in the monring, same time as my gmat test (however i will in a different time zone from where i am going to take the test:) maybe 5 hours of difference, so i will try my best to adapt to the time; i m travelling today so i have roughly 5-6 days)
5)The only breaks i took were the breaks 8 min breaks granted between the sections, most of the time i took 5-6 minutes instead of 8.
6)the GMAT prep 1 was a retake, so when i took the gmat prep 2 i've noticed some familiar problems as mentioned below, 3-4 in each section but only one of them which is in the verbal i was still remembering the answer, and still i took roughly 1.5-2 min to do it


Thanks for your help.

Regards,

Joe

Post Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:01 pm
Hi Joe,

The travel and change in time zone might impact your performance, although having 5-6 days to adjust might minimize the issue. From the data you've provided, I think that your current ability level is probably in the mid-600s to high-600s. It's important to note that the difference between a 650 and a 700 on the Official GMAT is actually relatively 'thin' - just a handful of additional correct answers, in the right spots, can make a huge difference in your score. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability, so if you score a 670 on the Official GMAT, then you could have potentially scored 700.

With one week to go before Test Day, you should NOT try to do too much work - no 'cramming' and taking any additional CATs is not necessary. Keep your review light and try to get some extra rest. You'll be far better served by going into the GMAT calm and well-rested than by doing too much and 'burning out' beforehand.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

joealam1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Aug 2016
Posted:
74 messages
Thanked:
1 times
Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
670
Post Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:31 am
Hi Rich,

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

I just bought exam pack 2 and i'll take one of the exams tomorrow to see where i am really standing, then i'll carry on with light reviews for the last 3 days before the real exam.

Regards,
Joe

joealam1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Aug 2016
Posted:
74 messages
Thanked:
1 times
Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
670
Post Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:43 am
Hi Rich,

How is it going?

I took my 1st official gmat exam few days ago, and as you predicted i scored 670 (Q:49 - 77%; V:34 - 72%) IR:69%

I found the IR section much easier than in the mock tests; even the quantitative section i felt it to be easier and i was expecting to get much more than 77%.

On the verbal section i felt that i was quite strong in the beginning but somewhere in the middle i noticed that i was behind by 2 min, the CR questions became harder and so i started to loose ground (on the last 3 CR questions i couldn't even narrow down my choices to 2 options)

On the last question i chose my answer but wasn't able to press on the "Next " button as i ran out of time, i think they must have penalized me for this question (I m not sure if this usually happens but i have the impression that the exam finished 10-15 seconds before the time set on the counter).

I am willing on taking my next try by end of November / early December, and i am aiming for 720.

I have some trouble with the CR question specially the 700+ level ones, i've already went trough the power score CR bible it was quite useful, but during exams and under the heat of battle i am not able to apply any strategy. As a non native, i am having issues in understanding the argument from first read, and as you know it's almost impossible to tackle a CR question without understanding the argument.

can you please suggest me any plan to enhance my verbal skills within 2 months, is there any extra material that i should focus on? I already have the below:

OG 2013 + Quantitative and verbal reviews
Manhattan guides
Power score CR bible
GMAT prep question bank + EXAM pack 2 (i am planning on buying Exam pack 1)
Manhattan CATs (still have 3 left to do)

Is it worth it to buy the latest OG 2017 pack?

Any suggestion would be much appreciated.

I really want to conquer the GMAT.

Thanks.

Regards,

Joe

Post Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:10 am
Hi Joe,

First off, a 670/Q49 is a strong score (it's above 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. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here:

http://www.beatthegmat.com/ask-an-mba-admissions-consultant-f40.html

This score is 'in line' with your practice scores, so you're clearly consistent in many of the aspects of how you take the GMAT. You do certain things consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. To raise this score to a 720+, you're going to have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Verbal section. You might also be able to squeeze a couple of extra points out of the Quant section, but even with those extra points, improvements in the Verbal will be necessary.

With a V34, "700 level" CR questions would NOT have been your biggest issue, so you might want to purchase the ESR (so that we can get a better idea of how you actually performed on Test Day). As an aside, as long as you 'bubbled' an answer on the last question, then you would have been credited with answering that question (even if your time ran out) - so there would not have been a penalty. With the proper materials and Tactical knowledge, you could conceivably retest in a month and hit your goal.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

joealam1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Aug 2016
Posted:
74 messages
Thanked:
1 times
Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
670
Post Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:57 am
Hi Rich,

Thanks for your reply.

Although i've heard that a score of 670 might be ok in some cases, but i would rather retake for several reasons.

First of all I've heard in some instances people getting rejected because they had an average score and they didn't retake the test, the excuse of the admission council was that they considered that not retaking the test might show that the candidate didn't put much effort to get what he wants.

Another reason for retaking the test is that i am applying for top 10 schools like Insead, LBS and MIT Sloan, so with all this competition around i don't feel i can stand a chance with a score of 670. My undergrad GPA is 3.34 i've graduated with honor and i've 4 years of experience in the oil and gas industry with a wide international exposure (UK, Middle Eat and China) but i don't think this alone can overshadow my score.

My last reason, to be honest is a matter of ego. I've studied hard for the last 3-4 months and i was and i still am in a set of mind that i want to subjugate the gmat. I want to see a minimum score of 710.

You mentioned "proper materials", what do you think that would be in addition to the stuff that i listed earlier (OG 13, Manhattan guides + question bank, GMAT question pack1, Manhattan advanced quantitative guide)? Considering that i have the OG13 do you it is worth it to buy the OG 17 full pack??

Regarding the ESR, i felt that the Manhattan CAT's score report is way better and far more comprehensive. Do you think it is worth it to buy, i've read some reviews and felt that the GMAC are intending to keep us in the dark even after buying the product, there is no detailed time management analysis for each question. As an expert, do you really feel that it gives an added value?


PS: i am planning on retaking the test in 10-12 weeks as i am currently in the expat and can't really take the test where i am. I am planning as well on spending some time on the essays in parallel in case i didn't get much improvement on my retake.

Thanks a lot for your time.

Regards,

Joe

Post Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:25 am
Hi Joe,

The issues that you're describing actually happen to many Test Takers who use a "book heavy" study approach. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. "Your way" of approaching the GMAT has gotten you to this current scoring level, but there's a question as to whether it can get you to a higher level or not. To make a big improvement, you'll have to change your tactics. This will likely mean investing in some new Computer-based resources and learning (and practicing) new tactics.

Since the cost of the ESR is relatively low (when compared to the cost of retaking the GMAT), I have to ask why you wouldn't purchase it? It's the ONLY additional data you have access to that reflects how you actually performed on Test Day. While the ESR is limited in what it will tell you, there could be some important points in that data that you're not even aware of. Using data from a 3rd-party practice CAT to try to analyze your Official Score result does not make sense.

10-12 weeks of additional study time can be quite beneficial (and you don't necessarily need that much time to hit your goals), BUT you have to make adjustments to how you handle this Test. If you continue to study the same materials in the same ways as before, then there's a pretty good chance that you'll score right around 670 again.

1) What future Test Dates are available for you?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

joealam1 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Aug 2016
Posted:
74 messages
Thanked:
1 times
Target GMAT Score:
740
GMAT Score:
670
Post Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:17 am
Hey Rich,

I've attached a copy of my ESR report, you were right CR wasn't my weakest point as i thought.

I was really amazed to see that SC was my weakest point, i was doing way better in SC in my practice tests.

If i understood the report correctly, i only have 8 incorrect questions in the quantitative section i thought i would have had much more for a score of 77%.

It's quite weird i didn't feel that the quantitative section was hard enough, i don't understand why the test wasn't giving me hard questions if i was answering most of the questions correctly. Moreover, i don't understand how come the avg time for the sub-sections is much than the overall test.

Overall i think the only thing i've benefit from those 25$ was that i knew that SC is my weakest point not the CR as i thought, all the rest is just empty words.

I think time management killed me in verbal, i felt i was doing quite good at the start then at some point in the middle i started to rush as i noticed that i was 2 min behind.
I remember as well being quite annoyed by the those short answers SC questions i had around 3-4 of them, there was no way to get a pattern it's either you know the grammatical rule or you don't. I've heard that the new tests are full of these nuances.

I'm not sure on my exact next test date but i think it would be between the 1st and 2nd week of December, it depends on when i'll be able to take my home leave (i m intending to have 10 days off before the exam this time).

My plan is to go over all the material that i have in hand quickly, to revise all the concepts and questions log sheets and if i still have time maybe try some computer based resources (i still have in hand 3 Manhattan CAT to do and 3 Gmat prep Tests (exam 3,4 from pack 1 and exam 6 from pack 2, along with all the Manhattan question bank)

What's your suggestions / Comments on ESR? What kind of material do you refer to kill my next test?

To be honest i was a bit concerned about trying something new for i want to be sure to get something worth the shot, for this will be my second and last attempt for the Gmat. I have only 2 months to nail it.

I know i've been annoying you with all these questions lately but i really need some help to achieve my ultimate goal.

I'm really grateful for your help and kindness.

Regards,

Joe
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Post Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:38 am
Hi Joe,

I've sent you a PM with some notes and suggestions.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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