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GMAT 640-750 practice strategy

This topic has 3 expert replies and 1 member reply
Smarth Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
07 Sep 2017
Posted:
2 messages

GMAT 640-750 practice strategy

Post Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:21 pm
Hi
I've been giving princeton review mock tests and have scored 640, 650 and 640 in the last 3 tests that I attempted, with a QA 47-48 and VA 32. I want to improve both my sections and overall score to get a 720-730+ score. What additional material and strategy can help me score better, considering I plan to take the GMAT in the next 25-30 days?

Material I've used till now: GMAT OG 2017, Princeton Review Portal Drills and Mock tests.

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Post Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:23 pm
Hi Smarth,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC (the 2 free CATs, and each of the 2 that come with Exam Pack 1 and Exam Pack 2), so it would be useful to know how you performed on one of those CATS. As such, I suggest that you take one of those CATs next (perhaps this weekend). Once you have that score result, you should post back here and we can talk through what all of this data means.

Beyond that point, before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) You mentioned your 3 'most recent' CATs, but how have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?

Goals:
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:33 pm
Smarth wrote:
Hi
I've been giving princeton review mock tests and have scored 640, 650 and 640 in the last 3 tests that I attempted, with a QA 47-48 and VA 32. I want to improve both my sections and overall score to get a 720-730+ score. What additional material and strategy can help me score better, considering I plan to take the GMAT in the next 25-30 days?

Material I've used till now: GMAT OG 2017, Princeton Review Portal Drills and Mock tests.
To achieve a solid GMAT score, you must:

    1) Learn the concepts and techniques tested on the GMAT (e.g., circle properties, divisibility rules, past perfect tense, equation-solving, etc.)
    2) Master GMAT-specific strategies (e.g., testing the answer choices, rephrasing the target question, identifying subjects and verbs in sentences, etc.)
    3) Understand the many different ways the test-makers can test your knowledge of each concept
    4) Hone your test-taking skills (e.g., endurance, time management, guessing strategies, etc.)


Many students make the mistake of limiting their preparation to item #1 (and perhaps item #2). So, once they fully grasp a concept and successfully answer 1 or 2 related questions, they move on to the next topic. The problem with this strategy is that the test-makers can take any concept, no matter how simple, and create dozens of wildly different questions , each requiring a different approach. So, to achieve a great score, you must answer a lot of practice questions specifically-related to each concept tested on the GMAT.

Given all of this, I recommend a systematic approach, in which you take the time to thoroughly address each topic/concept. So, for each topic/concept, you should:
    - Learn the underlying concepts (rules, attributes, notation, etc.)
    - Learn GMAT-specific strategies related to that topic
    - Practice dozens of questions all related to that one topic.
    - Don't stop working on that topic until you have mastered it

Then, and only then , move on to the next topic.

To help you fully explore the ins and outs of each topic, you can use Beat the GMAT’s question-tagging tool (http://www.beatthegmat.com/forums/tags/gmat-math). This will give you access to tons of topic-specific practice questions.

Finally, your study plan should include several full-length practice tests. Keep in mind that the GMAT is a test of your math and verbal skills AND it's a test of your test-taking skills. So, 700-level math/verbal skills, combined with 600-level test-taking skills, will likely result in a score that's closer to 600 than to 700.

I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
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Smarth Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
07 Sep 2017
Posted:
2 messages
Post Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:17 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi Smarth,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC (the 2 free CATs, and each of the 2 that come with Exam Pack 1 and Exam Pack 2), so it would be useful to know how you performed on one of those CATS. As such, I suggest that you take one of those CATs next (perhaps this weekend). Once you have that score result, you should post back here and we can talk through what all of this data means.

Beyond that point, before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) You mentioned your 3 'most recent' CATs, but how have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?

Goals:
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

Thank you for your advice. I plan to take the CATs from GMAC from next week.
I would like to provide a few more details you asked for:
I started my GMAT Prep in July, and it has been almost 2.5 months now.
In my most recent 3 CATs, I scored:
640(Q43, V35)- 19th August
650(Q48, V32)- 3rd Sept.
640(Q47, V32)- 7th Sept.

I'm planning to apply to business schools in November.
I plan to apply for Masters programs in the following schools:
1. Business Analytics
UT Austin
University of Purdue
UC Davis
Melbourne Business School
2. Masters in Management
Northwestern University
University of British Columbia
LBS
Imperial College London

Also if you can suggest me some other universities for the above programs, it would be great.

Post Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:54 am
Hi Smarth,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 3 recent CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 640 +/- a few points). Raising a 640 to a 720+ will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. In addition, if you've gotten 'stuck' at this particular score level, we'll have to put in some time and effort to define WHY you're stuck and work to fix whatever issues are keeping you at this level. This is all meant to say that you might want to consider pushing back your Test Date.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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