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This topic has 2 expert replies and 2 member replies
PedroP Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
04 Mar 2010
1 messages


Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:29 pm
Hi Everyone -

I just took the GMAT for the first time this past Friday (Feb 26th) and totally BOMBED it - 410 (Q25, V21). I was shocked when I saw my score... to say the least!!!

What I need is some advice/strategy. I need to score at least 570 - ideally 600. My question to you guys: Is it possible to increase my score by at least 160 points?

Material used:

OG 12th edition (brownish cover)
OG Quant (green cover)
OG Verbal (purple cover)
Kaplan premier edition 2008


I began intensively studying on January 6th every day until two days before test day (I took three days off total). My total study time was exactly six weeks/over 160 hours of combined study time. The first two weeks I studied an average of 3.5 hours every day, and the last four weeks I studied an average of 5-7 hours every day. To be quite frank, I did feel I was burnt out towards the end. Is this possible? I know that people do study a lot for this test, so I’m not sure if I did in fact burn out, or something else was one factor for my low score.

Because there are no GMAT prep courses in this country, nor are there any tutors that have taught for GMAT, I decided to get English and Math tutors.

MATH tutor:

Teaches mechanical/electrical engineering courses at a local university. Our classes had to be held in Spanish as he does not understand English. Because my English in strong, I figured it wouldn't be an issue (I translated all the problems), and I felt translating even helped me understand the problems even more. Separately from doing nearly all OG problems (total 350 multiple choice and about 150 DS), we reviewed all Geometry/Algebra/Arithmetic stuff. It almost felt like a college level algebra course.

By the end of the fourth week he felt confident that I was improving greatly. He also had a chance to review all material throughout December, before we started studying. I also felt more confident with everything - from divisions to coordinate geometry. We covered pretty much everything (about 80%) that came in the test.

ENGLISH tutor:

Teaches English at a local English academy. He also had access to the material about a month before we started studying. According to him, I was improving a lot by the end of the third week. We did nearly two rounds of all English material in both the OG guides (including SC, RC and CR). On the OG problems, I averaged 85% on CR, 75% on SC and 81% on RC.

Both my teachers said that I shouldn’t take diagnostics, because I could flip out and get nervous before the exam. We opted to just study the material as best we could (covering as many questions as we could). Also, we did not practice timing (BIG mistake) - all we did was work as fast as we could on all questions.

According to my English professor, my score is attributed to complete burn out (too many hours in six weeks, as opposed to more weeks of study time, less time everyday), and also that I did not get used to the test structure (no exams done during my study time). He suggests for me to take two weeks off, and then reschedule-before I start forgetting stuff- for another test six weeks after my break. And this time, he suggests me doing an exam every other day so I can get used to the test and timing factor. I am not sure what to do. But he is utterly convinced that I am ready.

I’ve seen people that retake it but not in six weeks - they usually take three more months to study for it. Should I follow his advice? If not, professional GMAT advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

So, I plead for your help. This Latin dude is desperate and really doesn’t know what to do. I repeat: there are no GMAT experts in this town and I need help!!!

Do I have a chance at improving my score?

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Pedros Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
26 Mar 2009
40 messages
3 times
GMAT Score:
Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:53 pm
Oh , another pedro..... and sadly another 410.

Crying or Very sad

buena suerte a mi amigo


Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:58 pm
Hi PedroP,

There is one thing I see totally missing from the study plan you've described--timed practice. You should definitely take pride in your accuracy, because those are signs of great improvement! But those numbers may not be accurate. Even if you were spending an average of 2 minutes/problem (and untimed, you may not have been), doing the problems with no clock ticking can have a very different psychological effect. Focusing not just on doing the content correctly, but doing it quickly and efficiently, is the key to beating the GMAT.

Also, have you considered taking an internet based class? It sounds like you have a couple of very smart tutors, but as this board well demonstrates, intelligence is not a substitute for GMAT expertise. Though Kaplan may not offer GMAT prep in your country, we offer a number of international internet based courses, including both Live Online sessions with video-conferenced lessons from instructors and a do-it-yourself web syllabus with 9 pre-recorded classes. My understanding is that a number of other test prep companies have similar offerings as well. Check out the Kaplan website (in my signature) for details, and feel free to PM me with any questions!

Eli Meyer
Kaplan GMAT Teacher
Cambridge, MA

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Brian@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
03 Jul 2008
1031 messages
Followed by:
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GMAT Score:
Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:10 pm
Hi Pedro,

Sorry to hear your story of frustration! I'm glad you posted here, as I definitely think that this community can help you get a much higher return on your investment of study time. I have a few questions for you, and then some suggestions:

1) How did you pace yourself on test day? I'm assuming that could have been a problem, as you didn't take any practice tests beforehand, and may not have had a great concept of timing on the test (which is an issue for most test-takers).

2) What else do you recall being a challenge on test day? Did you see any questions that you didn't know how to attack? Did you notice that you saw quite a few of any particular question types that you may not have studied as thoroughly?

3) With your study time before the test, did you identify any common mistakes that you tended to make?

As for suggestions:

1) Compile any information that you can recall from test day - problem areas, pacing problems, etc. - and see if you can determine a few starting points from which to study.

2) Add practice tests to your study regimen, but NOT one every other day as someone suggested. That will burn you out almost certainly, and you need time in between tests to identify what you learned from them (i.e. "I need to get faster with algebra-based problems" or "I make too many mistakes with Data Sufficiency") and take corrective action with practice sets.

3) Reduce the number of hours you study per day, and focus on quality of study more than quantity. With each session, go in with a goal (i.e. "Improve speed on Reading Comprehension") and come out with a list of a few things you've learned. Try to master, or at least improve upon, 1-2 things per study session so that you're not just spinning your wheels on a multitude of questions.

One last suggestion (and I'll monitor the board for your responses, too, and try to add further advice as I learn more about your experience) - if you're interested in working with a GMAT expert and/or taking a class, many companies (including Veritas Prep) offer online classes so that students from anywhere in the world can have access to elite GMAT preparation. Online classes may seem a little bit awkward at first, so even if you want to do a free trial first, it may be worthwhile. I'm hosting a free trial in our online format on Wednesday, March 10 (there's a link to it on this site), and I'll also be teaching one of our online courses, which begins the following week on March 15. Other companies offer similar offerings (don't let me turn this entirely into a sales pitch!), so if you're interested in specific GMAT preparation, you do have options.


Brian Galvin
GMAT Instructor
Director of Academic Programs
Veritas Prep

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herbalsejagat Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
13 Sep 2017
6 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Post Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:40 pm
Thank you so much for this!

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