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HELP! Took GMAT today, did not do as well as hoped

This topic has 7 expert replies and 3 member replies
tschneider1 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2017
Posted:
4 messages

HELP! Took GMAT today, did not do as well as hoped

Post Tue May 09, 2017 3:23 pm
Hi all,

I am looking for some guidance to improving my score. This morning, I took the GMAT and I was admittedly very nervous. I felt great after my essay which I felt was very strong and I even scored pretty well on integrated reasoning despite not preparing that much for that section. I have been studying using free GMATPrep questions, taking a couple CAT tests, and doing practice questions. I have been studying for about 2-4 weeks now. My target score is 500, would love to exceed 550! My unofficial scaled scores from today are as follows:

Integrated Reasoning: 5 (54th percentile)
Quantitative: 27 (31st percentile)
Verbal: 22 (15th percentile)

TOTAL: 430

Please let me know if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it! I have a solid GPA, great letters of recommendation, resume with 2+ years professional work experience, and a strong resume.

Thanks again!

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Post Wed May 10, 2017 5:08 am
tschneider1 wrote:
Hi all,

I am looking for some guidance to improving my score. This morning, I took the GMAT and I was admittedly very nervous. I felt great after my essay which I felt was very strong and I even scored pretty well on integrated reasoning despite not preparing that much for that section. I have been studying using free GMATPrep questions, taking a couple CAT tests, and doing practice questions. I have been studying for about 2-4 weeks now. My target score is 500, would love to exceed 550! My unofficial scaled scores from today are as follows:

Integrated Reasoning: 5 (54th percentile)
Quantitative: 27 (31st percentile)
Verbal: 22 (15th percentile)

TOTAL: 430

Please let me know if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it! I have a solid GPA, great letters of recommendation, resume with 2+ years professional work experience, and a strong resume.

Thanks again!
While official material is excellent for practice/assessing your proficiency level, it isn't great for foundation-building. The best thing you can do is get ahold of a rigorous curriculum. Every company offers free material or a free trial, so sample some options, see what suits your learning style, and then work through some skill-building material before returning to official material. (Our prerecorded lessons can be accessed through our app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gmat-video-course/id427860224?mt=8

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Thanked by: tschneider1
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Post Wed May 10, 2017 10:06 am
Hi tschneider1,

To properly study for the GMAT, you have to learn a lot of different things - including the content that is tested, how to handle the various question types and how to deal with taking the FULL GMAT under 'test-like' conditions. Many Test Takers spend months preparing for the Exam; the fact that you spent just 2-4 weeks (which is a short, and somewhat vague, period of time) shows that you have not put in the proper time and effort yet to have scored higher. 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 have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
2) Did you take the FULL CAT each time?

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

Thankfully, your score goal is modest and the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam - so you CAN train to score at a higher level. You will likely need a more defined Study Plan though and the necessary study time to hone your skills.

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Thanked by: tschneider1
tschneider1 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2017
Posted:
4 messages
Post Wed May 10, 2017 4:04 pm
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
tschneider1 wrote:
Hi all,

I am looking for some guidance to improving my score. This morning, I took the GMAT and I was admittedly very nervous. I felt great after my essay which I felt was very strong and I even scored pretty well on integrated reasoning despite not preparing that much for that section. I have been studying using free GMATPrep questions, taking a couple CAT tests, and doing practice questions. I have been studying for about 2-4 weeks now. My target score is 500, would love to exceed 550! My unofficial scaled scores from today are as follows:

Integrated Reasoning: 5 (54th percentile)
Quantitative: 27 (31st percentile)
Verbal: 22 (15th percentile)

TOTAL: 430

Please let me know if anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it! I have a solid GPA, great letters of recommendation, resume with 2+ years professional work experience, and a strong resume.

Thanks again!
While official material is excellent for practice/assessing your proficiency level, it isn't great for foundation-building. The best thing you can do is get ahold of a rigorous curriculum. Every company offers free material or a free trial, so sample some options, see what suits your learning style, and then work through some skill-building material before returning to official material. (Our prerecorded lessons can be accessed through our app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gmat-video-course/id427860224?mt=8
Thanks for your help! I will check out the material you recommended.

tschneider1 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2017
Posted:
4 messages
Post Wed May 10, 2017 4:10 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi tschneider1,

To properly study for the GMAT, you have to learn a lot of different things - including the content that is tested, how to handle the various question types and how to deal with taking the FULL GMAT under 'test-like' conditions. Many Test Takers spend months preparing for the Exam; the fact that you spent just 2-4 weeks (which is a short, and somewhat vague, period of time) shows that you have not put in the proper time and effort yet to have scored higher. 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 have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
2) Did you take the FULL CAT each time?

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

Thankfully, your score goal is modest and the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam - so you CAN train to score at a higher level. You will likely need a more defined Study Plan though and the necessary study time to hone your skills.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
1) I've scored 440 & 450 on each CAT. (Verbal: 24, 26 Quant: 25, 25)
2) Yes I took the full CATs
3) I am applying as I speak for this Fall 2017
4) Kentucky, Ole Miss, UAB, UT-Chattanooga, Samford. Kentucky's deadline is today so I have already applied there, the other 4 schools are July 1 deadlines, I believe.

I really need to re-take GMAT exam in first week of June. I have studied 3 weeks to be clear, doing practice problems and taking practice tests. Also, I have over 25 hours available each week to study. I am currently working part-time and am out of school so I do have free time in each day.

Let me know if you can help me out and how you would advise. Thanks Rich!

Post Wed May 10, 2017 5:55 pm
Hi tschneider1,

A retest date in the first week of June would give you about 3-4 weeks of additional study time. You could conceivably raise your current score to a 500+ in that time (although a 550+ might be too challenging a goal). Since most of the application deadlines that you're heading towards appear to be in July though, you could potentially give yourself more study time.

As such, you really have to define what's MORE important - taking the GMAT in the first week of June OR maximizing your chances at gaining the greatest score improvement before July 1st. In addition, which of these Schools is your 'first choice?'

If you need to be done with the GMAT by the first week of June, then there won't be enough time for you to properly learn everything - so we'll have to choose some specific things for you to work on. As it stands though, you could pick up all of the missing points that you're looking for in just the Quant section or in just the Verbal section.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

tschneider1 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 May 2017
Posted:
4 messages
Post Wed May 10, 2017 6:22 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi tschneider1,

A retest date in the first week of June would give you about 3-4 weeks of additional study time. You could conceivably raise your current score to a 500+ in that time (although a 550+ might be too challenging a goal). Since most of the application deadlines that you're heading towards appear to be in July though, you could potentially give yourself more study time.

As such, you really have to define what's MORE important - taking the GMAT in the first week of June OR maximizing your chances at gaining the greatest score improvement before July 1st. In addition, which of these Schools is your 'first choice?'

If you need to be done with the GMAT by the first week of June, then there won't be enough time for you to properly learn everything - so we'll have to choose some specific things for you to work on. As it stands though, you could pick up all of the missing points that you're looking for in just the Quant section or in just the Verbal section.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Rich, that's a great point about what is more important. I honestly just want to hit the 500 GMAT score and be done with it. I would just rather not wait until last week of June putting a lot on pressure on me with no chance to re-take since waiting 16 days between tests is required. I would like take it within the first 15 days of June giving me extra safety in case I do not score well, AGAIN. Hopefully that makes sense.

Ole Miss and Kentucky are my top choices. Like I said, Kentucky application has been submitted as today was the deadline. I really am confident I can get into Ole Miss with a 500 GMAT. I am very confident with everything currently except my GMAT score.

I would love to pick up those 70 points I am short of and I know you can help me so let me know what I should focus on!

Thanks again.

Post Thu May 11, 2017 9:38 am
Hi tschneider1,

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

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Fri May 12, 2017 4:12 pm
Tests don't only measure what you know, they also measure how well you take tests.

One of the first statements you made was " I was admittedly very nervous." I suggest you consider ways, in addition to content mastery and test taking strategy, that you approach your mindset, as this can make or break those 70 points you hope to gain.

Lots of ways to manage the stress and nervousness, especially since you've got all this lead time.

Let me know if you'd like more resources or support with this.

Best,

Bara

_________________
Bara Sapir, MA, CHt, CNLP
Founder/CEO & GMAT Badass Test Prep New York/Test Prep San Francisco
Maximize your Score, Minimize your Stress!

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Post Sun May 14, 2017 8:37 am
tschneider1 wrote:
This morning, I took the GMAT and I was admittedly very nervous. I felt great after my essay which I felt was very strong and I even scored pretty well on integrated reasoning despite not preparing that much for that section. I have been studying using free GMATPrep questions, taking a couple CAT tests, and doing practice questions. I have been studying for about 2-4 weeks now. My target score is 500, would love to exceed 550! My unofficial scaled scores from today are as follows:

Integrated Reasoning: 5 (54th percentile)
Quantitative: 27 (31st percentile)
Verbal: 22 (15th percentile)

TOTAL: 430
A few general points:

- the essay doesn't matter much at all. Don't invest too much mental energy into it.

- A 5 on IR will likely be fine, if you can get your overall score above a 500.

- Studying for 2-4 weeks is really very little. Most students commit many months to their studies. I understand that you're eager to get this over with, but if you miss the 500 mark and have to wait another year, you'll be disappointed that you didn't put in a few extra weeks of effort.

- You mentioned that you've "studied," but didn't mention HOW. The biggest mistake that students make is thinking that reading books and taking practice tests is all there is to studying. The most important aspect is the REVIEW.

As Bara said, this isn't just a content test. It's also testing how well you take tests. You need to know what kinds of mistakes you're prone to, and how to mitigate them. You also need to understand how the scoring algorithm of this test works. Here's more:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2016/07/14/scheduling-your-gmat-everything-you-need-to-know-about-booking-cancelling-reporting-etc/

- You should order an Enhanced Score Report from GMAC to see where the problem areas were on your last test. Then, commit to working hard over the next 2 months to ensure that you hit your target!

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EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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Post Mon May 15, 2017 8:43 am
AND....

Because it's a test how how well you take test, keeping in mind your mental state can be as important as what you know. Your having felt nervous is a good indicator that paying heed to your mindset and emotions for when you take the test will be important.

Focused. Calm. Confident. In the Zone is where you want to be.

Anxious. Nervous. Alarmed. Distracted, are not.

Interesting, and importantly, improving your mindset is the easiest and quickest thing you can do to improve your performance on the test. So get busy! Smile

And ask if you have quesitons on best ways to do this!

Best,

Bara

_________________
Bara Sapir, MA, CHt, CNLP
Founder/CEO & GMAT Badass Test Prep New York/Test Prep San Francisco
Maximize your Score, Minimize your Stress!

WORKSHOP:mindflowclass.com
BOOK: http://tinyurl.com/TPNYSC
TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McA4aqCNS-c

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