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I feel like my progress is regressing. Advice?

This topic has 2 expert replies and 3 member replies
DivineLegacy Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
5 messages

I feel like my progress is regressing. Advice?

Post Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:20 pm
I've been studying for about 2 months now and have finished through the in-person Manhattan Course. While the course was great, and I've learned a lot, I'm not really seeing progress on my CAT's despite all the OG problems making sense to me on the first go. I do a thorough review of my CAT's to find my weaknesses, then review the relevant Manhattan books and drill OG problems. I'm targeting Mid-June to take the test.

Here is a summary of my past CAT's. Note that I have only taken the IR/AWA with GMAT Prep. I know that I should take it with the other sections too because of mental stamina; however, I'd rather nail down verbal/quant before I worry about test stress with the non-scored sections.

GMAT Prep - 610 (Q36 V38) Took in January as a diagnostic
MGMAT CAT 1 - 640 (Q42 V36)
MGMAT CAT 2 - 640 (Q44 V34)
MGMAT CAT 3 - 620 (Q37 V37)

I took MGMAT CAT 3 yesterday and was thoroughly disappointed with my quant performance given my progression with the 2 CAT's before. I made some careless mistakes and time ran out on me before I could even finish the last question. With the MGMAT CAT's in general, time has been killing me in Quant.

My target score is 730, although I wouldn't retake it if the score came as low as 710. I've been keeping track of my weaknesses through some of the Manhattan analytics tools and I've been making flashcards (but haven't been reviewing them as much as I'd like). Is my target score feasible given this time frame (2 months till test day)? Any advice on some things that I could do differently? I work 40-50 hours a week and dedicate most of my weekend to studying. Sometimes the weekend can be distracting so I was thinking of restructuring my work week so I work more on Monday - Thursday and less on Friday so that I can take CAT's on Friday instead.

Any guidance would be kindly appreciated!

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Post Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:38 pm
Hi DivineLegacy,

To start, 2 months is plenty of time to continue studying and hit your goals. However, you're likely going to have to make some fundamental changes to how you're studying. To start, you've already pointed out 2 areas that you need to 'fix': taking the FULL CAT (with the Essay and IR sections) each time and reviewing your flashcards (among other things).

Since you haven't taken a FULL CAT since January, you really should plan to take one soon (perhaps this coming weekend). You should do your best to make all of the 'variables' match up with your Official GMAT appointment (so take the FULL CAT, away from your home, at the same time of day as your Official GMAT, etc). Once you have that score, you should report back here.

1) When did you finish up your Course?
2) Do you have the flexibility to push back your Test Date?
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

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OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:56 am
Hi DivineLegacy,

2 months is a lot of time to reach to your target score and I am sure with focussed preparation, you can easily reach there.
The first advice that I would give is to prepare an error log and note down all the problems that you get incorrect. Post this, look out for the problems on forums and try to understand them. Note down any additional lessons that you learn and then revisit the log every alternate day.

A score of Q37 shows a lack of understanding got fundamentals in Quants. You should revisit the books/course that you follow. Have you completed the questions from the OG? If not, do them before attempting the mock CATs.
Post this, I would recommend you to take a GMAT Prep mock CAT along with the AWA and the IR sections. You can purchase 4 new tests from mba.com and I would highly recommend them as they are the best predictors of the test.

In addition to Quants, I see a room of improvement in Verbal too. You should analyse your tests thoroughly and try to drill down deep in each sub section.

SC: The questions test various concepts such as S-V agreement, modifiers, parallelism etc. Find out what troubles you.

CR: There might be certain types of questions that are troubling you. May be Assumption, may be conclusion, inference etc.
You need to find that out and then practice them

RC: This again can be drilled down into different types of questions and also different topics. See what questions and topics trouble you the most and then practice accordingly.

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DivineLegacy Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
17 Apr 2016
Posted:
5 messages
Post Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:06 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
1) When did you finish up your Course?
2) Do you have the flexibility to push back your Test Date?
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
Rich,

Thanks for the follow up.

1. I finished the course last week
2. I can if absolutely necessary.
3. Hopefully this fall.
4. I'm eyeing Booth, Kellogg, and Wharton.


Optimus, thanks for the advice. I'll take the advice into consideration. Is it still worth making an error log even though Manhattan already gives me an analysis of my tests?

OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:13 pm
DivineLegacy wrote:
Rich,

Thanks for the follow up.

1. I finished the course last week
2. I can if absolutely necessary.
3. Hopefully this fall.
4. I'm eyeing Booth, Kellogg, and Wharton.


Optimus, thanks for the advice. I'll take the advice into consideration. Is it still worth making an error log even though Manhattan already gives me an analysis of my tests?
Hi DivineLegacy,

Yes it surely is worth. Manhattan will give you the analysis and that too only for the Manhattan books.
What about the Official Guide questions?

Moreover, you should note down new lessons learnt in your error log and keep revisiting them from time to time. This will ensure you do not make the same mistakes again.

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Ankur
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Free Online Trial Hour:
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Optimus Prep™ Rates:
GMAT Private Tutoring Online: $80-100/hr.*
GMAT Private Tutoring In-Person: $130-150/hr.*
GMAT On Demand Course: $299 (Use Discount Code BEATTHEGMAT111)*

*All GMAT Courses Have A 50 Points Score Improvement Or Full Refund Guarantee

Post Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:47 pm
Hi DivineLegacy,

You've named some highly competitive Schools, so you're going to need a strong GMAT score AND a strong OVERALL application AND you'll have to make sure to 'market yourself' correctly to each of the Schools. As such, as part of your long term plans you might also want to work with an Admissions Expert. There's a Forum full of them here:

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

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

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