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Planning a retake in 6 weeks

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply
lpierce10 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
26 Sep 2011
Posted:
6 messages

Planning a retake in 6 weeks

Post Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:37 pm
I took the GMAT 3 times last year and I'm planning a retake in 6 weeks and I need to break 610.

Scores:
560 Q36 V31
Canceled
530 Q31 V32

I have done the Manhattan 9 week program, Magoosh, Target Test Prep, and EmpowerGMAT. Toward the end Empower seemed to be the best for me, but I'm a little stumped on how to approach this retake. I am thinking that I would hit the major areas in DS and PS (Algebra, FDPs, etc) on a week-by-week basis. Take a practice test in about 3 weeks, then continue to study each area on its own. I am open to some other suggestions on how to approach this retake.

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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GMAT Score:
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Post Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:33 am
Hi lpierce10.

The GMAT is not like many other tests in that it is not testing to see whether you know a bunch of concepts. The GMAT is testing to see how good you are at answering certain types of questions. So reviewing all the concepts and question types is not the optimal way to prepare for a retake.

Your best bet is to figure out things that you can do to get more questions right. In doing each of those things, you will drive your expected score up some, and over six weeks you should be able to drive your expected score to your target.

What really matters here is not what "the major areas" are, but what your personal opportunities for getting more questions right are. One way you can find those opportunities is by going over your most recent practice tests to see which types of questions you didn't get correct and which types you took a long time to answer.

One way to do this is by using the Manhattan analytics. By using your three most recent Manhattan practice tests as data sources and running the analytics, you can generate analytical results that will show you pretty clearly what you can work on to score higher.

I bet you will see that, for instance, your hit rate in the Exponents category could be higher. If that is the case, you could focus on exponents for a few days, using a resource such as Target Test Prep as a source of categorized questions, learning all about how to consistently get right answers to exponent questions.

There will be other categories that represent opportunities for getting more right answers. If you work on a dozen such categories between now and your test day, becoming significantly better at answering questions of each of those dozen types, you should hit your score goal in six weeks.

So to sum up, rather than work on everything or on major areas, find types of questions that you are not that good at answering, and work on each type one at at time. As you get better at answering each type, your expected score will increase.

You could take an official practice test after two weeks and another after four weeks. After taking each, you could reassess what to work on to drive your score higher.

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Post Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:55 am
Hi lpierce10,

With a 560, you're remarkably close to a 610 right now - and you don't have to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird. However, you will have to keep the silly/little mistakes to a minimum. As a way to gauge this issue, you should do a full review of your most recent practice CAT. Of all of the questions that you got wrong, how many (in both the Quant and Verbal sections) COULD you have gotten correct - but didn't because of a silly/little mistake?

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:11 am
lpierce10 wrote:
I took the GMAT 3 times last year and I'm planning a retake in 6 weeks and I need to break 610.

Scores:
560 Q36 V31
Canceled
530 Q31 V32

I have done the Manhattan 9 week program, Magoosh, Target Test Prep, and EmpowerGMAT. Toward the end Empower seemed to be the best for me, but I'm a little stumped on how to approach this retake. I am thinking that I would hit the major areas in DS and PS (Algebra, FDPs, etc) on a week-by-week basis. Take a practice test in about 3 weeks, then continue to study each area on its own. I am open to some other suggestions on how to approach this retake.
Can you give us a little more info about your practice exams, how you analyzed/learned from them/how the scores compared to your official scores?

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