• Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh

Retake advice

This topic has 2 expert replies and 6 member replies
anklet Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Feb 2012
Posted:
4 messages

Retake advice

Post Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:07 pm
Hi,

Took my gmat on the 17th of March.Got a dismal 600. Q47 V25 IR2. Need help. Planning to retake the exam in 2 months time. My practice scores were as follows:
Gmatprep 1 460 Q31 V22 (diagnostic)
Gmatprep 2 600 Q39 V31
Gmatprep 3 620 Q39 V35
Gmatprep 4 600 Q37 V35


February 1 650 Q46 V34
February 19 650 Q45 V34
February 22 610 Q43 V31
February 24 650 Q43 V36
February 26 640 Q43 V35
March 7 640 Q44 V34
March 8 650 Q46 V34

March 17 gmat 600 Q47 V25

I found the Gmatprep tests a lot more difficult than veritasprep practice exams, especially the verbal section. Also, i took the gmatprep exams in the last one week and was quite disappointed to see my scores.
I took my practice tests in full exam conditions yet panicked in the verbal section. As you can see my practice scores never really improved, which was extremely disappointing. Practiced from OG13, Quantitative review, veritasprep all prep materials. For verbals, I had joined the egmat online course.

I knew I had to somehow score more in quant (target Q50/51) to increase my score. Thats why focussed only on quant in the last one week before the exam. But I guess I paid the price for it.

My prep materials for retake:
Manhattan strategy guides 1 to 5
Veritas for combinations and probability (i am quite weak in this area)
Egmat live verbal prep course
gmatclub tests

In quant my weak areas are probability/combinations, word problems especially the 700 level time-distance and work rate problems. I have solved so many questions from forums for practice, yet when i get one question which is completely twisted, i just fail to understand how to solve the question.

In verbal section, I started off pretty well in SC and CR with accuracy of 75-80% but RC accuracy level was pretty bad at 25%. I used to take notes initially for RC but realized soon that I waste a lot of time writing notes. So I changed my tactic and started reading carefully and included just few words and drawings in my notes. For passages which were difficult to understand, I used to read it quickly and then solve the questions, because I had to read the passage anyways again. This did help in increasing the accuracy levels, but in my subsequent practice tests, my SC and CR scores went down. Does this happen to people? If you concentrate in one area, the other areas suffer?

I struggle with IR section too quite a bit.


I am in the process of preparing a study plan for retake and would really appreciate your feedback. Please let me know if you need any further information.

Would really appreciate your help on this.

Cheers

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
gmatprofparis Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
01 Apr 2015
Posted:
14 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
2
Top Reply
Post Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:14 am
Hi Anklet,

The SC section is very mechanical in its operation, because they're testing consistent rules in most cases, such as pronoun, parallelism and modifier rules. There is very little strategy in identifying that "He came home" is incorrect, because you can not use a pronoun unless it clearly refers to one noun in the sentence. What the GMAT does is obfuscate the presentation, but that does not change the fact that for most people the error is simply in understanding the rule (of course this is not the only cause of incorrect answer choices, but, judging by how long it takes you to work on your SC questions, I would assume that this is your major issue). Now, the Manhattan SC Guide is very good at essentially explaining those basic principles and testing them, outside of idioms (unfortunately, this is a rote memorization area). The program you've mentioned I have not heard of before, but I doubt that, if it's a worthwhile program, it should impact negatively on your score to study SC within it, as well as outside of it.

As for sticking to one source in general, I don't think that's true for any section. You have to identify the sources that work for you and those that do not. Ideal single resources do not exist for the vast majority of people. Obviously you don't want to overload yourself, but it's necessary to always identify if the strategy illustrated by one source is not functioning for you, and to set it aside. This is a major issue for those who are plateauing.

And you shouldn't worry about taking more than 2 minutes to answer a PS question, since most people average 2.5. The more important point to observe, as I mentioned in the last post, is your excessive time spent on DS. If you're looking to improve your Quant score, you can start by evaluating what strategy and subject areas are dragging on too long in DS. On the other hand, word problems can be naturally time consuming, but your difficulty probably comes from approach. There are many, many ways to solve a single world problem in most cases, and I would think you haven't identified a general method or series of methods that works best for you. Looking at multiple solution methodologies might be something very helpful for you at this juncture.

Finally, if you're taking the examination in May that should give you the right amount of time to study. But, you do need to take practice examinations in order to monitor your progress. I would recommend that you take one weekly, though a safe range would be 5 to 10 days, if you prefer a less orthodox period. And I highly recommend that, since you're done with GMAT Prep, that you take Manhattan examinations, as I think, outside of the official software, they come closest to mimicking question types and difficulty range.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Thanked by: anklet
gmatprofparis Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
01 Apr 2015
Posted:
14 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
2
Top Reply
Post Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:15 am
Hi Anklet,

The SC section is very mechanical in its operation, because they're testing consistent rules in most cases, such as pronoun, parallelism and modifier rules. There is very little strategy in identifying that "He came home" is incorrect, because you can not use a pronoun unless it clearly refers to one noun in the sentence. What the GMAT does is obfuscate the presentation, but that does not change the fact that for most people the error is simply in understanding the rule (of course this is not the only cause of incorrect answer choices, but, judging by how long it takes you to work on your SC questions, I would assume that this is your major issue). Now, the Manhattan SC Guide is very good at essentially explaining those basic principles and testing them, outside of idioms (unfortunately, this is a rote memorization area). The program you've mentioned I have not heard of before, but I doubt that, if it's a worthwhile program, it should impact negatively on your score to study SC within it, as well as outside of it.

As for sticking to one source in general, I don't think that's true for any section. You have to identify the sources that work for you and those that do not. Ideal single resources do not exist for the vast majority of people. Obviously you don't want to overload yourself, but it's necessary to always identify if the strategy illustrated by one source is not functioning for you, and to set it aside. This is a major issue for those who are plateauing.

And you shouldn't worry about taking more than 2 minutes to answer a PS question, since most people average 2.5. The more important point to observe, as I mentioned in the last post, is your excessive time spent on DS. If you're looking to improve your Quant score, you can start by evaluating what strategy and subject areas are dragging on too long in DS. On the other hand, word problems can be naturally time consuming, but your difficulty probably comes from approach. There are many, many ways to solve a single world problem in most cases, and I would think you haven't identified a general method or series of methods that works best for you. Looking at multiple solution methodologies might be something very helpful for you at this juncture.

Finally, if you're taking the examination in May that should give you the right amount of time to study. But, you do need to take practice examinations in order to monitor your progress. I would recommend that you take one weekly, though a safe range would be 5 to 10 days, if you prefer a less orthodox period. And I highly recommend that, since you're done with GMAT Prep, that you take Manhattan examinations, as I think, outside of the official software, they come closest to mimicking question types and difficulty range.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
gmatprofparis Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
01 Apr 2015
Posted:
14 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
2
Post Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:14 am
Hi Anklet,

The SC section is very mechanical in its operation, because they're testing consistent rules in most cases, such as pronoun, parallelism and modifier rules. There is very little strategy in identifying that "He came home" is incorrect, because you can not use a pronoun unless it clearly refers to one noun in the sentence. What the GMAT does is obfuscate the presentation, but that does not change the fact that for most people the error is simply in understanding the rule (of course this is not the only cause of incorrect answer choices, but, judging by how long it takes you to work on your SC questions, I would assume that this is your major issue). Now, the Manhattan SC Guide is very good at essentially explaining those basic principles and testing them, outside of idioms (unfortunately, this is a rote memorization area). The program you've mentioned I have not heard of before, but I doubt that, if it's a worthwhile program, it should impact negatively on your score to study SC within it, as well as outside of it.

As for sticking to one source in general, I don't think that's true for any section. You have to identify the sources that work for you and those that do not. Ideal single resources do not exist for the vast majority of people. Obviously you don't want to overload yourself, but it's necessary to always identify if the strategy illustrated by one source is not functioning for you, and to set it aside. This is a major issue for those who are plateauing.

And you shouldn't worry about taking more than 2 minutes to answer a PS question, since most people average 2.5. The more important point to observe, as I mentioned in the last post, is your excessive time spent on DS. If you're looking to improve your Quant score, you can start by evaluating what strategy and subject areas are dragging on too long in DS. On the other hand, word problems can be naturally time consuming, but your difficulty probably comes from approach. There are many, many ways to solve a single world problem in most cases, and I would think you haven't identified a general method or series of methods that works best for you. Looking at multiple solution methodologies might be something very helpful for you at this juncture.

Finally, if you're taking the examination in May that should give you the right amount of time to study. But, you do need to take practice examinations in order to monitor your progress. I would recommend that you take one weekly, though a safe range would be 5 to 10 days, if you prefer a less orthodox period. And I highly recommend that, since you're done with GMAT Prep, that you take Manhattan examinations, as I think, outside of the official software, they come closest to mimicking question types and difficulty range.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Thanked by: anklet
gmatprofparis Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
01 Apr 2015
Posted:
14 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
2
Post Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:15 am
Hi Anklet,

The SC section is very mechanical in its operation, because they're testing consistent rules in most cases, such as pronoun, parallelism and modifier rules. There is very little strategy in identifying that "He came home" is incorrect, because you can not use a pronoun unless it clearly refers to one noun in the sentence. What the GMAT does is obfuscate the presentation, but that does not change the fact that for most people the error is simply in understanding the rule (of course this is not the only cause of incorrect answer choices, but, judging by how long it takes you to work on your SC questions, I would assume that this is your major issue). Now, the Manhattan SC Guide is very good at essentially explaining those basic principles and testing them, outside of idioms (unfortunately, this is a rote memorization area). The program you've mentioned I have not heard of before, but I doubt that, if it's a worthwhile program, it should impact negatively on your score to study SC within it, as well as outside of it.

As for sticking to one source in general, I don't think that's true for any section. You have to identify the sources that work for you and those that do not. Ideal single resources do not exist for the vast majority of people. Obviously you don't want to overload yourself, but it's necessary to always identify if the strategy illustrated by one source is not functioning for you, and to set it aside. This is a major issue for those who are plateauing.

And you shouldn't worry about taking more than 2 minutes to answer a PS question, since most people average 2.5. The more important point to observe, as I mentioned in the last post, is your excessive time spent on DS. If you're looking to improve your Quant score, you can start by evaluating what strategy and subject areas are dragging on too long in DS. On the other hand, word problems can be naturally time consuming, but your difficulty probably comes from approach. There are many, many ways to solve a single world problem in most cases, and I would think you haven't identified a general method or series of methods that works best for you. Looking at multiple solution methodologies might be something very helpful for you at this juncture.

Finally, if you're taking the examination in May that should give you the right amount of time to study. But, you do need to take practice examinations in order to monitor your progress. I would recommend that you take one weekly, though a safe range would be 5 to 10 days, if you prefer a less orthodox period. And I highly recommend that, since you're done with GMAT Prep, that you take Manhattan examinations, as I think, outside of the official software, they come closest to mimicking question types and difficulty range.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
anklet Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Feb 2012
Posted:
4 messages
Post Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:36 pm
Thanks heaps for your feedback Gmatprofparis. Have noted all your points and will accordingly build my study plan.

cheers

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
anklet Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Feb 2012
Posted:
4 messages
Post Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:50 pm
Hi Rich and Gmatprofparis,
Thanks heaps for your responses.

Rich - responses to your questions:
Did you take the Entire CAT each time?
Yes took the entire CAT each time

Did you take the CAT at home?
Yes, took the test at home.
Did you do ANYTHING unrealistic (pause the CAT, listen to music, drink coffee while taking it, etc.)?
Nope, nothing unrealistic while taking the exam. Have been thinking differences between test day and practice days. On practice days I was a lot more relaxed because it was the home environment and I knew it was just practice. On the real test day, I was a bit stressed out in the morning.
As suggested, have been thinking a lot last few days to really pinpoint the issues:
I realize a few things now. I started off well with practicing the verbal section. Kept error logs too. But didn’t do enough justice to it. Didn’t spend enough time in revising my mistakes. I have to admit I did get bored while revising them. Same for quant as well.
Have started revising the verbal section again. Have joined the egmat verbal live prep course for that. I also have the Manhattan SC book. But isn’t it preferable to stick to one source?

Also, could you please guide me as to how do I pace my practice tests now? How much time should one spend typically revising between tests? Because, my scores didn't really improve with each successive practice test, I am guessing I didn't really revise my mistakes properly. Hence, I seek your advice.
I am giving myself 2 months to prepare.

Gmatprofparis: Thanks for your feedback.
1. Have gone through the timing differences on my practice day tests: timing (percentile ranking)
GMATPREP1 GMATPREP2 GMATPREP3 GMATPREP4 TEST DAY
CR 2.04 (32) 2.18 (41) 2.09 (21) 1.57 (33) 1.94 (48)
RC 1.41 (33) 1.42 (24) 2.12 (34) 1.49 (38) 2.05 (47)
SC 1.37 (26) 1.45 (32) 1.20 (34) 1.57 (34) 1.43 (28)

2. Thanks for your valuable feedback on the quant side. I have got the Manhattan strategy guides which I am going to use this time. I find word problems very difficult: especially the time/distance, work rate problems. (I can solve the easier ones, but if question is twisted, it takes more than 2 mins to solve the question).

3. I have time to study. My work contract got over and I am currently looking for jobs. I have given myself 8 weeks to study. Planning to take the test end of May. With respect to HEC Paris, I sent my candidate profile to them and they have told me to take the exam again. Their average score is 685. I really have to nail it this time.

I cannot really afford any more breaks from work. So looking for jobs simultaneously.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

thanks heaps

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
gmatprofparis Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
01 Apr 2015
Posted:
14 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
2
Post Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:32 pm
Hi Anklet,

I'm a GMAT tutor and MBA coach in Paris and I wanted to make a couple of points.

Firstly, I would do a very close comparison of your timing on the exam relative to any timing metrics you can gather from your studies. I think one of the largest issues in differing performances on the test day vs. practice tests is that test takers change their rates of answering questions. You have to necessarily identify if that took place, because, if it did in fact happen, unless you meet the challenge, your grade will constantly be lower than that which you're capable of achieving.

Secondly, I would highly recommend that you very carefully go over the Manhattan Sentence Correction guide, if you have it, since SC has proved such a difficult section for you. That won't resolve your issues in CR and RC, but those are usually more complex areas. As for quant, I noticed that you took an almost equal amount of time to answer DS and PS problems. That's usually a sign that the basic concepts are not fully memorized and fluidly understood. This might not be your case, but it is a red flag, because it usually takes a test taker 1.5 minutes on average to answer a DS question. Try to determine why and for which questions you're taking that additional time.

Finally, HEC is much more flexible than INSEAD in terms of acceptance, and, depending on your profile, you could get in with a score of 600. INSEAD is a wholly different matter. If you're looking to apply by the 22nd, you have a chance to study sufficiently within the given amount of time, but it will be a very tight process. I think a really central question right now is how much time do you have per day to study?

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Post Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:02 pm
Hi anklet,

Since your practice Verbal scores were considerably higher than your Official Verbal score, we have to take a good look at how you practiced and how you faced Test Day. One (or both) of those situations was "off" and we have to define whatever the *real* problem is (and fix it) before you retake the GMAT. While you might have just had a 'bad day' on Test Day, the likely explanation involves something that did (or didn't do) during your studies.

Taking two CATs in the days leading up to your Official GMAT was NOT a good idea. You likely 'burned out' a bit and were not at your beset on Test Day.

You also really have to think about the entirety of the Test Day 'event' when you practice. Test Day is specific, there are lots of details that you have to account for and you might not have accounted for them when you took your practice CATs. As an exercise, I want you to think about everything that goes into Test Day from the moment you go to bed the night before up until you end the Exam. Make a list of all of the activities/details (big or small), then think about how closely your practice CATs matched...

Did you take the Entire CAT each time?
Did you take the CAT at home?
Did you do ANYTHING unrealistic (pause the CAT, listen to music, drink coffee while taking it, etc.)? The details matter here. If you 'trained yourself' to take the CAT a certain way and that pattern didn't re-occur on Test Day, then your results could have suffered.
Etc.

Using your Official Score as a Baseline Score, you have to make some serious adjustments to how you handle the Verbal section if you want to score at the 700+ level. From what you've described, you're not facing the Verbal section with a consistent and effective set of tactics, so investing in some new practice materials and learning some new tactics will probably be required.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Thanked by: anklet

Best Conversation Starters

1 lheiannie07 116 topics
2 LUANDATO 68 topics
3 swerve 65 topics
4 ardz24 65 topics
5 Roland2rule 64 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

198 posts
2 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

181 posts
3 image description Jeff@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

168 posts
4 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

134 posts
5 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

119 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts