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Stuck- Goal: 600

This topic has 1 expert reply and 6 member replies
nsuen Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Stuck- Goal: 600

Post Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:07 pm
Dear all,

I am a bit stuck and would like to hear some experts' advice. I started my GMAT journey in Jan 2016 and have been about 7 months now.

First attempt Mar 2016 420 (Q:30 V:18)

Preparation:
- Kaplan tutor and Kaplan Premier 2016, verbal and math work book
- 1st CAT 530, 2 CAT 570 on Kaplan; 520 on gmat prep test.

After my first attempt, I discovered beat the gmat and received some advices here. I realized that I had a nervous breakdown during the first one and did not prep the exam in the right way.

Second Attempt July 2016 500 (Q:36 V:23)
Preparation:
- Mprep interactive 9 week course, OG 2016, Powersource for CR.
-Mprep CAT 3: 530 Q 37 V26, CAT 4:530 Q33 V31, CAT 5:590 Q37 V34, CAT 6:570 Q37 V31( All under exact GMAT circumstances in a library and my actual exam time)
- Gmat Prep 480 Q 35 V20
-Study around 2 hours per week day, 4-6 hours per weekend.
-Keep an error log
-Redo wrong questions to ensure I understand

Doing the CATs really help me with anxiety. This time I was not as nervous and I thought Quant was within my test result. However, with verbal, a 23 was below expecations. I realized that Mprep verbal may not be as accurate. RC is usually my strength but I found them very hard this time during the test. With SC and CR, they are so different from the ones in Mprep.

I am glad that I made a 80 points improvement, but my goal is 600. M prep helped but I think the verbal difference is big. My questions are:

1) With quant, seems like I am always in the 36-37 zone and cant break through it. How can I break through to get to 38-40?
2) As my goal is 600, I was thinking I should aim for 38-40 in quant and focus more on verbal this time around to get at least 34?
3) After all these studies, I am wondering what else should I try differently in order to improve? There must be something that I am missing here. I tried a tutor, self study, and I dont want to give up! What else can I try?

Hopefully, third time is the charm. Thank you

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OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:05 pm
You need to build the concepts/fundamentals before you jump in solving the problems. You can do so by choosing one of the following ways:

1. In person classes/private tutoring
2. Online classes
3. Self paced online preparatory course
4. Book heavy approach

You can invest in a new resource or get back to any old resources that you have. But you need to understand the concepts first before diving into problem solving this time. Most of the preparatory companies including ours offer a free trial of our course. You can take the trial and see if the course suits your needs.

In addition to the preparatory material, make sure you solve the Official Guides(both the Official Guide and the Verbal Review), Question Pack 1 and the 4 official mock CATs. They should be an indispensable part of your preparation. The GMAT prep Mock CATs are the ones which are closest to the real deal.

You need close to 3 months to prepare well for the GMAT.

1. Understand the concepts and fundamentals before jumping into problem solving
2. Solve full length CATs including AWA and IR. You can get two free GMAT Prep mock CATs and can purchase two more from mba.com
3. Make sure you solve the official questions from the Official Guide

Also, try to drill down deep in each of the question type:

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.
Quants: Try to identify the topics that trouble you - algebra, number system, geometry, probability etc. and then learn the concepts of those topics.

As an addition, start preparing an error log and keep a note of all the mistakes you made and the lessons you learnt from the problems. This will ensure you do not make the same mistake again.

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

diegocml Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
600
GMAT Score:
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Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:36 am
Hi nsuen,

It seems you and I have gone through the same journey and made the same mistakes during the course of our GMAT preparation.

I think Ankur highlighted all you need to do.

Quote:
You need close to 3 months to prepare well for the GMAT.

1. Understand the concepts and fundamentals before jumping into problem solving
2. Solve full length CATs including AWA and IR. You can get two free GMAT Prep mock CATs and can purchase two more from mba.com
3. Make sure you solve the official questions from the Official Guide
As for the timeline, that really depends from person to person. There're those who learn content faster...etc, the reasons go on and on.

So:

1. Master the GMAT content content (MGMAT Foundations of GMAT Math to kick it off or any other material from any GMAT prep company)
2. Practice with GMAT-like questions. Eg. Bellcurves is excellent for math, and FREE. TTP is superb.

_________________
Diego

1st GMAT attemp: 410 (Q18 V27)
2nd GMAT attemp: 490 (Q35 V23)

Thanked by: nsuen
nsuen Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:43 am
Dear Ankur,

Thank you for your reply. This may sound obvious but how do " understand the concepts first before diving into problem solving this time?" the problem is I thought I understand the concepts ( by watching videos and all the books from Mprep, wrote concepts on flashcard, and keep an error long) but clearly my result is showing that I am not understanding the concepts as well as I thought I do. Thanks!

Knitgeek Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:17 am
Hey nsuen,

Do you know where you are making mistakes in some of the quant topics you are having trouble with? I know for me I would have some theoretical understanding of a concept but when it came to the mechanics of solving the problems I would find on certain topics that I didn't have enough of a practical understanding to actually get to the right answer.

What I started doing was taking a couple of questions on the same topic that I'd answered incorrectly and really looked to see if there was a common place I was getting tripped up. That helped me figure out what topics I was having trouble with the underlying concept and which ones I was making careless mistakes with.

For verbal I too had some struggles out the gate with the RC and I'm usually really strong in that area. I was overconfident though. The GMAT RC and CR really require attention to detail and very logical thinking. Slowing down your practice for a bit and really reasoning through each question is the best advice I can give on that one. After a while you start to get a bit of a feel for the thinking that is required for the GMAT questions which for me anyway gave me a huge boost!

One final question, when you were going through the video lessons were you taking notes? Personally I can watch a video, understand what they are saying but if I'm taking notes on it the information sticks in my brain better. Writing can help encode information in to our memories better which makes the hand cramps worth it for me anyway.

Thanked by: nsuen
Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:41 am
Hi nsuen,

You've made some nice improvements on your own, but you'll likely find it a bit more challenging to pick up the next 100 points (relative to how you picked up the last 80 points). Thankfully, the GMAT is still the same consistent, predictable Test that you've already taken, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. Based on everything that you’ve described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Total Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in well under 2 months, so the time commitment wouldn't be that bad. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an Account.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Thanked by: nsuen
OptimusPrep Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:46 pm
nsuen wrote:
Dear Ankur,

Thank you for your reply. This may sound obvious but how do " understand the concepts first before diving into problem solving this time?" the problem is I thought I understand the concepts ( by watching videos and all the books from Mprep, wrote concepts on flashcard, and keep an error long) but clearly my result is showing that I am not understanding the concepts as well as I thought I do. Thanks!
The extent to which you understand the concepts can be determined by the percentage of questions you get correct on the practise exercises.
I would recommend you to go back again and go through the videos. Sometimes we feel that we have understood everything, but while solving questions, we do not apply any rules instead solve the questions by using our eyes and ears and mark whatever pleases them.

An error log is also a very important addition in your studies. It will ensure that you do not make the same mistakes again.

You can also opt for a tutor and can ask for a free hour of tutoring services with us.
In addition, we also give the 50 point score guarantee or full money back. if you wish to enrol for it, you can test out the course too.

_________________
Ankur
99th Percentile GMAT Tutor | Optimus Prep™

Optimus Prep™ GMAT Courses:
www.Optimus-Prep.com/GMAT

Free Online Trial Hour:
http://www.optimus-prep.com/request-free-online-trial-hour/

Free GMAT Study Plan:
http://www.optimus-prep.com/ebook/

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

Thanked by: nsuen
nsuen Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:51 am
Dear Ankur:

I tried one of the free online tutor on your website and will give some thoughts to it. Thank you. I think what you said about I dont apply rules but solve questions by using eyes and ears is a very solid point. I will definitely take your advices. Thank a lot.

Dear Knitgeek,

Thanks for your advice. Yes i looked into my M prep analytics and found that exponents, percent and solution problem always trouble me. I was taking some notes but not a lot. I will try this approach too

Dear Rich,
Thank you. I will take a look and message you directly if I have other questions.

Thank you guys for your advices, it is always nice to have people who understanding the frustration. I wont give up!

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