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Two weeks left to go and practice test dropped significantly

This topic has 6 expert replies and 4 member replies
pkaynj Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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21 Feb 2017
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Two weeks left to go and practice test dropped significantly

Post Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:21 am
I scored a 590 on my Veritas exam last week.
I was ecstatic. This is coming from someone who's only been able to score a 480 on the real exam this past June.
I received a 38 Q / 33 V.

However, yesterday, I scored a total of 510.
Admittedly, I did it at home rather than at the library so my mind may not have been in the best spot.
But an 80 point difference?
I did try to spend less time at the beginning of quant because I tended to rush a little towards the end even though I get 50% extra time.

Also for verbal, for sentence correction/critical reasoning, I actually thought I was doing a lot better than last week.

Did I mess up with my practice test this week because of the different location and mindset going into it?
What are some things I can work on during this week to get back to where I was?

My goal is to get a 600 as the school I'm going to only needs around 580.

Thanks!!!

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pkaynj Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:20 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi pkaynj,

At this point, it's not clear what your current 'ability level' actually is - if it's around a 500, then you will likely need another 2 months (or more) of consistent, guided study before you'll hit your goal score. However, if the 590 is accurate - and you just had a bit of a 'bad day' on your last CAT - then you could conceivably hit your Goal Score on your currently scheduled Test Date. Thus, it's important that you take one of the Official CATs next - AND take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). If that score result is closer to a 500, then you should consider pushing back your Test Date.

From what you describe, it's not clear what type of 'deadline' you're on. Are you planning to reapply sometime soon or will you have to wait for another year?

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

Much appreciated with your response. I will be taking a full CAT this weekend from the official GMAT prep software. Hoping that I can push closer to the 590 as this will be my third retake.

At this point with my school I only need to send in my unofficial score as soon as my retake is over for them to consider me for the spring semester of 2018. If I don't get in again, I can than retake and do the same process again.

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:42 pm
Hi pkaynj,

Now that you've clarified your timeline, we know that you have some options. That having been said, that next CAT Score will really help to define what you'll need to work on next (and the additional time that you will likely need to commit to your studies). Once you have that score result, you should post back here and we can discuss the results.

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:30 am
Hi pkaynj,

Assuming that you took this CAT in a realistic fashion, then you're absolutely in position to hit your Score Goal in a week. As you review this CAT, you should take a good look at the questions that you got wrong and try to define WHY you got them wrong. How many of those questions were "gettable"? You don't have to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird to hit your Goal Score, but you do have to do the proper work 'on the pad' (NOT 'in your head') to avoid the little mistakes and pick up those missing points.

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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pkaynj Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
21 Feb 2017
Posted:
20 messages
Post Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:08 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi pkaynj,

Now that you've clarified your timeline, we know that you have some options. That having been said, that next CAT Score will really help to define what you'll need to work on next (and the additional time that you will likely need to commit to your studies). Once you have that score result, you should post back here and we can discuss the results.

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

Hi Rich,

Just finished taking an official GMATPrep CAT.
I got a total score of 590 - 37Q and 34V.

This is very similar to the best CAT I've taken through Veritas with a total score of 590 - 38Q and 33V.

I would much like to aim for 600 and with only one week away from my test date, how achievable would this be?
I plan on studying tomorrow for a majority of the day focusing on quant as I feel I am pretty comfortable with verbal--I think sentence correction is where I would most focus on as I believe I will make the most improvement there.

Thank you!

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:40 pm
Hi pkaynj,

At this point, it's not clear what your current 'ability level' actually is - if it's around a 500, then you will likely need another 2 months (or more) of consistent, guided study before you'll hit your goal score. However, if the 590 is accurate - and you just had a bit of a 'bad day' on your last CAT - then you could conceivably hit your Goal Score on your currently scheduled Test Date. Thus, it's important that you take one of the Official CATs next - AND take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). If that score result is closer to a 500, then you should consider pushing back your Test Date.

From what you describe, it's not clear what type of 'deadline' you're on. Are you planning to reapply sometime soon or will you have to wait for another year?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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pkaynj Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
21 Feb 2017
Posted:
20 messages
Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:12 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi pkaynj,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. I bring this up because your highest score so far has been on a Veritas CAT - while the rest of your scores appear to be 'clustered' around a 500 score. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC (the 2 free CATs, and each of the 2 that come with Exam Pack 1 and Exam Pack 2), so have you taken any of those Official CATs yet. If you have not (or it's been awhile since you've taken one, then it would be useful to know how you performed on one of those Official CATS. Once you have that score result, you should post back here and we can talk through what all of this data means.

1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

It's been a while since I took the original GMAT practice test. I did one months ago in the summer and received a 480. I. I'm planning on taking the test on Dec 2 in two weeks. I've already applied to business school and wasn't accepted but they have my application on hand for a full year before I have to reapply. I've started my GMAT journey in September of this year again and this past month and a half I've been putting in at least 15 to 20 hours a week of studying and/or taking Veritas CAT exams.

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:03 pm
Hi pkaynj,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. I bring this up because your highest score so far has been on a Veritas CAT - while the rest of your scores appear to be 'clustered' around a 500 score. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC (the 2 free CATs, and each of the 2 that come with Exam Pack 1 and Exam Pack 2), so have you taken any of those Official CATs yet. If you have not (or it's been awhile since you've taken one, then it would be useful to know how you performed on one of those Official CATS. Once you have that score result, you should post back here and we can talk through what all of this data means.

1) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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pkaynj Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
21 Feb 2017
Posted:
20 messages
Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:15 am
ceilidh.erickson wrote:
You only mention 2 practice exams. That's not enough to develop a sense of the test and to perfect your timing strategies & decision-making.

It's not at all uncommon for students to see a drop on CAT 2 & 3 - they've learned more concepts, but haven't practiced when to apply them, and tend to over-think things. For a lot of students, the score doesn't really pick up until tests 4 or 5.

So keep at it, and focus on REVIEW - what mistakes were you making, and why? Keep a Review Log / Error Log to track your mistakes: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/

Here is some more info about what to do when you see a score drop:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2014/04/09/my-score-dropped-figuring-out-what-went-wrong-2/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/10/26/why-isnt-my-gmat-score-going-up/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/03/02/what-if-you-just-cant-seem-to-hit-your-gmat-goal-score/

Good luck!
I think you are right - I was trying to focus on improving my timing on quant so it seems as though I moved on from the question sooner than I should have. I've actually taken a total of 5 CATs so far.

480 29 Q / 28 V - Oct 15
510 34 Q / 26 V - Oct 21
590 38 Q / 33 V - Nov 4
510 34 Q / 27 V - Nov 18

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Post Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:47 am
You only mention 2 practice exams. That's not enough to develop a sense of the test and to perfect your timing strategies & decision-making.

It's not at all uncommon for students to see a drop on CAT 2 & 3 - they've learned more concepts, but haven't practiced when to apply them, and tend to over-think things. For a lot of students, the score doesn't really pick up until tests 4 or 5.

So keep at it, and focus on REVIEW - what mistakes were you making, and why? Keep a Review Log / Error Log to track your mistakes: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2013/01/18/the-worst-mistake-you-can-make-in-gmat-studying/

Here is some more info about what to do when you see a score drop:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2014/04/09/my-score-dropped-figuring-out-what-went-wrong-2/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/10/26/why-isnt-my-gmat-score-going-up/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2017/03/02/what-if-you-just-cant-seem-to-hit-your-gmat-goal-score/

Good luck!

_________________


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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Post Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:16 am
Hi pkaynj,

Points can be won and lost rather easily on Test Day (and on your CATs), thus you really have to think about all of the variables involved so that you can put yourself in the best position to score at a high level. For example, the time of day that you take your Test, the location, the amount of sleep you got the night before, etc. can all impact your performance in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Beyond those 'external' issues, you should also do a full review of every CAT that you take - with the goal of defining WHY you got questions wrong.

While a full Mistake Tracker/CAT Analyzer/Error Log would be more detailed, you should be able to answer some basic questions about your performance. For example, with this CAT, after reviewing each section, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?

Once you know why you're getting questions wrong, you can take the appropriate steps to 'fix' the issues involved.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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