Failed the GMAT 3 scores of 600 - Aiming now 750

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Hi guys. So I am back again.

My story is about so average. Given GMAT 3 times and scored highest 600 (twice).

Appeared in few B Schools interviews and around 10 of them ave me admissions (all from UK bar Thunderbird), the list includes Manchester and Cass. Henley offered 100% scholarship but very late and visa problems occurred. However, as bank after bank rejected education loans, I could not go for MBA.

I reviewed my MBA plans and deferred them for two years. However, that may be late and I risk rejection as my work ex may be 12 years by then, far more than average experience B Schools seek.

So why am I here? I reviewed my applications and found that low GMAT score was main culprit in fetching higher scholarship. Thus the jealous, hurt and revengeful self of mine decided to concur GMAT. So no plans as of now for anything accept GMAT and if I win....well who knows.

Now, the test. Why 600? Asked this question on many sleepless nights to myself and the answer is quants. Yes sir, I am one of those chosen fews who fear quanta more than CR. Dont believe me? I have done nothing to prove anybody wrong. Though at 32-36 my Verbal is poor, at 32-36,quants are PATHETIC. Question is, if I can't score in GMAT to save my life, I am certainly am not worthy to run a company.one more problem was, I was reading TOO MUCH about B schools and essays etc at that time and focus was not entirely on GMAT, the little pal of mine.

So I will score in GMAT and will study and practice very hard for that this one last time. Only GMAT, no farther plans.

So please help me with useful suggestions. All are welcome.

And this whole experience has tought me one thing.Don't deride or ridicule GMAT. Its your friend and ticket to good scholarships at better schools. You gotta love it.I, for one, now love GMAT.
Last edited by gautamkumar on Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:18 pm
Hi gautamkumar,

Your GMAT scores show that you were able to perform at a slightly above-average level doing things "your way." However you approached the GMAT in the past was clearly not enough to help you score at a higher level, so you have to be ready to adapt. This means that you'll likely need to invest in some new GMAT materials and learn new ways to deal with this Test.

Since your goal is a 750 now, you should know that it takes a great deal of skill to score at that level. It's roughly the 99th percentile, which means that 99 percent of Test Takers CAN'T or WON'T do what it takes to get to that level. As such, you're going to need to invest some serious time and effort into this process. We ultimately need to teach you some new concepts and then you have to have enough time to practice them while eliminating all of the "bad habits" that you've acquired when you studied previously.

I'd like to know a bit more about how you've studied so far and your plans:

1) What were your Official GMAT scores (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
2) What materials did you use to study?
3) How much time did you spend studying before you took each of your GMATs?
4) How much time have you set aside to study?
5) When are you planning to apply to school?

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Last edited by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com on Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by gautamkumar » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:55 am
Thanks Rich for the remarks. The answers to your queries are given below-
1) What were your Official GMAT scores (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

Test Date Verbal Quantitative Total AWA IR
25 January 2013 38/84% 35/35% 600/62% 4.5 / 43% 5 / 52%
26 August 2012 31/60% 41/52% 600/62% 4.5 / 43% 4 / 37%
16 July 2012 34/70% 36/38% 580/55% 5.0 / 60% 4 / 37%

2) What materials did you use to study?- Frankly the materiel I used was provided by a very good Indian GMAT training house. They provided me with OG12, PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible. I also used material by Kaplan, But mostly the materiel provided by them. I am dithcing all their material now and will study only Manattan and Kaplan. Only for MAT

3) How much time did you spend studying before you took each of your GMATs? - For first test I studied 2 months 2 ours and then 2 months 12 hours daily ( was on sick leave ten). For second almost 2 hours daily and for third, 3 hours daily.

4) How much time have you set aside to study? - I plan to retake the test somewhere in June now. I will be able to prepare not more than 2 hours daily as my work schedule is 13 hours. I am a banker in India, our day starts at 7.30 and ends at 21.00. On weekends I can give 11 hours. No Saturday holiday for me. Will keep travelling time in local trains (2 hours) for revision.

5) When are you planning to apply to school?- Now now, this is one question I do not want to ask myself. If the score is 750, I will apply next day. My target is UK, India and Singapore. May be BYU and TA&MU. (I know, please don't laugh, on my day with a score of 750 and some help, I am a good candidate for likes of Booth, LBS and INSEAD; but cant afford the fees and need be realistic.

At the cost of repeating from a very old post of mine, I would submit my a short analysis. My quants score is on 38-52 percentile, which is pass mark in normal exams (yuck). However, in my practice tests also, my quants score always dwindled between 34 to 44. The high score in practice tests ( it was only once below 700) was largely due to a good show in verbal. But Verbal in actual test is flabbergasting for me as I scored a 38 in my first practice test and after some time, it never came below 42 in any test I took, many times going 49.

I shall need an overall improvement everywhere as per the error log on OG 12 edition used by me and attached here
Attachments
og12-gmat-error-log 27072012.xlsx
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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:14 pm
Hi gautamkumar,

There are clearly some inconsistencies between your practice work and your Official GMAT scores. With such a significant change in Scaled Scores (for the Quant and Verbal sections), I have to assume that several aspects of how you studied did not "match up" with how you were expected to perform on Test Day.

I have a few additional questions about your practice CATs:
1) What "brand" of CATs were they?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT every time, including the Essay and IR sections?
3) Did you ever take a CAT again (a second or third time)?
4) Did you ever do anything "unrealistic" during a CAT (skip sections, pause the Test, listen to music while taking it, etc.)?

You mentioned that you were going to ditch the prior practice material that you used - I think THAT is a good idea. In that same way, you're going to have to be mentally prepared to learn some new tactics and commit to mastering them. To score 750, you're going to have to improve in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections (even though you're scoring at a fairly high level already in the Verbal).

The good news is that a potential June Test Date gives you over 6 months of potential study time, which might be more than you actually need. We'll be able to better define that timeline once you've gotten in some practice and taken a couple of practice CATs.

With your work schedule, I think that you would benefit greatly by enrolling in an online Self-Study Course - in that way, you'll have consistent, professional guidance and you'll be able to study as your schedule allows. There are several to choose from. Most GMAT companies offer free resources of some type (practice problems, Trial Accounts, etc.) so that you can test out a product before you buy it. I suggest that you try them all out, then pick the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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by gautamkumar » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:00 pm
Te course in question was from Jamboree Education (very popular in India, many people score 710-750 with them and I have seen one 790 as well). It might not be suiting me and so I have decided to ditch it.

1) What "brand" of CATs were they?- CATs I used were of GMATprep, Jamboree, Princeton, 800 score and GMATTER.
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT every time, including the Essay and IR sections? - these I took 6 times before first exam, 2 GMATprep and 4 Jamboree.

3) Did you ever take a CAT again (a second or third time)? - Again I used GMATprep and Jamboree tests. Score for one 2 GMATprep came down to 630. however, the same may be due to fact, it was taken very next week of first real test.

4) Did you ever do anything "unrealistic" during a CAT (skip sections, pause the Test, listen to music while taking it, etc.)? - Never

I believe since poor score is individually mine, the fault primarily lies with me. As someone pointed out deficits appear to be in almost all sections, so I shouldn't focus on any one in particular. Mistakes done in my real test-
(i) Appeared without taking sufficient practice tests with actual pattern i.e. with AWA and IR.
(ii) Time management could have been better.
(iii) Didn't practice sufficient data sufficiency questions, solving DS makes concepts clear about tools in hand to solve the questions correctly.
(iv) The weak start in quants. Strong start of the test is very very important. It can literally make or break the test. If the questions from permutations, probability, co ordinate geometry do not appear early in quants section and boldface or verb tense do not do not appear early in verbal section, test is going in wrong direction. One needs to improvise early.
(v) Stamina was less and by the end of verbal section, fatigue took over the senses.
(vi) Should have taken proper rest before the test. Also, should not have appeared in morning considering I am not a morning person.


I have identified these resources available to me for my reference-

Manhattan GMAT books- 5th edition
Veritas Prep GMAT Lesson Books
Manhattan GMAT online 9 session course Videos
Veritas Prep GMAT videos
The Official Guide to the GMAT (13th ed.)
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review/Verbal Review
NOVA -GMAT Data Sufficiency Prep Course
free-GMAT-flashcards
Logical Reasoning Bible (will keep this, looks valuable)

Tests-

The GMATPrep Practice Test is only available to me. Overnight thinking says I will take Manhattan test and Veritasprep tests.

your suggestions are so heart-warming and encouraging. Taking free material IS a good Idea. I will use them all. In fact thinking to start with a GMATPrep Practice Test to peg the starting point. But seems there is no one particular root cause of the problem, I perhaps need to start putting some hours first.

PS - cant decide between which to follow, Manhattan or Veritasprep books and videos?

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by gautamkumar » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:49 am
So I have taken GMATPrep today as a diagnostic exam.I took the full CAT with AWA and IR section, at my home with full simulations of standard conditions. I tok the breaks as well. I did not, deliberately, studied or tried to refresh any concept before taking the test so that I could know where do I stand.

The scores are 640. IR-2 (12 percentile), Quants 40 (14 incorrect, 52 percentile) and verbal 38 (11 incorrect, 84 percentile).

Further self observations from analysis-
(i) Of 14 incorrect in quants 7 are silly mistakes and 9 are from data sufficiency.
(ii) Of 11 incorrect in verbal, 6 are from sentence correction, 2 are from RC and 3 from LR.
(iii) Did first 6 questions correctly in quants and then 4 consecutive incorrect. Pattern was repeated later.
(iv) Quants section finished 5 minutes early. Could sense that very easy questions are coming and test is going in wrong direction.
(v) Did first question wrong in verbal and then not until 15th. Last three questions in verbal were needed to be rushed, two SC and one LR, all wrong.

Hope to receive some guidelines from experts. I shall start the preparation once I plan what to do. But I can say, after 19 months of last study this score was not so bad. Quants and Data Sufficiency are emerging at clear problem.

Thanks and Regards

Gautam

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by Brent@GMATPrepNow » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:07 am
Hi Gautam,

You've done a great job analyzing your weaknesses.

If your goal is 750 (better than 98% of all test-takers), you must master every aspect of the test. To this end, I suggest a systematic (even methodical) approach, in which you take the time to master each topic/concept (e.g., percents, ratios, assumption questions in critical reasoning, comparison questions in sentence correction, etc).

So, for each topic/concept, you should:
1) Learn the underlying concepts (rules, attributes, notation, etc.)
2) Learn GMAT-specific strategies related to that topic
3) Practice dozens of questions all related to that one topic.
4) Don't stop working on that topic until you have mastered it
Then, and only then, move on to the next topic.

To help you focus on one topic at a time, you can use BTG's tagging feature. For example, here are all of the questions tagged as statistics questions: https://www.beatthegmat.com/forums/tags/ ... statistics
See the left side of that linked page for more tag options.

I also suggest that you spend a lot of time reviewing the responses from the Experts on this site, since they often model the steps you should be taking when answering questions.

Finally, in addition to learning the core concepts and GMAT-specific strategies, be sure to work on your test-taking skills (time management, endurance, etc.). If you're interested, we have a free GMAT time management video at https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gener ... es?id=1244
Quants and Data Sufficiency are emerging at clear problem.
If you're looking for some extra DS resources, we have a free set of videos that cover everything you need to know: https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gmat-data-sufficiency

Cheers,
Brent
Brent Hanneson - Creator of GMATPrepNow.com
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by gautamkumar » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:17 am
Thanks Brent for the valuable advise. These really mean something to me. I checked the DS videos and they look like short sharp and crisp. Thanks. I am planning to read the expert opinions before moving to study. I have spent two years in wilderness, I few days delay shall be of no harm. Mastering a topic remains a conundrum to me as I am yet to decide which books/videos to follow. Right now I am thinking of making a foundation work for at least one month and plan to use Manhattan foundation books for that. But once I finish with them, shall I go with Veritas books or Manhattan books. I perhaps may need a personal coach as well.

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:14 pm
Hi Gautam,

A 640 practice CAT score is quite good, considering how long it's been since you last took the GMAT. A Verbal 38 is also really strong. Your original assessment is correct - the bulk of the work that you need to do will be based in the Quant section. With a Quant 40, you likely understand most of the "math" well enough, but your mechanics (how you're going about doing the work) and your tactics (alternatives to just doing "math") are what you're missing.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought that you would need to enroll in a Self-Study Course of some kind and I still think that's the case. New books are not likely to break you out of your bad habits.

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by gautamkumar » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:10 pm
Hi rich

Do you think I shall join any course after making some foundation work or shall I join a course straightaway and let the instructor unfold the mystery for me. One thing, I have also noticed that I am not able to think mathematically IN ENGLISH as I have been a native speaker and learned English only after school. All my school education was in Hindi and I continued to work on math in same language. verbal is not a problem in same vein as I made a reasonable progress once started learning English.

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by manyaabroadtpr » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:40 am
gautamkumar wrote:Hi rich

Do you think I shall join any course after making some foundation work or shall I join a course straightaway and let the instructor unfold the mystery for me. One thing, I have also noticed that I am not able to think mathematically IN ENGLISH as I have been a native speaker and learned English only after school. All my school education was in Hindi and I continued to work on math in same language. verbal is not a problem in same vein as I made a reasonable progress once started learning English.
Hi Gautam,

If you have decided to join a coaching institute, then there is no right or wrong time to do it. We would suggest you to do so at the earliest and not lose out on any time to prepare well. However, while you do that you also need to choose an institute wisely.
To begin with, you can visit all gmat coaching institutes near your home and appear for a mock test with them. Sit with their expert counselors to figure out which institute would suit you best.
For your second question, the fact that verbal is not a problem with you, with sufficient time and good practice under some expert guidance will also help you to improve the issue you are facing in mathematics.
And lastly, please do not refer to your past GMAT attempts as a failure. Each experience whether good or bad is an experience. What matters is what you learn from it, how strongly you can recover from it and how quickly you move on.
With a score of 750, you are certainly aiming high and we are glad to see that. With proper coaching and smart study plan, we are hopeful you will be able to achieve the same.
In case you have any queries for gmat coaching, please do let us know and we would be happy to help.
Wish you the best.

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