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GMAT 640 then 590, stuck!

This topic has 1 expert reply and 3 member replies
user640 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
08 Apr 2016
Posted:
2 messages

GMAT 640 then 590, stuck!

Mon May 23, 2016 4:45 am
hello,
So this is my story, I gave my GMAT the first time a couple of months ago, I couldn't keep up with my prep plan, since I work full time, in fact during the last few days before my test day I gave up studying and to take the attempt to familiarize myself with the difficulty level, environment etc. I wouldn't say I had not prepared but it was not a build up that you would usually get to hear from people going for GMAT. Anyway, so the first casual attempt got 640; Q=41 (48 perc) and V=36 (80 perc) with 9 in analytical essay and a shameful 0 in integrated reasoning (neither did I practice IR nor did I care much about it during the exam). I wanted to apply to Ivy league universities or at least top 20 in the world and that would clearly require me to score something around 700 (and a little more than 0 in IR).

So I had my second attempt today, I worked harder this time around I was more consistent, covered more material and took two practice tests(with scores of 590 and 560 in sequence) as compared to 0 practice test before first attempt. And lo and behold! I scored 590! I cancelled my score because it was farther from what I wanted. As far as I can remember, I scored v=31 (71 perc)and Q=38 (40 perc), the only positive was I had 7 in IR which was 81 percentile.

What would you guys suggest I do now? I tried harder, fell harder. I cant just go ahead with 640 and a zero in IR and expect to get an admission. Even if I did not have 0 in IR, 640 wouldn't have been enough because I would have 3 years of experience by August, a gold medal in my BS(computer sciences) with a not so fancy cgpa of 3.4 . And if it matters I am from Pakistan.

Regards

Top Member

Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Tue May 24, 2016 7:46 pm
Hi user640.

From what you said, it sounds as if what you "learned" was not worth learning.

From what I have seen, many GMAT strategies and other things that people learn during GMAT preparation seem to be actually geared toward helping people score in the low 600's, and if you want to score in the 700's you have to take a different attitude toward the test and how to prepare for it.

As a matter of fact, just today someone working with me sent me an email to tell me about how he had been working on a high level question and didn't get the answer until, after about an hour, he ditched the "strategy" he had learned for answering such questions, and hacked his way to the answer.

So what you really need to do going forward is to learn to consistently get RIGHT answers to GMAT type questions. When you can get 85%+ of quant practice questions right and 85%+ of verbal practice questions right, you will be ready to get the type of score you are aiming for.

Maybe you could tell us a little more about how you prepared so that we can more easily tell you what you have to adjust in order to hit your score goal.

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
https://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

user640 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
08 Apr 2016
Posted:
2 messages
Tue May 24, 2016 11:20 pm
Hello Marty,
Thank you very much for the response.

For my first attempt I studied for 2 months taking classes.by the end of my classes,unfortunately, a personal tragedy struck and I lost my focus.so by the time I recovered it was good 3 months after my last class. Although I did study on and off but nothing considerably consistent.hence I gave my first attempt to test the waters.Also,I took no practice tests before this so this was supposed to be my practice test.

Before my second attempt I studied for around 15 days. 1 hour daily with more focus on quant. I mainly did sentence correction in verbal.and took two prep tests through gmat official software.

I used Manhattan prep guidebooks for lessons and questions.I used official GMAT guide for practice questions.

Regards

GMAT/MBA Expert

Joined
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Wed May 25, 2016 2:53 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Sorry to hear that it did not go as expected. You may consider using test prep services who could help with some tips on test-taking strategies. This could save you time and effort, while boosting your chance to do well on the GMAT, and admissions/scholarships at your target schools.

Wish you all the best!

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Top Member

Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Posted:
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GMAT Score:
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Thu May 26, 2016 4:22 am
user640 wrote:
For my first attempt I studied for 2 months taking classes.by the end of my classes,unfortunately, a personal tragedy struck and I lost my focus.so by the time I recovered it was good 3 months after my last class. Although I did study on and off but nothing considerably consistent.hence I gave my first attempt to test the waters.Also,I took no practice tests before this so this was supposed to be my practice test.

Before my second attempt I studied for around 15 days. 1 hour daily with more focus on quant. I mainly did sentence correction in verbal.and took two prep tests through gmat official software.

I used Manhattan prep guidebooks for lessons and questions.I used official GMAT guide for practice questions.
OK, you are not "stuck" really. You just got away from the test for a while and then for a couple of weeks did some review that wasn't sufficient for getting to your target score.

One thing that jumps out at me is your use of the word "studying". Often people who use that word kind of have the impression that they have to study for this test as they might for a math test or maybe even a history test, and that if they just learn certain things and how to use certain strategies, they will hit their score goals. That type of work tends to get a person to pretty much what you have gotten, a score in the upper 500's to low mid 600's.

From what you have done to date, you are familiar with the GMAT and have some idea of how to handle the questions. Now you have to take what you are doing to another level.

First you have to go over those practice tests and see what gave you trouble, basically figuring out what you would have had to be better at in order to score in the 700's rather than the 500's. Then you have to address what you find one topic at a time. You can be sure that if you go from not really being all that good at handling rate questions, overlapping sets questions and coordinate geometry questions, for instance, to being super expert at handling those types of questions, you won't be stuck any more. Your score will increase both because you will get more right answers to those types of questions and because, since you handle questions of those types faster, you will have more time to do other types of questions.

Also, you may have heard that you should time yourself when doing practice questions. For the most part, actually, when you are doing practice questions you should take as much time you need in order to get RIGHT answer, for, rather than studying, the task at hand when one is training for the GMAT is to become extremely good at getting to right answers. The best way to learn to do that is by taking a whatever it takes attitude toward getting right answers, even if in the beginning that means taking half an hour OR MORE to answer some of the questions.

I have seen people become "unstuck" just from going to doing practice questions timed to doing them untimed, because in doing them untimed they have given themselves the opportunity to learn how to really handle them.

To sum up, to get your score to increase you need to address one by one the things that you have to be better at in order to score higher. If you are GREAT at handling all kinds of GMAT questions, you will score high.

For thousands of categorized quant questions, you could set up a free practice account here. http://bellcurves.com

Once source of more verbal questions is the Veritas Question Bank here. https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat-question-bank/

You have your work cut out for you. To get from 590 to 740, you basically have to get very roughly around fifteen more right answers. So in a sense you have to get better at fifteen things, such as being accurate in general, hacking quant questions, handling ten quant question types and handling all three verbal question types.

You might get some more ideas by reading about how I prepared. Notice how many practice questions I used. Some of them I answered in two minutes or less, and some I left partly done one night and continued to work on the next day.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2015/05/24/gmat-geniuses-real-life-success-strategies-qa-with-marty-murray

Have at it and enjoy the game!!!

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
https://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

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