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Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • Magoosh Study with Magoosh GMAT prep Available with Beat the GMAT members only code ## GMAT Goal 650 This topic has 7 expert replies and 1 member reply pgburel Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Joined 12 Apr 2017 Posted: 2 messages #### GMAT Goal 650 Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:53 am Hello! My goal GMAT score is 650 and I don't expect to get a score higher than that. My question is should I be studying questions that are in a certain difficulty range? Should I avoid studying questions that are in the 700-800 range and only focus on those in the 600-700 range? Also, are there topics that I should not be studying at all such as combinatorics? Please let me know! Thanks. ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2667 messages Followed by: 120 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:09 am Quote: On another note, I don't have any problems solving most problems that are given to me if I had 3 minutes for every problem. My biggest problem, like many, is timing. The clock is stuck in my head; I can't go through a problem without asking myself how much time is left 4-5 times every question. I also have a tendency to let my self work on a quant problem for more than 2.5 minutes. I would say it's more of a discipline problem and not being able to say enough is enough and jump to the next question. Thoughts? Hm. Well, with a week and a half to go, there isn't time to do a major overhaul. Here's what I'd suggest: 1) Try implementing a new timing strategy on your next practice test. Don't obsess about the clock. Rather, work at a comfortable pace and accept that you're likely to fall behind. When you do, don't rush. Just make a commitment to guess on a handful of difficult questions that you know you'd struggle on. When you miss multiple questions that the algorithm deems difficult, you can still do very well. Everyone misses tough questions. When you miss questions that the algorithm deems "moderate" or "easy" you end up in a much bigger hole. So the goal is to improve your accuracy on easier questions. 2) Try mindfulness meditation for a week. The research about how quickly a practice can improve standardized testing scores is very promising: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/05/study-meditation-improves-memory-attention/275564/ _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:10 am
(And I'll echo Rich's sentiment. When you consider the expense and time commitment of an MBA, the quality of the program is much more important than when you enroll. Generally speaking, I'll always encourage applicants to wait a year rather than enroll in a program they're not thrilled with.)

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Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now! ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2667 messages Followed by: 120 members Upvotes: 1153 GMAT Score: 770 Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:41 pm pgburel wrote: Hello! My goal GMAT score is 650 and I don't expect to get a score higher than that. My question is should I be studying questions that are in a certain difficulty range? Should I avoid studying questions that are in the 700-800 range and only focus on those in the 600-700 range? Also, are there topics that I should not be studying at all such as combinatorics? Please let me know! Thanks. I would focus on developing a strong conceptual base in every category, then hitting regular practice tests. Allow the results of your practice tests to determine how you tweak your study plan. It's often difficult to assess what score range a question should fall under - what's easy for you, might not be for other test-takers. (And, for what it's worth, there's absolutely no reason to set an upper bound on what you're capable of scoring. The GMAT is testing skills that can be cultivated over time. Deciding beforehand that you won't be able to score higher than 'x' would be like learning to play the piano, and before your first lesson, deciding what your ultimate proficiency level will be. The more you practice, the better you become.) _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Bara GMAT Instructor
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Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:02 pm
One way to understand how to answer questions is to understand how the test dishes out questions. You're going to be given at first a medium level question in topic X. If you get that correct, you'll either get another medium or more difficult question in a different topic, or a more difficult question in Topic X. And so on.

You're on a mission, if you choose to accept it, is to identify where youre strenghts and weaknesses are, and create a study program accordingly.

Certain topics have higher yield, and are more pervasive, ie. arithemetic and algebra show up much more than statistics or combinations. So: you plan accordingly.

I also agree with my Veritas colleague though - - why limit your score to a 650. Aim to do your best, learn from your mistakes, improve your weaknesses.

Good luck!

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:00 pm
Hi pgburel,

To answer your immediate question though, since the GMAT is an adaptive Test, questions can be designed for any difficulty level - meaning that there really aren't specific subjects that are exclusive to a particular score range. For example, on Test Day you could see a real straight-forward combinatorics question that isn't all that difficult to answer (so you shouldn't 'skip' that subject during your studies).

I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:
1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?

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

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pgburel Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
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Posted:
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Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:41 pm
Thanks for all of the responses. Here's a little bit more about my situation...I started studying in October 2016 and took a Manhattan Prep 1-month online course and got pretty into it. Christmas rolled around and I took about a 2 month break and just picked back up an aggressive study routine at the end of February. From the 5 CATs that I have taken, I haven't been able to break the 600 barrier. In fact, my first CAT was the best and it was a 590. My first official test date is April 24 so I have about 1.5 weeks to figure it out. My original goal was to get a 700 but seeing as how I have made such little progress, I figured that 650 is a more attainable goal given my test date. My thought process is that since I haven't improved the way that I have anticipated, I will go for 650 and not even bother studying the 700-800 level questions that Manhattan Prep labels as "harder." I understand that I can take the test again but this test will be the only test I take before my first B-school application is due so it's essentially all-in for the next 1.5 weeks.

On another note, I don't have any problems solving most problems that are given to me if I had 3 minutes for every problem. My biggest problem, like many, is timing. The clock is stuck in my head; I can't go through a problem without asking myself how much time is left 4-5 times every question. I also have a tendency to let my self work on a quant problem for more than 2.5 minutes. I would say it's more of a discipline problem and not being able to say enough is enough and jump to the next question. Thoughts?

Also, thanks for the awesome responses!

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:54 am
Hi pgburel,

Right now, you're letting the upcoming application deadline dictate your decisions - and that's a potential problem. To start, you have to define what's more important: getting into your first choice Business School (whether that's this School or some other School) or rushing to send in an application with a GMAT score that might not be 'competitive.'

It's completely understandable that you *want* to apply right now, but the application process for most Business Schools is rather competitive, so you don't want to put yourself in a disadvantageous position by sending in an application that could be significantly stronger if you adjusted your timeline and put more work in.

From what you've described, you've been back in 'study mode' for a little over a month. However, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores. With your current Test Date, you'll have put in a little less than 2 months of that time. This is meant to say that you could potentially score much higher if you extended your studies a bit.

1) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
2) What are the application deadlines for each School (and what is the NEXT application deadline for this upcoming School after the upcoming one?)?

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

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Bara GMAT Instructor
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Posted:
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Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:18 am
A note about integrating mindfulness for a week:

You likely won't see significant improvements on your score or performance in a week. It's an effective practice to integrate into your day-to-day, and will will likely improve all aspects of your life, but you'll need a chunk of time to really bask in the exponential benefits.

Quicker improvements through mindful/holistic means, include hypnosis, NLP, EFT and EMDR, to name a few. These all show immediate benefits.

Best,

_________________
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Founder/CEO & GMAT Badass Test Prep New York/Test Prep San Francisco

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