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Going from 680 to 740

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply
jaiyeolab Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
19 Jul 2015
Posted:
32 messages

Going from 680 to 740

Sun May 28, 2017 8:55 am
Dear Friends,

I have been working on the GMAT since April 26th. As of today, I have 34 days until my registered test date.

I just finished taking my 3rd CAT and I feel very nausceated as I am still unable to cross the 700 mark. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can focus and get my score goal and whether or not I need to push my test date back a couple weeks to give me extra time? Current test date is July 5th. Below is a break down of my scores so far:

CAT3 (GMAC 2) -- taken May 28th
Verbal: 37, 81 percentile
Quant: 46, 71 percentile
Total: 680, 84 percentile

CAT2 (Manhattan GMAT) -- taken May 9th 2017, 8am
Verbal: 37, 83 percentile
Quant: 45, 59 percentile
Total: 680, 84 percentile

CAT 1 (GMAC 1) -- taken April 26th 2017, 6am
Verbal: 35, 74 percentile
Quant: 44, 63 percentile
Total: 650, 78 percentile

As you will notice, there hasn't been any significant progress. I'd love your feedback on how I can improve, as right now my confidence is at a low.

Thanks guys

GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
Joined
23 Jun 2013
Posted:
9309 messages
Followed by:
478 members
2867
GMAT Score:
800
Mon May 29, 2017 10:46 am
Hi jaiyeolab,

I responded to your email on these issues.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

jaiyeolab Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
19 Jul 2015
Posted:
32 messages
Sun May 28, 2017 2:29 pm
Hi Rich,

Thanks a lot for the feedback. I have just finished analyzing my previous CAT and i'm pretty surprised by what I found in the Quant and Verbal (I likely would have missed the nuances if I didn't analyze immediately after the exam, while I could still remember the processes and thinking I employed when answering each question). I'd love to hear your thoughts specifically about Sentence Correction and the Quant. Lots of silly mistakes in the Math and almost definitely a pacing issue in the verbal. I'm however unsure about whether I have a pacing issue in Quant or if I just need to calm down. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sentence Correction (5 wrong)
Going into the exam I was confident of my grasp of the 8 sentence correction error types. I was confident of scoring close to perfect in SC. After reviewing the questions I missed, it seems to me like I have a fundamentally flawed understanding of how to answer questions that seem to me to be testing idioms or specific rules such as "like" vs "such as".

Question: Just like the background in art history needed by an archaeologist in order to evaluate finds of ancient art, the nautical archaeologist needs specialized knowledge of the history and theory of ship design in order to understand shipwrecks.
Selected Answer (why): Just as an archaeologist who needs a background in art history to evaluate finds of ancient art, a. (it was between this and the right option. The right option seemed wrong to me because of the "so a". I was expecting something like "Just as a....so does b". The "so a" seemed like it was a right sounding option put there to trick those who didn't notice that it said "so a" and not "so does a")
Correct Answer: Just as an archaeologist needs a background in art history to evaluate finds of ancient art, so a

Question: Not only did the systematic clearing of forests in the US create farmland (especially in the Northeast) and gave consumers relatively inexpensive houses and furniture, but it also caused erosion and very quickly deforested whole regions.
Selected Answer (why): I selected A. One of my big focusses was to find an option that used "not only..but also" and of the options with this format, A seemed the right option. Turns out the question was not testing "not only..but also".. It seems like you can use "but also" in a question, without having "not only" before it. My problem is that when I see an idiom or identify it, I think it is what is being tested. I was almost always right when evaluating these scenarios in my practice.
Correct Answer:The systematic clearing of forests in the US created farmland an gave consumers relatively inexpensive houses and furniture, but it also

Question: The success of the program to eliminate smallpox has stimulated experts to pursue what they had not previously considered possible - better control, if not eradication, of the other infections such as measles and yaws.
Selected Answer (why): Something not considered a previous possibility -- better control and perhaps eradication, of other infections such as (I selected this because I believed the correct answer would use "such as" correctly. I thought this was testing "such as" vs "like". It appears using "such as" like in the way used below is acceptable. How can I tell when there is flexibility in the way some of the rules are used?)
Correct Answer: Something they had not previously considered possible - better control, if not eradication, of such infections as

Question: The ability of scientists to provide models of the atmosphere's complex responses to changing conditions, like seasonal and daily cycles of different planetary conjunctions, have become ever more accurate.
Selected Answer (why): The ability of scientists has become ever more accurate in providing models of the atmospheres complex responses to changing conditions, such as seasonal and daily cycles of different planetary conjunctions. (Again, I thought this was a such as question, and you can only use such as as used in the selected answer, not as used in the actual correct answer).
Correct Answer:Scientists have become able to provide ever more accurate models of the atmospheres complex responses to such changing conditions as seasonal and daily cycles or different planetary conjunctions.

Reading Comprehension (2 wrong): My problem here is that I allowed RC to be a time suck. I need to learn to immediately focus in and read very carefully from the get-go, so I don't have to re-read.

Critical Reasoning (6 wrong): I had to rush on a few of these questions because I had lost time in RC. I got questions wrong that I would typically get right.

Verbal Summary
Pacing issues: Learn to read in a more efficient manner, so that I gain understanding the first time and do not have to re-read the passage. I also need to be sure to immediately let a question go if I find myself spending too much time on it.
Sentence Correction Issues: What are your thoughts about the specific questions I have documented above for SC? How would you advise I react when I think the question is testing a particular rule but I can't find an answer that satisfies that rule, as well as other rules that seem to be tested?

Quant (15 wrong)
After sailing through the first 3 questions, I got to the 4th and couldn't figure out how to solve it. It was a statistical question, so I was upset because I usually nail these. After about 150seconds I gave up and moved to the next question. I ended up getting question 5 and 6 wrong also. I think I got 5 wrong because I was still upset about number 4. Number 5 was an easy question that took me 20 seconds to solve after the exam.

After analyzing the remaining questions, there were 7 more that I should never have gotten wrong. I have practiced similar questions multiple times but it appears that I made stupid mistakes in at-least 3, and rushed through 4 because time seemed to be closing in on me. I missed some of these questions because I didn't get everything down on the pad when I solved and moved through them quickly to make sure I didn't run out of time. I'm still a bit unsure about how to fix my pacing issues because I did completely triage atleast 3 questions or if I even have a pacing problem at all in the quant. It seems like once I hit question 24 or so, I started getting very conscious of the clock even though I still had about 24 minutes left.

GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
Joined
23 Jun 2013
Posted:
9309 messages
Followed by:
478 members
2867
GMAT Score:
800
Sun May 28, 2017 9:47 am
Hi jaiyeolab,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 3 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (+/- a few points). This implies that you handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but that you're also making certain consistent mistakes.

To take your score to the next level, you really have to 'nitpick' the types of questions that you're getting wrong and try to determine WHY you're getting them wrong. As such, a full review of this recent CAT is in order. While there are varying degrees to how Test Takers complete an error log or Mistake Tracker, there are some essential questions that you should look to answer:

After reviewing each section of this CAT, 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 define why you're getting questions wrong, you should be able to define what you need to work on and correct whatever issues you're facing.

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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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