Practice 630 ==> CAT 1 560?

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Practice 630 ==> CAT 1 560?

by eQuantEssential » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:56 am
I'm kind of at a loss at the moment, not to mention a little discouraged. I finished the live Manhattan GMAT course, and I've been scoring roughly around 600 on the practice tests.

On the day prior to the actual test, I scored 630 (70 pts more). On the actual test, I only scored 560, and I dropped in both verbal and quant I don't quite understand how this happened.

Anyway, I haven't been able to concentrate on my weak areas, as I immediately took the gmat after I finished the Manhattan class. I have five weeks to study (after work, of course) my weak areas. Is it realistic to get my next CAT around 650 or higher? I'm looking for a 100pt improvement.

Any advice is appreciated!

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by [email protected] » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:21 am
HI eQuantEssential,

Taking a practice CAT the day before your Official GMAT was NOT a good idea; you likely burned yourself out a bit. If you were averaging 600 or so on your CATs, then both your last CAT and your Official GMAT are "in range" of your average (just on the high and low ends of the range).

Most Test Takers need the better part of 3 months (or more) to hit their "peak scores", so if you took your Test right after your Course ended, then you might not have given yourself enough time to really master the material.

The good news is that Business Schools don't care if you take the GMAT more than once. Also, since you've got some experience already, you likely won't need much time to get to that higher scoring level. 5 weeks could very easily be enough time to get to 650+.

What resources do you currently have?

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Rich
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by eQuantEssential » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:45 pm
Rich,

I had read in this forum that another user took a test the day before the gmat and found it useful. I thought it helped me with my timing, but in retrospect, I probably got a little burned out.

Thanks for the help. I had one question about your software--do you have question banks or quizzes? Also, do you use the official guides in your course?

Thanks again.

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by [email protected] » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:23 pm
Hi eQuantEssential,

I've sent you a direct message.

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by [email protected] » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:47 pm
At this point, I suggest that you take and CAREFULLY ANALYZE practice tests. While doing so, keep in mind that the GMAT is a test of your math and verbal skills AND it's a test of your test-taking skills. So, taking several practice tests is an important part of your prep. This will help you build your test-taking skills, and it will help you identify any remaining area(s) of weakness.

While analyzing your practice tests, there are four main types of weakness to watch out for:
1. specific Quant skills/concepts (e.g., algebra, standard deviation, etc.)
2. specific Verbal skills/concepts (e.g., verb tenses, assumption CR questions, etc.)
3. test-taking skills (time management, endurance, anxiety etc.)
4. silly mistakes

For the first two weaknesses, the fix is pretty straightforward. Learn the concept/skill and find some practice questions to strengthen that weakness. To focus on one topic at a time, you can use BTG's tagging feature to isolate one concept. 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.

If your test-taking skills are holding you back, then you need to work on these. For example, we have a free GMAT time management video at https://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/gener ... es?id=1244.

Finally, if silly mistakes are hurting your score, then it's important that you identify and categorize these mistakes so that, during tests, you can easily spot situations in which you're prone to making errors. I write about this and other strategies in the following article for BTG: https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2012/09/ ... n-the-gmat

Cheers,
Brent
Brent Hanneson - Creator of GMATPrepNow.com
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