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From 480 to 700... Hope? Need advice please!

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Hi, all.

I've recently started to take a deep dive into BTG, so I decided to ask help from all you savvy contributors. I took MGMAT last year around October (the live course) and although I did attend class and do the homework, I wasn't as mindful as I should've been (i.e. keeping an error log, analyzing wrong answers, etc). Needless to say, I was disappointed (but not too surprised) to receive a 480 on test day.

I chalked it up to my studying patterns (after work since I had an 1-1.5 hour commute each way) being the culprit and committed to studying in the morning (i.e. waking up at 4:30) to study for 2 hours before going the gym/work (I've since found a new job that has a 10min commute).

I took a CAT test from Manhattan GMAT (having decided to retake the course but self-study off the syallabus) as a sort of diagnostic test and got 530. I was pleased because I assumed I could only go up from there.

I took a practice CAT from GMAC (a program requirement) and was floored to see I got a 430. I was devastated because I really thought that my new study patterns will help.

All in all to say, I have my GMAT scheduled in 6 weeks and need a miracle. Any advice on how i can go from 430 to 700 (I'll even take 680).

Thanks!

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:11 pm
Hi SandraA214,

There are a variety of factors that can influence your performance on a CAT (and on Test Day). As such, beyond doing a full review of each CAT (with the goal of trying to define WHY you got questions wrong), you have to consider other factors (such as location, time of day, amount of sleep you got, distractions, etc.) that could have impacted your ability to perform at your best. Even if your current 'ability level' is closer to the earlier 530, raising that score to a 700+ will require a lot of work - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. All of that training will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent guided study (so just 6 weeks would probably not be enough time to get to that level).

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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by SandraA214 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:38 pm
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:Hi SandraA214,

There are a variety of factors that can influence your performance on a CAT (and on Test Day). As such, beyond doing a full review of each CAT (with the goal of trying to define WHY you got questions wrong), you have to consider other factors (such as location, time of day, amount of sleep you got, distractions, etc.) that could have impacted your ability to perform at your best. Even if your current 'ability level' is closer to the earlier 530, raising that score to a 700+ will require a lot of work - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. All of that training will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent guided study (so just 6 weeks would probably not be enough time to get to that level).

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Appreciate your note back Rich. I'm planning on applying next Fall 2018 and I'm planning on applying to programs with strong marketing departments or in major cities (i.e. Kellogg or CBS)

If I were to postpone my test, what should I do to increase my score? I am currently using MGMAT's course as a study plan, but I feel as if I'm not solving enough problems.

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:52 am
Hi SandraA214,

At this point, since you're currently working through a Course, you should decide whether you want to stick with your current study plan (and complete this Course) or not. From your posts, it's not clear how long you've been studying consistently, but many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent, guided study before they hit their 'peak' scores. At this point, you should consider whether you're developing Test Taking skills or not (are you simply working through practice questions in the same ways as before - because if that's the case, then you'll likely continue to score in the 400s/500s). You have lots of time before you plan to apply to Business School, so you can 'play around' with your studies a bit if you like - but I suspect that you will eventually need to make some big changes to your study routine to hit your core goal. To reiterate the earlier point though: while there's no harm in taking your GMAT as scheduled, you probably won't hit a 700+ in 6 weeks (so you can save some money and aggravation if you push back your Exam).

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Rich
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by Marty Murray » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:19 am
Hi Sandra.

The first thing that jumps out at me is that you use the word "study" rather than "train" or "prepare".

The second thing is that you scored lower on the official practice test than you did on the Manhattan Prep test.

The combination of those two clues leads me to believe that to a degree you are treating this test as an ordinary test rather than as what it is, which is a reasoning game.

Manhattan Test - somewhat more like an ordinary test

Official Test - more like a game

In other words, to go from the level at which you are currently to the 700 level, likely you are going to have see the test and what it takes to score high differently from how you have been seeing them.

For quant, you can push your score up point by point by getting better at answering each type of question, type by type.

For verbal, you are going to have to learn to see more and use logic more.

Tricks you learn in a course will take you only so far. You have to develop your vision and use of logic. Doing so usually takes a fair amount of untimed practice, working topic by topic.
Marty Murray
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https://infinitemindprep.com/
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by ceilidh.erickson » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:42 pm
SandraA214 wrote:Hi, all.

I've recently started to take a deep dive into BTG, so I decided to ask help from all you savvy contributors. I took MGMAT last year around October (the live course) and although I did attend class and do the homework, I wasn't as mindful as I should've been (i.e. keeping an error log, analyzing wrong answers, etc). Needless to say, I was disappointed (but not too surprised) to receive a 480 on test day.

I chalked it up to my studying patterns (after work since I had an 1-1.5 hour commute each way) being the culprit and committed to studying in the morning (i.e. waking up at 4:30) to study for 2 hours before going the gym/work (I've since found a new job that has a 10min commute).

I took a CAT test from Manhattan GMAT (having decided to retake the course but self-study off the syallabus) as a sort of diagnostic test and got 530. I was pleased because I assumed I could only go up from there.

I took a practice CAT from GMAC (a program requirement) and was floored to see I got a 430. I was devastated because I really thought that my new study patterns will help.

All in all to say, I have my GMAT scheduled in 6 weeks and need a miracle. Any advice on how i can go from 430 to 700 (I'll even take 680).

Thanks!
Hi Sandra,

I'm just seeing this many months after you posted it. I hope that by now you've taken the GMAT again and gotten your goal score!

But in case you haven't... I just wanted to make sure that you knew about the 2 free tutoring sessions you get as an Mprep student:

1. Post Course Assessment - every student gets this after the course, provided that you've taken at least 3 practice exams on our site. Just email gmat@manhattanprep.com to sign up (technically the time period has expired, but ask nicely and they'll probably extend it for you!)

2. Post Exam Assessment - any student who takes the real test and doesn't get the score that he/she wants gets to do another free session with an instructor. Again, email gmat@manhattanprep.com so request one.

With those 2 one-on-one sessions with an instructor who can specifically see all of your score data, you'll get very targeted advice on how to improve.

Good luck!
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education