Where to go from here

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Where to go from here

by Scottylan » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:11 am
Hello,

I took the GMAT on March 18, 2017 for the first time and scored a 640. My target score is a 700.

My breakdown was:
8-IR-92%
37-Quant-36%
41-Verbal-94%

I still haven't recveived my essay yet.

I feel confident about the verbal section, but, as you can see from the score break down, my math skills are lacking.

I studied almost exclusively for the quant section for about 3 months before the test using Magoosh and the OG. Typically I would spend at least 2 hours a day studying, but there were many days I studied for 3-4 hours or more (on weekends I often studied for 6+ hours). I watched all of the Magoosh lesson videos, worked through 100+ Magoosh practice problems and completed about 100 PS and 75 DS in the OG. I also took 4 of the official GMAT practice tests (I bought the expansion pack) and a few Magoosh practice tests. The highest quant score I have ever scored on an official GMAT practice test was a 43, but my average has been closer to a 40. In the couple weeks before the test I started to see my quant score drop off.

I'm a bit discouraged by my first result because I feel like I studied hard but then saw my quant score drop off as I approached the test (on a postive side, I started seeing consisently high verbal scores). I'd like to create a solid plan to bump my quant score while maintaining my verbal score. Do you GMAT pros have any advice? Should I try a new program? Should I stick with Magoosh and study more? I'm really open to anything. I'd like to take another test within the next few months.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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by [email protected] » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:23 am
Scottylan wrote:Hello,

I took the GMAT on March 18, 2017 for the first time and scored a 640. My target score is a 700.

My breakdown was:
8-IR-92%
37-Quant-36%
41-Verbal-94%

I still haven't recveived my essay yet.

I feel confident about the verbal section, but, as you can see from the score break down, my math skills are lacking.

I studied almost exclusively for the quant section for about 3 months before the test using Magoosh and the OG. Typically I would spend at least 2 hours a day studying, but there were many days I studied for 3-4 hours or more (on weekends I often studied for 6+ hours). I watched all of the Magoosh lesson videos, worked through 100+ Magoosh practice problems and completed about 100 PS and 75 DS in the OG. I also took 4 of the official GMAT practice tests (I bought the expansion pack) and a few Magoosh practice tests. The highest quant score I have ever scored on an official GMAT practice test was a 43, but my average has been closer to a 40. In the couple weeks before the test I started to see my quant score drop off.

I'm a bit discouraged by my first result because I feel like I studied hard but then saw my quant score drop off as I approached the test (on a postive side, I started seeing consisently high verbal scores). I'd like to create a solid plan to bump my quant score while maintaining my verbal score. Do you GMAT pros have any advice? Should I try a new program? Should I stick with Magoosh and study more? I'm really open to anything. I'd like to take another test within the next few months.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you were dissecting your practice tests? As you saw, there's one last leap you need to make between when you feel like you've mastered the material in the abstract, and when you've mastered testing strategy under timed conditions. Once you analyzed your old exams, did you produce an action plan to address problem areas? What kinds of adjustments did you make between exams?

(And one small additional note: you may have been overstudying. The research indicates fairly convincingly that shorter more intense sessions are more productive than studying in chunks of multiple hours.)
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by Scottylan » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:51 am
[email protected] Wrote:
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you were dissecting your practice tests? As you saw, there's one last leap you need to make between when you feel like you've mastered the material in the abstract, and when you've mastered testing strategy under timed conditions. Once you analyzed your old exams, did you produce an action plan to address problem areas? What kinds of adjustments did you make between exams?

(And one small additional note: you may have been overstudying. The research indicates fairly convincingly that shorter more intense sessions are more productive than studying in chunks of multiple hours.)
Typically I would run through the questions I missed and see if I could solve them on my own. Then I would review the concepts by watching the related Magoosh videos and trying a couple practice problems. My major issues were completing everything within the timeframe and retaining the things I missed. As the test got closer it felt like I wasn't retaining the concepts I was reviewing. So maybe it was a bit of overstudy?

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by [email protected] » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:25 pm
Scottylan wrote:
[email protected] Wrote:
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you were dissecting your practice tests? As you saw, there's one last leap you need to make between when you feel like you've mastered the material in the abstract, and when you've mastered testing strategy under timed conditions. Once you analyzed your old exams, did you produce an action plan to address problem areas? What kinds of adjustments did you make between exams?

(And one small additional note: you may have been overstudying. The research indicates fairly convincingly that shorter more intense sessions are more productive than studying in chunks of multiple hours.)
Typically I would run through the questions I missed and see if I could solve them on my own. Then I would review the concepts by watching the related Magoosh videos and trying a couple practice problems. My major issues were completing everything within the timeframe and retaining the things I missed. As the test got closer it felt like I wasn't retaining the concepts I was reviewing. So maybe it was a bit of overstudy?
The bigger issue is that it sounds as though you didn't distill what you discovered into 4-5 concrete action steps. A list might look something like this:

1) Remember to pick numbers when the algebra is hairy
2) Brush up on rate/work questions
3) Brush on on number properties
4) If you've spent three minutes on a question, and you're not close to an answer, it's time to guess

So you've got some strategic reminders that you want to be cognizant of and you've got a couple of content areas you want to address. Once you've adequately addressed those areas, and you've committed the reminders to memory, you're ready to take another practice test. The idea is that you keep making adjustments, keep making strategic tweaks, and keep repeating the process until you're seeing your target score on a regular basis.
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by [email protected] » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:33 pm
Hi Scottylan,

If your Quant Scaled Scores were consistently in the high-30s to low-40s, then it's likely that you've gotten 'stuck' at this particular scoring level. This is meant to say that "your way" of dealing with the Quant section will likely continue to earn you a score right around a Q40. To score at a much higher level, you will have to make some significant adjustments to how you 'see' (and respond to) that section of the GMAT. If we assume that your Verbal skills will stay at this high level, then you're closer to your goal score than you probably realize - but some changes will still be required.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your goals:

1) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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by ceilidh.erickson » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:35 am
Scottylan wrote: Typically I would run through the questions I missed and see if I could solve them on my own. Then I would review the concepts by watching the related Magoosh videos and trying a couple practice problems. My major issues were completing everything within the timeframe and retaining the things I missed. As the test got closer it felt like I wasn't retaining the concepts I was reviewing. So maybe it was a bit of overstudy?
Here's a problem: you were only reviewing the ones you MISSED! You should be reviewing every single question, right or wrong. There were almost certainly problems that you got right accidentally, or that you got right in 3:30 min but could have gotten there faster.

Every single problem is an opportunity to learn something about your opponent (the Test Writer): how they frame questions, what they test, what traps they set. You should always spend LONGER reviewing a practice test than you spent taking it!
Do you GMAT pros have any advice? Should I try a new program? Should I stick with Magoosh and study more? I'm really open to anything. I'd like to take another test within the next few months.
You may not need to use any new material - for now, you'd be better served to redo problems you've already done, and review them in depth first.

Here's more info on REVIEWING and REDOING problems:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -studying/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -problems/
The highest quant score I have ever scored on an official GMAT practice test was a 43, but my average has been closer to a 40. In the couple weeks before the test I started to see my quant score drop off.
Inconsistency on quant almost always indicates CARELESS ERRORS. You need to focus some serious attention on these. A lot of students brush off careless mistakes when focusing on what seem like larger content issues. It's the "little things" that drag down your score, though, by making you miss the easy questions! Using a Review Log / Error Log will help with this.

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

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Where to go from here

by Scottylan » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:57 pm
Hi Scottylan,

If your Quant Scaled Scores were consistently in the high-30s to low-40s, then it's likely that you've gotten 'stuck' at this particular scoring level. This is meant to say that "your way" of dealing with the Quant section will likely continue to earn you a score right around a Q40. To score at a much higher level, you will have to make some significant adjustments to how you 'see' (and respond to) that section of the GMAT. If we assume that your Verbal skills will stay at this high level, then you're closer to your goal score than you probably realize - but some changes will still be required.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your goals:

1) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich[/quote]

Thank you for your response. That's exactly how I've been feeling. It seems that even if I were to perform my very best (according to my current skills and study methods) I would still be in the low 40s.

1-I don't have a specific time, but I'd like to retake it sometime in the next few months so I don't lose momentum. This is flexible though.
2- This isn't all that pressing because I enjoy my job, but it would be nice to have the option to apply for Fall 2018 (send in applications later this year). The latest I'd like to attend would be Fall 2019.
3- Currently my top choices are BYU (average 670), Duke, North Western, Chicago, and H/S/W.

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Where to go from here

by [email protected] » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:15 pm
Hi Scottylan,

You've named some highly-competitive Schools and many Business Schools (especially the competitive ones) tend to place an extra emphasis on each applicant's Quant Scaled Score - as that score is often viewed as a measure of how able an applicant might be to handle the 'academic side' of the Program. This is meant to say that beyond raising your overall score, you'll want to significantly raise your Quant Scaled Score if possible.

Thankfully, you don't have to face the pressure of a looming deadline, and you have some flexibility, which is good. Based on everything that you've described, I think that you would find the EMPOWER-GMATQuant Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in under a month, but you shouldn't try to 'rush' through it. We need to 'shore up' your general math knowledge/skills AND train you to look at the Quant section with a more strategic view. We have a variety of free resources on our site (https://empowergmat.com/), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

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