## 1. Background

When you spend those grueling 2 hours taking a mock test, you expect the mock to give you a lot more than just the score and question accuracy data. You want the mock to tell you __where__ you faltered; you want it to tell you __why__ you faltered, and you want it to tell you __how__ you can improve to achieve your target GMAT score.

Kashish recently took SIGma-X mock test and got all these questions answered. Here is an account of his experience with SIGma-X mock tests.

[box] Note: The account below is written in the first person as Kashish went through his experience with SIGma-X mocks.[/box]

## 2. Intro

Let me first set the stage with a very high-level sequence of events.

On April 11, I took one SIGma-X mock and scored 700. After gaining insights from this mock, I created my improvement plan and worked on it for the next 6 days. On April 18, I took second SIGma-X mock and scored 750, improving significantly in the quantitative section – the section I focused on during these 6 days.

I took the official GMAT exam a few days later and scored 750 (Q50, V42).

This improvement is a testament of how focused effort can help drive one’s score up significantly.

Now let’s begin with my target GMAT score. I want to score 750 with Q50 and V42.

[box type=”download”] Target Score – 750 – Q50 + V42[/box]

## 3. WHERE (I faltered)

In the first SIGma-X mock, I scored 700 in that with Q46 and V39. To my dismay, I was much more behind in Quant than I was in Verbal. So, I knew that I needed to improve in Quant primarily.

Next – by reviewing the sub-sectional abilities, I could clearly see that in Quant, I was way better in Algebra than I was in Arithmetic. I always knew that Arithmetic was an issue, **but I did not know that it would create such big problems for me that my score will plummet so much**. I could also observe that **DS was a problem across the board**.

[box] “While I always knew I was better in Algebra, I did not know the poor performance in Arithmetic will negatively impact my score so much.”[/box]

## 4. WHY (I faltered)

Now that I got the answer to “WHERE”, I was headed to find out why I faltered in the Arithmetic section of Quant. For this, I observed that I was not skilled enough to answer difficult questions in Arithmetic. As soon **as the difficulty level of questions increased beyond a certain point, my accuracy dropped considerably**. In fact, in block 3, I could not even answer a single question correctly, **despite spending quite a bit of time on it**. Accordingly, **in block 4, hard questions were not served to me**. So, from this, I could clearly see that the reason WHY I faltered in Arithmetic was because of my lack of ability.

Now there were definitely some timing issues as well since **I did not have sufficient time left to answer questions in Block 4**. So, this also contributed to my low score in Arithmetic.

OK, next I did a further deep dive into the WHY aspect—I wanted to know what portions of Arithmetic I need to work on. For this, I saw the attempt screen for Arithmetic. Per this information, I could clearly see that I had some serious issues with WP and then some with NP.

Here is the process I followed to review the attempt screen.

- Step 1 – Look at the questions I got wrong.
- Step 2 – Ignore questions in which I did not spend sufficient time.
- Step 3 – Draw inferences.

**Note:** At a first glance at the information, it appeared as if NP is a much bigger issue, but when I followed the process above, I could clearly see that I major ability issues in WP as compared to in NP.

## 5. HOW (can I improve)

Now with this information, I set out to create my plan of action for the next few days. I knew that I had to improve my ability in WP. So, I needed to find which aspects of WP I had a problem with. So, I took a 30-question custom quiz in WP. After analyzing this custom quiz, I identified the weak areas and on Day 2 and 3, I went through the corresponding course content in WP course. On Day 4, I took an ability quiz in WP and saw that my score improved considerably.

With this level of confidence in my ability, I repeated the process for NP.

## 6. Outcome

Now on Day 7, when I took second SIGma-X mock, I scored 750 with a **Q50** – my target quant score – 4-point improvement. In Arithmetic, I improved from **Q43 to Q49 – a 6-point improvement**. I was very contented to see that my targeted efforts in Arithmetic helped this marked improvement.

While in the previous mock, **I could not answer even a single Hard question in Block 3, in this attempt, I could answer 3 out of 5 hard questions correctly**. Accordingly, I got the opportunity **to answer hard questions in the last block as well and did well**.

Not only could I see a considerable improvement in my ability, but this improved ability also led to better time management. **While in Block 3 of the previous attempt, I spent 13 minutes of my precious time in an unproductive manner, now in this attempt, my unproductive time reduced considerably to 5’42**”.

## 7. Summary

To summarize, by analyzing the WHERE and the WHY from first SIGma-X mock, I could arrive at the HOW and by focused practice using the e-GMAT course and Scholaranium, I improved considerably not only in the subsequent SIGma-X mock but also reached my target quant score in the **official GMAT exam** a few days later.

So, when you spend those 2 grueling hours on SIGma-X mocks, you get the WHERE—WHY—HOW and you know for sure that you can improve to your target score with focused practice.

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