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]
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.
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”.
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.