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Anyone taken the GMAT without studying?

This topic has 12 expert replies and 13 member replies
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Jim@StratusPrep MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:22 am
If you think there is a shot at scoring close to your desired level, then you might as well go. As of 3 days ago, you can cancel your score without penalty. You would lose the exam fee at this point anyway, so go ahead and take it.

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Post Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:36 am
As Jim noted, at this point, because you can cancel your score, and it's too late for a refund, the only real additional 'cost' of taking the exam is your time in the testing facility. If it were me, I'd look at this as a risk-free proposition. If you have a great day, and your score is 700+, the exam is behind you. If your score is more in line with your practice test scores, you can cancel it, and start putting together a study plan for your second attempt, knowing that it shouldn't take very long for you to reach your desired score.

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:00 am
Being disheartened is against the rules.

Go take it, and have fun taking it, pretty much the most expensive video game around.

Will be great practice, even just getting accustomed to the procedures is worth the time, and who knows you may hit.

Meanwhile on quant you may be able to increase your score by changing your guessing strategy. Long strings of right answers is the path to a higher score. You can get the same percentage right, and if you get longer strings right, your score will be higher. So you are better off guessing at the end just to finish than you are guessing as you go along just to keep up. If you have no clue how to answer and you are using up time, fine guess, but other than that seek to get questions right in strings, and if you run out of time at the end, just guess to finish up.

Wondering how many you got right on quant, if you have a minute.

Other than that, get some serious sleep and be super intense tomorrow when you take the test.

Intensity and determination can generate points.

Get all of those CR and RC and most of those SC right. Be a verbal ANIMAL and be a quant MANIAC, doing whatever it takes to get as many as possible right.

I repeat, being disheartened is against the rules.

Take no prisoners!!!! and see how you do. Then either way you will have had the ultimate intense gaming experience, and you will look back on the whole thing with some satisfaction. Will be nice if you rock it, will be fine if you don't.

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manyaabroadtpr Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:36 am
Wish you all the best. Here are a few tips for you. Whatever time you have, spend it to become familiar with the question types. Go to MBA.com Try the sample questions and take the two free GMATPrep tests available there. You can also visit http://www.manyagroup.com/ and http://www.princetonreview.com/. Take the free practice test available there. Here are a few test taking tips for you. Take the test with a positive frame of mind. Know that accuracy is more important than speed in early stage of the quantitative and verbal sections. Manage your time accordingly and complete every section within the allotted time.

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Rich@EconomistGMAT Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:40 am
Hi NinaAnn,

Not sure if we've covered this in depth, but curious to know more about your motivation for taking the test on such short notice. Is there a possibility that you could push your test date back?

Best,
Rich

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NinaAnn Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:13 pm
Apologies for the slow follow-up, after taking a day off I had a million things to catch up with.

It went spectacularly badly. And I'm not even sure why, which is the most frustrating thing. OK the screen was a bit hard to read (it's actually huge and I found myself leaning as far back away from the monitor as I could reach) but the questions themselves, although not easy, were not that bad. A lot of them, particularly on the Quant side, were exact questions that I had practiced and understood, albeit with different numbers.

Verbal I also found completely fine apart from the odd question or two. Given I studied philosophy for the best part of a decade I am very comfortable with finding flaws in logical reasoning.

Yet, for both parts I got significantly lower than I have ever received in any practice test. I genuinely don't get it.

Post Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:41 am
Hi NinaAnn,

You have described the paradox of the computer adaptive test. This kind of test keeps altering the difficulty of the questions until it finds your level of expertise (for more on the GMAT scoring algorithm, watch our free video: http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/general-gmat-strategies?id=1251)

You felt that the questions "although not easy, were not that bad." This is how MOST people feel about their test experience, because the algorithm determines your skill level and then presents you with questions that are not too easy and not too hard.

Cheers,
Brent

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Post Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:04 am
A certain amount of statistical flux is inevitable. If you spend a little time on forums where test-takers describe their experiences, most will receive scores that are roughly in line with their practice tests, but some will have an outlier great day, and some will have an outlier off-day. If you consider that the sample size is fairly small (not every question you saw counted - some were experimental questions) and factor in that some days you'll make more careless mistakes than others and some days you'll have some rotten luck when it comes to guessing, this kind of result isn't that surprising. Think of it as a rough day on a practice test, and then start gearing up for attempt #2.

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:51 am
Well, at least you got some experience.

There are many things, obviously, that could have affected your score. For one thing, you can get pretty many right and if the wrong answers are mixed in in a certain way, your score still won't be that high. I have seen someone get more than 75 percent of the questions right on the verbal section of a practice test and score in the low 30's. If he had gotten the same number right but distributed differently, he would have scored much higher.

Also, sometimes when people start preparing their scores decrease in the beginning as learning new things can change the dynamics of what one does when taking the test.

So that was interesting anyway and now you have a sense of what you are up against. I bet you will find that even in verbal there are challenges that you can become more proficient at handling. The reading comprehension questions, for instance, can be a little tricky, including answers that really seem to be based on something the passage said when in fact they are not.

If you want a lot, a LOT, of quant questions to practice with, go to the GMAT section of http://bellcurves.com/ and sign up for a practice account.

Anyway...I am sure you can figure out what you need to figure out to rock this thing. Glad we got to hear how it went the first time.

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Rich@EconomistGMAT Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:57 am
Hi NinaAnn,

Sorry to hear things didn't go as planned on test day. However, as others have noted, this was still a good experience for you to have. It would be helpful to know your specific score breakdown though so we can give you more specific advice.

While the GMAT is an event you can train yourself for, most people do require *some* amount of regimented prep. That being said, take some time to review the practice exams you took previously. Even though you might know how to answer most of the questions, you'll often find there's another test-specific issue (often timing related challenges) that's holding you back. And above all else, don't be discouraged. Most business schools expect applicants to take the GMAT more than once.

Best,
Rich

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jmo26 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:44 pm
I made a somewhat last-minute decision to apply for my MBA for the upcoming school year as opposed to waiting one more year (career change), and was forced to take the GMAT with about a week of studying; as a 33-year-old who was in an Arts-related major for my undergrad, I basically just reviewed the most common math formulas (since I hadn't taken a math course since high school) and took the two free tests provided by GMAC. Scored a 700.

I know I should probably be thrilled, but sort of kicking myself because I know how much better I could've done with a respectable amount of preparation.

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