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Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • 5-Day Free Trial 5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • 5 Day FREE Trial Study Smarter, Not Harder Available with Beat the GMAT members only code ## Awful performance on real GMAT This topic has 6 expert replies and 4 member replies Turksonaaron Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Joined 23 Mar 2017 Posted: 14 messages Target GMAT Score: 650 GMAT Score: 470 #### Awful performance on real GMAT Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:42 am Hello Guys, I really need help here. I wrote my first real GMAT yesterday and scored 470 (Q32 V 23). Meanwhile, I had scored 610 (Q 42 V 32) three days before the real test day on GMAT practice exam 2. So my issue is that, I was told GMAT prep practice exam is the best predictor of the real test ie give or take ± 30. How is it possible that I dropped by a whooping 140 points. I even wrote the practice test 1 two weeks earlier and I had 580. I completed Magoosh with 900 questions and OG'17 with 70% of the questions. I started this year Jan. Then in May last month, I used Economist GMAT about 42% complete. I did the practice tests full sitting: AWA and IR inclusive. My target score is 650 and my intended schools include Fisher-Ohio, SUNY buffalo, UC Boulder, Northeastern Boston. I would like to know why I dropped by 140 points so that I avoid them the next time . I couldn't even sleep last night just because of the score and was trying to figure out what happened but I thought it wise to seek members' opinion By the way, I wrote the practice exams at different locations ie at home and at my work place which is about two minutes walk from Pearson Vue center. I will write again because this is simply unacceptable by my own standards. I'm more than fired up Thank you for your advice [/list] Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums! ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2287 messages Followed by: 115 members Thanked: 1061 times GMAT Score: 770 Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:16 am Turksonaaron wrote: Hello Guys, I really need help here. I wrote my first real GMAT yesterday and scored 470 (Q32 V 23). Meanwhile, I had scored 610 (Q 42 V 32) three days before the real test day on GMAT practice exam 2. So my issue is that, I was told GMAT prep practice exam is the best predictor of the real test ie give or take ± 30. How is it possible that I dropped by a whooping 140 points. I even wrote the practice test 1 two weeks earlier and I had 580. I completed Magoosh with 900 questions and OG'17 with 70% of the questions. I started this year Jan. Then in May last month, I used Economist GMAT about 42% complete. I did the practice tests full sitting: AWA and IR inclusive. My target score is 650 and my intended schools include Fisher-Ohio, SUNY buffalo, UC Boulder, Northeastern Boston. I would like to know why I dropped by 140 points so that I avoid them the next time . I couldn't even sleep last night just because of the score and was trying to figure out what happened but I thought it wise to seek members' opinion By the way, I wrote the practice exams at different locations ie at home and at my work place which is about two minutes walk from Pearson Vue center. I will write again because this is simply unacceptable by my own standards. I'm more than fired up Thank you for your advice [/list] Outlier scores happen for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes nerves play a role. Sometimes it's just bad luck. Remember that if the +/- 30 comprises one standard deviation, then, if we're talking about a normal distribution, there's only a 68% chance you'd fall in that range, and thus a 32% chance that you'd end up with what will feel like an outlier. (We're not actually talking about a normal distribution here, but it's worth internalizing the notion that outliers are inevitable and more common than you'd think.) One option: you can order an enhanced score report to see if there were any sections in particular that were giving you trouble. Otherwise, treat the score as something of an anomaly. Develop some techniques to better cope with nerves, if that was an issue. And try to raise your practice test scores to 700+, so that even in that event of an off-day, you'll have a score that will still make you competitive. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:10 am
Hi Turksonaaron,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
2) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
3) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

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

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Turksonaaron Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
23 Mar 2017
Posted:
14 messages
Target GMAT Score:
650
GMAT Score:
470
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:31 pm
1. Yes i did take the last 3 CATs before the actual test at the same time as my official exam
2. I took the practice exam 1 about 4 times and out of the 4 times that i took that CAT, i paused the exam just once which was on the 3rd time. The pause lasted almost 12 hours because i took the CAT in the evening so i paused it and resumed the next morning since i was too tired. I had a 470 on that test. My very 1st practice one score was a 310. The 4th time i took the practice one CAT, i had 580. As usual i discount those scores because i had seen some of the questions.
3. For practice exam 2, i scored 610 the very 1st time and took it 2nd time and i scored 670, as usual i don't mention it.

then official gmat gives me 470.

So Rich, that is it

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Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:24 pm
Hi Turksonaaron,

From your prior post, there weren't any obvious 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs, so I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

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Turksonaaron Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
23 Mar 2017
Posted:
14 messages
Target GMAT Score:
650
GMAT Score:
470
Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:58 pm
1. I reviewed my last CAT three days to the test day.
2. I slept around 10 pm and woke up around 5am but with constant thoughts of the test.
3. About 40 minutes drive to the center
4. Not really distractions but I was new to the process so got a bit tensed initially. I got over it quickly though.
5. Hmm, I unknowingly overspent my 1st break by almost 3 mins. Because of that, I didn't leave my seat during the 2nd break.
6. I managed to finish both sections.
7. Well in order to avoid been punished for not completing the test, I had to rush esp the quant.

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
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Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:14 pm
Hi Turksonaaron,

The answers that you provided in your last post feel 'incomplete', so I have some follow-up questions:

1) What else did you do during the last 3 days before your GMAT (besides review your last CAT)?
2) Do you normally wake up at 5am (or were you having trouble sleeping, so you just got up?)?
3) What time was your Official GMAT - 8am? 9am? Since the drive to the Test Center was only 40 minutes, what else did you do in the several hours that you had that morning before your Exam started?
4) How many questions would you say that you had to guess on at the end of the Quant and Verbal sections?

From this recent post, I assume that you might not have gotten a good night's sleep. In addition, the 'errors' that you made with both of your breaks (coming back late from the 1st break and not leaving the Computer Lab for your second break) would have likely impacted your performance in both the Quant and Verbal sections. Furthermore, if you had to rush through a significant number of questions at the end of the Quant and/or Verbal sections, then you could very well have gotten most (if not all) of those questions wrong - and that could have also cost you points.

While we could refer to all of this as just "having a bad day", it also hints at the idea that you weren't properly preparing for Test Day when you took your CATs - and that could have led to unrealistic, 'inflated' practice score results. All of that having been said, you can now use this experience with the Official GMAT to better prepare for your next attempt.

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

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Turksonaaron Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
23 Mar 2017
Posted:
14 messages
Target GMAT Score:
650
GMAT Score:
470
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:30 am
1. Basically, i only reviewed my last CAT
2.Though i normally wake up at 5 am, i will agree with you that it was not a good night sleep.
3. The official start was at 8.30 am, but i arrived at exactly 7 am. Within these times, i went through Magoosh flashcards
4. i guessed on about 5 to 10 questions for both sections. i knew that would hurt me but not to the level that i got.

When you say this "it also hints at the idea that you weren't properly preparing for Test Day when you took your CATs", may i know the best way to prepare for the official test next time?

### GMAT/MBA Expert

Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com Elite Legendary Member
Joined
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Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:13 am
Hi Turksonaaron,

Properly preparing for Test Day involves more than just learning GMAT content - you have to factor in all of the little details that go into the lead-up to your Exam. For example, your Test was at 8:30am.... did you take your practice CATs at 8:30am? On Test Day, you got to the Test Facility 1.5 hours EARLY... when you took your practice CATs, did you arrive at an external location (not your home) 1.5 hours early and review flashcards before starting your CAT?

That early arrival could have significantly 'thrown off' your performance. Many Test Takers do their best thinking in the first 4-5 hours of the day, so it makes sense to take your GMAT at an early time (when you are likely going to do your best work). Based on what you described, you spent 1.5 hours of that "best time" reviewing flashcards - and by the time your Official GMAT started, you had already been awake for 3.5 hours. By the time you would have gotten through the Essay, IR and first break, you would have been up for 5 hours already... and then you would have started the Quant section. You were likely already a bit tired before you even began the Quant section - so the 'errors' with your breaks along with the pacing problems (and having to guess on so many questions) would explain the score drop. Remember that there are only 78 total questions between the Quant and Verbal sections, so if you guessed on 10-20 of those questions because you were low on time, then you were clearly in some kind of trouble.

Thankfully, you can now use all of this to better prepare for your next attempt - but you really have to put more thought and detail into how you take your CATs. In addition, you also have to consider how well you actually know the content of the Exam; a 470 implies that you made a lot of little mistakes throughout the Exam on Test Day.

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

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:21 am
Quote:
5. Hmm, I unknowingly overspent my 1st break by almost 3 mins. Because of that, I didn't leave my seat during the 2nd break.
This alone could account for a substantial portion of the score discrepancy. Losing 3 minutes could have thrown off your pacing, or caused you to work at a clip that contributed to careless mistakes. Moreover, you definitely want to stand and stretch your legs between sections. Sitting too long can have a negative impact on brain function: https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/

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Turksonaaron Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
23 Mar 2017
Posted:
14 messages
Target GMAT Score:
650
GMAT Score:
470
Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:31 am
You are absolutely right. I saw my ESR and this is a portion of the Summary.

"You completed 37 of the 37 questions in the Quantitative section.
You responded correctly to 71% of the first set of questions, 57% of the second set of questions, 57% of the third set of questions and 0% of the final set of questions.."

My CR and most especially my RC need improvements. RC really killed me.

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