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GMAT 100 points below GMATprep, HELP! 760->650 :(

This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies
jmhan Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Aug 2016
Posted:
3 messages

GMAT 100 points below GMATprep, HELP! 760->650 :(

Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:32 pm
I just took the official GMAT today (08/09) and I scored 650 Q43 V37 IR7

I feel both disappointed and frustrated, as I was expecting a higher score.

In fact, I had taken the GMATprep test 4 times, 1 and 2 from the free software, and 3 and 4 which I had purchased afterwards and scored 700+ every time.
Here's the breakdown:

08/02 740 Q49 V42 IR8 (PS49 DS48) (CR45 RC51 SC38)
08/03 730 Q49 V41 IR8 (PS48 DS48) (CR42 RC45 SC39)
08/04 720 Q48 V41 IR8 (PS47 DS49) (CR41 RC40 SC41)
08/07 760 Q49 V44 IR8 (PS49 DS51) (CR51 RC42 SC41)

Ive always taken the practice tests as if simulating the real test (no pausing, and only 2 breaks between IR and Q and Q and V)

Id like to take the test again in a few weeks and would like your advice as to what I should do to achieve a better score at my next attempt.

I honestly dont understand how I could have score so much worse than my GMATprep tests.
I tried to sleep 8+ hours the day before.
I did feel nervous, and found the questions a bit harder than usual, but even so, I was so shocked when I saw my score at the end of the test.

Any help/input is appreciated!



Last edited by jmhan on Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:58 pm
Hi jmhan,

To start, taking 4 CATs in the week leading up to Test Day was NOT a good idea. The process of taking (and properly reviewing) a CAT requires a great deal of effort and energy AND it takes time to recover from all of that. This is one of the many reasons why you should generally take no more than 1 FULL CAT per week. It's likely that you were a bit 'burned out' on Test Day, even if you didn't realize it.

That having been said, 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:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) 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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:05 am
Hi Jmhan,

Based on your description of the final week leading up to your GMAT, fatigue and some nerves could have negatively affected your test day performance.

Since you took 4 practice exams in the final week of studying, you may have been burned out by the time you walked into the center. I consider the GMAT a “mental marathon”, so I would ask: Would a marathon runner run four marathons the week leading up to her actual race?

Furthermore, with each practice test taken, you may have been adding to the pressure to succeed on test day.

I am happy to provide some further advice but have a few questions regarding your preparation and test day experience:


1) Practice test scores aside, did you feel fully prepared for the GMAT? During your prep, were you exposed to all GMAT quant and verbal topics?

2) Describe your study routine. What resources have you been using to study? How many hours a day did you study and for how many total months?

3) Describe your test day experience in more detail. Were you nervous throughout the entire exam or just at particular moments? Did you feel fatigued while taking the exam?

_________________
Jeffrey Miller Head of GMAT Instruction

jmhan Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Aug 2016
Posted:
3 messages
Post Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:58 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) 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
1) I did the essay and IR section everytime
2) I took 3/4 at home on my macbook (thinking back, I was less comfortable with the keyboard at the test center and the screen was different from my laptop's, it was a little harder to read?)
3) Different times, its hard to plan for the test to be at the same time with work and whatnot...my next test is scheduled at 8am so Ill try that
4) Nope!
5) Nope!

jmhan Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
09 Aug 2016
Posted:
3 messages
Post Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:05 am
Jeff@TargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi Jmhan,

1) Practice test scores aside, did you feel fully prepared for the GMAT? During your prep, were you exposed to all GMAT quant and verbal topics?

2) Describe your study routine. What resources have you been using to study? How many hours a day did you study and for how many total months?

3) Describe your test day experience in more detail. Were you nervous throughout the entire exam or just at particular moments? Did you feel fatigued while taking the exam?
1) Hard to say...Im reviewing as we speak :/
2) OG exclusively (I have OG2016, OG verbal and quant, and also question bank 1 on gmatprep, Ive been skimming the material for 2-3 months but seriously studying for 1 month (serious = no distractions, effective, at least 20 hours/week)
3) nervous, yes (the pressure is on!) fatigued, yes (despite going to bed early Sad )

Post Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:20 am
Hi jmhan,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your scores can become - and that's likely what happened here. By taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.'

Since there are other potential factors that could have impacted your performance,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

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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