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GMAT 3rd try, same score...

This topic has 3 expert replies and 1 member reply
hwang327 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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GMAT 3rd try, same score...

Post Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:30 pm
I did my first GMAT in January after studying diligently for 6 months. I didn't have my hopes up but thought to take the test anyways to acclimatize myself to real testing environment. Quant was tough I thought, and I remembered myself guessing many questions. Verbal was unassuring as well, with me completely guessing one RC passage to save time. When I saw the end score of 720 (Q49, V38). I actually felt pretty good and thought I would for sure ace it in two months.

Second try on Apr 1. and I got 720 again! (Q49; V40)

After putting in another 2 months of daily studying, I got 770 on GMAT prep CAT 1 4 weeks before the test and 770 on GMAT cat 6 2 weeks before the test. Testing day came, I aced the IR and achieved 100% accuracy. First quant question started with a obscure 3 circle overlapping set question which I did not know how to do. Overall, quant was absymal. On to the verabal, I thought I was flying and doing really well. As for RC, I actually finished reading every passage and found none to be too difficult to understand... Then the score came .... 720 (Q49; V40) far cry from my GMAT CAT 6 (Q49;V47). I have gone through OG 15-16's CR questions and plenty of gmatprep qbank questions in the word document, my accuracy on these has always been great. Just not sure how I bombed so hard on test day....

Any advise and thoughts would be great. I am planning to take the GMAT one last time Jul 11 ish, using the new test order of Verbal, quant, IR and AWA....

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Post Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:56 am
First, a question: why are you retaking it? A 720 is an excellent score - one that many of your fellow students would metaphorically kill for! It's a score that would indicate to any top school that you are more than capable of handling the coursework and adding to the intellectual atmosphere at the school. It's also at/above the median/average of almost every top school.

I tell my students that they should always aim to at or above their target school's median or average. Below that, and you risk dragging the school's average down, so you would need to be a standout candidate otherwise. Once you're above that threshold, though, distinctions matter a lot less. Schools effectively "check the box" of a high GMAT score, and then they look at what else you have to offer.

In other words, the difference between a 690 and a 720 (with an otherwise identical application) at a top 10 school might well be the difference between acceptance and rejection. The difference between a 720 and a 750 is much less likely to be a make-or-break difference.

Unless you believe that the rest of your application has MAJOR deficiencies (low GPA, not-that-interesting career path, no quant courses in undergrad, etc), you probably don't need to retake the GMAT. Your time might be better spent polishing your application to make yourself a standout candidate. Or better yet, take an online finance course, or do extra nonprofit work to make yourself an attractive candidate.

If the rest of your application isn't appealing, then even going from a 720 to a 770 won't get you into top schools!

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Post Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:10 pm
One way to go is to follow my colleague's sound advice. What she says is true: retaking may not be in your best interest in time or results. Have you spoken with an admissions consultant about your score and school choice? They might provide the best and most efficient insight with the schools you're aplying to if it's worth the time and effort. There are plenty of amazing people to speak to on this forum about this.

That said, you've already seen that you can perform higher on the diagnostic tests, and the most effective efficient path would be to identify what you're not answering correctly, and see if there are any patterns in those answer choices. In our experience working with a tutor even for a couple of hours is like finishing school and can make a huge difference. Another thing to consider esp. since the reading was an issue is to employ speed reading techniques. These are easy and quick to learn but you need to implement them. We've found students increase up to 5x with our methods and average a 13% increase in their reading-based performance. That doesn't even account for the additional improvements on the test itself by reading faster.
Win-win.

Do you think anything else is holding you back from performing how you do on the diags? Anxiety? Anything?

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Last edited by Bara on Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:34 pm
Bara wrote:
One way to go is to follow my colleague's sound advice. What he says is true...
"She" Wink

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Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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trlaxr Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:51 pm
Can I ask you what books you prepped with and that score is amazing, you could get into Harvard and UPenn, why would you want to retake??

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