• 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote

Should I retake? First attempt 610, second attempt 650

Find out how Beat The GMAT members tackled GMAT test prep with positive results. Get tips on GMAT test prep materials, online courses, study tips, and more.
This topic has expert replies
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 1
Joined: 11 Oct 2015
Location: Connecticut
GMAT Score:650
I just took my second crack at the GMAT and I'm still disappointed in my score. Back in 2013 I took the test on very little prep, just to see how it went and scored a 610 (Q36,V38). Yesterday I took the test after studying for four solid months focused EXCLUSIVELY on the quant section. Didn't even touch verbal and I came out with a 650 (Q40, V40). I'm obviously very satisfied with my verbal performance, but my quant score is just not representative of my abilities (in my opinion). I feel like I know the stuff, but my pacing for the section was not good. At the halfway point I was fine, but before I realized it I had 7 questions remaining and only 7 minutes to complete them. I even left the very last question unanswered which I'm worried significantly reduced my score. Does anyone know how much that could have accounted for?

My low quant score is going to raise some flags. I'm not planning on going to a top 15 school, but definitely a top 15-30.

Anyone have suggestions on improving my pacing for the quant section? I've been using Magoosh and Kaplan books for study, but is there anything out there that would help me fine tune some time saving skills?

User avatar
Legendary Member
Posts: 2073
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Location: New York City Metro Area and Worldwide Online
Thanked: 955 times
Followed by:135 members
GMAT Score:800

by Marty Murray » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:49 pm
From what you said, it sounds as if you limited your practice mostly to using books. Obviously what that can mean is that you didn't get much practice at working via a screen or at handling the test itself.

Before I go further, I am wondering how many, if any, practice tests you took and how you scored on them.
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide


User avatar
Elite Legendary Member
Posts: 10346
Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Thanked: 2867 times
Followed by:502 members
GMAT Score:800

by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:54 pm
Hi ackdustin,

This second GMAT score is a nice improvement over your prior one, but it's still relatively 'close' to your prior performance. GMAC has publicly stated that a Test Taker's Official Score is within +-30 points of actual ability, so it's likely that you continue to 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT in the same general ways that you did before. To score at the 700+ level, you're going to have to make some adjustments to how you handle the Quant section. Thankfully, the GMAT is a predictable, standardized Test, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) Do you know which Schools/Programs you plan to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

User avatar
Legendary Member
Posts: 2666
Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Location: Boston, MA
Thanked: 1153 times
Followed by:125 members
GMAT Score:770

by DavidG@VeritasPrep » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:33 am
I even left the very last question unanswered which I'm worried significantly reduced my score.
The algorithm assessed a small penalty for leaving the last question blank, but not one that would have had a large impact on your score. Here's a link from GMAC offering advice for how to deal with precisely this situation:

https://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-blog-hub ... ssing.aspx

The most telling quote: If you only have 1 or 2 items left in either section, it doesn't make much difference if you guess or omit the question.

The more problematic scenario would be if you rushed through the 6 questions you answered and missed some questions that the algorithm deemed easier.
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor

Veritas Prep Reviews
Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 30 Jul 2015

by flipit13 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:45 pm
If you are looking at a competitive school you should definitely retake. It looks like you are trending in the right direction. There are some free practice resources and I always recommend Magoosh and QS Leap. I went from a 610 on the first try to a 740 today.
One advantage of continued practice is that you can start to recognize patterns in questions which will help you answer questions faster.
Good Luck!

User avatar
MBA Admissions Consultant
Posts: 2278
Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Location: New York
Thanked: 660 times
Followed by:266 members
GMAT Score:770

by Jim@StratusPrep » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:49 pm
Absolutely retake. I have noticed over the years that 650 and 700 are big cut-offs for programs. Practice makes perfect as they say; try to get to a deep level of understanding so that you don't have to think about how a concept works when you are taking an exam, but rather which concept is the right one to use.
GMAT Answers provides a world class adaptive learning platform.
-- Push button course navigation to simplify planning
-- Daily assignments to fit your exam timeline
-- Organized review that is tailored based on your abiility
-- 1,000s of unique GMAT questions
-- 100s of handwritten 'digital flip books' for OG questions
-- 100% Free Trial and less than $20 per month after.
-- Free GMAT Quantitative Review



User avatar
GMAT Instructor
Posts: 2094
Joined: 04 Dec 2012
Thanked: 1443 times
Followed by:242 members

by ceilidh.erickson » Tue Nov 03, 2015 3:32 pm
I would definitely recommend retaking. As David said, just missing the last question alone probably didn't have a significant impact on your score, but having to rush through the last 7 (and likely missing most of them) probably did.

You need to have a bulletproof timing strategy, and you need to practice that strategy with accurately timed practice tests several times before taking the real thing. You didn't mention anything about practice tests, so perhaps you hadn't practiced your timing strategy sufficiently.

Here's the timing strategy that I have my students use - it involves setting up your laminated pad to track your timing exactly: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... tch-paper/

Here is some more info about time management:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/ ... anagement/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/ ... nt-part-2/
https://www.beatthegmat.com/how-many-pra ... tml#738904

Good luck!

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

Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
Sign up for a FREE TRIAL, and learn why we have the highest ratings in the GMAT industry!