700->620; Retake?

This topic has expert replies
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Nov 2009

700->620; Retake?

by nextstop » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:39 am
I can't believe I scored lower in my second attempt on real gmat. +/- 20-30 is acceptable, but 80 points?
I think I've recovered from the mental shock, but now still debating whether to take the test again within a month period.
I am applying for PhD in business programs this winter. Need honest advice from experts and fellow students!

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2567
Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Thanked: 712 times
Followed by:550 members
GMAT Score:770

by DanaJ » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:25 pm
The answer is: it depends. What's the average or middle 80% range for your PhD program? If a 700 is well within range then don't worry about a thing. If not, you may want to consider retaking the test - but this time around you really need to review your strategy in such a way that you do not make the mistakes you did the second time around.

On that subject, there must have been some sort of change in your study habits to explain this drop - which is fairly substantial, to be honest. Were you overly confident? Did you study erratically? What materials did you use this second time?

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Nov 2009

by nextstop » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:26 pm
Hi Dana,

Thank you for your response. The average score of each school varies from mid-600s to 740 (e.g., Wharton, 740; Emory, 720; Syracuse, 680, etc.). I was targeting top 10-15 schools in the nation. Will the schools look at a drop in scores negatively ?

I was neither confident nor discouraged the second time. More frankly, I was more nervous than the first time, knowing that I should score above 700. First time, I was thinking, "Well, I'll give it a try."

Practice-wise, I wasn't on top of it, either: I took 1.5 wk break after the first test, solved additional 100+ math practice questions and went over OG questions, both math and verbal. I want to want to take it again, if you know what I mean. I feel like I haven't done my best. But, at the same time, I know that I need to score well above 700 in order to make retaking anything worth.

Thank you so much! :D

S.A.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2567
Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Thanked: 712 times
Followed by:550 members
GMAT Score:770

by DanaJ » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:46 am
Well, nervousness certainly does make a difference, so this might be the reason why you did not get the score you wanted. If you can control this the third time while targeting your weak spots, then it might be worth a shot. If you could point out some areas where you're having trouble (CR? DS?), maybe I could recommend some material - you have not mentioned scaled scores & materials used up until now.

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Nov 2009

by nextstop » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:34 am
Hi Dana,

You're amazing!

1st test: Q. 49 / V. 36
2st test: Q 42 / V. 33

As you can see the quant score dropped substantially. Maybe it's because I was not preparing for it hard the second time since I was a bit confident about quant section.

Materials: I've used MGMAT strategy guides, MGMAT CATs, OG 12th edition (I went over twice), and OG V & Q Review.

Strengths: SC. But I feel I've hit the ceiling.
Weakness: Word problems (especially involving inequalities, abs. values) and CR!! People say CR gets easier once you get used to the pattern of questions. I am fully aware what types of questions appear in the test, but am not confident in my answers.

Thanks again!

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2567
Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Thanked: 712 times
Followed by:550 members
GMAT Score:770

by DanaJ » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:47 pm
The general opinion is that the MGMAT guides are a really good resource for strategies, but I'd argue that for CR the best of the best is the PowerScore CR Bible. I attribute much of my 11-point increase in scaled score (from 36 to 47) to that book, so maybe it's going to help you too.

For quant, I guess not practicing enough does take its toll on things. This combined with nervousness probably got the best of you. If you're looking for more quant practice, check out Ian's review of GMAT Focus, it might just be worth your time. If you're looking for specific word problem resources, one of the books I've recently reviewed, Kaplan Advanced, has a pretty substantial word problem portion - around 70 or so. The book is not of much use otherwise, not structured properly, if you ask me.

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Nov 2009

by nextstop » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:24 am
Hi Dana,

Thank you so much for your suggestions.
I've ordered CR book in Amazon just now. How did you use that book? 11 increase in verbal is so amazing.

I agree with you on that the lack of practicing is the reason for my math score. I'd take a look at Kaplan book as well. As to general suggestion on math problems, what can I do for daily practice? I scheduled the next exam on 21st. Gotta clear up my brain and beat the gmat in no time!

Many thanks!

S.A.

Legendary Member
Posts: 1578
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Thanked: 82 times
Followed by:9 members
GMAT Score:720

by maihuna » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:50 pm
DanaJ wrote: For quant, I guess not practicing enough does take its toll on things. This combined with nervousness probably got the best of you. If you're looking for more quant practice, check out Ian's review of GMAT Focus, it might just be worth your time..
DanaJ,
I have completed two out of the three GmatFocus, my review is poor. Ian please correctme if I am wrong. All the Q (tough one) are already in OG-12, a few remaning are not worth it. In two tests so far I can see 70-80 % repeat from OG-12. Further the tests are not adaptive, includes only algebra and arithmetic no geometry.

The analysis is poor. I have got three wrong and one wrong with estimates of 48-51 in both.

Guys please stay away from gmat focus if u have og-12.

The explanations are poor and in fact wrong in a few cases.

Ian please correct me if ur observation is different.
Charged up again to beat the beast :)

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2567
Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Thanked: 712 times
Followed by:550 members
GMAT Score:770

by DanaJ » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:31 pm
@nextstop: I actually got a hold of the book pretty late in my prep - had only like one week or so to go. I just read through it (although I will note it had my full attention during my reading) and it still helped a ton! I'm guessing that if you work through the book with a pen and paper at hand you'd do even better!

@maihuna: Personally, I have not used the GMAT Focus thing, which is why I directed the original poster to Ian's review of the software. I was under the impression that the questions in GMAT Focus were however exclusive to it, but if what you say is true, then... I really don't know what to say...

Legendary Member
Posts: 1578
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Thanked: 82 times
Followed by:9 members
GMAT Score:720

by maihuna » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:59 am
DanaJ,
I just completed my 3rd gmat focus as well. In all three got 1 wrong, stupid slips, got 48-51, 48-51, 47-51.

My conclusion a few Q only different from OG. Finally I got some coordinate geom Q today, no geometry(pure).

I am done with gmat focus. Timing was awful, I completed all three with around 10 minutes to go. So not sure how adaptive they really are.
Charged up again to beat the beast :)

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 5
Joined: 23 Nov 2009

by Sally222 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:13 am
I would just like to say that I think you're crazy for retaking the gmat after getting a 700. That is a sufficient score for any school in the country. Even if you scored better the second time around, it would have made practically no difference to your application. A 700 or 750, whatever, you are among the top performers of the GMAT. The GMAT is just looked at as a bar you need to pass. 700 is definitely passing at EVERY school in the world. After you meet their minimum requirement.. which is probably in the mid to high 600s at most of those schools, then they will consider your application based on the other aspects: your professional experience, your essays, your interview.

now that you've scored lower, I think admissions committes will look at that somewhat negatively. But you could play it off as a fluke.. say you were sick or something the second time if they ask you. I think you'll probably still get through to the interview rounds if the rest of your application is good.

I would absolutely NOT retake it a third time. If you score something below 700 again then it would really make it look like you deserved the lower score. You could try taking some practice tests and if you consistently score close to 800, then maybe retake it. But otherwise, just quit now!

It's time to focus on the other parts of your application!

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2567
Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Thanked: 712 times
Followed by:550 members
GMAT Score:770

by DanaJ » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:45 am
It is quite understandable why someone would like to retake the GMAT. For instance, say you're from an overrepresented pool of applicants: getting your numbers up could really help you stand out. Or if the average of some doctoral program is 750...

Indeed, it's risky if you're not 100% sure you can score more than 700, but still... Sometimes the risk might be worth it. I can't say if it's going to be good or bad, that's up to the test taker. It's just that you have to seriously weigh in all options.

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 5
Joined: 23 Nov 2009

by Sally222 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:38 am
There is practically no difference between a 700 and a 750 in the eyes of admission officers. Ask one for yourself.

If you score a 700 on the GMAT, or close to it, there is absolutely no reason to take it again. Your time would be much better spent making the rest of your application the best it can be.

There are plenty of people applying to top schools who have managed to score well on the GMAT. Fewer of them are able to explain what makes them a great candidate in a compelling way. If you don't think you can do the latter on your own, my advice would be to take the money you were going to spend to retake the GMAT and use it to hire a qualified consultant to help you on your essays. I think that would do a lot more to up your chances of admission.

If you have a 700 and are not admitted to the school of your choice, I gaurantee that your GMAT score is not the reason why.

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 5
Joined: 23 Nov 2009

by Sally222 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:54 am
Also... Dana, you're right that it's understandable that people would want to improve their score. But, at the same time they shouldn't become obsessed with it! It is really not the most important aspect of the application. The GMAT is just a tool aimed at measuring your quantiative, problem solving, and verbal ability to show that you'd be able to succeeed in a rigorous program. Someone who scores a 700 is obviously very proficient in all of those areas... scoring 10 to 50 points higher wouldn't really prove anything more.

More on this topic: https://www.beatthegmat.com/the-myth-of- ... 20149.html

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Dec 2009

by Sactiv8Y » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:45 pm
I had a similar experience except my score dropped twice!

First attempt 680 (Q44 v39), then second attempt 650 (q44 v35) and now 620 (q44 v31)!

I am totally shocked. My scores on the MGMATs were above 700 on 5/6 tests.

Did you figure out what went wrong? I can't think of anything except nerves. I'm hoping the adcom doesn't look to deeply into this.