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About to give up with the GMAT and take GRE instead

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I've started my GMAT journey February of this year. I've taken the GMAT a total of three times with approved 50% time accommodations because of ADHD. I am very close to giving up with the GMAT, I guess it's just not clicking for me and I don't get it. Yes, I've prepared diligently for it. I've taken a Kaplan in person course, received private tutoring, and completed a Veritas online course 2 months ago.

Here's how I did:

1) 440 - May
2) 480 - July
3) 460 - December (Most Recent) - 32 Q / 22 V
I'm particularly disheartened because from the time span between my second and third test, I've heavily invested my time into studying for the exam. I was able to bring up my practice test scores to 590 through Veritas and the official CAT several times mimicking test conditions. My best scores was 38 Q and 34 V.

I felt really good going into the exam this past weekend and I don't know what happened. I don't know how I could do worse than my second retake.

At this point I'm about to say screw it to the GMAT and try the GRE because my school accepts both. 580 GMAT or 310 GRE score.

Any advice on what to do next?

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:19 am
Hi pkaynj,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as hoped. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 3 Official GMAT Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 460 +/- a few points). Regardless of how you've been studying, you continue to 'respond' to the GMAT in the same general way each time you take it. 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 when you plan to take 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 (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

It might be that switching to the GRE is the better option for you (and you can download 2 free practice GREs from www.gre.org - you can take one and see how you do). That having been said, if there are fundamental issues with how you're taking the Official Exam (regardless of the Test), then we have to correct those issues before you take either the GRE or the GMAT again.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 20
Joined: 21 Feb 2017

by pkaynj » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:27 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:Hi pkaynj,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as hoped. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 3 Official GMAT Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 460 +/- a few points). Regardless of how you've been studying, you continue to 'respond' to the GMAT in the same general way each time you take it. 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 when you plan to take 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 (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

It might be that switching to the GRE is the better option for you (and you can download 2 free practice GREs from www.gre.org - you can take one and see how you do). That having been said, if there are fundamental issues with how you're taking the Official Exam (regardless of the Test), then we have to correct those issues before you take either the GRE or the GMAT again.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
1) Yes
2) Took them at library in silent study area with earplugs
3) Yes, official time was 12pm, took them around 11~12
4) Did everything according to how I would during test day
5) All of the CATs I've taken were never taken before

Thanks Rich!

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:06 pm
Hi pkaynj,

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 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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