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At 660-680, how much of an increase is realistic

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I've bee studying out of a book at home for the past 2 weeks. Spend a couple hours each night and more on the weekend. I took a practice exam yesterday (660) and today (680). I have about 4-5 weeks before test day. I work, so I can't spend 8+ hours a day studying. At best, I can only do a few hours each night and 6-8 on the weekend. How much of a realistic increase, if any, can I expect?

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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:36 pm
Hi vy65,

To start, both a 660 and 680 are really strong initial CAT Scores (the average score on the Official GMAT hovers around 540-550 most years). Since you've been studying for just 2 weeks, you could potentially improve a great deal, if we can define your strengths and weaknesses and you put in the proper study. Going forward, it's worth noting that the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. There are also a number of factors that you have to consider about how you take your CATs - to make sure that the results are as realistic as we can reasonably make them (but we can discuss those details later).

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) What were the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for these two CATs?

Goals:
3) What is your goal score?
4) What is your exact Test Date?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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by ceilidh.erickson » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:07 am
vy65 wrote:I've bee studying out of a book at home for the past 2 weeks. Spend a couple hours each night and more on the weekend. I took a practice exam yesterday (660) and today (680). I have about 4-5 weeks before test day. I work, so I can't spend 8+ hours a day studying. At best, I can only do a few hours each night and 6-8 on the weekend. How much of a realistic increase, if any, can I expect?
You should never be taking practice exams 2 days in a row. This doesn't give you any time to review and improve from one test to the next! The GMAT is not the sort of test you can cram for.

As Rich said, a 660 is a strong starting score, so if you're studying thoughtfully - with as much focus on process and review as learning the content - it would be reasonable to hope for a score in the low to mid 700s in 4-5 weeks.
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

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by Jeff@TargetTestPrep » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:16 pm
Hi vy65,

Although I do not know too much about your GMAT experience and goals, I will say that a 680 after a few weeks of studying is a great start. With some further dedicated and smart prep, you can achieve your GMAT score goal.

You also may find my article helpful regarding how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!

Jeffrey Miller
Head of GMAT Instruction
jeff@targettestprep.com

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