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So, I just re-took the GMAT (2nd time) and am pretty disappointed. My first attempt last August was 490 [Q32/ V25] (AWA-5.5) and this past weekend a 530 [Q32/ V30] (AWA- pending).

My practice CATs ranged, from 490-610; specific practice CATs that I can remember: GMATPrep I: 490 (taken for the 2nd time the weekend before the actual test—wasn’t a comforting sign), Veritas: 520, MGMAT: 580 (Q40)/ V31), Kaplan: 610 (took a Kaplan course and majority of my scores were between 520-560).

I am pretty exhausted from studying but I know that I need to give it one last attempt and prepare with a more structured study program. Any recommendations?

Some questions:

1. When should I plan on re-taking the test? I have a major vacation coming up in August ’09 and know that once the holidays approach study time will not be effective. Perhaps I should work on building an alternative transcript and then prep and re-take the GMAT one more time?
a. I’m worried that if I take it too much further down the line I will lose the skills I’ve gained. At the same time if I take it too soon, the most recent score will be weighing on me too much.
2. How many times can one re-take the GMATPrep software before the results start to become skewed (because of repeat questions)? I ask this because I’m thinking I should not re-take the GMAT until I am consistently scoring my target score (at this point 650 would be great!)
3. Would it be helpful between now and the next major preparation time to do small bits of review to keep the topics in my mind?

Any recommended tips from people that have been in my situation and came out of it with success would be much appreciated. Or anything to help a discouraged MBA aspirant.

Thanks!

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by NethraN » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:38 am
Cmcwong,

I am in the same situation as you are and haven’t yet come out of it with success but still I would like to share my learning and experience with you. I gave my first GMAT on March 2nd and scored a 570 (Q44/V25). I used to score above 600 consistently in my practice tests.

It is not only about knowing the concepts, it’s more about applying them to the GMAT questions. I am sure you know most of the concepts tested on GMAT, so you need to work on your timing and the way you apply those concepts.

Don’t fix a date to re-take the exam right away. Give yourself a week’s break and start preparing again slowly. Think about the date only when you feel you are ready for it. Regarding GMATPrep tests – I think you can take them till you reach a point where you start scoring above 750 consistently because as you get the questions right GMATPrep pulls out tougher questions for you. So take it as many times and force it to pull out the toughest question for you.

Keep in mind that getting an easy question wrong is more damaging than getting a tough question wrong. So build up on your basics and concentrate on timing. As you can see from your first attempt to second you have improved in verbal but not much in quant. A good score in quant with slight improvement in your verbal score can push your score above 600 for sure.

Don’t be discouraged. Good luck.
Nethra

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by henryhenry » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:35 pm
My 2 cents.

a)Examine your strategy critically by paying attention to your mistakes., i am sure you will see improvement. Once you notice the way test-writer constructs questions and answer choices,every other things will fall into places.

b)I am sure you have already known concepts tested on GMAT. Look for inherent traps in every questions that you get wrong and figure out what tempts you to overlook the right answers.What tempts you to pick wrong choice as your answer,especially on Verbal. These may be all what you need to score well.

c) Get the needed materials;quality is better than quantity (Don't get all Kaplan 400,Kaplan 800,Kaplan this,Kaplan that, Verital,Princeton,Manhattan GMAT all Guides, Arco,GMAT Maths Bible,Gmat Maths Qur'an, OG 10,OG 11,OG 12 and the supplements at the same time. You will get confused)

d)Work hard on your weaknesses.You can turn your weakness to your strength with efforts

e)Work on fundamentals. Almost all GMAT questions are based on fundamentals.

(I was once in your shoe and i was able to increase my scores from 510 to 770).

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cmcwong wrote: 1. When should I plan on re-taking the test? I have a major vacation coming up in August ’09 and know that once the holidays approach study time will not be effective. Perhaps I should work on building an alternative transcript and then prep and re-take the GMAT one more time?

a. I’m worried that if I take it too much further down the line I will lose the skills I’ve gained. At the same time if I take it too soon, the most recent score will be weighing on me too much.
I would strongly recommend setting a definitive date. This puts a time in your mind and calendar and serves to motivate you to study hard and stay on your schedule for study.
cmcwong wrote: 2. How many times can one re-take the GMATPrep software before the results start to become skewed (because of repeat questions)? I ask this because I’m thinking I should not re-take the GMAT until I am consistently scoring my target score (at this point 650 would be great!)
It all depends on how much your score moves. I have seen the same questions on the second time, but my score didn't change much.
cmcwong wrote: 3. Would it be helpful between now and the next major preparation time to do small bits of review to keep the topics in my mind?
Absolutely. If you shell out $20 for a book of questions you have not seen before, it will help keep your skills sharp.