GMAT Experience - Looking for advice

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GMAT Experience - Looking for advice

by mikellaverde » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:29 am
So today I finally sat the GMAT after being all into it for almost 5 months.

My score was 660 Q45 V36 IR 7.

As I mentioned, my first mock test was about 5 months ago, and I scored something near 450 (no previous study nor any knowledge of the GMAT). After the first frustration I started my preparation using a Magoosh program + some Manhattan material as well as the 6 pack exams they offer.

A week or so later, I took the first GMAT prep exam and scored 590 Q42 V30 after that I focused myself on all the theory stuff for a while.

5 weeks later I started to take Manhattan exams in which I scored as follows:

--MGMAT 1: 620 Q40 V35
--MGMAT 2: 590 Q42 V31
--MGMAT 3: 610 Q44 V31
--MGMAT 4: 550 Q33 V33 (here I tried to put verbal first, total fail in terms of time management and concentration)

*then I took a 1 week break because I felt there was no improvement in my study. I was feeling too tired of having CATS every week, so I started to leave 2 weeks in between.

--MGMAT 5: 580 Q34 V35 (I totally failed time management again, I was having 700-800 questions but then skipped about 6)

--MGMAT 6: 670 Q46 V36 (I felt really good, but I missed a couple of questions because of time in both Quant and Verbal)

Then I went for the official preps exams, I repeated 1 and bought 3 and 4.

--GMATprep 1.1: 620 Q46 V30
--GMATprep 2: 640 Q44 V34

Here I got really frustrated about my performance and time management. I was consistently having 700-800 level questions but always ran out of time.

I reviewed my strategy and decided to follow a booklet path to keep track of the time during the exam. Also changed my too perfectionist approach and made myself to do some guessing and not to seek for the final answer.

--GMATprep 3: 710 Q49 V39 (I was thrilled, I thought that I finally had got where I was supposed to be)
--GMATprep 4: 650 Q44 V35 (this was 4 days before the exam, I was anxious and nervous)

*I must mention that I kept testing-like conditions for all the Mock tests

So, during the actual exam almost everything was as expected. I was quite nervous during Quant, but i managed to keep myself on track. However, the test center only provided me with two erasable sheets (instead of the Booklet). So, I was a little messy with the quant section, constantly erasing and setting the sheets cost me about 5 minutes. (I'm going to complain)

What I really want to ask here is: Should I retake the Gmat? was my 710 mock score somehow inflated?

I want to start an Msc Finance or a MFE in fall 2019.

I will provide some context about my profile:

-24 Years Old
-Undergrad in Industrial engineering
-GPA 3.7/5 (of the top University of my country).
-Internship in a local management consulting firm.
-currently doing an Specialty in Statistics (grades 4.5/5)
-GMAT 660 Q45 V36
-TOEFL 111
-1 year working as an Entrepreneur with my own small business in the oil palm sector (developing and selling microorganisms as mechanisms to control palm plagues) I started it as business plan during my undergrad dissertation. Also working with my family's business.
-I got an award for the top score in the national undergraduate exams here in Colombia. (Everyone finishing university must take it)

I was hoping to get into a top business school for the 2019 intake: (Mfin or related)
-Manchester Business school

Do I have any chance to get into any of these programs with my current profile? should I work on something specific? any suggestion of other programs I should consider?

I would appreciate any suggestion or comment.

Thank you for taking the time to read it all.


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by ceilidh.erickson » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:18 am
Your scores have been pretty inconsistent, with both quant & verbal fluctuating a lot. Given that, a 660 result is not surprising.

Inconsistency on quant almost always indicates CARELESS ERRORS or sloppy technique - sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. A lot of students brush off careless mistakes when focusing on what seem like larger content issues: "ugh, I wrote that 2 + 2 = 5. But that's not really an issue because I understand it. Let me focus on the hard stuff like probability!" This is a big mistake - it's actually getting the "little things" wrong on easier questions that drag down your score, not missing the really hard ones.

On the verbal side, inconsistency usually indicates that you don't have a consistent process, and you're just winging it: relying on your ear in SC, and not having a strategy for CR and RC.

Analyze your last CAT in depth, and start tracking your mistakes in an Error Log. Then, start looking for patterns in the kinds of mistakes you make. Here's how: ... -studying/

And here are some other resources for building consistent technique / avoiding careless mistakes: ... nt-errors/ ... rt-1-of-2/ ... orrection/ ... -pen-down/

You also pointed out that timing was a problem. You'll have a hard time improving if you don't fix this! Here's how: ... nt-part-3/ ... mat-quant/ ... ng-danger/ ... -test-day/
What I really want to ask here is: Should I retake the Gmat? was my 710 mock score somehow inflated?
Yes, you should retake it. In fact, almost everyone should take the test at least twice! ... mat-twice/
But first, work on your careless mistakes and you timing so that you can score *consistently* in the 700 range.

Good luck!
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

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by [email protected] » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:03 am
Hi mikellaverde.

Your other practice test scores and the way you have been preparing tend to indicate that the 710 practice test score was an outlier. The GMAT tends not to be very forgiving, and so, matching an outlier practice test score is not likely when you take the real test.

At the same time, I do think you should retake the GMAT, AFTER you have done some more prep.

From what you have said, it doesn't sound as if your prep has been all that thorough. You have taken a lot of practice tests and done some basic prep. So, you can lock in that 700+ score that you are looking by actually mastering answering GMAT questions topic by topic.

For instance, in quant, there have to be question types with which you are not that comfortable. By learning all about how to answer questions of even some of those types and practicing answering questions of those types until you master answering them, you could lock in a higher quant score.

To lock in a higher verbal score, you have to increase the level of sophistication of the thinking that you are bringing to bear when answering verbal questions. You can do so by practicing by answering verbal questions very slowly and carefully, seeking to really see all of what is going on in them and getting all or almost all of them correct.

Given that you have scored 660 on the GMAT without doing the type of prep that results in mastery, you are looking good to score 700+ once you really master some more aspects of the GMAT.
Marty Murray
Chief Curriculum and Content Architect
[email protected]


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