I need some advice urgently. I appeared for GMAT exam on August 3 and got a 650 (Q50, V28),IR-4, AWA 5.5. My score in verbal was substantially lower than what I was getting in my mocks and I am completely stumped as to why this happened. I had taken 8 mock tests leading up to the final day and I took these in as similar conditions to the real test as possible - wrote the essays, did IR section, took the prescribed breaks, and gave most of these exams at the same time as my actual slot. The only reason for the discrepancy may be that I got a few repeat questions in GMATPrep mocks (more details available below), which would have led to a slightly inflated score. However, sometimes I got these repeat questions wrong as well which reduces the advantage of these familiar questions.
Details of these mocks are as follows:
- 1. Jul 10: MGMAT3: 620 (Q41, V34)
2. GMAT Prep1: 750 (Q50, V40) (retake of a test I took last year hence I believe this to be significantly inflated)
3. GMAT Prep3 [Exam Pack 1]: 700 (Q50, V34) (new test purchased) - 1 repeat, got it right
4. Jul 23: MGMAT4: 680 (Q46, V37)
5. Jul 25: Veritas Prep: 710 (Q48, V39)
6. Jul 27: MGMAT5: 680 (Q47, V36)
7. Jul 30: GMAT Prep4 [Exam Pack 1]: 720 (Q49, V38) (new test purchased) - 2 repeats, got both right
8. Aug 2: GMAT Prep2: 710 (Q49, V37) - 6 repeats, got 3 of these right
During the actual exam, I did not feel any anxiety, nerves or fatigue. The only thing which I can put my finger on is that I had about 1.5 cans of Redbull during my breaks and this is something that I had not followed in my practice tests. However, I did not feel any lack of focus or unnatural symptoms.
Prep methodology and materials:
I put in 1.25 months of concentrated prep this time and 3-4 months of on and off studying.
Materials used: OG10, OG11, OG 13, Manhattan SC strategy guide, Topscore pdf's, online forums
I also gave GMAT last year in September 2013 and scored 640 (Q49, V28). I had put in one month of prep on and off for this attempt. My mocks this time were a significant improvement over this last score and also over what I scored in mocks in the past but the actual test day result was a let down.
My questions are:
- 1. Is a retake warranted?
2. What can explain the dip in my verbal score?
3. Given the earliest I can retake is after a month, what can I do improve my gaps in the meantime? I have some long days coming up ahead at work and will be able to invest only limited hours in GMAT.
4. What is the best strategy to retain my momentum without investing too many hours as I do have limited time to devote to prep now?