Scored 700+ in official practice tests but 580 on real thing?

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Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Jan 2021
Hi everyone, Just wanted to ask for some advice on what I might be doing wrong here.
So I've been studying GMAT full time for the past 7 months, and have seen my score improve significantly on the practice tests. Here are my stats for all 6 of the GMAT official practice tests:

12/12/20: Q47/V36 - 680
15/12/20: Q47/V39 - 700
25/12/20: Q45/V32 - 640
29/12/20: Q47/V39 - 700
03/01/21: Q48/V42 - 730
08/01/21: Q48/V41 - 720
However, on two attempts at the online GMAT I received:
17/12/20: Q35/V35 - 580!!!
11/01/21: Q40/V35 - 620

I've taken ALL of these practice tests in exam conditions (Don't look at notes obviously with no breaks) and just for some context, I've exhausted the OG verbal and quant practice questions (revised all of which I answered incorrectly as well), and finished Target Test Prep for quant and The Economist courses.

I am so frustrated to get these scores as I believe I am able to reach that 700 mark, but I definitely experienced test day anxiety that may have affected my performance on the actual exam. For quant, when I am answering harder practice questions I could always do so with confidence whereas in the exam I seem to struggle over even the simpler ones.

Since I have taken both Online exams, It seems that my only choice is to retake the GMATs in an official test center, which I am quite nervous about as well due to the pandemic (that + there's an AWA section I've never practiced for). Would anyone be able to give me some advice on what to do going forward? Should I retake the official practice tests again or try some from a third party (I finished Veritas Prep's practice tests, but maybe a different one?)

Also, if anyone has ANY kind of idea as to why my practice scores and my real scores have such a wide discrepancy, please let me know :(

Thanks!

User avatar
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 5
Joined: 13 Mar 2021
Hi,

Big 'swings' in GMAT scores are often the result of differences in how you chose to take those GMAT's. Here are some things to consider:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE GMAT (including all sections) every time?
2) Did you take both GMAT at the same time of day?
3) Did you take the GMAT at home?
4) Did you do ANYTHING during a practice GMAT that you won't be allowed to do on Test Day (pause the Test, Skip sections, listen to music, etc.)?
Etc.

All things being equal, it certainly looks like you know the material well-enough to score at a high level on Test Day. The GMAT will give you the score that you EARN, so you have to be willing to do the necessary work on Test Day to get that high score that you're after.

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