I just took the GMAT this morning and came away with a 730 - it's a solid score, and I'm really happy about my improvement, but it's HEAVILY skewed to verbal. (i.e. Q44 - 70th percentile; V47 - 99th percentile).
I wouldn't worry, except that I'm only applying to one business school - a top 5 business school where I've already been accepted to their law program. I want a JD/MBA, and I'm planning on applying to the bschool during my first year of law school.
Considering the selectivity of the business school, the fact that I have a mainly humanities educ. background and the fact that my work experience was in a less quantitative sector, do you think i should retake and try to get a higher quant score? I've heard that scoring below 80th percentile in quant can be "a kiss of death" for applicants to top b-schools...
That said, in my practice tests, my Quant scores ranged from 43-50. I'm pretty inconsistent, it seems, with quant, and I'm not sure whether retaking would necessarily help me, esp. since I might get a lower verbal score.
Thank you for your help.
As for the debrief of my test prep and taking experience:
I took my first practice test at a free practice test event held through Kaplan
. I scored a 590, again much higher in verbal than in quant. I wasn't perfect in verbal, however, despite my having already taken the LSAT and scoring above the 95th percentile on it.
I studied using Princeton Review's Cracking the GMAT
book. I thought some of the techniques/shortcuts were very helpful, especially on saving time in Quant, where I always felt/feel rushed, and the practice test/practice bins of questions in the book were great. Also, they have 2 complete practice tests that are online and computer adaptive, which was helpful.
In addition, I bought the official guide to GMAT Quant review from mba.com. This definitely helped me practice different types of questions and hone my math skills. I also took the free practice test on the free GMAT prep software available on mba.com.
I studied over a period of 8 weeks, but I was working full-time, so keeping to a steady/strict study schedule was difficult. My practice test scores were as follows:
750 (3 weeks later) - Q51, V43 --- I was shocked. I got very lucky on the quant portion here.
700 (1 week later) - Q43, V44
770 (2 weeks later) - Q49, V47
710 (1 week later) - Q43, V46
ACTUAL: 730 - Q44, V47
The actual test: AWA essays were easy. I finished both with a few minutes to spare to proofread/edit. Quant was difficult - I could tell. I hadn't studied number properties sufficiently, and I felt rushed for time. I had only 6 minutes left for the last 7 or so questions, and I had to guess on the last few. Verbal was easy easy easy. I always finish with about 30 minutes to spare on verbal, so I left the test site early.
If anyone has other questions, I'd be happy to try to help.
To prep for verbal, I didn't need to do very much. I come from a very humanities oriented background, so most of college I was doing analytical reading/writing already. On top of that, like I said, I had already taken the LSAT and done very well on it - most of the GMAT verbal prep I did was just reviewing old LSAT materials.
For the LSAT (which I took back in June of 2007), I took a Princeton Review course and purchased several old LSAT's from LSAC online. I did a ton of practice questions in reading comprehension/logical reasoning, which def. helped these past few weeks on the GMAT's verbal section. For people wondering how to improve verbal scores who have already exhausted other GMAT prep materials, I would recommend buying some LSAT prep materials - I personally liked Princeton Review, though others swear by Testmasters. Logical reasoning and reading comp on LSAT vs. GMAT are pretty much identical.
For sentence correction, again, I had an edge considering I've been writing papers and editing papers for other students at my school for several years and I'm a bit of a grammar nut. Also, it was identical to what I had studied for the PSAT's waaaaaay back when in sophomore year of high school. I had forgotten a LOT of stuff, naturally, but the basic rules about misplaced modifiers, subject-verb agreement, and parallelisms came back really fast.
Other than this, actual GMAT-focused verbal prep I did was limited to what was available in the Princeton Review "Cracking the GMAT
" book that I bought at Borders. Again - just a few practice questions and then the GMAT practice tests.