590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? : Share GMAT Experience
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# 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help?

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590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 13:23
Hi everyone,

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.

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:

590
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.

*edit*
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.

Last edited by meesawoosa on 18 May 2009, 15:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 14:21
WOW 47 on Verbal - you are one of a few very rare people I have seen here to get 47 on verbal - very few. You finished 30 minutes early on Verbal? is there a small statue of you for sale I can buy anywhere?

Very impressive stats!
I should probably ask about the schools you are targeting and what concentration, but with so many MBA programs being quant-heavy, you probably want to improve your math - that would be my suggestion. You can get some harder math books - I heard Jeff Sackman's GMAT bible recommended and also GMAT Club Tests - they are both for 750+ target test takers. This would compensate for your Law School "advantage" as the Bschool admissions may think you just coasted the GMAT.

Another approach would be to check with the bschool, esp if you are a current law student - they should be able to give you a quick "profile" review and advise if it makes sense to retake - it may be good enough for them.

If you do need to improve, you should be able to improve enough to get into the 750+ territory in a month. (you can only schedule tests every 31 days)

What are the practice test scores you listed? Is that Princeton? GMAT prep?
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Last edited by bb on 18 May 2009, 14:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 14:56
Congratulations... What a terrific Verbal score....
Never heard of these numbers in verbal...
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 14:58
For quant also look into the gmatclub tests. 25 of them and they really really challenge you. Good luck.
(personally I don't think you should bother about retake - your score is fine).
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 15:01
Can you plz throw some light on how did you prepared for Verbal
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 15:13
Congrats. Great score... any tips for verbal?books, online material ..etc?

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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 15:18
47 on the verbal ... phewwwww I would just bask in the happiness of verbal score and not worry about quant. But I guess bb is right ... try the GMATCLUB tests for sure.

Oh and if you have that statue, get me a replica as well
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 15:23
Excellent score, ecpecially verbal. However, I am a big fan of retaking

Well, I don't think you should retake, but whenever someone asks me whether to retake or not I encourage him/her to do so regardless of the actual need. Yes, I know it is imature to some extent but that's the way it is.

Unless the "top 5 school" you are already doing the law school is Wharton, I wouldn't worry at all. Even for Wharton you shouldn't worry tooooo much, but some concerns come into consideration since they really, really insist on the balanced 80/80 score. This is not just a myth, I've heard this from some Adcom members on the admitted student forum. Of course, there is a number of applicants admitted with lower Q or V, as I said - it is not a certain ding (not at all) but raises some red flag for them. Of course, If your other academics and achievements are stellar, and I don't have the slicest doubt they are since you are in the Top 5 law school, you shouldn't worry about your GMAT.

On the other hand, your Quant leaves more than sufficient space for improvement and I wouldn't miss that opportunity if I were you. No sir. We are talking 760 - 770 overhere, and that would be very nice attacment to your already fine resume.

Of course, you should take my advice with a grain of salt because I am some kind of retake adict
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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18 May 2009, 15:35
thank you to everyone for your responses thus far!

i've edited my original post to include some details on my verbal prep.
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help? [#permalink]

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21 May 2009, 12:12

Many would be jealous on your verbal score....(including me ) Nice score....
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Re: 590 to 730, but considering retake. Help?   [#permalink] 21 May 2009, 12:12
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