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690 - should I retake?

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690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2011, 07:42
so I took the GMAT on Monday and got 690 (Q44, V40). With my goal being 700, I was quite satisfied with what I've got, since I never scored this high even during my practice tests and I was expecting somewhere around 650 range.

Now my question is, do I need to retake in order to break 700 score range? My score improved from 500 to 690, and I am not sure if I can break 700 if I try again. I heard that if the score goes down on my next try, it might actually look bad.....Also, I won't be applying to insanely top schools - I am thinking of applying to schools with average GMAT score of 650 to 700 range.

Is there a huge difference between 690 and 700 when it comes to admission? Also, is Q44 V40 even enough? I heard that the scores should be even with no huge difference between quant and verbal score, but I wasn't sure how much of a difference is a big difference....any help will be appreciated. :)

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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2011, 08:07
kychoi87 wrote:
so I took the GMAT on Monday and got 690 (Q44, V40). With my goal being 700, I was quite satisfied with what I've got, since I never scored this high even during my practice tests and I was expecting somewhere around 650 range.

Now my question is, do I need to retake in order to break 700 score range? My score improved from 500 to 690, and I am not sure if I can break 700 if I try again. I heard that if the score goes down on my next try, it might actually look bad.....Also, I won't be applying to insanely top schools - I am thinking of applying to schools with average GMAT score of 650 to 700 range.

Is there a huge difference between 690 and 700 when it comes to admission? Also, is Q44 V40 even enough? I heard that the scores should be even with no huge difference between quant and verbal score, but I wasn't sure how much of a difference is a big difference....any help will be appreciated. :)

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Hey BIG Congratulations !! 690 and 700 is hardly any difference, I think it is better you focus on the applications now.
Also, I scored a low 560 on my first attempt at GMAT, and I'm also looking for a new improved score around 700. Do you mind sharing your preparation plan and strategy. I would really appreciate if you can do it.

Good Luck for your apps.
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GMAT 1: 500 Q30 V28
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Kudos [?]: 26 [0], given: 13

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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2011, 08:34
vivgmat wrote:
kychoi87 wrote:
so I took the GMAT on Monday and got 690 (Q44, V40). With my goal being 700, I was quite satisfied with what I've got, since I never scored this high even during my practice tests and I was expecting somewhere around 650 range.

Now my question is, do I need to retake in order to break 700 score range? My score improved from 500 to 690, and I am not sure if I can break 700 if I try again. I heard that if the score goes down on my next try, it might actually look bad.....Also, I won't be applying to insanely top schools - I am thinking of applying to schools with average GMAT score of 650 to 700 range.

Is there a huge difference between 690 and 700 when it comes to admission? Also, is Q44 V40 even enough? I heard that the scores should be even with no huge difference between quant and verbal score, but I wasn't sure how much of a difference is a big difference....any help will be appreciated. :)

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Hey BIG Congratulations !! 690 and 700 is hardly any difference, I think it is better you focus on the applications now.
Also, I scored a low 560 on my first attempt at GMAT, and I'm also looking for a new improved score around 700. Do you mind sharing your preparation plan and strategy. I would really appreciate if you can do it.

Good Luck for your apps.


Thanks!! I'm so glad that it's over....(or is it? :shock: )

Well, for me Quant was the hardest part, coming from music school and all. I enrolled at Knewton and bought 8 MGMAT books. After Knewton lessons were over I basically studied myself, around 3 hours a day, studying fundamentals and concepts. MGMAT books were extremely helpful. Once I understood the concept it was so much easier for me to apply into most questions especially for DS questions.

For Verbal, RC was naturally easier for me, since I love reading newspapers and articles. For CR, I worked on recognizing patterns and trap answer eliminations. SC - it was a bit difficult for me but MGMAT SC book really helped, and so did Knewton course.

Lastly, maybe this was just for me, but I studied in the library 99% of the time to get used to the pressure of entering dead silent places and listening to my heartbeat during my practice GMAT. For me, it worked really well since I wasn't nervous at all during the real test, since I was so used to that type of setting. Besides - I just focused better at the library.

Let me know if you have any more questions - and GMAT clubbers - I'd greatly appreciate your inputs regarding this post. Thanks
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2011, 14:02
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I took the test monday and got the same score. 44/40 split too.

I'm probably going to retake because I'm going to be shooting for top 10-15 schools. But looks to me like you should be all set! You're in the right ballpark of the schools you're looking at. A 700 probably won't make a difference if you're looking at schools in the 650-700 range. But if you get you think you can push your quant up a bit more you could be looking at some top schools.

Awesome improvement. Congratulations. Good luck with your apps.
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2011, 17:13
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No I don't think it will improve your chances anywhere if you go from a 690 to a 700. It sounds like you have a good score for the schools you are looking at anyway, so I would focus on your essays and the other parts of your application rather than taking the time to try to improve by a meager 10 points.
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2011, 00:35
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The answer to this question depends a little on your profile and on which schools you intend to take, but broadly, it won't make much difference, especially considering that you broke 40 on both sections. If you studied really hard to get that 690 over a long period, consider it a great reward! If you got it after no more than a few weeks of rushed review, you might have the potential to go really high (c.f., 750 and above), but again, even that won't make much difference unless you are trying for Harvard, Wharton or Columbia (and again, depending on your profile, that's iffy). I wouldn't sweat it. Congratulations in any case!
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2011, 08:40
Thanks guys - looks like I can say goodbye to GMAT after all! I'll focus on my application and essay. I will be applying to few top schools, but mostly to see how far I can go. I will still be happy if I can get in to any schools of my choice which range from 650-700 :)
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2011, 09:28
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kychoi87 wrote:
Thanks guys - looks like I can say goodbye to GMAT after all! I'll focus on my application and essay. I will be applying to few top schools, but mostly to see how far I can go. I will still be happy if I can get in to any schools of my choice which range from 650-700 :)


No problem; glad to help!

One more thing: don't forget the interview. Your GMAT breaks the floodgate if it is about the median level for your school but you really need to polish everything. Get a good proofreader/counselor.
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2011, 09:34
rustypolymath wrote:
kychoi87 wrote:
Thanks guys - looks like I can say goodbye to GMAT after all! I'll focus on my application and essay. I will be applying to few top schools, but mostly to see how far I can go. I will still be happy if I can get in to any schools of my choice which range from 650-700 :)


No problem; glad to help!

One more thing: don't forget the interview. Your GMAT breaks the floodgate if it is about the median level for your school but you really need to polish everything. Get a good proofreader/counselor.


Will do - thanks again for your help. Looks like the war has just begun. :)
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2011, 13:51
I also don't think you should retake, based on what schools you're aiming for and your expectations. Like everyone else said, there's little difference between a 690 and a 700. Congratulations and good luck!
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2012, 02:47
Hey Goodbyeboy

First, grats on that improvement. Second, I would really like to learn how you improved ur verbal score like that, like you I'm a non-native speaker and I have been struggling with all the complicated vocabulary on the GMAT.

My practice scores were ranging in 620-660, however unfortunately my real GMAT was a failure, even though I felt i did really well on the Verbal and the opposite on Quant, I had opposite scores.

Real GMAT 600 (Q47, V25 or 26)

Although i've been scoring in the 30's range in all my practice tests I scored a very low on the actual. So can you please help me out in improving my score to where you did? I haven't studied for english that much to be honest, but i'm finding difficulty on knowing how to study it. It seems that you have succeeded in achieving such improvement and I would like to learn how you did? Thanks :)
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2012, 03:21
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Albuloushi wrote:
Hey Goodbyeboy

First, grats on that improvement. Second, I would really like to learn how you improved ur verbal score like that, like you I'm a non-native speaker and I have been struggling with all the complicated vocabulary on the GMAT.

My practice scores were ranging in 620-660, however unfortunately my real GMAT was a failure, even though I felt i did really well on the Verbal and the opposite on Quant, I had opposite scores.

Real GMAT 600 (Q47, V25 or 26)

Although i've been scoring in the 30's range in all my practice tests I scored a very low on the actual. So can you please help me out in improving my score to where you did? I haven't studied for english that much to be honest, but i'm finding difficulty on knowing how to study it. It seems that you have succeeded in achieving such improvement and I would like to learn how you did? Thanks :)


Hey there, I know how you feel - vebal section can be intimidating especially if you're a non-native speaker. Here are couple of tips I used to prepare for my test.

First, if you haven't yet, go ahead and purchase MGMAT prep books - I think you're good with Quant so I'd say just buy ones for verbal section. I highly recommend them as they are extremely helpful.

For SC, make sure you know the general rules like FANBOYS, parallelism, sorting out unnecessary sentences etc. Make sure to write A-E on your pad and mark them out as you check out the wrong ones. Hopefully it won't take more than a minute to figure out the right answer, and most likely for harder questions you'll end up with 2 choices which you'll have to make a choice, but hey, 50% chance is better than 20% :)

For RC, I'd suggest you to read articles from HBR, The Economist etc - and apply your RC skills to figure out what the author is trying to say and skim down all the information. IMO, RC is ALL about focus, since answers are written right on the screen and all you have to do is focus and find the right answers.

Also, what I did was whenever RC section pops up, I see the very first sentence of each paragraphs and write them down on pad - without even reading the entire article, most of the times, especially for easier passages I knew what the author was talking about and the gist of the entire passage. For example, first paragraph would say something like:

1. For a century, scientists have speculated that.....(ok, the author is bringing something to the table here - it doesn't matter what it is yet. All we have to know is the purpose of the first paragraph)
2. Moreover, the stem cell research has experienced many breakthroughs.....blah blah blah (continuation of what was written before - nothing amazingly new here)
3. However, in contrary to what most scientists believed, it turns out that.....(You see the word However - so you know this paragraph is something that will try to negate the popular belief or assumptions)
4. (In this paragraph, all you have to check is the author's tone - whether he/she supports it, rejects it, or stays neutral)

Again, this doesn't work on all passages, but it worked for me on most passages.

For CR, the main thing you'll need to do is finding an assumption in questions. If you are able to find assumptions, most questions will be pretty doable. For harder and tricky questions - try to scratch out all the obvious wrong ones, and make your best bet and move on. It's really easy to waste time without knowing on those tough CR questions. What you don't want to do is waste time on those hard questions and lose your score on easier ones.

Also, there are pretty obvious CR patterns out there - X causes Y, Y causes X, etc. I think you'll be able to find those patterns in this site so I'd suggest you to remember those patterns to quickly pick out the right answers.

Hope this is all helpful - feel free to PM me if you have any more questions :) Good luck!
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Re: 690 - should I retake? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2012, 04:07
Wow, thanks. That was a very detailed and helpful response, I hope it would help me out. The part about RC seems like a good strategy to be honest, however i need to test it now. Anyways thanks a lot for your time, I'll PM u if I require further explanation. Your verbal improvement is quiet motivating, so I guess I'll work hard for it now. Cheers.
Re: 690 - should I retake?   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2012, 04:07
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