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Cold Shower

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Joined: 25 Jul 2013
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Cold Shower [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2013, 16:28
Hi folks, this is my first post.

I just took Manhattan GMAT diagnostics exam cold and received 480 (I actually got pretty luck because there were two math questions that I guessed right and that were in 700-800 range). I am at a loss for words given that I had what now seem like unrealistically high hopes for business school. I went to a top 10 school and did very well there (majored in Econ and had 3.7 GPA). I am reluctant to use my SAT score as any guide since I took it about a year and a half after learning English, but even there I received an ok score of 1350 (if I remember correctly, I got 640 on my essay). The only thing that comes to mind is that I really should have taken it earlier in the day, but I had family members visiting and took them on sight-seeing in hot sun all day so I was a bit tired. However, even if I can somehow attribute say 50 points to that I still need around 200 point jump to be competitive for top schools. I am really depressed right now and I am not sure if I should even bother trying to go to business school because it would not really make much financial sense unless I go to one of the top schools. I have a decent job now which I hate (pay is pretty good, but exit and growth opportunities are not) so going to a school outside of top 10 would entail taking on a fair amount of debt (to be added to a decent existing chunk of school debt from my undergraduate days)...yeah, not sure what to do now.
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Joined: 09 Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Economics
GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V44
GMAT 2: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 3.1
WE: Sales (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
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Re: Cold Shower [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2013, 19:48
manhattan's practice exams are ridiculously hard - don't use them as a good gauge of your score. The real exam will throw in easy questions in between the hard ones, Manhattan just slings the hardest questions it thinks you can handle at you, and it really hurts the timing of it.
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Re: Cold Shower [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2013, 21:58
Expert's post
Hi woop, first off you've done your first diagnostic, so congratulations! A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of getting a quantifiable score for their efforts and resist taking the exam for some time. Now that you've dipped your toe in the water, at least you know what the GMAT is all about.

This brings me to my second point, a lot of people get discouraged from their first attempt. The score is low, they thought they'd do better, etc... but realistically, would you really expect to ace an exam you haven't prepared for, even if you're really smart? People study for months (or even longer) to get really high scores on this exam, so one lackluster score isn't worth getting worked up over. It's a baseline score. Statistically, if you devoted a month of your time to studying GMAT regularly, your score would jump by like 100 points. There are plenty of examples of people who jumped by triple digits from one test to the next, so if you want to take the GMAT challenge, you've only just begun. You're like a level 2 wizard in a role playing game, but if you want to beat the boss, you need to be at least level 10! You know what you need to do to level-up, so the only question is your motivation and reward for doing so. (yes I'm referencing video game progression to GMAT study... it's what a good geek would do!)

This is the third point, all your questions about whether a business degree is right for you. I know this will sound cheesy, but only you can answer those questions for yourself. There are a lot of really good resources available on this site, though, so I invite you to peruse them and you'll likely find some suggestions and strategies that have helped others. The GMAT is a really cool exam (I may be slightly biased here), and if you look into it a little more I think you'll find some pretty interesting methods to improve your score. No one is forcing you to do the GMAT or a business degree, so the motivation must come from you. If you decide to join our little online community here, I think you'll find it interesting, informative and rewarding.

Best of luck

Ron Awad
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
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Joined: 25 Jul 2013
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Re: Cold Shower [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2013, 13:20
Thank you both for your replies. After a period of mild depression following that disaster I took the official diagnostics exam today and got 670 with 15 min left on quant and 10 min left in verbal section. I feel much better now. Two things make me somewhat worried though. One, I got killed in integrated reasoning section again with only landing in 52nd percentile. Second, I aced verbal, but really had a LOT of sentence correction questions which I answered more by going with my gut feeling as to what sounded right rather than what I knew for a fact to be right. For now I feel much better. Time to hit the books and try getting another 30-40 points and hopefully crossing that 700 mark.
Re: Cold Shower   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2013, 13:20
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