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Confused about CAT tests / really need advice

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Confused about CAT tests / really need advice [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2012, 04:12
Hey guys,

I posted about a 1 1/2 months ago after receiving a 680 on my first CAT (GMATPrep 1). (Used Kaplan Premier and studied for about a week)

After that CAT, I didn't study for the GMAT for about a month because I had to study for my exams.

Then after Christmas I started Kaplan On Demand. The online course required taking a CAT before starting the course. I knew that my score wouldn't be as high as my first score, because I hadn't looked at the GMAT material at all since my last CAT. Therefore I wasn't really shocked about receiving a 620 on that second CAT.

I completed the last chapter of the online course on Friday and took a Kaplan CAT yesterday. I was really confident and sure that my score would be at least 650. Well guess what... I scored a 620! again. My Quant score was even worse than before the online course!

So I took a MGMAT CAT today after reading in this forum that others experienced similar results on Kaplan CATs. I scored a 670.

Here's a summary of my scores:
11/29/11: GMATPrep1 680 (Q44/V40)
12/25/11: Kaplan CAT 1 620 (Q42/V35)
01/07/12: Kaplan CAT 2 620 (Q40/V37)
01/08/12: MGMAT CAT 1 670 (Q47/V34)

As you can see my scores are really inconsistent.

I have two options now. My GMAT is scheduled on the 21st of March, but I would really like to take it on the 18th of February. I need a score of at least 650 in order to be able to apply to all of my favorite schools, but my target score is in the 680-700 range. I have about 3 weeks that I can study for the GMAT, if I take it in February (Have exams upcoming at the end of January) and 7 weeks if I take it in March. If I take it in March, my chances of getting accepted are much smaller, because most of the schools I want to apply to have several deadlines and I can only apply before the last deadline.

So I really need your recommendations: take the GMAT in February and if my score isn't enough just do it again in March OR wait until March?

And what would you recommend for further studies. I have the MGMAT Strategy books, but I think they are a little much to cover in 3 weeks if want to do the OG too. I can't really tell what my weaknesses are from the CATs, I know RC is my greatest weakness in Verbal and Combination/Permutation in Quant, but according to the Kaplan CATs I'm really week at quant, according to MGMAT I'm quite good...


Long text, I really hope to get some help/advice from you guys. I think the best way now is to take the GMAT in February, work on the OG and maybe focus on weak areas with MGMAT guides.


Thanks a lot!
DDW
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Re: Confused about CAT tests / really need advice [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2012, 12:07
Your scores are all over the place (as you mentioned).

Are you guessing a lot? Are you running into problems when narrowing answer choices down?

Do you know what specific subsections are giving your trouble?
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Re: Confused about CAT tests / really need advice [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2012, 04:30
mohater,

thanks for your reply. Im not really guessing much, maybe a couple of times on quant.

I looked at the reports of the last 2 CATs and there weren't specific subsections I had problems with. I got a lot of SC questions on the MGMAT wrong compared to the Kaplan CAT, but thats it. Maybe I'm a little weaker on RC inference questions.

I can't find a specific weakness or a reason why those scores are so different. The quant section on MGMAT just seemed so much easier compared to Kaplans CAT.

I think I'll do another Kaplan CAT at the end of week. Maybe I just had a really bad quant day. But its also weird that my verbal score is decreasing^^ I am not a native speaker and really happy about the V40 on Gmatprep.

What would you recommend for further study? I think I'll do the OG and keep a close look at the error log.
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Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA fund
Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Economics
Schools: Ross '14 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V38
GMAT 2: Q V
GPA: 3.54
WE: Accounting (Manufacturing)
Followers: 54

Kudos [?]: 398 [0], given: 234

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Re: Confused about CAT tests / really need advice [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2012, 11:50
Don't know what to tell you then.

Scores varying the way they are typically indicates a couple things:

Unknown weaknesses (error log helps uncover these)
Timing issues
Able to narrow down, but guess quite often
Test anxiety

You've gone through the material. Going through it again might not prove useful unless you figure out what is keeping you from scoring better and more consistently.
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Re: Confused about CAT tests / really need advice   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2012, 11:50
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