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Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again?

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Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 2
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V39
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Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2011, 10:22
I took my first GMAT in August '11 and somehow managed to get a 700 (Q47, V39), which was the highest I had ever managed to score in my practice tests, so I was pleasantly surprised at this outcome. Of course I thought I could do better with some more studying, so I proceeded to study for a few more months and try again. I just took my second GMAT yesterday and ended up with a very disappointing 60-point drop to 640. I think my mind just wasn't there this time around, and more than anything I wanted to get the test done. To say the least I was extremely disheartened.

So now I'm left with a couple questions:
1. Should I take the test a third time and try to break 700 or be happy with the 700 and focus on my extracurriculars/work experience? (I don't think I'd be able to study on my own for a third round, though. I've taken the 6 MGMAT CAT tests twice, 2 GMATPrep tests twice, gone through all the MGMAT books, PowerScore CR Bible, Total GMAT Math, and I've done the OG problems and the the MGMAT Question Banks.)
2. I've read everywhere that most/all schools take your highest score, but will that second score will be looked down upon by the adcom?

A little more about me:
I am aiming for a top 10 school (Kellogg, Columbia, Wharton, Haas, Fuqua).
I'm only 2.5 years out of undergrad so I don't plan on applying until at least 2012 or 2013.
I graduated with a 3.5 GPA in Business Economics, currently working in media, and have a marketing leadership position with a non-profit organization.

Appreciate any advice! Thanks!
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Joined: 26 Apr 2011
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Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2011, 01:29
Try again if u are targeting for top schools
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Senior Manager
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Joined: 12 Oct 2011
Posts: 262
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
Schools: Dartmouth (Tuck) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V44
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GPA: 3.66
WE: Management Consulting (Consulting)
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Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2011, 07:34
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You didn't post your q/v splits and I would be interested to see what these show.
Also, you mention that the 700 was your best ever score? By how much?

I guess what I am trying to say is that the decision to retake for a third time should be based not only on where you want to apply, but also on how representative you feel your scores are in showing your actual gmat ability.
For example, I scored a 740 (second try) even though my true GMAT ability is probably in the 700-720 range. A happy fortunate "accident" that I will take. Just as many folks can be unlucky on exam day, sometimes we can be lucky too and get a score that is higher than what we might have gotten had we been presented with a different problem set. Please do not interpret that I am saying you did not "deserve" your 700 or that you could not repeat it - this is not at all my intention. I am attempting to point out one area for consideration in the decision of whether or not to take exam 3.

Bottom line (in my humble opinion):
700 is a great score which will make you competitive with many programs. Only retake if you are very confident you can achieve 730+ next try. If I were an adcom I would prefer seeing 700, 640 to seeing 700, 640, 670.

Best wishes!

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Senior Manager
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Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States (VA)
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32
GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Research (Other)
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Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2011, 12:27
LadyRoadWarrior wrote:
You didn't post your q/v splits and I would be interested to see what these show.
Also, you mention that the 700 was your best ever score? By how much?

I guess what I am trying to say is that the decision to retake for a third time should be based not only on where you want to apply, but also on how representative you feel your scores are in showing your actual gmat ability.
For example, I scored a 740 (second try) even though my true GMAT ability is probably in the 700-720 range. A happy fortunate "accident" that I will take. Just as many folks can be unlucky on exam day, sometimes we can be lucky too and get a score that is higher than what we might have gotten had we been presented with a different problem set. Please do not interpret that I am saying you did not "deserve" your 700 or that you could not repeat it - this is not at all my intention. I am attempting to point out one area for consideration in the decision of whether or not to take exam 3.

Bottom line (in my humble opinion):
700 is a great score which will make you competitive with many programs. Only retake if you are very confident you can achieve 730+ next try. If I were an adcom I would prefer seeing 700, 640 to seeing 700, 640, 670.

Best wishes!

Posted from my mobile device Image


I think you said it best. The GMAT is a computer test, and taking five - six practice tests will give us a good idea of our scoring range, and hopefully, the actual GMAT will be on the higher end of that range.
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Joined: 23 May 2011
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Concentration: Leadership, General Management
GMAT 1: 600 Q44 V29
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Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2011, 13:21
Also I suggest talking to Adcoms..some Adcoms take the highest score into considerations which may play well for u and save u $250 :)
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Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2011, 03:21
All the adcoms that I have interacted with made it pretty clear that they consider the highest score. But the best is to check with the schools directly.
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Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again? [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 05:00
Thanks for the input! My second Q/V splits was Q42 V35. My practice tests ranged from 640 to 720 between both rounds of studying with 700 being the highest from the first round, so I agree with you on the fact that I may have reached my true GMAT ability.

When you say to talk to adcoms, that means contacting the adcoms for each school directly is that right?

Thanks again!
Re: Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again?   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2012, 05:00
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Dropped from 700 to 640. Stop now or try again?

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