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First post: Desperate advice

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First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 07:48
Hello all,

Been a long timer reader, first time poster


i was scoring 600-620 range before on the gmatprep test 1, mgmat test 1-4, and kaplan exams. After going over my weak areas in the mgmat series of books over a time of 2-weeks my scores are as follow:

gmat test prep 2: 710 48Q 39V (no crazy perms or insane overlappign sets)
gmat test prep 1 (round 2): 700 49Q 37V only 1 repeat in the Q, and verbal had a few repeats but i had to work through them.
Mgmat test 5: 650
mgmat test 6: 660

But yesterday I wrote my final Kaplan cat (online version of the cats that come with the 2009 edition) and scored a miserable 600 Q38 V32.

I thought my mgmat and gmatprep scores were inline with each other, but this latest kaplan cat totally breaks my back. I thought the online kaplan exams (the same ones that are on the CD 2009 premier edition) were adjusted for their low scoring?

does it seem reasnable to expect 680-700 on the real deal?

best regards
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 08:16
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Use this tool:

http://gmatclub.com/gmat-score-calculator/

It should help relieve your concerns about the Kaplan test. The calculator seems pretty accurate, based on my personal experience.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 08:37
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First, don't panic. That's the last thing that you want to do as the test date approaches.

As you saw repeats on the GMATPrep, your score is inflated. Seeing that 700 score, while tempting, doesn't actually represent your true performance on that day, due to the old questions. The last two MGMAT tests (what are your other scores, exactly, by the way?) show a good performance, so let's use that as your benchmark: 650. A yet unexplained drop of 50 points, instead of 100 points, doesn't seem so bad.

As you hinted in your post, Kaplan had a reputation of administering very difficult CAT's. Nowadays, however, the company altered its exam format in order for the tests to more accurately reflect the actual GMAT. But perhaps there's still some room for improvement in that area.

How many CAT's have you done? The two GMATPrep tests (along with repeats), the six MGMAT tests, and some Kaplan tests sounds like too much. You might be burning out on them or practiced with too many in a short time period. If so, then it's probably time to take a break from the CAT practice. And as this is the sole "bad" performance, you shouldn't worry about it that much. Your other scores are better and perhaps more in line with your true capabilities.

So, the main culprits appear to be the inflated score, which may have spoiled you to some degree, and possible burnout associated with the tests. This lead to an over-reaction and some level of panic. Again, the best remedy is to take some time off from the tests and relax.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 08:48
bmillan01 wrote:
First, don't panic. That's the last thing that you want to do as the test date approaches. ........



Thank you really appreciate your reply:

I got a 710 on a gmatprep that was completely fresh (saved it for the last 2-weeks of my studies (past saturday).

From the months of Nov. - January 15th I wrote 4 Mgmats, 3-Kaplans all scoring between 600-620 and my first GMATprep which was 650 (cannot recall the breakups).

Then on January 15th, I realized if I want to do good, I have to getter a better grasp on the fundementals of the Q problems I was getting wrong, so I bought the complete MGMAT set and studied my weak areas.

I then wrote 2 more MGMATS scoring 650, 660
re-wrote my GMATprep 1 and scored 700 Q44 V41 (2 repeat Q)
Then I wrote my fresh Gmatprep 2 scoring 710 Q49 V38 (no repeats)

And then yesterday I wrote the kaplan exam from the Kaplan Premier 2009 edition (exam was online) and scored a miserable 600 :O shocked.

Does that add clarity to my predicament?
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 14:50
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Yes, things are a bit clearer now that you further clarified your situation. Thanks! Your Kaplan scores are lower than the other CAT's, so there seems to be a pattern peculiar to those tests. In other words, the worrisome scores might be due more to Kaplan's interpretation of the GMAT than your actual abilities. If this is the case, then don't become frustrated.

Your Manhattan and GMATPrep scores indicate that you are roughly where you want to be. That's all that matters at this point.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 16:44
^ thank you very much my friend, appreciate the confidence.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 18:57
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GMAT Prep tests are the most accurate indicators of actual GMAT scores. These tests represent the kind of questions that come in the real test (basic concepts, tricky applications - kind of challenging and fun) and if you do well under pressure in these tests, then you should be able to manage well in the actual GMAT too. You can expect to be in the +-50 points range. Focus on the areas that didn't go too well and depending on how much time you have, thoroughly work on them one at a time. Don't just brush over all topics; focus on your particular weak areas so that you can manage at least easy to medium questions from that topic.
Btw, ignore random deviations of the other tests.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2011, 14:20
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If it helps, I just wrote the GMAT yesterday and I had exactly the same issue you're having. I found that my scores on the Kaplan tests actually went down the more I studied, to the point where I scored 660 on the last Kaplan exam. I ended up scoring 710 on the actual GMAT and found that the official GMAC practice tests were much, much more accurate than the Kaplan exams. I actually found the Kaplan exams really frustrating because Quant was by far my weakest area and I found the Quant sections on the Kaplan exams much more difficult than the official practice tests and the actual GMAT. Anyway, that's just my experience, so take it for what its worth, but I thought I would share.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2011, 15:24
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Ditto to all the comments people have made.

The GMATPrep was the only test that was even close to my actual score.
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2011, 18:50
I really appreciate all the advice you guys gave me!

I have setteled down and hope to score between 670-710

thank you again!
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Re: First post: Desperate advice [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 15:34
Thanks, that's an invaluable piece of info!

mysciencefriend wrote:
If it helps, I just wrote the GMAT yesterday and I had exactly the same issue you're having. I found that my scores on the Kaplan tests actually went down th
e more I studied, to the point where I scored 660 on the last Kaplan exam. I ended up scoring 710 on the actual GMAT and found that the official GMAC practice tests were much, much more accurate than the Kaplan exams. I actually found the Kaplan exams really frustrating because Quant was by far my weakest area and I found the Quant sections on the Kaplan exams much more difficult than the official practice tests and the actual GMAT. Anyway, that's just my experience, so take it for what its worth, but I thought I would share.


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Re: First post: Desperate advice   [#permalink] 18 Feb 2011, 15:34
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