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From 720 to 680

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From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 13:59
Well, I went backwards...

I first took the test in early 2007 and scored a 720 (Q45 V44). I thought I would take it again to bump up my Quant score and ended up losing points in both Q and V and scoring a 680 (Q41 V42). I really don't see how this could have happened. First of all, here are my practice test scores for this attempt in chronological order:

Princeton Review 1: 720 Q48 V42
Princeton Review 2: 710 Q46 V42
Powerprep 1: 730 Q47 V45
Kaplan 1: 560 Q32 V36
MGMAT 1: 700 Q46 V39
Kaplan 2: 660 Q38 V42
MGMAT 2: 660 Q38 V42
MGMAT3: 720 Q44 V44
Princeton Review 3: 690 Q41 V44
Powerprep 2: 760 Q47 V41
GMAT prep 1: 730 Q45 V45
MGMAT 4: 700 Q46 V40
Kaplan 4: 640 Q35 V41
Princeton review 4: 680 Q40 V44
MGMAT 5: 750 Q48 V45
GMAT prep 2: 770 Q48 V48
MGMAT 6: 740 Q47 V45
GMAT prep 1 retake: 770 Q49 V48
GMAT prep 2 retake: 760 Q50 V44
MGMAT 1 retake: 760 Q49 V45
GMAT prep 1 re-retake: 770 Q49 V48
GMAT prep 2 re-retake: 780 Q49 V49

The first time around I was just aiming for 700+, so I studied just enough Quant to "get by". I finished the OG 11 and the OG math supplement and that was about it. It was enough for me to get a 720. This time I wanted to score 750+, so I took the Quant section more seriously. I bought and completed the GMAT club challenges as well as a couple of the Manhattan Prep quant books. The first time I took the test, I never scored higher than 730 on a GMAT prep test, even after reinstalling. This time I scored a 770 on GMAT prep 2 even though I didn't recognize any questions from a year ago. As you can also see, my scores ranged from 660-750 on the supposedly more difficult MGMAT CATs. True, I didn't even crack open the OG 11 this time around, but I didn't think it would matter given my high practice test scores.

How the hell could this have happened? I actually put in MORE effort this time around (especially in Quant) but ended up getting a lower score. I don't even know if retaking it would serve any purpose because I already did more than well enough on all the practice tests. I'm sure that my GMAT score report is all screwed up now because prospective schools will see the drop from 720 to 680. I am so pissed off right now........
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Re: From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 14:33
It really sucks what happened to you but you also serve as an example for the people who have good scores and still want to retake. There is no guarantee that you will even go up....and still a chance that you will do worse!

Honestly, you just had a bad day. It really seems like that. Maybe it was just your nerves?
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Re: From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 14:54
raabenb wrote:
It really sucks what happened to you but you also serve as an example for the people who have good scores and still want to retake. There is no guarantee that you will even go up....and still a chance that you will do worse!

Honestly, you just had a bad day. It really seems like that. Maybe it was just your nerves?


I don't know what it was. I'm just pretty disappointed right now.
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Re: From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 14:59
That's quite a predicament ned80, I'm so sorry this happened.

You already know that most adcoms will accept your highest GMAT score and it shouldn't be hard to explain your 680 as you just having an off-day. I understand you're concerned about the 45Q, but will taking the test a third time be really worth it? It's probably more worth your while to take a handful of classes in stats, accounting etc. and try to get A's on those to demonstrate your comfort with numbers rather than gamble with taking the GMAT again.

As a liberal arts major with a mediocre record in math classes, I flirted with the idea of taking the test again myself to try and score a point or two higher in my quant section (and be well clear of that famed 80/80 hurdle) but eventually decided to just take a couple of classes in finance and accounting at a local school and do well on them to convince admissions committees I wasn't a complete "poet."

I actually think you posting about your experience here will be very helpful to other test takers on the board; it should make them seriously mull whether or not taking the GMAT again once they've broken the 700+ barrier really makes sense.
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Re: From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2008, 15:15
solaris1 wrote:
That's quite a predicament ned80, I'm so sorry this happened.

You already know that most adcoms will accept your highest GMAT score and it shouldn't be hard to explain your 680 as you just having an off-day. I understand you're concerned about the 45Q, but will taking the test a third time be really worth it? It's probably more worth your while to take a handful of classes in stats, accounting etc. and try to get A's on those to demonstrate your comfort with numbers rather than gamble with taking the GMAT again.

As a liberal arts major with a mediocre record in math classes, I flirted with the idea of taking the test again myself to try and score a point or two higher in my quant section (and be well clear of that famed 80/80 hurdle) but eventually decided to just take a couple of classes in finance and accounting at a local school and do well on them to convince admissions committees I wasn't a complete "poet."

I actually think you posting about your experience here will be very helpful to other test takers on the board; it should make them seriously mull whether or not taking the GMAT again once they've broken the 700+ barrier really makes sense.


Actually, I've already been accepted by an MBA program and will be starting in the fall. I just wanted to take the GMAT again to keep the PhD option open. Most of the top PhD programs have an average GMAT score of around 700, but their average quant score is 48-50, leaving me 3 or 4 points short in the Quant department.

Well, at least I've got the MBA in the bag. I don't know if I want to take the GMAT again and run the risk of screwing up my score report even more. Hopefully my 45Q can cut it if I decide to keep going after the MBA....unless the programs take a look at my 680 second attempt and automatically ding me.
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Re: From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2008, 03:03
Mate similar to my experience - except my score remained the same (your practice test scores mimick mine)... All I can say is tough luck and dont worry about it, you've already got a 720 under the belt and schools will look at that. I'd say focus on the apps with the 720 and retake once you've sent your applications through in R1.
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Re: From 720 to 680 [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2008, 06:12
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I don't understand the obsession people have with just a getting slightly better GMAT score....
If I cannot propel myself into the high 700 range... 700-750 feels about the same as far as I am concerned.
I would much rather spend the time on the apps themselves.

In ned80's case, wouldn't it be better to show the school that you can do well in the quant classes, instead of taking the GMAT over again. I am not that familiar with the PhD programs, though.....
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Re: From 720 to 680   [#permalink] 14 Jul 2008, 06:12
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