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Got a 680 (Q43 / V40) - do i re-take?

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Got a 680 (Q43 / V40) - do i re-take? [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2004, 14:19
Hi everyone,

Took the test on Saturday and scored a 680 (Q43 - 71%, V40 - 91%) for a 90% overall. I was shooting for 700+, but I am fairly content with this score. The test started out well, the AWA section was relatively easy. Have a template prepared and know general argument flaws for the Analysis of Argument section, as I have found the same logical reasoning flaws occur through almost every essay prompt. Went into the Quant section feeling confident, but was shaken when the first question was a relatively hard (I thought) geometry DS question. I am almost sure I answered it wrong. Second question was a probability question, which I had studied a lot for off of this site, but again it threw my confidence. In the math section, I got 2 probabilities, 1 combination, a fair amount of geometry, algebra questions. I really had no idea how I was doing on the section. It alternated between what I thought were really really hard questions, and then some really easy questions (like simple algebra) and weird things I had to calculate given a certain equation. I had to guess on a lot of questions, as I was crunched for time. But I was used to having timing problems in the Quant section, so I knew how to adjust my timing and guess on certain problems. GMAT quant has always been the tough one for me, so I ended that section honestly having no idea how I did when I usually have some clue.

As my confidence was shaken after the quant section, I went in feeling nervous about verbal but also very determined because I knew I had to remain focus and pull it together on the verbal to not blow it completely. The verbal was not so bad. Lots of SC at the beginning. I didn't even get a CR until like question 11. The RC passages were LONG! RC has never been my forte and it was hard to remain focused when the passages were so long and boring (2 were science ones, which I am weak at with all the technical jargon). But I felt good throughout it, although some CR's made me think, "what?!". I got 2 bold faced CR's which were really tough and I more or less had to guess.

I studied for about 4 months. I did all of the OG (except RC) and I did many of the quant problems over and over. I kept a pretty good error log and always reviewed my errors. I focused 80% of my time on quant, because that was my weakness. I especially focused on prob., combinations and permuations. I also used Kaplan's higher score CD and did the tests and quant part, but not the verbal sections. And towards the end, I was running out of test material, so I bought Princeton Review and did the tests only. I generally found Kaplan math to be very hard, but good practice and Princeton Review to be good on verbal but too easy on the math. I thought the actual GMAT was harder than PR, but on par with the difficult questions in OG and with Kaplan. I took practice tests on the weekends and studied pretty hard during the week. My practice tests were as follows (in order):

PP1: 570
PP2: 600
Kaplan 1: 550
Kaplan 2: 550
Kaplan 3: 550
Kaplan 4: 540
PR 1: 600
PR 2: 720
PR 3: 690
Gmatclub Quant Challenge 1: 80 %tile
PR 4: 710
Kaplan 1: 640

As you can see, I started off badly, but really felt to get it towards the end. I suppose now my delimna is deciding whether to re-take or not. This is more of a question for Linda, who I will ask too, but do you guys have any input as to what I should do?

I am not so concerned about the overall score, since I fall into the middle 80% range of all the schools I am targeting (top 15 schools minus H/S/W), but what concerns me more is the low quant score, as it does not fall in the above 80% that tops schools supposedly want. The thing is I really don't want to take it again, and will not take it again unless it would significantly deter my chances. I don't necessarily think I would do any better on the quant section (quant score was in line with the practice tests I took) and I really did study hard for the quant part. I have heard that the GMAT matters primarily in the sense that it demonstrates whether or not you can handle the coursework and I do have a strong quant background and W/E, but just suck at GMAT quant! I am on the fence right now guys and leaning towards not taking it again... any advice? Is my low quant score a dealbreaker?

Thanks so much for all your help here with this website, it definitely helped prepare me... the breadth of info on this site was extremely helpful.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2004, 17:49
Good job cs77. 680 is a great score and we can definitely see the improvement over you CAT scores. Although I may not be fit to give you advice on this, I would still suggest you to take it again because a 43Q can easily be increased. Maybe you should ask for advices in the ask.accepted section. As you know, top schools are really picky on that score being over 700 unless you have outstanding work experience or community involvement to back up your application. Anyhow, 680 is a great score! :woohoo
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2004, 12:04
Hi Paul,

Thanks for your encouraging words. You are right, a Q43 should be improve-able. I am not sure. Probably going to rest for a few days and think about it and try to get motivated again. Thanks again for your input.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2004, 12:34
Dear cs77

It is indeed admirable that you managed a 40V after going through a tough quant section. I only managed a 39V, but i never concentrated so hard and i even did ok on the Quant.

As for a retake, you should ask the experts, Linda Abraham and MBA Game Plan. You can get much more reliable info from them

When you discuss this question of a retake, share your entire profile ; from undergrad university and GPA, work experience and leadership positions to community service. Depending on what they say, decide what to do.

Hope this helps
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2004, 13:20
Thanks for your response, Praet. I think I will ask Linda and see what she has to say. you're right about including background info. Thks
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2004, 13:16
Hi CS-

Congrats on your score. Your overall score is in the top 10% of all test takers so you should be proud.

I had a similar experience to you, in getting a good score but falling short in the quant. I took the test three times, and while my overall score increased each time, my quant score went from 57% to 79% to 66%.

I am applying to the Top 10 schools, and this is the one part of my application that I think is weak. I, too, have a liberal arts background (albeit from an Ivy League college) so I know the lack of quant "bookwork" will be a concern to them. (I have taken quant classes at night over the last year and done well in them, however).

Luckily we both have quantitative work experience to draw upon. Make sure to highlight this and dont focus too much on the GMAT quant. Remember - the GMAT is just one of 5-6 factors in the admissions process....and the quant breakdown is probably 70% of 1 of those 6 factors, so you're really looking at it weighing, at most 25% in your overall application (at least thats what I think).

I may go for the test one more time in the fall - just for kicks. Highly doubtful but maybe. But I doubt I'd ever break 80% quant regardless of how hard I tried.

Keep your head up!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2004, 16:56
From what Linda gnerally says in the forum and from reading other articles, one can draw that GMAT is only one aspect that admission team looks at and your other leadership roles,experience and acheivements matter a lot. There are always some examples like a guy with 780-790 getting rejection where as another person with 650 getting admission.But again, only thing that we have control on is, GMAT score; everything else, you can not change in 2-3 months.If you have other things lined up well, then it wont make any sense to re-write gmat.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2004, 11:39
Thanks jjomalls and GoalStanford for the advice. I think I may try and retake it sometime in August to see if I can improve. Hopefully I can if I really study on the quant section.

jjomalls, good luck with your apps, I am sure you will do great.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2004, 12:37
A 680 is definitely a strong score and places you just below the mean at most of the elite schools. However, I would try to increase the quant sub score.

Advice on the GMAT varies, and some applicants place too much stress on this one factor. However, the GMAT is one of the few aspects of the application in which you can observe your performance relative to the universe of candidates before you submit your application.

Many applicants also probably put too much emphasis on students they have heard of with 800 level scores who were rejected. Often the students who submit very high scores are trying to compensate for extreme weaknesses in the rest of the application. These weaknesses caused the rejection, not the high GMAT score.

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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2004, 18:06
Expert's post
I would not retake, personally.

680 is good enough for any school and with applications down this year, you can most definitely get into at least a few schools if you don't ruin your resume and essays.

GO For it!
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2004, 21:14
I readily concede that the distribution of virtually every MBA program includes students with GMAT scores below 690. Thus, one could argue that a 680 is not a necessary condition for admission. Indeed, at some of the elite schools, about half of the students have GMATs below 680.

However, I think it is a safe guess that many of the people who post on this site are interested in maximizing their chances of admission not merely meeting some nebulous "admission sufficiency" theshold. Many students are rejected for having academic attributes (GPA and/or GMAT) that are too low, few are rejected for having academic attributes that are too high (although some less selective schools might do so to boost their yield - but query whether you would really want to attend a school that rejected applicants for being "too good" for that school).


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 [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2004, 23:38
CS77,
Do u think taking more (12 practice tests) made the difference. I have been taking the Kaplan tests for quite some time.Iam getting the same score over and over again. (540 to 570). This has been discouraging. GMAT is a couple of weeks away. am tensed and have serious doubts if I would even cross 650. :( Any inputs..
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2004, 05:18
I think that many of us would agree that the Kaplan tests are not very representative of one's true performance on the test. Assuming you have used up all of your ETS exams, I would take some exams prepared by someone other than Kpln.

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  [#permalink] 25 Jul 2004, 05:18
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