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got a 710 on GMAT: retake?

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got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2010, 11:20
First time poster here, but a long time lurker. I just got back from my session and got a 710 (44 Q, 42 V) 92% percentile.

I also just graduated college and wanted to get this test out of the way for the next 5 years, but after seeing my score I was not too excited about my chances down the road, especially since I would like to go one of the top schools (Stanford, Harvard, or Northwestern). My Undergrad GPA is good (3.99/4, double major, in a top five business program), and I will become starting to work full time as an investment banking analyst at a BB next month.

So my question is would it be worth it to take the GMAT again given my gpa and work experience, or should I focus on other things now. From my practice tests I've averaged around 690-730 (48-49 Q, 38-40 V).

As for prepping for the test itself, the best thing that helped me for the math section was the GMAT Club tests, and the best thing that helped me for verbal was the 1000 SC questions from Manhattan.

Thanks to anyone who can advise!
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2010, 12:26
the only concern that any school would have is probably the quant score; however, your quant classes that you had to take for Business in school can probably tell the adcoms that you're capable of the math courses in business school (that's my guess). If I were you and if I have some more time, I'd take it again to boost that Q score. If you're able to get the same verbal score, that'll be even more perfect. That's my guess.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2010, 17:55
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First of all, congratulations on your score. It's very, very good.

Your official score fits into your practice test projections. But if you honestly feel disappointed or that you can do much better, then it might be reasonable to try again. It seems that you have time, so take a short break and think about it.

And definitely work on other parts of your resume. You implied that there will be a 5 year gap between now and grad school. But who knows? Your history so far suggests an aggressive, fast-paced personality. If you can maintain that momentum at work and in extracurriculars, maybe you could develop a profile that way and enter business school earlier.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 02:21
The score is neither bad nor outstanding so I would recommend you to retake the test. When you'll start working, it will be very difficult for you to find time and energy to take the GMAT again should you decide to retake it in the end.

Also, would you be so kind and write in greater detail about your preparation, test taking experience etc.

Thanks.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 04:44
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I second nonameee's request for information about your preparation. Let's see what you used! :)
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 06:45
Sure, no problem. I started about four amounts ago going through Kaplan's Premier book. I took my first practice test around that time and got a 620. My math score was high, a 49, which remained consistent until my actual GMAT. :|

The Premier book was good for some basic information about math concepts, but the verbal sections wasn't that great. After I finished the Premier book I bought the OG (newest edition at the time) and did every single problem the book offered. On my first time around I scored around 85% on the problem solving, 90% on the data sufficiency, 80% on the reading comprehension, and in the low 70s for critical reading and sentence correction. Once again, my math was strong relative to my verbal performance.

After finishing the OG I singed up for the GMAT Club tests. I took every single math and verbal test. The verbal tests were fairly easy and I ended up getting around 35/41 on each one. The math tests were much harder, and I struggled to get 25 right on most of them. Nevertheless, it did teach me a lot of concepts that the Premier book and OG didn't.

Around the time I finished the GMAT Club tests, I had about a two weeks before my official test. I took one of the practice GMAT Prep tests and scored a 690 (I forgot the exact breakdown but it was high 40s Q, mid-30s V). Surprisingly, almost every single verbal question I missed was in the SC section. So I quickly scrambled and bought the Manhattan 1000 SC book and did every single question the book offered. The questions were tough, but I was given a new mindset on how to approach these type of questions. I took the second GMAT Prep test and scored a 730. Nevertheless, I still missed a lot of SC questions. So I went back to the 1000 SC questions and redid them. In fact I tried to do as many SC as possible before my test. Fortunately, the process worked as I did score in the 95% in V, but my Q did suffer as the 44 I got was the lowest I've ever received on any GMAT test (practice or real).

I spent about 1 hour studying per day for the 3.5 months leading up to the test, about 3 hours per day the 10 days leading up to the test, and about 10 hours a day the 4 days leading up to the test.

As for test day, I had an appointment at 8 am. I came fairly early and was allowed to take the test 15 minutes beforehand. I really liked the room setup, as I was given two pens, headphones, and a lot of space to do my work. I started the essay section, and for better or worse, actually tried my best on it. Both were fairly easy to understand and follow, so I hope I performed well on my AWA score.

I optioned not to take the 8 minute break after the essay section, because I was "in the zone" at that time. So I started the Q portion and raced through the first 10 questions. I was positive I got them all right and probably started to get overconfident, because after the first 10 sections, the questions started to get not necessarily hard, but tricky. The data sufficiency questions, surprisingly, weren't too bad, but the problem solving ones were. Historically, problem solving has been my best part of the GMAT, and I rarely guess on any question. I guessed on three questions this time, including the last one when I had only 30 seconds left. I felt a bit disappointed as I finished the test and decided to cool my nerves by take a break.

I went to my locker and got some water and a granola bar. I came back into the room after five minutes and began the verbal section. As I start, my first question is SC one that kept me stumped for a good three minutes. I just couldn't narrow the choices down at all, because I didn't know what the sentence was trying to say. So I guessed and moved on. Fortunately, the rest of test I managed to use the skills I learned to good use and get through the rest of the questions. The reading passages were fairly long, but easy to understand and the SR questions were also straightforward. As I finished the test with about 20 seconds left, I clicked finished, raced through the questionnaire, and saw my score pop up. At first I was relieved that I broke the 700 barrier. However, after looking at the scores more closely, I felt a bit disappointed at my Q, but a bit surprised at my V score, given my historical numbers. Overall, I was kind of aloof to my score, but still wondering if I could've done better on the Q.

So as you can see, if I did retake the test again, I would probably get my Q score back to 49 or so, but my V score would probably fall back to 38, and I will still have a 710 at the end of the day.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 06:04
Grandpabuzz, now I definitely think that you should prepare more and retake the test. Thanks for the report.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2010, 20:27
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Well, it sounds like you need to focus on your verbal. The best books for that are Manhattan SC and Powerscore CR. I always advise reading the SC guide at least twice.

Something else I noticed is that you aggressively increased your intensity toward the very end of your studies. That sudden change may have stressed you out a bit. Try to keep a regular schedule throughout your studies.

Also, it's usually recommended to take a few days completely off from study just prior to the test. And you should definitely take advantage of any breaks offered during the exam. The last thing you want is to burn out, even if it's just by a tiny amount.

You seem quite confident about your quant skills, so you probably have that covered. But get hardcore on the verbal and remember to relax for a few days just before the test.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2011, 06:59
the short answer is no, you don't need to retake it. 3.99 is sufficient for adcoms to understand you can handle the coursework (which is what they use GMAT score for) and your score fits into all top schools' 20-80 percentile.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2011, 13:59
That's already a very good score.
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Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake? [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2011, 10:21
I would completely agree with thugly921 here...your GPA is very strong !!
Re: got a 710 on GMAT: retake?   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2011, 10:21
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