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HUGE difference in Practice / Actual quant scores

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HUGE difference in Practice / Actual quant scores [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 04:18
Hi everyone, I've been lurking on and off for a while now. There are no GMAT test centers in my country, which means I need to travel abroad to do it. That being said, I've taken the GMAT 3 times, the most recent being about 1 week ago. The first time, I became overconfident, didn't prepare and scored a dismal 510! The second time, I prepared quite well, purchased the MGMAT guides and took a completely new approach to the GMAT. For my practices, I generally used the MGMAT tests (in which I hear the quant sections are significantly harder). At the end of my 1 month prep, my final score was a relatively respectable 710 (Q46, V41).

Imagine my complete dismay when I retook my GMAT and received an actual score of 640 (Q39 (50%), V39)! Considering the difficulties in traveling to retake the GMAT, I decided to apply to INSEAD, hoping that my profile would compensate for the low score (I am 26, scholarship recipient, well traveled and have worked at senior positions in my government, reporting directly to senior political figures). Naturally, I was not afforded a place but I was encouraged to improve my quant score and reapply, with an indicative target of 75th percentile in quant.

So, my 3rd attempt at GMAT a week ago saw me preparing solely for quant, and I was extremely confident that I could attain this score without much effort. My practice exams showed that I was scoring well above my target. Upon retaking my GMAT however, my score was EXACTLY the same!!! I noticed that I finished the quant section with 10 minutes to spare, while my timing was perfect on my practice tests, in which I finished with only a minute or 2 to spare.

I can only attribute this to anxiety and nothing else, and I have no idea how to remedy this. If I do not retake the GMAT and improve my quant score within the next 4 weeks, (assuming I get a place at INSEAD), I will be forced to delay my MBA by a year which is certainly not an attractive option for me given my current situation. If anyone has experienced this, I would be very grateful if someone could shed some light on this and give me a few pointers as to how I can manage stress and improve my quant. Thanks!
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Re: HUGE difference in Practice / Actual quant scores [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2012, 23:47
For your next attempt, I suggest that you use the GMATClub Tests-- do remember to maintain an error log to help you keep track of trouble spots. Remember that your focus should be on quality, not quantity of practice.

Don't overlook Verbal altogether. I suggest that you use the Verbal Advantage thread (especially those crisp e-GMAT articles on Sentence Correction) to maintain your sharpness. Here is the link: gmat-club-verbal-advantage-133953.html

Fundamentally, you seem to be in great shape on paper, but you need to plug apparent holes in your quant knowledge (I don't think anxiety is your only obstacle).

You may find this other thread interesting (empirical-observations-about-practice-vs-actual-scores-140564.html ). Some of the insights might be applicable to you.

Good luck on your next attempt.

Cheers,
Der alte Fritz.

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Re: HUGE difference in Practice / Actual quant scores [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2012, 19:41
39 in quant means you have missed too many questions. I think first thing you need to do is to make sure you know the basics.
Then concentrate on timing, neither too slow nor too fast approach.
DS question are really tricky. You need to practice a lot of them to understand the subtle differences.
try to work more on official questions and basics of quant theory. participate in discussion and make Bunuel your quant frnd. Follow each n every reply of his.
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Re: HUGE difference in Practice / Actual quant scores [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2012, 23:03
Thanks, really appreciate the feedback! Here's hoping my next attempt will be better.
Re: HUGE difference in Practice / Actual quant scores   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2012, 23:03
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