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I need help and advice

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I need help and advice [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 19:04
I really need help and advice from all you veterans and GMAT experts - this is my first time posting. I have had a frustrating GMAT Experience so far. I took the GMAT July 2010 and received a 640, took the GMAT August 2010 and received a 650 and then took the GMAT just last month in July 2011 and received a 580 =( I could not believe my eyes when I saw this score - I was both horrified and shocked. I received continuous strong scores during the CAT exams and was expecting to score much higher.

I need advice on what I should do next? Should I take the GMAT a 4th time and do everything I can to score over a 700+ or would taking the test a 4th time look extremely negative because of my crazy scores? How will adcomms look at my scores?

Any help and advice is much appreciated. Below is my profile:

- Female Engineer
- > 4 year experience at top consulting firm
- Strong extracurricular / leadership activities
- 3.6 GPA (Highest Honors)
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Affiliations: UA-1K, SPG-G, HH-D
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 12065
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Hospitality and Tourism)
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Re: I need help and advice [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 19:06
Expert's post
I don't think the 4th time is needed unless you feel you can do something special about the prep the 4th time and you missed something obvious the first 3 times in your prep. Basically if you can't answer the question "How are you planning to improve your score", you should not retake and instead invest your time into the essays.

On the test scores perspective, I think it will be fine even if you had 4 attempts but again, don't know that you need it. 650 is a good score but depends on your situation and schools you are applying to (you did not mention those) and goals you are planning to achieve with your GMAT score.

Here is something to consider: should-i-retake-gmat-thread-retaking-gmat-strategies-83339.html
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Intern
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Affiliations: PMI, PMP, IEEE
Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 38
Location: USA
Schools: IIMA-PGPX, ISB, Darden, Wharton, INSEAD, Austin
WE 1: 6 years full-time as of Aug 2011
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Re: I need help and advice [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 19:09
Hi,

What is the V & Q breakup?
Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? example - are you better at DS than PS, are you better at Fractions that Stats... do you get 90% of your probability questions incorrect sort of thing...

Maybe you are not focusing on the areas you need to improve in but just doing an overall study of material again before giving the GMAT?
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Re: I need help and advice [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2011, 03:04
Hi,

Below are the schools I am interested in:

Kellogg - Top Choice
Booth
Yale
Columbia
NYU

I think for those schools, I'm sure I will need a higher than just a 650. Also, how will those schools look at the "outlier" score of a 580?

My breakdown of my previous scores is the following:

GMAT#1: 640
Q: 47
V: 31

GMAT #2: 650
Q: 48
V: 31

GMAT#3: 580
Q: 44
V: 25


I know the 3rd score doesn't reflect my capabilities and therefore I want to almost redeem myself and prove that I am better than that. Also, it's obvious that Verbal is my weak spot but I feel that I'm a strong communicator and strong in analytics. I would probably say that my weakest areas are:

Problem Solving:
- Probability
Data Sufficiency
Critical Reasoning

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Intern
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Affiliations: PMI, PMP, IEEE
Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 38
Location: USA
Schools: IIMA-PGPX, ISB, Darden, Wharton, INSEAD, Austin
WE 1: 6 years full-time as of Aug 2011
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: I need help and advice [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 21:52
DS is one thing that even I need to work on. I just noticed the new Strategy guide from MGMAT that I may be getting soon.
CR - if the verbal score is dragged due to CR, then I assume you are having difficulty in separating premise from conclusion? Are you able to do that majority of times?
PS- probability - I only got 1 question on the entire GMAT related to probability, but Verbal is the main culprit in your case.
What is your accuracy rate on SC, RC and CR - last 20 OG12 questions?
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Re: I need help and advice [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 22:24
Umm... I would disagree with BB here. Unless you are super-outstanding candidate in all other aspects and have a very unique story or you are in a very sought after demographic, you need to get a good GMAT score to be eligible for your target list since they are all "elite" schools. Of course, a super great essay can overcome any deficiencies in GMAT score but do you really want to take the chance? Especially given that your GPA and proven academic record shows that you have the potential, but are not realizing it either due to insufficient effort (which is unlikely) or inefficient preparation or poor taking test-taking skills. Probably a combination of the latter two.

However, you must also be reasonably confident of getting at least a 680 or preferably higher than 700 this time round before setting the test date. It really doesn't help that your latest GMAT score (with the other gmat scores more than 1 year old) is an outlier on the low end. You absolutely should try to avoid a sub optimal score 4th time round because if that's the case, you should just stick with the three you have and explain it away in your interview or apps.

Your quant score is decent, although it seems perhaps lack of practice accounted for the lower score this year? There are huge question banks in gmatclub posted by other forum members. Use the search box and find them and focus on the areas that you are weak in.

Your verbal has to improve. Even with a great quant score, Verbal 30-31 will still drag down your overall percentage. Needless to say, Verbal below 30 will make it virtually impossible to get over the 700 hurdle. Many detailed guides on how to improve CR and RC exist again on GMATclub. Find them, use them. SC is all about remembering the grammar rules and recognizing question types, especially modifiers and parallelism. Use SC Aristotle or SC MGMAT to go through them.

Remember, read the stories of the guys who improved from 550s to 700+, especially the experiences of those who improved their verbal significantly. They're not there in the GMAT experience forum to just brag about themselves, rather they're hoping what they found to work can serve as a guide to help others (ok, maybe a naive view but that's what I like to think).

Whatever you do, don't lose confidence. Go with the mindset that you've been wrongly prepared the past three times. And that this time, armed with a better understanding of the test, you can ace the GMAT. As a consultant, I'm sure you're familiar with the disclaimer that "past performance may not indicative of future results." GOOD LUCK!
Re: I need help and advice   [#permalink] 12 Aug 2011, 22:24
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