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Is GMAT for Real?

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Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 08:27
Hello!
I am a quant analyst on wall street. And I am a native English speaker. I scored a 1600 in GRE. 176 in LSAT. 2360 in SAT. Should I have any trouble with GMAT?

I took my GMAT for the fourth time on Jan 04 2010. My ego wasn't letting me sleep over my past scores of 650, 650 and 650. And each time, I had a split of Q50, V28. It was like the software was pre-programmed to give me the same score. My verbal skills are quite strong. I have never had difficulty communicating or analysing business critical documents. I scored a darn 176 in my LSAT - which has 2 sections of critical reasoning. And LSAT CRs are much harder than GMAT. I had no idea why my scores in the Verbal section of GMAT were so pathetic. I decided that I will give the GMAT one last time. I did and I scored a 780 (q50,v47). What did I do different? Nothing. What did I read to improve my score? Nothing. How is it possible that someone with 3 attempts and scores of 650 each time get 780 on the fourth shot? This skews my performance quite badly and I am probably going to struggle explaining this to Ad Com. My explanation to the Ad Com is going to be honest (as hell!) however.
1) GMAT scoring patterns need to be more visible to the test taker.
2) Who knows the difficulty level of a question when it comes up on screen? Who decides it?
3) Some GMAT sentence corrections lead you to believe that the best possible answer is the most grammatically correct version of a given question. However, an English major will probably feel that many GMAT answers are grammatically incorrect to such levels that even if it were the correct answer, it is quite insulting to choose that answer. Who benefits from a question like that anyway? no one.
4) Math is so freakin easy-- A couple of my questions were like "What's the std deviation of the first 5 integers?" and "Whats the sum of first 50 integers?" - An Engineer, A quant analyst a Masters in Computer Graphics and a CFA -- Aint it insulting to pay 250$ to answer such questions? Lets say I am an Arts major. Would I still not be able to find the sum of 50 integers at the age of 26? I can use Abacus (if I were allowed i.e) to find the answer

I understand the need to have a common admissions test. But, GMAT is quite a pathetic attempt at standardizing and predicting analytical measures of students.
The GRE Math is equally horrendous-easy. But, atleast GRE is mostly taken by students who pursue a Masters in Science degree or even Masters in Arts. They need to understand basic Math and that’s about all they need to know to hatch all eggs. But, GMAT is so specific to business school admissions that I think the level of Math needs to improve. I was done with my Math section with 18 mins to spare. If not for one tough question on "equation of circles" in a data sufficiency question, I might have finished the section with 27 mins to spare.

The Verbal part is a joke man. Seriously. A test taker has no idea where his scores are headed until the end of the test. Meaning, whats the difference between getting the first 10 questions wrong but getting every other 31 questions right and giving 10 wrong answers spread over the test? Why cant this be made visible? I, for one, do not understand how the adaptive algorithm works. And I am so very sure it’s the worst software ever!

Anyways, I am glad my ego is back. And that I can sleep more peacefully now. Yet, 4 takes to get this easy gmat scene right will probably run in my head for a while and will definitely be on my application essays.

Thanks to you guys in this forum. I have read some really inspiring GMAT re-take stories. My word to all prospective test takers is - "Keep taking the GMAT until you know you have reached your potential. If can put a face / body to this test, I would make it the Darth Vader and fight it."

All the best.

One Request to this Forum Owner --- Can you please add a 4th Attempt Score section to the User profile page?
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 08:59
The point of the GMAT is less about the difficulty of the questions, and more about your ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure. However, I've read that the GMAT itself will change in a few years, so quite possibly some or all of the stuff you just discussed might be incorporated into the new test.

Based on the tone of your post, I'd recommend you care less about your ego when dealing with the adcom, and instead focus on why you are a good applicant (i.e. because i got a 176, 1600, etc. are not good reasons as to why you would do well in business school).
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 09:20
prasanna0208,

congratulation on getting your winning combination. In my view the only thing you did wrong the day of your test was to buy a lottery ticket... may be... things would have been even better for you...!

I reckon there is not a soul on this forum who will disagree with you over relating GMAT with Business program entrance exam; when they should really be grinding prospective candidates on elements like ethics & greed...!

Then again to compliment the relative normalization of world percieved academic intelligence judged by GMAT, be it Quant or Verbal, even Ethics is an elitely self construed nobility much bleakly distributed by God Almighty...!

ATB for your application; for AdComs, i think you should stick to your story of why you deserved better and eventually got it...!

Seriously, hats off to your perseverance!
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 12:48
Why did you take the LSAT, GRE, and the GMAT?

What may seem like a lack of focus may be something else so I guess make sure you explain to adcom.
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 14:44
Things like test anxiety, over-confidence, and the general psychology of the test taker during the exams plays alot into how well he or she does.

Did you take your first 3 test with high expectations and test anxiety?

Sometimes people can put so much pressure on themselves to get a good score that that itself causes them to do poorly. They starts to lose focus and panic when they run into a tough question that eats up a lot of time.

I would be curious to know what your mental frame was when you took your last test? Did you approach it as if you didn't care so much about the outcome because you were confident that you knew the material and you just wanted to see how you would do?
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 15:20
Quite a few responses in a few hours. I love how responsive people are in this forum.

firesath --
Nope, I wasnt tensed any time I took the test. The differences in my lead up to the final attempt (rather final frontier) were subtle -- 1) I took the test at a different location in NY 2) I scheduled for a noon test instead of the usual 8AM. 3) I took a day off from work, unlike other times when I would have had to get back to work. 4) I ran 5miles in the morning of the test.
I wouldn't possibly attribute any of the above to my performance in the test.

Lagomez --
I had to take my GRE way back in 2005 since I wanted to pursue a Masters in Compueter Graphics then. And I did that program.
I took my LSAT in 2008 because I wanted to pursue a JD.
But, now, I am looking to go to a full time JD/MBA program. I am super interested in the Mergers and Acquisition law and Business / international law in general. Kellogg's the only school that does not need a LSAT score for a JD/MBA app.
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 15:47
prasanna0208 wrote:
Quite a few responses in a few hours. I love how responsive people are in this forum.

firesath --
Nope, I wasnt tensed any time I took the test. The differences in my lead up to the final attempt (rather final frontier) were subtle -- 1) I took the test at a different location in NY 2) I scheduled for a noon test instead of the usual 8AM. 3) I took a day off from work, unlike other times when I would have had to get back to work. 4) I ran 5miles in the morning of the test.
I wouldn't possibly attribute any of the above to my performance in the test.

Lagomez --
I had to take my GRE way back in 2005 since I wanted to pursue a Masters in Compueter Graphics then. And I did that program.
I took my LSAT in 2008 because I wanted to pursue a JD.
But, now, I am looking to go to a full time JD/MBA program. I am super interested in the Mergers and Acquisition law and Business / international law in general. Kellogg's the only school that does not need a LSAT score for a JD/MBA app.



Would you mind sharing at what test center you took the first 3? I'm scheduled to take it in New York City in the coming months.
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Re: Is GMAT for Real? [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2010, 21:32
perseverance wrote:
prasanna0208 wrote:
Quite a few responses in a few hours. I love how responsive people are in this forum.

firesath --
Nope, I wasnt tensed any time I took the test. The differences in my lead up to the final attempt (rather final frontier) were subtle -- 1) I took the test at a different location in NY 2) I scheduled for a noon test instead of the usual 8AM. 3) I took a day off from work, unlike other times when I would have had to get back to work. 4) I ran 5miles in the morning of the test.
I wouldn't possibly attribute any of the above to my performance in the test.

Lagomez --
I had to take my GRE way back in 2005 since I wanted to pursue a Masters in Compueter Graphics then. And I did that program.
I took my LSAT in 2008 because I wanted to pursue a JD.
But, now, I am looking to go to a full time JD/MBA program. I am super interested in the Mergers and Acquisition law and Business / international law in general. Kellogg's the only school that does not need a LSAT score for a JD/MBA app.



Would you mind sharing at what test center you took the first 3? I'm scheduled to take it in New York City in the coming months.



Hey, I don't mind sharing the test center, but I am not going to because that's not what you need to be worrying about with a test date coming up. No test center is jinx-ed of any sort and I really dont think you should worry about choice of a test center. I am sure you will do well. All the very best eh!
Re: Is GMAT for Real?   [#permalink] 05 Jan 2010, 21:32
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