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Lower score second time around. 720 to 650

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Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:01
V39 89% to V29 55% :shock:

1st attempt about 6 weeks ago:
720 - Q49 83%, V39 89%
GMATPrep scores: 710,720 Similar split as above
MGMAT scores: ~680 around Q45, V37
Test experience: Worst possible. Was very nervous during the exam. Guessed on the last few questions on quant. Had a headache during the verbal, but timing was fine there.

2nd GMAT attempt:
650 77% - Q49 81%, V29 55% LOWER THAN MY FIRST MGMAT DIAGNOSTIC 9 months ago. :oops:
GMATPrep scores: 740 Q49, V41(ofcourse there were some repeated questions)
MGMAT scores: 710 (Never scored more than 690 on any MGMAT exams before)
Test experience: Perfect till I pressed the final "Show me the score button". Answered Quant questions very confidently with more than 3 mins left. Surprised that Quant was slightly less than before.
The Verbal now, seemed to be a very stable performance. No timing issues at all. Technical RCs so being an engineer must have been helpful here.

Was expecting to see a 730 or 740. Never felt more excited to hit the next key to show me the score. But, saw something I cant understand. V29???? 10 points lower from before?? Not sad, but really surprised. Even worked with a private tutor for the past one month (I dont think he taught me anything wrong, so lets rule that out.).

Suggestions on retake once more? :roll:
I am targeting some of the top schools, and the rest of the profile has most of the pieces for a convincing story.
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:03
Expert's post
Wow, this is the biggest drop in one section I have seen.
Can I ask you about the last 6 weeks? What did you focus on and what areas were you working on?

I sometimes see people overemphasize certain areas and completely neglect/disregard others (e.g. focus only on Quant and not worry about the verbal or vice versa - very common with retakers).

Thanks,
BB
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 14:24
Hi bb,

Going into the first exam, my major focus was on SC (thankyou egmat :) ). Grockit helped me a lot here to get used to coming up with answers in time. Decent amount of CR focus. No RC practice other than MGMAT and GMATPrep CATs
Less Math focus as I was still trying to bump up Verbal and Quant was already 49 consistently.
One day off before the exam(noon). Did not study then. The days before that were pretty busy at work.

6 weeks between the first and the second attempts:
Thought I had hit a plateau in Verbal and could use some 1:1 tutor help. Felt more commited this time. Something more to prove and almost there. Was targeting ~740.
First, reviewed SC with him/her, and came across many things I was not focusing on. Practice definitely showed 10-15% improvement.
Second, reviewed CR and again saw much more improvement.
Third, got a little more comfortable with RC through more practice.
Reviewed some Quant sections and also remedied many issues there.
Solved the OG Verbal questions + most Verbal Review questions AGAIN.

Basically, felt comfortable for a 10+ or 20+ point increase.

Took time off from work for the last 4!!! days.
GMATPrep (reset) got 740 V41 a week ago.
MGMAT (reset) for 710 3 days before the exam. Never scored even 700 on any MGMAT.
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 16:04
Expert's post
Very funky to have such a huge drop off in scores. Obviously you are looking for a higher score, though I have to say 720 is pretty much the average score for any top school (ghm Stanford is 730). Do you have to get a higher score? Do you have time to retake?
720 is a good score (I would not worry about 650. Most schools will not pay attention to it)

If you insist on retaking:
1) If you do have to time to spend another month over the GMAT, I would play around and try to improve and retake
2) If you do not have time, I can offer you the following thoughts: but one trick you can do is not study at all the next month and just work on your applications, not pay attention to the GMAT, and then retake it one final time, and based on the current trend, the more you study, the lower the score, therefore the less you study, the higher the score... A few folks took a month off, retook and got 50-100 points higher by doing absolutely nothing. GMAC can argue all they want about the precision, but it happens (and looks like it happens both ways - sorry again).
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 16:18
Thanks bb!!

I think the GMAT might be truly adaptive underneath it all. I feel like it adapts(harder) to retakers under the assumption that they would know more and are not competely new to the test environment. :twisted: Just Kidding!!

I definitely see myself taking the test again after all the applications and decisions just to prove to myself that I can conquer this mysterious software/algorithm/code.

I am not 100% convinced that adcom completely disregards the lower scores. We shall see based on how my applications and results turn out.

Why did I retake after a 720? 720 might be the average at top schools in general. But, for my demographics, which is Indian/Male/IT, 720 is well below the average among those candidates.
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2013, 17:43
Expert's post
Ah. Yes. I see why.

It may make sense to get an input on this question from admissions consultants, taking your demographic into consideration, the retake and the schools you targeting.


Posted from my mobile device.
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 05:15
Hi hannibal,

I just had an almost identical experience.

I scored around 700 in MGMATs and GMAT prep
GMAT First Attempt: 730
IR - 8
Quant - 50
Verbal - 38

3-4 months gap, very good preparation, some good scores in MGMAT ( 720 - 740, touched 40 in verbal in my last attmpt ) later
GMAT Second Attempt:660
IR - 8
Quant - 51
Verbal - 27!! holy cow

I took the GMAT test again as I was confident that I could do better and also for the very same reasons stated by hannibal - male, Indian, IT etc...

Hannibal, did you apply in 2013-14?? did you find it difficult to get admitted into the top colleges because of a steep drop in GMAT score. Can you please share your experience.

Thanks,
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Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650 [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 08:23
Yeah, I think the lower score might have made a difference.

Out of my 4 schools I applied to, Sloan, Kellogg, Stanford & Haas Part-Time; Sloan put me on a R1 waitlist(without interview), and Berkeley admitted me for R2 part-time.
I do feel that my chances of getting off the Sloan waitlist could have improved with a retake and a higher score because, I already provided other good updates while on the waitlist like promotion, extra-curricular/community activities, entrepreneurial developments etc. The score was pretty much the only thing I didn't update them on.

But, I am happy with my Berkeley Haas PartTime program. Later on I went to a few information sessions and learned more about their program through alumni. In my view, it will get me where I want to go.

But then, I dont think my 720 score was good enough to get me into top 5 full-time program either, especially from the pool I am from.
Re: Lower score second time around. 720 to 650   [#permalink] 21 May 2014, 08:23
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