I have taken GMAT 3 times in a span of 1 year and 9 months and for some reason have not been able to get the same score to what I usually get on the mock exams. I am at a stage where I feel clueless and very de-motivated. I belong to a competitive pool (Indian male) so I realize that breaking the 700 barrier is almost a necessity for me to make it to the top B-schools. I am asking for guidance from some experts that could help me identify my problem.
GMAT 1st attempt, Jan 2011: 620 (Q48, V28) – I studied using Manhattan books
and gave Manhattan mock tests. My scores in the mock tests were in the range 660-720. I don’t remember much about this attempt because its been a while but at the end of the exam I was shocked to see my score in the early 600s. I am usually good under pressure so I wasn’t feeling nervous. Also, I did not have any timing issue.
GMAT 2nd attempt, Nov 2011: 660 (Q50, V30) – I took a few months off after the first attempt as I got occupied at my workplace. Around August, I started preparing for GMAT again. This time I used Knewton just so that I get my eyes on some fresh material. This time in the Knewton mocks as well as on the GMAT preps, I was getting 700-720. Again on the exam day, I screwed up and landed up with an average score.
GMAT 3rd attempt, Sept 2012: 650 (Q49, V31) – I was up for promotion so got busy after the second attempt. After the fiscal year ended, I picked up the GMAT books again in July and this time I decided to study only verbal. Also, after my first 2 attempts, I realized that the verbal questions that come on the real GMAT (especially SCs) are quite different from the ones in Manhattan, Knewton etc. So, I focused studying only from OG 12th
edition and took the new GMAT prep mocks. I also ordered the $25 GMAT prep package that has around additional 300 odd questions. My performance on those mocks improved and for the first time I actually sensed my verbal improving overall (even in day to day life). I scored in the range 720-750 with verbal score of 40+ in all the tests (I took the tests 4 times and in my 4th attempt, I did encounter some repeats).
I am unable to realize where I am going wrong. I have read blogs of people who have had similar problems but it hasn’t been of much help. This is because I think I took all those precautions prior to my 3rd attempt. I know my English is not that horrible to get a score of 31 when I am getting in late 30s or early 40s in the mocks. In addition my essay score in all 3 attempts has been 5.5/6.
Please guide me as it is my dream to get an MBA from a top 10B-school and I know I have no choice but to retake the GMAT for the 4th time. Taking the GMAT for 4th time is another fear I have as I feel now my application won’t be viewed in same light as someone who got 700+ in first attempt (provided I get 700+ in my 4th attempt).
Any inputs would be appreciated. Thanks.