I've taken the GMAT twice and am considering whether I should take it a 3rd time. I've been researching a bit on retake statistics and came across some different data. Can anyone help me better understand how to read the data below?
For example, if the first attempt was in the 500-590 range, then the second attempt has an average gain of around 30 pts. For the third attempt, does it mean that I can expect around another 45 pts on top of my 2nd take or does that mean around 45 pts from my first take?
In the same vein, if the first attempt was in the 700-800 range, the average gain on second attempt is around 8 pts. Then on the fourth attempt is it negative versus the 3rd attempt or what?
Any insights on how to read this data or any other retake statistics would be highly appreciated. Thanks!http://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-blog-hub ... sting.aspx
I'm happy to respond.
First of all, I will recommend this article: http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/should-i-retake-the-gmat/
I will point out a few things. It verges on the ridiculous to retake the GMAT when one's first score is already 700+. That is simply asking for trouble. Remember, as always with statistics, these are raw averages. An average of 8 points means, for example, that while a sizable portion of students in this zone gained 10, 20, or 30 points, some people dropped 50 or 100 points. One of the HUGE mistakes of reading statistics is to think of the average as exact predictions.
The chart is not particularly clear on this point, but it seems to indicate that, on say the third retake, a 45 point increase from the first take, not from the the more recent second take, the first retake. Think about it. On average, people do about the same. On average, people don't make wild jumps from one retake to the next. The Law of Diminishing Returns
is in full effect here. Once again, do not make the mistake of assuming that an average for the population is a prediction for you in particular. Saying that, after the third retake, folks are 45 points up, on average, from their first test means that there are some individuals who are up 100 or 150, and others who are down 50 or 100, and you could be anywhere in that spread if you are not careful. It would be a terribly naive mistake to assume that this average increase is more or less guaranteed for you personally.
I think the HUGE mistake that so many people do on a retake is: in studying for the retake, they do approximately more of the same. If the student just goes back, and more-or-less repeats his procedure, perhaps with a new question source or new test-prep book, then there's no reason necessarily that the student will see any improvement at all, and perhaps with chance fluctuations, will even see a drop. If you really want to see radical improvement, you need to make radical changes, not only in your materials, but most important, in your mindset, in your entire approach and engagement with the material. Most people are not ready to make radical changes, especially to their mindset, so they don't see radical improvement.
I will say: Magoosh
offers a score guarantee for which you would qualify:http://gmat.magoosh.com/score-guarantee
Part of the requirement for that score guarantee is that the student watch the explanation video for each and every question she got wrong. That's a level of engagement with one's mistakes that many people don't do on their own, and it contributes to the score increase that Magoosh
Here's a practice SC question:http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3604
Here's a practice DS question: http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/1004
When you submit your answer, the following page will have the explanation video. Each Magoosh
question has its own VE, for accelerated learning.
Does all this make sense?
Magoosh Test Prep