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# Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies

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07 Jun 2011, 00:44
Hi All
Yesterday,I took my GMAT and still reeling under shock and grief,scored pathetic 610 (Q49,V25).To your surprise, I scored 740(Q51,V40) in Manhattan CAT5 4 days back...scored 710(Q49,V37) in GMAT Prep2 one week back ,,repeated GMAT Prep-2 two days before test and scored 730(Q50,V38).
My average verbal score in all the tests taken (Knewton-5 tests,Manhattan-6 test,PR-1,GMAT Prep-1 and Kaplan-1) till today is 34.35 and infact V25 is my lowest score till date. Just at the time of starting preparation ,I scored V28 in GMAT Prep-1.
Though Iam not happy with my quant score (should have been at least 50) I am able to justify it, but I am completely clueless about my verbal score.
I joined Knewton with base score of 660(Q46,V35) but instead of going up by 50, my score went down by 50:).
Guys, I am in urgent need of advice how to go about. is it worth trying in 4-5 weeks again or I should take long haul..nd postpone my MBA plan for 1 year..
Target score :at least 700
Sanjay
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19 Jun 2011, 11:27
hey guys

I'm rewriting on the 3rd of August, 2011, for the 3rd time, and wanted to share some past experiences for rewriters who are weak in math but strong in verbal. I wrote it in a bit of a haste on Jan 5th 2010, and then again exactly a month later before I joined my new job thinking it had just been a timing issue. got a 640 both times (M44, V36 AWA - 6 & M42, V38 AWA - 6). I was so disappointed the 2nd time I remember I actually cried in my car and swore not to put myself through another rewrite and feel dumb. The worst part was the first ever GMAC cd official test I wrote without much prep (5 months prior to first attempt), I got a 630!

Some obstacles encountered during the first actual tests:

1) CHECK OUT THE TESTING CENTER ONE DAY IN ADVANCE: I took this advice way too lightly, the center I picked was in some obscure location tucked in among small houses. I was 20 minutes late, sweating buckets, and generally hassled.
2) Timing: I wrote 6 manhattans, bought temporary access to 5 Knewtons, and had taken the Princeton course so wrote 3/5 Princeton's. Math timing was an issue on Manhattan and Princeton, rarely on Knewton. However, I feel blind practice tests are a bad idea. If your fundamentals are not in place, diving into tests won't help all that much because on the actual test you will get stuck on concepts, the main thing GMAT tests.
3) First question blues: I'm pretty sure I got the first question wrong both times on math. I started the math portion and totally blanked and panicked. I spent 4-5 minutes on it too, sadly but just didn't know the answer. Ended up getting jacked on time in the end with 8 questions left in 6 minutes. I guess the core message is, move on, take the hit and make up for it later.
4) My math instructor, the first time around, from Princeton Review New Delhi (NFC batch, I mention details since Princeton had reached out to me wrt to an earlier post in which I recommended not taking Princeton) had informed us that probability/permutation/combination was very unlikely on the GMAT now. It came both times!!!! Geometric progression also came with the summation formula. Don't doodle on formulae!

One year later, I changed my mind. I'm trying a completely different approach:

1) covering my basics in math which were very weak, starting off with Manhattan books for targeted topics such as permutations/combi/probability etc.
2) working on speed and timing every question etc. This may sound silly, but I try to bring math into daily activities, e.g. I will multiply and add every license plate whenever i get the chance. Overkill? Maybe, but I think its helping!
3) I also took my verbal for granted as I considered that to be strong, very bad idea. Read the Powerprep SC book once this time, helped quite a bit in identifying specific SC errors. All my friends have recommended the Manhattan SC as a must read. I will cover that twice before going in.
4) Make sure you take all practice tests under similar stressful conditions with NO interruptions, same break timings etc.

So, its too early to say whether my tactics will pay off, but here are my practice test scores so far:
GMAC test 1 - 700 (I'll have to check the break out I took it 3 months back, on another laptop)
Veritas free test - 680 (M 43, V39)
MGMAT 1 - 700 (M44, V41)
MGMAT 2 - 700 (M46, V40)

these are distinctly better than last year. I warn Manhattan test takers, once one cracks its algorithm, your score might get misleadingly inflated. That said, I think its a good prep test.

Before launching into any more tests, I'm going to do 2 weeks of just math (OG 10 questions, review probability/combinations & no. property DS questions - still weak points), and Verbal (SC Manhattan, finish official supplement for Verbal).

I guess I posted this more to voice what I'm feeling right now as well, which is great stress. I still dread the first math question. My job is terribly demanding as are many of yours I'm sure, and it would be great to get any additional advice from retakers or anybody. I'm sure I can break the 700+ barrier this time, I just need to have my head on straight on the day. Any advice is welcome. Also, I got a 6 both times in AWA, if anybody wants to connect for AWA tips please feel free.

Tc
Aximili
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28 Jun 2011, 18:12
asrider wrote:
mine is 700 (Q49, V37, AWA 5.0) Non IT male Engineer from India with 7 yrs workex. should i retake?

New to this forum. Saw your post. Thought I'd chime in.

In my opinion, and from asking admissions consultants, definitely DO NOT retake the GMAT. Your score is good enough to make it past the first hurdle of MBA admissions: intellectual capacity.

Being from India, you have the burden of proving you are different than all the other hundreds of Indian applicants to each MBA program. Your best bet is to spend considerable time thinking how you'll do that.

Someone recommended to me to spend time on recommendations...it's the one place where I gave the least amount of thought to but was told it can really differentiate applicants...

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06 Jul 2011, 09:25
Folks – I have been following GMATClub for some time now and thought of sharing my dilemma with all of you guys – I am sure I can benefit with the combined wisdom of the folks here.

I belong to the dreaded category of Indian IT Male and hence target score for me is 730+ for good schools in Asia/Europe/US.

I first wrote my GMAT in October 2010 with reasonable preparation – largely focused on OG 11 and OG 12, MGMAT SC and few full tests from Kaplan and GMATPrep. The lowest score I got was 640 and closer to test date; I was hitting close to 680 in Kaplan tests and thought that I was ready to score in the vicinity of 700 at the real thing. I wrote the test only to end up with a disappointing 640 (Q48, V29). I thought that my preparation was severely lacking and I need to do a lot more to really reach my target score.

In February this year, I started thinking about the second attempt and finished following material over 3 months or so:

Quant – OG 11 and 12, GMATClub forum questions (and there are lots of them and really good quality too)

Verbal:

Apart from OG 11 and 12, I also finished following material for specific sections

SC – MGMAT SC, Aristotle SC grail
CR – Powerscore bible
RC – RC99

I also took lot of full CATs once my material was over. Following are my scores for those CATS

MGMAT
1: 710
2: 700
3: 750
4: 730
5:770

Kaplan
1:690
2:700
3:690

GMATPrep
1:710
2: 740
1 (Reinstall): 660 – I did this immediately after I finished MGMAT 5 (complete four hours) and realized that it is futile to write a test when one is extremely tired and drained out
2 (Reinstall): 760

My lowest Quant score was 49 and verbal score range was 36-45. Only once (in the GMATPrep 660 one), I got 32 in verbal.

Finishing all the material and armed with consistent CAT scores across tests (GMATclub score predictor was predicting a 730 score), I was feeling confident of getting around 730 at the real thing.

On the day of the exam, this is how it all went:

AWA – went pretty OK – I used chineseburned’s template and thought I did pretty OK on the section.

QA

The section started as a breeze – at least till 15th question, I felt completely in command of the section and thought I was managing pretty well and kept solving every question that came my way. Next thing I remember is having about 15 minutes left for last ten questions – I felt myself rushing through last ten questions and got a feeling that I had to make 2-3 wild guesses. Overall, I thought I lost my way a little in the end.

VA

The section was going OK – was not sure of my accuracy for some CR questions. RC is generally my weak area and hence I was not sure if I was doing well there or not. But, I had felt such uncertainty every time in practice CATs and broadly did OK there, so I kept going. Here again, I realized that I had 9 more questions to go with only 15 minutes left and then I got a long RC passage, completely messing up my time management. Like Quant, again I felt I rushed through in the last 8-9 questions and felt a little let down with that aspect of my performance.

In the end, I managed a poor score of 660 (Q47, V34). I had managed 5 points improvement in Verbal but lost a point in Quant and overall managed to pull up my score by just 20 points - nowhere close to my practice scores or the scores that I need to make my application competitive.

Questions I am grappling with now are:

1. Should I retake the test? If yes, what more can I do and how do I check if I have really made progress in my preparation?
2. Should I blame my overall low score on just the time amanagement issue in last 10 problems in both sections or does this score indiscate that I am being naïve in believing that my preparation levels are at 730+ right now.
3. I never felt timing stress in any of the practice CATs I took. The questions I saw in test were very similar to OG and GMATPrep kind of questions, so what could have led to timing issues on the real test.
4. If I sould retake, should I do this at the earliest opportunity 931 days) or should I wait for 2-3 months or so.

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06 Jul 2011, 21:48
GMATPILL: I've had the exact same problem with timing in my Math as ttin did, the first time I wrote the GMAT. very helpful advice about the not guessing too many consecutively. Thanks!
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12 Jul 2011, 03:20
Hi guys

I wanted some advice on how I should study in my last 2 weeks before the test. Quick background, I've taken the test twice in Jan 2010 & Feb 2010, VERY bad idea. 640 both times (M44/V36 & then M42/V38).

From what I've understood, statistically, chances of me doing better are low. But I know I didn't prepare well the first two times and rushed into the test. I've done a far more systematic approach this time, picking up Manhattan guides for quant & SC topics (my real weaknesses). My scores over the last 3 months on practice tests are as following:
GMAC 1: 710 (inflated because of OG12 repeats), Veritas (free): 690, MGMAT1: 700, MGMAT2: 700, Princeton (free): 700.

Now here's my dilemma. I'm taking leave from July 14th to August 3rd, and my test is on August 3rd.

My weaknesses remain:
Quant (average practice test scores 45 - 47), target: 48-49
1) Probability/combinatorics
2) Functions
3) Number properties DS questions (will review Manhattan guide properly)
4) Tougher rate questions
5) Overall timing (have been trying to improve calculation speed as much as possible by working on timers)

Verbal (average practice test scores 40 - 41), target 42-43
1) SC: This is improving, I'm just completing the SC Manhattan guide

bb, any management, or anybody who has advice for how I should really buckle down to raise my scores in these final two weeks - your advice would be invaluable.
Aximili
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12 Jul 2011, 03:30
I forgot to mention, I froze on the first Math question and kinda blanked too on my rewrite. Have to be very weary of that.
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16 Jul 2011, 11:26
Hi,

I am quite disappointed, yet determined for a re-match. My score, 550 (Q-45 V-21), was far below my expectations. Apparently, I am planning to re-schedule in a months time and wonder if you share a study plan. Following are my weakest sections ordered chronologically:

1. SC => kills me
2. RC => Quite fine but not too much to be happy about
3. CR => Fair
4. DS => Average
5. PS => Comfortable except 1 or 2 tricky questions

I am all motivated to acquire 700+ status and ready to put ample efforts.... Kindly assist.
_________________

Preparation for final battel:
GMAT PREP-1 750 Q50 V41 - Oct 16 2011
GMAT PREP-2 710 Q50 V36 - Oct 22 2011 ==> Scored 50 in Quant second time in a row
MGMAT---- -1 560 Q28 V39 - Oct 29 2011 ==> Left Quant half done and continued with Verbal. Happy to see Q39

My ongoing plan: http://gmatclub.com/forum/550-to-630-need-more-to-achieve-my-dream-121613.html#p989311

Appreciate by kudos !!

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16 Jul 2011, 19:56
Expert's post
heman2402 wrote:
Hi,

I am quite disappointed, yet determined for a re-match. My score, 550 (Q-45 V-21), was far below my expectations. Apparently, I am planning to re-schedule in a months time and wonder if you share a study plan. Following are my weakest sections ordered chronologically:

1. SC => kills me
2. RC => Quite fine but not too much to be happy about
3. CR => Fair
4. DS => Average
5. PS => Comfortable except 1 or 2 tricky questions

I am all motivated to acquire 700+ status and ready to put ample efforts.... Kindly assist.

In that case, looks like you need a grammar book and my recommendation for RC is reading articles/text/books/etc, my suggestion is gmat fiction
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16 Jul 2011, 20:42
Aximili85 wrote:
Hi guys

I wanted some advice on how I should study in my last 2 weeks before the test. Quick background, I've taken the test twice in Jan 2010 & Feb 2010, VERY bad idea. 640 both times (M44/V36 & then M42/V38).

From what I've understood, statistically, chances of me doing better are low. But I know I didn't prepare well the first two times and rushed into the test. I've done a far more systematic approach this time, picking up Manhattan guides for quant & SC topics (my real weaknesses). My scores over the last 3 months on practice tests are as following:
GMAC 1: 710 (inflated because of OG12 repeats), Veritas (free): 690, MGMAT1: 700, MGMAT2: 700, Princeton (free): 700.

Now here's my dilemma. I'm taking leave from July 14th to August 3rd, and my test is on August 3rd.

My weaknesses remain:
Quant (average practice test scores 45 - 47), target: 48-49
1) Probability/combinatorics
2) Functions
3) Number properties DS questions (will review Manhattan guide properly)
4) Tougher rate questions
5) Overall timing (have been trying to improve calculation speed as much as possible by working on timers)

Verbal (average practice test scores 40 - 41), target 42-43
1) SC: This is improving, I'm just completing the SC Manhattan guide

bb, any management, or anybody who has advice for how I should really buckle down to raise my scores in these final two weeks - your advice would be invaluable.
Aximili

Considering the time you are left with, i would advise to focus on just two things

1) Number properties : Not only use Manhattan Guide, but also the questions in the gmatclub and other miscellaneous sources.(just google GMAT + Number properties ).

2) Overall timing on Quantitative

Your verbal score is quite solid, and one or two point improvement will come automatically with feel good performance in quantitative.

Crick
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17 Jul 2011, 04:41
Thank you Crick, let me try to Google strategy for number props. Probability/Combi - still need to figure that one out lol. And yeah, just wrote MGAT 3 yesterday and verbal hit 44 so feeling good about that.
RC was my strength first two times, but I got 5 RC wrong this time (4 CR, 1 SC). Need some core strategy on how to crack RC.
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17 Jul 2011, 19:47
Aximili85 wrote:
Thank you Crick, let me try to Google strategy for number props. Probability/Combi - still need to figure that one out lol. And yeah, just wrote MGAT 3 yesterday and verbal hit 44 so feeling good about that.
RC was my strength first two times, but I got 5 RC wrong this time (4 CR, 1 SC). Need some core strategy on how to crack RC.

Glad to be of help. Your verbal score looks excellent. I too have some issues with RC. If you post the strategy you use for RC in the topic below , that would be very helpful to me. Thanks in advance.

http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-improve-my-rc-accuracy-117195.html#p948602

Crick
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23 Jul 2011, 08:34
Hello Everyone,

My issue is similar to what a lot of people have already mentioned in this thread.

I am a 28 year old entrepreneur from India with 6 years of work experience including 3 years of experience working as a SAP BI consultant and the reminder as the CEO of an Engineering Manufacturing Plant (Family Owned). I am also serving as a Director and stake holder in a Ferro Alloys Manufacturing Unit in India for the last 2 years. My GMAT score is 660 (Q49 and V31). My under-grad background is that of a Mechanical Engineer with a CGPA of 3.3

I am interested in joining the Full time MBA Program in some of the top 25 colleges. I was wondering if anyone can please provide me with an honest opinion if my GMAT score and background allows me a good chance to get into them or should I work towards improving my GMAT score. The colleges that I am looking at are Duke University (Fuqua) , University of Virginia (Darden) , Emory University (Goizueta) and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler). Although I had aspirations to apply for a couple of top 10 B-schools but I dont think I have too much of a chance with my GMAT score.

My GMAT score of 660 is within the 80% range in most of the above universities (its usually 640-750, so rather on the lower edges) for the class of 2012(even some of the top 10 ones have taken 660 students). But I am really confused about my score in GMAT. Fistly, I have no idea where I messed up in verbal. My quant score was 49 but I knew I botched a couple of questions so I am not complaining but I dont 31 in quants and that was the lowest I ever got in any GMAT prep tests.My GMAT score was lower than anything I got in GMAT prep or Kaplan test or GMAT club tests (barring the 1st one I took to check my level).I have always scored more than 36 in verbal. Total score 670,710,690,690,730,740, in Kaplan tests and 640, 710, 730,740 in Gmat Prep.

Secondly, is my score is good enough to get me into a top 25 B-school or should I consider reappearing?

Any advices would be welcome coz at this point I am extremely confused coz if I miss the bus for 2012 session then my chances of MBA are a gone for good, so have to make it stick and reappearing is sticky because it will be hard for me to manage to reappear GMAT again,work on my applications and manage my professional commitments. But if I have to reappear GMAT I will do it.

Also, any idea where I can ask for my profile to be reviewed is also welcome.

Thank you

Regards
Jit
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23 Jul 2011, 10:07
Expert's post
jit007 wrote:
Hello Everyone,

My issue is similar to what a lot of people have already mentioned in this thread.

I am a 28 year old entrepreneur from India with 6 years of work experience including 3 years of experience working as a SAP BI consultant and the reminder as the CEO of an Engineering Manufacturing Plant (Family Owned). I am also serving as a Director and stake holder in a Ferro Alloys Manufacturing Unit in India for the last 2 years. My GMAT score is 660 (Q49 and V31). My under-grad background is that of a Mechanical Engineer with a CGPA of 3.3

I am interested in joining the Full time MBA Program in some of the top 25 colleges. I was wondering if anyone can please provide me with an honest opinion if my GMAT score and background allows me a good chance to get into them or should I work towards improving my GMAT score. The colleges that I am looking at are Duke University (Fuqua) , University of Virginia (Darden) , Emory University (Goizueta) and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler). Although I had aspirations to apply for a couple of top 10 B-schools but I dont think I have too much of a chance with my GMAT score.

My GMAT score of 660 is within the 80% range in most of the above universities (its usually 640-750, so rather on the lower edges) for the class of 2012(even some of the top 10 ones have taken 660 students). But I am really confused about my score in GMAT. Fistly, I have no idea where I messed up in verbal. My quant score was 49 but I knew I botched a couple of questions so I am not complaining but I got 31 in verbal and that was the lowest I ever got in any GMAT prep tests.My GMAT score was lower than anything I got in GMAT prep or Kaplan test or GMAT club tests (barring the 1st one I took to check my level).I have always scored more than 36 in verbal. Total score 670,710,690,690,730,740, in Kaplan tests and 640, 710, 730,740 in Gmat Prep.

Secondly, is my score is good enough to get me into a top 25 B-school or should I consider reappearing?

Any advices would be welcome coz at this point I am extremely confused coz if I miss the bus for 2012 session then my chances of MBA are a gone for good, so have to make it stick and reappearing is sticky because it will be hard for me to manage to reappear GMAT again,work on my applications and manage my professional commitments. But if I have to reappear GMAT I will do it.

Also, any idea where I can ask for my profile to be reviewed is also welcome.

Thank you

Regards
Jit

I think you don't need to retake your GMAT. Don't misunderstand me - it would be great and helpful but based on what I have read, it does not sound it will be productive.
I would recommend a few things:
1. Get another opinion, perhaps from an admissions consultant here: admission-consultants-124/ they may be much more familiar with your schools and know reasons to or not to take the GMAT again.
2. Start working on the essays ASAP
3. Try improving your verbal on the back side by reading books, see GMAT Fiction list I put together. This will help you with proper English and essay writing and also should you finish your essays earlier, you can consider retaking and by that time hopefully your verbal level will be much stronger.

Bottom line, it is very possible to get in with your score but that depends on your Letters of Recommendation and your Essays, more so than the GMAT.

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24 Jul 2011, 22:22
Hi
I gave my GMAT on this Friday. I got a 680 (a bit disappointed)
I got 48 in Quant and 35 in Verbal.
I have a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering. I have worked in the Oil Field (Baker Hughes) for 3 years.
I am looking at Nanyang and York University (canada).
Do I need to give the GMAT again?

Thanks
-Sid
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24 Jul 2011, 22:24
Expert's post
siddhartharyan wrote:
Hi
I gave my GMAT on this Friday. I got a 680 (a bit disappointed)
I got 48 in Quant and 35 in Verbal.
I have a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering. I have worked in the Oil Field (Baker Hughes) for 3 years.
I am looking at Nanyang and York University (canada).
Do I need to give the GMAT again?

Thanks
-Sid

You should be all set - even for HBS!
The only thing I would check is perhaps with admissions to see if they have a GMAT-based scholarships and if they feel you need a higher score to qualify (some schools do but most dont).
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26 Jul 2011, 13:13
Hi everyone,
I just took the GMAT and received a 720 with Q46 (73%) V42 (94%). Quant score is a little low relative to what I've been scoring on practice tests (48ish), so I'm wondering if its really worth going through the hassle of taking it again to try for those extra 2 points to get a nice 80/80 split? (I've been averaging 40ish on Verbal on the practice tests so I did better on that section)

The rest of my application is decent (great GPA, good work exp, no special ECs), and I'm looking to go to at least a 11-15 school like Darden/Cornell with Top 10 as a stretch. Any thoughts appreciated!
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26 Jul 2011, 22:58
congratulations on a great score!
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01 Aug 2011, 12:04
Hi Experts,
I wrote my gmat exam two days before and ended up getting a 600 (48 Q, 25 v).I am still shattered because of getting such a low score.I have given around 30 mocks ,but never got less than 610 ( except for the Kaplan 2nd test ,in which I scored a 590).In fact ,before starting the preparation,only once I got a 610 in the diagnostic test.After that I put in a lot of effort continuously for two months, studying around six hours a day before taking the test. My Mgmat test scores( 650, 670, 630, 660) and kaplan CD test scores (620,590) were also decent in comparision with the actual score.Two days before taking the test I wrote the GMAT prep test-2 and scored a 740.In addition, I left one verbal questions unmarked during the actual test because of time constrain( I guess leaving a questions unmarked impacts the overall score).I felt that SC questions in the actual test were very strange (if not difficult) than those I had gone through and I did not spend too much time on them as I would have left with very less time for CRs and RCs.So I guess that it was majorly the Sentence correction protion,which I had mainly foused on during preparation, of the test that destroyed the party;though I am not very confident in saying that.
My academics are not very bad with X-80%,XII-80%,BE-72%.I have an overall experience of around 4 years with an MNC in the field of IT and have lot many things to decorate my essay ( white papers, have a BA degree in Music ,have a music band of my own,did some NGO work etc.)
I just want to ask whether I should retake the exam or just give it up.I have already gone through almost all of the important materials such as Manhattan(SC,CR, RC), power score CR bible, 1000 SC,1000 CR(left with a few of them).Now I am only left with the KAPLAN book to study.Please suggest whether I should take the test again or not.
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01 Aug 2011, 13:01
Expert's post
abhishek1234 wrote:
Hi Experts,
I wrote my gmat exam two days before and ended up getting a 600 (48 Q, 25 v).I am still shattered because of getting such a low score.I have given around 30 mocks ,but never got less than 610 ( except for the Kaplan 2nd test ,in which I scored a 590).In fact ,before starting the preparation,only once I got a 610 in the diagnostic test.After that I put in a lot of effort continuously for two months, studying around six hours a day before taking the test. My Mgmat test scores( 650, 670, 630, 660) and kaplan CD test scores (620,590) were also decent in comparision with the actual score.Two days before taking the test I wrote the GMAT prep test-2 and scored a 740.In addition, I left one verbal questions unmarked during the actual test because of time constrain( I guess leaving a questions unmarked impacts the overall score).I felt that SC questions in the actual test were very strange (if not difficult) than those I had gone through and I did not spend too much time on them as I would have left with very less time for CRs and RCs.So I guess that it was majorly the Sentence correction protion,which I had mainly foused on during preparation, of the test that destroyed the party;though I am not very confident in saying that.
My academics are not very bad with X-80%,XII-80%,BE-72%.I have an overall experience of around 4 years with an MNC in the field of IT and have lot many things to decorate my essay ( white papers, have a BA degree in Music ,have a music band of my own,did some NGO work etc.)
I just want to ask whether I should retake the exam or just give it up.I have already gone through almost all of the important materials such as Manhattan(SC,CR, RC), power score CR bible, 1000 SC,1000 CR(left with a few of them).Now I am only left with the KAPLAN book to study.Please suggest whether I should take the test again or not.

At this point it is probably about the score you realistically need. What schools are you applying to? If 600 is within 80% of the spread, then you are fine.
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies   [#permalink] 01 Aug 2011, 13:01

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