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# Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies

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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
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31 Aug 2009, 17:26
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Everything you wanted to know about retaking GMAT. Not Happy with your GMAT Score? Not sure if it is good enough?
Retaking GMAT can be tough and often leads to a lower score - make sure it is worth the time and effort.

Nobody is ever happy with their GMAT score, but many agree that between 680 and 700 is good enough to get into any MBA program without second thoughts. What many of the applicants do is focus too much on quantifiable factors such as GMAT. Simply because you have 750 and another person has 700, does not mean your chances are much better. GMAT score is only a part of your application package and many 750+ applicants learned it the hard way. For Top 10 schools, GMAT is often only a check-mark. Thus, always determine the best ROI for your time and value that higher GMAT score will add to your application before deciding on retake. Often retake is not the right strategy. As an illustration, See Tarmac's post here for 8 dings with 770. Also see the "retake frustration stories" below for applicants whose scores went down after a retake.

At the same time, per GMAC Research (see attach below), retaking often brings value. On average, a person can gain 30 points by retaking. This could be explained by being more comfortable with the environment, knowing what to expect, and having a better stamina and time management. Also third and fourth, fifth, sixth attemps have paid off for a number of folks.

Attachment:
Score Gains.pdf [1.62 MiB]

Situations when you probably SHOULD retake:
• The difference of your GMAT and GMAT Prep (undiluted) score is 50 points or greater.
• The difference between estimated GMAT Score and GMAT is greater than 50 points. (GMAT Score Estimator/Calculator)
• Your target school's average score is 50 points higher (check scores here...)
• You have used second rate prep materials (See a list of recommended books here)
• You have a significant score imbalance. For example Q50, V25, resulting in 640
• One of the admissions consultants from Profile Review forum recommended you retake
• You are shooting for a scholarship (several schools award scholarships partially based on GMAT scores)
• You have an extra 1-2 months and the best use of that time to improve your admissions chances is not writing essays/applications but studying for GMAT 3 hours/day
• Score Imbalance: You have a have a relatively high GMAT score, but your Verbal score is significantly lower than your Quant score--common with engineers and Indian IT types. (See student who got waitlisted at 690 but got in 3 weeks later with a 760.)
• Indian IT male - this is a very competitive segment and if you are not able to differentiate yourself in any way, get as high GMAT as you can.

Situations when you probably SHOULD NOT retake:
• You are within 50 points of the school's average GMAT score (in this case time is best spent on applications unless you have a bit of time and 30 points is a worthy increase). See School's Average and Range GMAT Scores
• You have exhausted all of the prep materials and resources
• You are short on time (rather spend it on applications than GMAT. Most top 10-20 schoosl do not put a significant weight on GMAT score - we have plenty of 770 applicants with rejections
• Already have a 700+ score

Recommendations and Resourcs for GMAT Retake:
• Get a schedule on a calendar and write out what you are planning to do and when. Set goals and achieve them! See this post for a sample of a calendar.
• One of the keys to a successful retake is to regain your test confidence - don't try to tackle the hardest hurdle first, focus on small victories to help motivate you to climb higher hills. Rome was not built in one day. Small victories will win the war. Thus, even though you have 45 Quant and 28 Verbal, it may be a better idea to get your Quant to 48 or 49 (and get your confidence back) before tackling the harder verbal questions.
• However, remember that ultimately, you only have so much time and you should identify areas that will give you the highest ROI.
• Find the best study pattern for you. If you are a single tasker - focus on quant/verbal first for the first few weeks. Then, put your attention on the other area and do a deep dive. Consider joining a study group here on GMAT Club. Some thrive in collective environment.
• Do not move on until you feel comfortable with the section and you feel you understand the entire section in your book
• Try following 1-2 month Study plan for retakers (how to go from 650 to 700+)
• Sign up for a GMAT Prep course that has a money-back guarantee such as Knewton and Magoosh which offer 50-point improvement or money back. (you are not losing anything except your time)
• Make sure you have thoroughly covered your existing books
• Books - Make sure you are using best and most effective books for your prep (gmat books, math books, verbal books)
• Dedicate a larger portion of your day/life to methodically covering GMAT math and GMAT verbal
• Get a better lifestyle - sleep more, party less, exercise - give it a shot for a month
• Start reading more (books, magazines, etc - it helps a lot with RC and SC - see my post on GMAT Fiction)
• Start using Error Log - one of the easiest ways to get your score up is to use an error log and then focus on your weaknesses
• Try "teaching" others on the forum pages and learn more than you would ever have
• Explore success threads below and see what helped others

FAQ
How often can I retake the GMAT? (every 31 days)
750 on the GMAT but low Quant - should I retake?
How many times should one take the GMAT - any negative consequences of retaking?
What do Business Schools think of multiple GMAT scores?

GMAT retake success stories
From 700 to 770 by Avernusaur
From 570 to 760 by Hemantsood
3rd Attempt: increased verbal from 26 to 37 by marclopato
From 640 to 770 by Billyjeans
From 620 to 710 by quantjock
From 730 to 780 by Pelihu
From 580 to 730 by Yungsta
4th attempt - 690
From 640 to 720 with only confidence by logmeup
From 570 to 600 to 670 to 720 - a long way to 700's
From 420 to 700 by Positive Soul
From 680 to 740
500 to 640 in 1 Month
From 580 to 730 with PR materials
490 to 670 with a few tweaks
710 to 770 and lessons learned (another one of those )
Get second thoughts out of your head for $250 or going from 710 to 740 From 660 to 740 690 --> 720 in 6 weeks 640 to 700 in 2 months Long journey from 570 to 730 560 to 710 in 2 months 730 to 760 GMAT retake "disaster" stories Bitten Twice From 580 to 540 by JohnLewis From 720 to 690 by Pathfinder - currently attending Wharton From 560 to 510 by Mediamindy From 610 to 570 after 3 months of studying 680 to 620 by Noboru 740 to 710 by MCM 6 months to go from 690 to 690 Reference: Should I retake GMAT by Hjort Got 590 and done with GMAT (Applying to Top 10) [Reveal] Spoiler: Attachment: retaking-gmat.jpg [ 26.53 KiB | Viewed 218324 times ] _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Last edited by bb on 06 Jun 2013, 07:07, edited 46 times in total. Added more experience links  Magoosh Discount Codes Jamboree Discount Codes Veritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes Current Student Joined: 16 Jan 2009 Posts: 187 Location: Ithaca, New York Schools: Cornell University - The Johnson School Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 44 [0], given: 62 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2009, 18:10 Nice thread bb!!! Much appreciated ... I hope (will) be a success story in about a month's time! Director Status: Badgerine! Joined: 04 Oct 2008 Posts: 894 Location: United States (CA) Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2013 GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44 GPA: 3.3 WE: Project Management (Aerospace and Defense) Followers: 62 Kudos [?]: 278 [0], given: 86 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2009, 08:49 Great thread, bb! +1 _________________ Current Student Joined: 18 Jun 2009 Posts: 358 Location: San Francisco Schools: Duke,Oxford,IMD,INSEAD Followers: 10 Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 15 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2009, 09:26 I found a nice article on the same issue http://www.mbamission.com/blog/2009/09/ ... -the-gmat/ Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13933 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3391 Kudos [?]: 19962 [1] , given: 4313 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2009, 10:03 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED gmanjesh wrote: I found a nice article on the same issue http://www.mbamission.com/blog/2009/09/ ... -the-gmat/ Thanks! Good timing, though it kind of restates what Hjort wrote in 2006/2007 in his post - don't overfocus on the GMAT and evaluate your ROI. should-i-retake-the-gmat-overview-22233.html _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Intern Joined: 09 Aug 2009 Posts: 2 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1 Nothing special, just want to move from 630 (M45,V31) to 73 [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Sep 2009, 02:36 Hi all, First I have to tnx everybody here, without knowing it, you really helped me through the last 2 month of studing for my first GMAT! I took the test 2 days ago and got 630 (which is exactly what I got on the preps). Like everybody else around here, I guess, I have to reach over the 700... I read all the threads around here, and still: 1. Do you have any one month plan appropriate to my goals? 2. I already took the Kaplan course, and I have all the Kaplan materials, should I reused them? 3. My major problem is SC, so I ordered the Manhattan you recomended so much, any more recomendations on this part? 4. I had the feeling during the test that after Q 20 in the math section, I started to get questions that I never saw before, certenlly not in the OG, any suggestions on how to approach it? 5. I also ordered the new V&M official books. If there are any more smart purchases? Well, again, thank you very much, Jakiel. Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13933 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3391 Kudos [?]: 19962 [1] , given: 4313 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Sep 2009, 06:13 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post You should definitely go thorugh the Kaplan class books again if you can - you will pick something new. MGMAT SC is good. You can get either MGMAT SC or PowerScore SC - but don't get both as they are pretty much the same. Your SC should improve - make sure you don't move on until you understood each section fully and if you have to - reread 2 or 3 times. You have probably seen this thread but just in case, gmat-study-plan-go-from-650-to-80235.html here is a 1-2 month study plan for how to get over the 700 hump - any feedback how to improve it is welcome. For math, not really many recommendations. You will always see some unusual questions on the GMAT - the whole concept of it, so don't get alarmed too much. Just know arithmetic and how to solve word problems and basic combinations/probability. What is V&M official books? _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Intern Joined: 09 Aug 2009 Posts: 2 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Sep 2009, 06:26 Thanks BB. I meant verbal & math official books (the 2nd ed that just came out this year) Do you believe that after I already had taken the Kaplan course, a private teacher, just for SC, could be helpful? or the MGMAT is good enough...? I am looking for miracles... J Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13933 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3391 Kudos [?]: 19962 [1] , given: 4313 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Sep 2009, 06:40 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED Jakiel wrote: Thanks BB. I meant verbal & math official books (the 2nd ed that just came out this year) Do you believe that after I already had taken the Kaplan course, a private teacher, just for SC, could be helpful? or the MGMAT is good enough...? I am looking for miracles... J The math and verbal OG are helpful but they are just question collections - may teach you something or give you a hint but not as much as a good SC book would do. Go through Kaplan's SC right now. Then do the MGMAT OG, if that does not help, do not start with the OG Guide, but instead try getting 1-2 sessions with a tutor (other than Kaplan since you did those materials already) and see if they can get you on the right track. That would be my path. It is possible for you to get over the 700 barrier - possible for everyone, just may need a bit more time and more brushing up. Doing Grammar is another resource if you need to overhaul your SC (esp. if not a native speaker or if you never cared about grammar). Hope this helps! _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Intern Joined: 12 Jun 2009 Posts: 23 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Sep 2009, 05:33 Just want to add my two-cents worth. I got 670 the first time around, extremely disapointed cause I was expecting a slightly higher score. I got 690 and 710 for GMATprep 1 & 2. I was determined to get a 700+ and the reason for that is probably a bit irrational -- my best friend got a 760 and I have always beatten her in whatever subject at high school. She did take a prep course so I took that into consideration and only aimed for 700+. I studied for a month -- only on the weekend though cause I was a bit tied up with other stuff -- the second time I took it I got 710. I would be happier if I got 720 or 730 but I don't want to waste my precious time on retaking it again since I need to get started on other parts of my applications. I think the bottom line is, if you have a reason to believe that you would get 30 or 40 points more, then go for it, retake the exam. In my case I knew there was a big chance that I'd get a better score if retook the exam and I had enough time to do so. Luck is a big factor too. I was weak on Science RC's and came across one the first time around but not the second time. I know 710 is not a very high score but I hope I can still make to at least one of the schools I'm applying to: INSEAD, LBS, Columbia, Kellogg & MIT. I can't say my work experience is really unique -- my undergraduate degree is Computer Science but I wanted to get into finance purely because it's what I'm interested in and I've been a financial planner for 3 years now. I did my high school in China, lived in Thailand for a year and then moved to Australia. I've been living and working in Australia for 12 years now. My goal is to break into consulting, specialising in the financial services industry. Don't know what my chances are but I'm gonna do my best and give it a shot. Anyone who have some insights in these schools selection criteria and thinks my goal is unrealistic/realistic please let me know. I can really use some guidance here. bb, I really think it's great that you started this thread because it provides ppl who are contemplating on retaking the exam with both sides of the story. Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13933 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3391 Kudos [?]: 19962 [0], given: 4313 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Sep 2009, 15:07 Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED Thank you for the feedback - it does put things into perspective and, by the way, 710 is a great score. Congratulations. Allow me to remind everyone reading this thread that average gmat score is 540, so even a 650 is a lot better than average. _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News 2008 - 2017 Rankings progression - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Manager Joined: 27 May 2008 Posts: 126 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 63 [1] , given: 4 Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Sep 2009, 03:43 1 This post received KUDOS Thanks BB Nice thread.. Intern Joined: 03 Feb 2009 Posts: 26 Schools: University of Chicago Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0 Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Sep 2009, 15:54 1 This post was BOOKMARKED I scored a 680 on my GMAT. I am thinking about taking it again but took it twice already. I really didnt do well on my Quant but I come from PE/HF for the past 5 years. I also got a high GPA in accounting business. I just am having a tough time getting past the actual exam (I had to take an IQ test for my hedge fund job and got 99th percentile). I know some schools are GMAT junkies but some arent. Should I not take it again and apply to a NYU or take it again and shoot for Columbia or Wharton? Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13933 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3391 Kudos [?]: 19962 [1] , given: 4313 Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] ### Show Tags 14 Sep 2009, 18:48 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post RuthlessCA wrote: I scored a 680 on my GMAT. I am thinking about taking it again but took it twice already. I really didnt do well on my Quant but I come from PE/HF for the past 5 years. I also got a high GPA in accounting business. I just am having a tough time getting past the actual exam (I had to take an IQ test for my hedge fund job and got 99th percentile). I know some schools are GMAT junkies but some arent. Should I not take it again and apply to a NYU or take it again and shoot for Columbia or Wharton? GMAT has nothing to do with intelligence, so the IQ test is probably more important but unfortunately not relevant Sorry to hear about the 2 attempts. I see you have been prepping for a while and have gmat club tests. Just FYI - the difference in average GMAT Score between NYU and Wharton is 6 points - not a deal breaker (the-pants-pooping-applicant-thread-for-78477.html?view-post=617871#p617871). Not sure if your chances will be much better with 700+ than 680 but may need to get the Quant up just ot keep the adcom happy. I would not let GMAT stand in the way of my dream school - it is a nasty little thing that you can get out of the way (All you need is 3-4 points for quant) - for sanity sake (since you have been studying for a while and probably pretty frustrated at this point), would just get a tutor, pay him/her$500 - do 2 or 3 sessions, get my weaknesses figured out, whack the stupid test and move on. NYC has a lot of good tutors.
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26 Sep 2009, 03:09
bb wrote:
RuthlessCA wrote:
I scored a 680 on my GMAT. I am thinking about taking it again but took it twice already. I really didnt do well on my Quant but I come from PE/HF for the past 5 years. I also got a high GPA in accounting business. I just am having a tough time getting past the actual exam (I had to take an IQ test for my hedge fund job and got 99th percentile). I know some schools are GMAT junkies but some arent. Should I not take it again and apply to a NYU or take it again and shoot for Columbia or Wharton?

GMAT has nothing to do with intelligence, so the IQ test is probably more important but unfortunately not relevant
Sorry to hear about the 2 attempts. I see you have been prepping for a while and have gmat club tests.

Just FYI - the difference in average GMAT Score between NYU and Wharton is 6 points - not a deal breaker (the-pants-pooping-applicant-thread-for-78477.html?view-post=617871#p617871). Not sure if your chances will be much better with 700+ than 680 but may need to get the Quant up just ot keep the adcom happy.

I would not let GMAT stand in the way of my dream school - it is a nasty little thing that you can get out of the way (All you need is 3-4 points for quant) - for sanity sake (since you have been studying for a while and probably pretty frustrated at this point), would just get a tutor, pay him/her $500 - do 2 or 3 sessions, get my weaknesses figured out, whack the stupid test and move on. NYC has a lot of good tutors. Nice thread..quite inspirational +1 Manager Joined: 21 May 2009 Posts: 142 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 20 [1] , given: 50 Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Sep 2009, 03:26 1 This post received KUDOS bb wrote: You should definitely go thorugh the Kaplan class books again if you can - you will pick something new. MGMAT SC is good. You can get either MGMAT SC or PowerScore SC - but don't get both as they are pretty much the same. Your SC should improve - make sure you don't move on until you understood each section fully and if you have to - reread 2 or 3 times. You have probably seen this thread but just in case, gmat-study-plan-go-from-650-to-80235.html here is a 1-2 month study plan for how to get over the 700 hump - any feedback how to improve it is welcome. For math, not really many recommendations. You will always see some unusual questions on the GMAT - the whole concept of it, so don't get alarmed too much. Just know arithmetic and how to solve word problems and basic combinations/probability. What is V&M official books? thanku very much BB Manager Joined: 13 Jun 2007 Posts: 58 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0 Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Sep 2009, 06:53 1 This post was BOOKMARKED Very nice suggestions ! I will keep in mind.Thanks bb.This post is really gonna help millions. Intern Joined: 29 Sep 2009 Posts: 1 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Sep 2009, 16:39 I admire your confidence. I am in a similar situation, but lacking confidence. I scored a 600 on my first go round and am stressing about whether I should take it over. My top choice is CBS and looking at the average and 80% range I am a little discouraged. Grant it I am a woman and represent the "underrepresented" minority, I am fearful that my performance will hinder my overall package (have an Engineering undergrad degree, but did enough to graduate-slightly below 3.0). Can anyone provide some insight for someone in my case? Should I retake it or focus on building a strong application through essays and recommendations? I appreciate any feedback. Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 13933 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3391 Kudos [?]: 19962 [0], given: 4313 Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] ### Show Tags 29 Sep 2009, 16:45 Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED jlp9685 wrote: I admire your confidence. I am in a similar situation, but lacking confidence. I scored a 600 on my first go round and am stressing about whether I should take it over. My top choice is CBS and looking at the average and 80% range I am a little discouraged. Grant it I am a woman and represent the "underrepresented" minority, I am fearful that my performance will hinder my overall package (have an Engineering undergrad degree, but did enough to graduate-slightly below 3.0). Can anyone provide some insight for someone in my case? Should I retake it or focus on building a strong application through essays and recommendations? I appreciate any feedback. If you are below the 80% range, I would recommend to reconsider. If you lack confidence and discourage, you may be the right person for a class. We have a deal on the Manhattan Class, but I would recommend you also look into Knewton - they provide money back guarantee if you don't get a 50 point improvement - may save energy and nerves, though it does cost$700....

See some of the class reviews here: gmat-prep-courses-classes-reviews-ratings-and-comparison-78451.html

I am usually a self-prep and no-retaking fan, so have crossed 2 of my principles in one message - let me know if you prefer the self-prep route, would be happy to recommend a few books...
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02 Oct 2009, 13:12
bb wrote:
Thank you for the feedback - it does put things into perspective and, by the way, 710 is a great score. Congratulations.
Allow me to remind everyone reading this thread that average gmat score is 540, so even a 650 is a lot better than average.

I don't think that the typical GMAT taker that searches through the internets and finds forums discussing every nook and crany of one single test is the type of person that thinks average is acceptable. But, thanks for the sympathy compliment nonetheless.
Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread   [#permalink] 02 Oct 2009, 13:12

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