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Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies

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Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2009, 16:26
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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.

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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 :wink: )
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
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Last edited by bb on 06 Jun 2013, 06:07, edited 46 times in total.
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Knewton GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2010, 13:28
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Hi all,

I retook the GMAT this morning at the same center and time-of-day as before, but 7 weeks later. I'm happy to report a 60 point increase! I went from a 710 (Q50 - 93%ile, V37 - 80%ile, total 92%ile) to a 770 (Q51 - 98%ile, V44 - 97%ile, total 99%ile).

I went back and forth a lot on deciding over the retake, and got a lot of advice from a lot of people on why 710 is good enough, but in the end I decided to go with what would make me sleep easier at night ... at least until I begin fretting over the rest of the application process! :-)

I will say that although a 710 score would probably not have had significant negative impact on my application, the score wasn't anywhere near what I was getting in my practice exams (an avg of 760 over the last six practice tests - GMATPrep and ManhattanGMAT). This was a key factor in my decision to retake the exam.

I will include a debrief later, as I did learn a few lessons from my first experience that I wish to share with the community. I wish to thank the GMAT club community members who take so much time to respond to everyone's questions and support each other. I think that the content on this site is truly amazing. I couldn't have done it without GMATclub!!


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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2011, 07:33
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today I took the GMAT for 2nd time. Here is a summary of the story so I hope it may help you

In my first try I got 650 (june 2010) . I ran out of time in both Q and V so I had to guess the last 4 or 5 questions. Very disappointing and frustrating since I studied for more than 6 months.
In spite my score I got interview invite from Ross and LBS so it is true that the GMAT is not THAT important....but, I also got a ding from a couple of other universities .... so I decided not to run any risk and retake the test with the hope to send an update before the final decisions were taken.

I started studying 1 month ago. I did 11 of the gmat club's tests and also completed the 6 MGMAT tests. I bought Word Translations and Number Properties books as suggested in many posts in the forum, which reminds me to mention that I read the forum constantly ... it kept my morale high and also helped me to discover the "take one step back in order to advance two" strategy. The main lesson I learned was how to time my answers. Today I had more than 2 mins left in both Q and V parts which is not quite good because it's a sign I didn't use the time efficiently. In the breaks of the exam I took one GU energy gel ( the gels you use in marathons) which kept me awake during the exam.

My score was:
Q 48/82
V 39/87
T 710/92

I want to thank the members of this forum since it proved to be very helpful . I also wish the very best to those who haven't taken the test yet ...and remember to have a few beers or vodkas the night before :) ...it helps to relax and don't take all this too seriously. cheers mates
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2012, 23:01
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studsar87 - The disparity we have been talking about is regarding admissions and not regarding receiving lower GMAT scores. I don't think there is any disparity / favor that the GMAT exam shows towards any group. The software is unbiased. When we talk about the Indian IT Male, we talk about the adcoms which show a slight bias against the Indian IT Male because of the generally high GMAT that this group scores and the high volume of applications received from this group.

Regarding your question on re-taking, I would just say evaluate the score vis-a-vis the average GMAT score of the colleges that you want to apply. Re-taking, seems to be an easy options but trust me it is not. Going through the same material again and with constant fear of scoring lower than what you scored the first time is not a happy situation to be in.
This is just my opinion, you might have a different experience.
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Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2009, 09:03
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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
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Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2009, 05:13
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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?
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Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2009, 05:40
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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!
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2009, 02:43
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Thanks BB :) Nice thread..
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2009, 17:48
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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 :lol:
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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Re: Ultimate Should I Retake GMAT Thread [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 02:26
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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
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2009, 15:33
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This may be a technicality question and would recommend you also post it in the Profile Review forum.

My thought is that 690 should not keep anyone from schools whose average is 710. Moreover, few of them really look at GMAT so legalistically.

Since you really need to hit your schools in R2, not much time left for a retake. I would focus on the Applications.

If you want to feel better, fix quant, and not worry about it, schedule a test in 30 days (the soonest you can retake). Don't spend much time on prepping for it - focus on the apps 97%. Practice a bit for the GMAT - take a few full tests and retake.

If you really want to be slick, don't send the scores to any schools just in case you don't get a higher score - you can order them later. However, it does not really matter if a clerk sees that your second score is lower than your first one - not a big deal to have a second score lower than the first. Pathfinder had 720, then retook and got 690 - still got into Wharton.
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2009, 17:02
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marcioguilherme wrote:
Thanks for your answer, bb.

What do you think? Should I be worried? Is 41Q enough for a top school such as Chicago, Wharton or Kellogg?

All the best,
Márcio Guilherme.

(I'll post the question on the Profile Review forum later on)


This answer will depend on each of the schools - admissions consultants from Accepted and MBA Apply are much more up to speed on "unofficial" requirements from each of the schools. I'd hate to give you the wrong info, so will defer to them.

Alternatively, you can also go through this thread and see if there is a pattern:
2009-profiles-w-admit-dings-results-no-discussion-62945.html
or here: 2009-acceptances-rejections-by-school-post-results-here-73302.html
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2009, 01:21
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gmatdummy wrote:
Hey Guys,

I got a 620 on the GMAT (v 83%, q 49%). I did a lot of studying (4+ months, 10+ hours a week) so I was very disappointed with my score.

I did the Kaplan program and my score didn't really go up much after the 3rd practice test (got 530 on diagnostic, then 570, then 620, then bounced around a bunch and went as low as 510 and as high as a 640).

Do you think there is much point in taking again? I feel pretty burnt out from studying, especially when my score didn't improve much considering the time I put in. Maybe I'm just stuck with a low score...

Based on your alls experience, do you see big score jumps on retakes, even after people have studied and taken their first test seriously? According to GMAC statistically people don't do much better on retakes, but I'm not sure if they have an angle.

Thanks!


Hi gmatdummy,

Your results are similar to mine the first time around, only you are doing better on quant :-)

Don't be discouraged. Take some time off, go a month without studying before deciding to retake/not to retake the GMAT.

I got 610 the first time and 660 yesterday and I beleive I could have done better if I wasn't nervous. I plateaued at q35 and above by doing lots of difficult problems - more difficult than the actual GMAT in fact. Did you do the GMATClub diagnostic test and the GMAT questions of the day?
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 00:40
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wiredo wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone comment on my individual section split? Is Q50 V37 too disparate? My total GMAT score is 710, and I'm considering a retake. My two GMATPrep practice exams both resulted in a 750 (Q50, V41).

I'm planning on applying to several Top 10 schools including MIT, Columbia, NYU, Kellogg and Booth. Will the 710 hurt my chances of admission? Will a 750 make enough of a difference all else being the same?

Thanks in advance.


Probably won't make too much difference. People get into top 10 with 690. You have a very high quant score and finance schools will love you for that.
A good/strong essay/story may be a better investment of your time.
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2010, 13:44
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jade3 wrote:
bb,

I took the GMAT on 24th of this month and scored 680 (M48, V34) . As, I am a entrepreneur—started my own consumer and economic research company, the company is in the top 30 in the said category in India in terms of the revenues—I was not able to concentrate much on GMAT preparation. What do you suggest should I again appear for GMAT with proper preparation? or will the ADCOM would take my job into consideration while looking at my GMAT score.

Regards


Jade,

I think you can leave GMAT Alone, even if with ISB. 680 is a great score and unless you felt that you scored 750+ in you practice tests, it may be the time to "bury the GMAT war hammer"
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2010, 07:55
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Usually 2 years is OK. Another potential motivator to take GMAT now vs. 2 years from now is that in 2012 GMAC is adding new sections to the GMAT (integrated reasoning), so you will have to practice that section as well and that could be a pain.

However, if you are planning to apply in 2013, in 3 years and a year after new format is introduced, I would say your score would be somewhat stale.
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 30 May 2011, 13:16
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Hi you all!
I'm from Chile and I want to study in the US, since my wife is from there.
I need help with two things:
1) I'm planning to retake the GMAT this year. Do you think that 2 months of studyng will be enough to do so? For the previous test in March (23rd) I studied for 3 months and got 480, even though in the practice tests I was getting 640-670 points(6 MGMAT and 1 official) and in the AWA I got 6.0. I was reeaaaaaaally dissapointed, because it was by far my lowest score ever. The problem is that I have a 7 months old baby and don't have a lot of time to study during the week, since I work until 7PM in the afternoon. So my plan would be to study from 8:30PM to 10:00 from Monday to Friday and 7 hours during the weekends. :?
2) I already took the TOEFL iBT and got 106 pts but it expires on the 22nd of August in this year. Does anybody know if the schools will accept this score for the applications in October this year if I send it to them before the due date?
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2011, 12:25
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Quote:
Hi you all!
I'm from Chile and I want to study in the US, since my wife is from there.
I need help with two things:
1) I'm planning to retake the GMAT this year. Do you think that 2 months of studyng will be enough to do so? For the previous test in March (23rd) I studied for 3 months and got 480, even though in the practice tests I was getting 640-670 points(6 MGMAT and 1 official) and in the AWA I got 6.0. I was reeaaaaaaally dissapointed, because it was by far my lowest score ever. The problem is that I have a 7 months old baby and don't have a lot of time to study during the week, since I work until 7PM in the afternoon. So my plan would be to study from 8:30PM to 10:00 from Monday to Friday and 7 hours during the weekends.
2) I already took the TOEFL iBT and got 106 pts but it expires on the 22nd of August in this year. Does anybody know if the schools will accept this score for the applications in October this year if I send it to them before the due date?


Hi batria,
Focus more on the quality of your study time than on how much time you have. Since you're somewhat familiar with the exam already--1-2 months is good enough---if you study well. Certainly don't underestimate the psychological aspects of the GMAT exam.

We have many students who fit your same schedule--busy working professionals with only the weekends and nighttime to study. An online video course would be excellent for someone like you, provided you have a good internet connection.

Good luck and we're here to help!
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2011, 12:52
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Thanks for the reply "gmatpill". I was wondering if you also know the thing about the TOEFL. If I send the score report before it expires in August, but the applications are in October... will the scorre still be valid and considered?
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2011, 18:56
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ttin0307,

I can tell you probably got penalized heavily for those last few questions that you guessed on. Timing is a critical component of the exam. The key to timing is thinking efficiently. And if you are a perfectionist---that mentality can hurt you as well. Please read this excerpt from this article.

Perfectionists and overachievers like myself often have trouble with the GMAT. Why?

Because we are so determined to get every question that comes our way correct that we sacrifice time and ultimately are forced to guess the last several questions. The GMAT is designed to push you to your limits.

The CAT format is much harder from a psychological standpoint than a paper-based test on the same content. The reason is that by its very nature the computer-adaptive format is designed to push you to your failure point - and for us perfectionists that’s a VERY uncomfortable place to be.
The computer adaptive format means you get a harder question when you get the current question correct. What ends up happening to perfectionists is we get each question correct and in turn the GMAT throws us even harder questions. We perfectionists then spend more and more time on these harder questions double checking our math or re-reading portions of each answer choice over and over with the determination to get each question correct. Meanwhile, we sacrifice time and get heavily penalized for not finishing the exam.

In fact, part of the reason I did so poorly on my first practice exam was because I did not finish the exam in time. I was too focused on getting the question correct that I lost sense of the big picture–that I really needed be strategic with my time.

If you are pressed for time and have 4 questions left but really have time only for 2, my suggestion is instead of answering questions 34 and 35 and then guessing 36 and 37 for Quant is to answer 34, guess 35, answer 36, and guess 37. This allows you to stay at a relatively same level (or higher if you guess one right) than potentially dropping below the level you were at question 33 by getting multiple questions wrong in a row.

Since the GMAT penalizes you heavily for getting many consecutive answers incorrect you should make sure you do not end up in a position where you need to guess the last 10 questions because you spent too much time on each question in the beginning. In general, you are better off guessing 10 random questions than guessing 10 consecutive questions–so make sure you time yourself properly.

You should be aiming, on average, to answer each question in less than two minutes. With practice you should be able to sense when you are at around the 3 minute mark that you are spending too much time on this question. Around this time you should make a strategic guess and move on. With easy-type questions you should definitely not reach the 3 minute mark.
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Re: Should I Retake GMAT Thread - Retaking GMAT Strategies   [#permalink] 06 Jul 2011, 18:56
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