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Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes

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Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2014, 03:54
Hi Guys

I've had a long and hard struggle with this exam, and unfortunately, no success yet. Here are my scores from my previous three attempts:

July 2013: 620 39Q/38V
October 2013: 640 42Q/36V
April 2014: 650 48Q/32V

Steady increase in quant score, steady decline in verbal score. I wanted your opinions on what I should do next. Should I retake at all? Given that across three attempts I have gotten a 48Q and 38V; will that be enough for top schools? I know all of them don't look at scores this way - but will they at least consider it? I'm honestly quite sick of studying for this test and don't want to take it a 4th time.

If I do take it a 4th time, how do you suggest I change my prep? So far, I have read all the MGMAT guides and done the OG with both supplements. I also bought the extra question pack and exam pack from the GMATPrep software. Scores on the 2 new exams from that software were 700 (48q38v) and 710 (48q40v). I was shocked at the 32v in my third attempt :(

Any opinions would be much appreciated!
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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2014, 05:57
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Hi Brobeedle,

Hope you are doing well. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't reach your GMAT goal this third time. I know that it's cold comfort but: this happens to plenty of people. Really solid work improving your Quant! That is something to be happy about.

In terms of pairing your "best of" GMAT scores, I'm not an admissions person but I would say that really depends on where you are applying. I'm sure that there are some schools that may consider this but I doubt that say Harvard is going to give you the benefit of the doubt:) I've had a few students in it for the long haul - maybe this article on long term GMAT studying helps.

Whether you should re-take really depends on where you want to apply - will the 650 get you there? If yes, then don't bother retaking. If no, then I would strongly consider a re-take especially considering that you are so damned close to a fantastic score. What seems to be the trouble on verbal? Have you noticed any trends in your studying? How was the timing on the test? Your verbal must be pretty good for you to have gotten a 38 and a 40 on the Exam pack tests. Those are the real deal. Maybe a bit of test anxiety is getting you on the real thing?

My feeling is that there isn't enough really tough official GMAT verbal to practice for people who want elite GMAT verbal scores. I would consider practicing your GMAT Critical Reasoning using LSAT logical reasoning. The questions are very similar to the GMAT critical reasoning but they are a notch tougher. You could use either GRE or LSAT for practicing your GMAT reading comprehension. If you get good at these questions the GMAT ones will feel much easier. You've used a lot of the official GMAT materials but you could still work through the VERBAL of the GMAT paper tests. Excellent practice. The other thing that you can do (once you have taken them 2-3 times each) is use the GMAT prep verbal Question Bank. This has all of the verbal questions from the software and is also great practice.

I think there is still lots of potential for a great score. I know that it's tough to keep on studying. It can be extremely tiring especially when you see a section get worse and worse. One thing that can really help is to make yourself a GMAT Study Schedule so that you know when you will study and what you will study. This makes studying so much easier and also gives you a goal each day so that studying doesn't creep into a 24hour 7 day a week operation. While you're at it - it's great to get the most out of your work by making an error log, doing lots of review, and generally practicing in an efficient way. This article on essential GMAT study habits might be helpful.

I know that I am bombing you with a ton of different things here:) My main point is take your time to make this decision and if you do decide to re-study take your time to plan how you will re-study. Make a real plan. Clearly you are already taking a great first step by participating in the forum! Let me know if you have any questions.

Happy studies!

A.

PS: Since your Quant is in a really good place I would consider working through the GMAT Club Quant CATs. These are extremely tough but great practice for people who have a 45+ on Quant. You will probably be a bit shocked at your performance on the first bunch of tests that you take but don't worry about the score. Just focus on the review: in general be spending at least as much time on your review as you spend solving questions.
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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 07:37
hi herrgau,

thanks for your encouragement! i did do a few lsat papers before my third attempt, but clearly it wasn't enough. gonna start working on them again tomorrow. do you know where I can find detailed answer explanations? i only have access to a few online copies of the question papers and answer keys, but no answer explanations.

for quant, i will definitely take a look at a few gmatclub tests, and do some of the hacks sets as well :) thanks for the advice once again!
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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 07:46
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Hi B,

Awesome! Great place for LSAT explanations: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/blog/tag/lsat-explanations/. As you know LSAT can be really tough. Be OK skipping 2-3 questions even in your review. Let's focus on the important 95%. Also skip parallel reasoning, parallel flaw, and justify the principle questions. While it won't hurt you to work on them, you won't see those question types on the GMAT.

Happy Studies,

A.
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"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT Sample Questions to assess your GMAT Quant.

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

IMPROVE YOUR READING COMPREHENSION with the ECONOMIST READING COMPREHENSION CHALLENGE:

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2014, 10:49
hey hi,,,,
even my situation is same..plz reply..so tht we can...connect n atleast help each other
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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2014, 22:49
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Hi Herrgau

Just wanted to say thank you for your help and advice on my GMAT issue. I took it again today and scored 660, which is still better than all my previous attempts. my progression is 620-640-650-660. I dont think I want to give it again. My split this time was 44q and 37v. I just wish I could have one attempt where both my verbal and quant scores were ok!

Anyway, I am going to focus on other parts of my application now. I will do some supplemental online courses which are quant heavy and which are graded - hopefully this should help.

If you're aware of any such courses please do let me know!

Best Regards
Rashu
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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2014, 05:01
brobeedle wrote:
Hi Herrgau

Just wanted to say thank you for your help and advice on my GMAT issue. I took it again today and scored 660, which is still better than all my previous attempts. my progression is 620-640-650-660. I dont think I want to give it again. My split this time was 44q and 37v. I just wish I could have one attempt where both my verbal and quant scores were ok!

Anyway, I am going to focus on other parts of my application now. I will do some supplemental online courses which are quant heavy and which are graded - hopefully this should help.

If you're aware of any such courses please do let me know!

Best Regards
Rashu



Hi ...

Can you please suggest if we have similar coures for verbal as well?
As I have scored really poor in my Verbal for that matter if such course can help me to strengthen my essays .. It will be great :)
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Re: Taken the GMAT three times - Advice needed on retakes [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2014, 05:55
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Hi Rashu,

Great work getting that verbal up another point! I'm sorry to see that the Quant didn't stay at the max. Your 660 is an excellent score. I just had a recent student get into Cornell's MBA program with the same score and he's super excited. You're very welcome and best of luck with your applications!

Take Care,

A.
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"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT Sample Questions to assess your GMAT Quant.

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

IMPROVE YOUR READING COMPREHENSION with the ECONOMIST READING COMPREHENSION CHALLENGE:

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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Plz help , another topic another story plzzzzzz [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2014, 13:13
Is it true that the GMAT test will get harder and tough if I retake it within a short timeframe. Help me pls. I took the first one one week ago, scored 420 and planning to redo it after 1 month,but my friend told me that I should wait more than one month to retake or will be harder and won't let me score good grade than before. Need ur advise ASAP thanks a lot
Plz help , another topic another story plzzzzzz   [#permalink] 08 Jul 2014, 13:13
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