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.
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.
"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 vs GRE Comparison
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