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Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP!

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Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP! [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 10:11
Hey Guys,

I'm really confused with what I got today on the verbal section of the GMAT, I only pulled off a 30 (56%), my math was a 45 (68%). I don't understand how my Verbal was this low. I got in the 80th percentile( 78% was my minimum) on almost all my practice exams, of which I wrote at least 15. I've used Manhattan GMAT and Knewton. Only in a few Kaplan tests did I get low verbal scores.

This was the second time I wrote the GMAT. The first time I got a 610 but with a mark in Verbal that was also much lower than I expected, a 31 (59%), when I was destroying verbal in all my practice questions and tests.

I was getting high 600's and 700's on Manhattan and Knewton CAT exams. I got 650's on both my GMAT prep exams, which I thought was bad.I was ready to walk out of the test today with a 700, as I thought I did so well throughout the whole test, and I felt like I did real well in verbal, until I saw the score. I am a native english speaker, and nothing in my practice has shown that my verbal is bad.

I don't know whether I should try and go for a higher mark a 3rd time, or will I just be waisting my time? Is there anyway to work on my verbal? I have been accepted into a top ranked Canadian B-School but my dream has always been to go to an Ivy League.

Please help! Any advice would be appreciated!
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Re: Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP! [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 12:27
Hi CharlieT,

Sorry to hear you didn't do as well as expected on verbal. Is there a chance that you missed the first few questions, then had a string of easier questions you got right? I've read a few posts that say the first few questions really matter in determining scores, and I know someone in this forum posted a review of how they used the GMAT test prep software intentionally missing the first few questions and on how much this deteriorated the score. Also, I've heard debriefs where people scored poorly on a section, but thought they did well (they said it was probably due to missing the first few, then GMAT gives many easier questions in succession afterwards, so while you got many questions right, they weren't the most difficult questions which raise your score).

As for if you should take the test again, I would think it over. If you truly want to go to an ivy league, and it is your dream, then yes, take it again; but you must practice even harder. the reality is that you will need probably at least a 700 to get in (and even then chances aren't good). I'm not saying you can't/shouldn't do this, i'm saying if you truly want to, you can, and you SHOULD. however, you must reassess your study habbits and devotion. with hard work you CAN do it, its just a matter of how much hard work you are willing to do.

Good luck, and congrats on getting into a top Canadian B -school!

~Mr VonParkenShredder
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Re: Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP! [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 23:21
Hey,

Thanks for the reply. Your advice is much appreciated.

First time I wrote the GMAT, I actually had a complaint about the staff in the writing centre. Right when I started my verbal, they came back from lunch and decided to just have some sort of staff party, and didn't realize that I could hear everything; On top of that, the person who was supposed to watch over the test was with them and not in her seat. So for this reason, I thought my Verbal was ruined by them, and I got a free re-try.

*For anyone that doesn't know, if you are bothered for more than a min during your test, you are allowed to re-schedule for free*

So the second time, I thought that if I just studied the same way, I would get a good verbal score, as long as nothing disturbed me during the test. It turns out that something was really wrong with my verbal because the test centre was perfect.

I don't want to put more than a month and a half of studying if I do this a third time. I feel like I've studied so much, and now, I really feel like the Verbal is my only issue. Seeing that I don't know how to study for it, since my practice exams and questions showed that I was nailing 80% and above, I am now considering private tutoring with either Kaplan or Manhattan.

Any advice here? what strategy I should take? Any recommendations for private tutoring?

Again, thanks for the reply! Would love some more comments!
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Re: Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP! [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2013, 16:53
Sorry to join the discussion so late! CharlieT, what were your verbal scores on your GMATPrep tests? It sounds like you did really well on the verbal sections of your Knewton and MGMAT tests, fairly badly on Kaplan's verbal tests, and maybe just OK on your GMATPrep tests. At the very least, the scores weren't very consistent, and that can be a sign that you have some inconsistencies in your approach to verbal in general.

It also sounds like you might be putting a little bit too much faith in your MGMAT and Knewton results. Keep in mind that it's unbelievably difficult for test-prep companies to perfectly copy the actual GMAT exam, especially on the verbal side. Real GMAT verbal questions are incredibly nuanced and rigorously tested, and no test-prep company can match the style of real questions--they simply can't put as much energy into developing verbal questions as GMAC does.

MGMAT and Knewton and Kaplan tests can be a useful part of your studies, but the scores might not be very accurate. If, for example, you've used a lot of MGMAT materials, it's likely that you'll get used to their writing style, and you'll do disproportionately well on their tests. The shaky results on the Kaplan tests are a sign that you might have mastered MGMAT and Knewton verbal questions, without completely mastering GMAT verbal questions in general. GMATPrep is the only truly accurate practice test out there... but even then, every test-prep company bases their tests on the GMATPrep, so it isn't shocking to see slightly inflated GMATPrep scores, since you've probably already seen versions of the GMATPrep questions when you worked through materials from MGMAT/Kaplan/Knewton.

So the bad news is that if you got a pair of 650s on your GMATPrep tests, then it isn't too surprising that you fell well short of a 700. A 600 or 610 is a really unpleasant surprise, but it's a little bit less shocking if it turns out that your GMATPrep scores were inflated. And as GoodGanjaGrades suggested, a few careless errors early in the verbal section can send your score into a tailspin.

My hunch is that you aren't as methodical, consistent, or systematic as you could be on the verbal questions, and it also sounds like you might suffer from doing too many "knockoff" questions. Have you already gone through the entire OG, the quant/verbal supplements, and the GMATPrep Question Pack? If you've done tons of verbal questions from other companies, then you'll become really good at their tests--and you might not be all that great at picking up on the nuances of actual GMAT questions, especially if a relatively small percentage of your questions have been real, retired GMAT questions.

It's definitely possible to improve your score on your third attempt, so don't let that discourage you! If you're going to go for tutoring, you might consider hiring an independent instructor--it sounds like you've already learned the methods offered by the large companies, and maybe it's time for something completely different. Try gmatix.com or craigslist to find somebody in your local area, maybe? And whatever you do, try to spend more of your time on official GMAT questions (or LSAT questions for extra CR and RC practice), and take the practice test scores with a grain of salt.

I hope this helps a little bit. Good luck with everything, Charlie!
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Re: Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP!   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2013, 16:53
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Weird Verbal Score on Actual GMAT AGAIN! HELP!

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