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# Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep?

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Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  05 Jun 2009, 18:41
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This question sort of boggles my mind. Why does it seem like many people go into the GMAT not having studied enough and/or not feeling completely confident? I would understand if it were a test like the LSAT or MCAT in which there are only a certain number of test administrations per year and the need to cram in order to take the test by a certain date, but given that one can schedule the GMAT any time one wishes, why doesn't everyone just wait until he or she is completely confident before registering? Unless one "suddenly" decides to apply to business school, in which case he or she would need to take the GMAT immediately, the optimal strategy just seems to be to delay it until you consistently hit the target scores in your range of schools. With that in mind, seems like everyone can get 700+ with enough time and patience.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  16 Jun 2009, 11:20
if everyone could just get a 700+, then you wouldn't see people taking the test multiple times with countless hours of study and still hitting a 650, 630, 570, etc. no test is built for everyone to hit the 93% mark. to address the other part of your question, some people set a test date and plan their studying around that date, those who have studied diligently and don't see further improvement and those who can't afford to pay $50-$250 more to change/cancel a date opt to take the test.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  16 Jun 2009, 11:36
Good question. I think that majority of people don't know what really GMAT is and what it takes, how tough that exam is. There is generaly two ways of realizing the bitter truth - either taking GMATprep or taking real exam for the first time. The problem is that vast majority of people never take Gprep before actual exam, taking the other CATs or, even worse, not taking one at all. Mind pattern of GMAT newbies, including me, goes something like: "I know English, for a Christs sake! And that funny math is not hard even for the 6th grade. Come on, I'll bust it."

Well, you won't, at least I didn't. Lepium's excellent post could give some basic explanations regarding this subject.
http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-7-phases-of-b-school-application-42452.html
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  17 Jun 2009, 09:05
I tell you one more reason.

GMAT OG and companion books will tell you that there are 800 questions to work from. I say load of bull crap. Many guys who do not have access to more resources think its true. They work on OG and review books diligently. Guess what, on the quant the GMAT is a whole different animal and to do those 37 questions, many of them unseen type in 75 minutes goes beyond the ability of a test taker. You dont have time to peel the onion during the test. Same with Verbal but only SC seems to be out of sync. CR and RC seem to be fairly close.

GMAT has all reasons to keep the scores low. Test is designed for 68% test takers to score between 400-600 and a median of 550 or so. There is a reason why they want to achieve that and will change the test as needed to keep scores in that range.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  17 Jun 2009, 09:33
It's also worth noting that nearly 100,000 people receive their MBA each year. Most students do not go to a top tier bschool. Lower ranked schools are less competitive, so students only do what's necessary to gain admittance. If the average GMAT at your target Part-Time MBA program is 550, you're certainly not going to spend 3 months studying for a 700+ score if you can get a 600 with 5-10 hours of prep.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  17 Jun 2009, 10:18
icandy wrote:
I tell you one more reason.

GMAT OG and companion books will tell you that there are 800 questions to work from. I say load of bull crap. Many guys who do not have access to more resources think its true. They work on OG and review books diligently. Guess what, on the quant the GMAT is a whole different animal and to do those 37 questions, many of them unseen type in 75 minutes goes beyond the ability of a test taker. You dont have time to peel the onion during the test. Same with Verbal but only SC seems to be out of sync. CR and RC seem to be fairly close.

GMAT has all reasons to keep the scores low. Test is designed for 68% test takers to score between 400-600 and a median of 550 or so. There is a reason why they want to achieve that and will change the test as needed to keep scores in that range.

You are right - OG is not enough to prepare you for the GMAT. Sure, its purpose was not to prepare, it does not contain thorough review of concepts tested in the GMAT. Its purpose is to guide you into exam by throwing ton of representative questions. Right? Houston, we got a problem... Bitter truth - OG is not enough, it lacks a number of concepts regularly tested in the last two years.

GMATprep, free prep tool, goes a little further, containing some concepts not covered in the OG. Furthermore, GMAT Focus, which you have to pay at least $25, goes a little further than GMATprep with more representative questions. And guess what? GMAT Focus is only for math... Of course... What is next? GMAT Xyz, which costs you "only"$35?
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  17 Jun 2009, 17:11
bipolarbear wrote:
With that in mind, seems like everyone can get 700+ with enough time and patience.

This is where I'd argue the fault in your logic is. I don't think everyone can get 700+. That is a good score and is not easy to get. So, many people have prepared, but they have unrealistic expectations.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  17 Jun 2009, 19:13
i know i underestimated the test when i took it in college. I did the test that came with the cd the night before and got 650ish. I thought it was like GRE except "easier" since the verbal from a glance seemed easier to me but obviously it wasnt....
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  20 Jun 2009, 08:03
highhopes wrote:
bipolarbear wrote:
With that in mind, seems like everyone can get 700+ with enough time and patience.

This is where I'd argue the fault in your logic is. I don't think everyone can get 700+. That is a good score and is not easy to get. So, many people have prepared, but they have unrealistic expectations.

Nah... Gmat is a test that can definitely be learned, much like the LSAT. People make tremendous progress with the LSAT logic games despite failing at first... it's just a matter of repetition. Similarly, you don't need to be a genius to do well on the GMAT, you just need to make sure you learn the material as well as you can.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  20 Jun 2009, 15:50
bipolarbear wrote:
highhopes wrote:
bipolarbear wrote:
With that in mind, seems like everyone can get 700+ with enough time and patience.

This is where I'd argue the fault in your logic is. I don't think everyone can get 700+. That is a good score and is not easy to get. So, many people have prepared, but they have unrealistic expectations.

Nah... Gmat is a test that can definitely be learned, much like the LSAT. People make tremendous progress with the LSAT logic games despite failing at first... it's just a matter of repetition. Similarly, you don't need to be a genius to do well on the GMAT, you just need to make sure you learn the material as well as you can.

Again, there is an assumption here. All test takers can learn the content. How ever, the GMAT is taken by international takers predominantly and hence non native speakers of English have tough getting past 35 or 40 or what ever the 80th percentile is. In case of LSAT, it is nothing but musical chairs and just practice. Take an international test taker who is weak in CR and RC and have him score 170 Even though GMAT content can be learned, it takes time and the way the test is these days, it takes more and more time.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  20 Jun 2009, 17:31
This is very true! In the GMAT class I"m currently teaching, I have 5 students and none of them is looking at the top b-schools. They just want to get a good score to make sure they get into the school they've already decided on. Not as competitive.

Avernusaur wrote:
It's also worth noting that nearly 100,000 people receive their MBA each year. Most students do not go to a top tier bschool. Lower ranked schools are less competitive, so students only do what's necessary to gain admittance. If the average GMAT at your target Part-Time MBA program is 550, you're certainly not going to spend 3 months studying for a 700+ score if you can get a 600 with 5-10 hours of prep.

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**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$. GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Senior Manager Joined: 25 Mar 2009 Posts: 305 Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 111 [0], given: 6 Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink] 20 Jun 2009, 19:03 In my opinion, all tests are, to a certain extent, learnable. This includes IQ tests. I really do believe it is possible for someone to work their way from a 500 to a 700 with enough time and practice. But the type of person that can do this needs to be smart and hardworking. Most people who score less than 700 probably either don't care that much about what score they get or don't work hard enough. SVP Joined: 30 Apr 2008 Posts: 1889 Location: Oklahoma City Schools: Hard Knocks Followers: 35 Kudos [?]: 473 [0], given: 32 Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink] 20 Jun 2009, 19:08 Which is one of the intangibles that the GMAT can test for. Even though it's not a question that is answered, but the score shows that person's drive and abilities. topher wrote: In my opinion, all tests are, to a certain extent, learnable. This includes IQ tests. I really do believe it is possible for someone to work their way from a 500 to a 700 with enough time and practice. But the type of person that can do this needs to be smart and hardworking. Most people who score less than 700 probably either don't care that much about what score they get or don't work hard enough. _________________ ------------------------------------ J Allen Morris **I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  22 Jun 2009, 07:00
topher wrote:
Iost people who score less than 700 probably either don't care that much about what score they get or don't work hard enough.

that's a bold assumption. i know plenty of hardworking, bright people who, for a variety of reasons, could not crack the 700 mark. they put in the hours studying and definitely cared about their score, but things like pressure, time restraints, not recalling shortcuts (this is key), mixing up parts of speech or not remembering the correct idiom, etc. kept them from a great score. their effort should no be dismissed as "not good enough"
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  22 Jun 2009, 07:03
I said "probably." There are no hard and fast rules. I mean, you may have been getting 790's on your practice tests, but if by chance, you all of a sudden have a diarrhea attack during the test, you might score 600. But IN GENERAL, yes, I do think MOST people who score under 700, either did not put in the work, or didn't care/need to.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2010, 20:35
I said "probably." There are no hard and fast rules. I mean, you may have been getting 790's on your practice tests, but if by chance, you all of a sudden have a diarrhea attack during the test, you might score 600. But IN GENERAL, yes, I do think MOST people who score under 700, either did not put in the work, or didn't care/need to.

Hi!

New to the forum here... Just wanted to ask the author of the above stmt... what is considered "caring" to you? Also, how can someone tell if they put in enough work before actually getting their score from an actual test. It's always easy to accuse someone of not practicing enough, but what is the determining factor here? Hours per day? The number of questions one practices? What?

Is someone who does nothing but study concepts and practice SC questions for 6-8 hours a day for 6 months not caring enough?
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2010, 21:29
Expert's post
lchan wrote:
I said "probably." There are no hard and fast rules. I mean, you may have been getting 790's on your practice tests, but if by chance, you all of a sudden have a diarrhea attack during the test, you might score 600. But IN GENERAL, yes, I do think MOST people who score under 700, either did not put in the work, or didn't care/need to.

Hi!

New to the forum here... Just wanted to ask the author of the above stmt... what is considered "caring" to you? Also, how can someone tell if they put in enough work before actually getting their score from an actual test. It's always easy to accuse someone of not practicing enough, but what is the determining factor here? Hours per day? The number of questions one practices? What?

Is someone who does nothing but study concepts and practice SC questions for 6-8 hours a day for 6 months not caring enough?

Welcome to GMAT Club Ichan!
You will find that people here take GMAT and MBA very seriously, as this thread illustrates

The biggest reason for failure that I see is trying to cut corners. People do the minimum required effort (which we are taught in school to do - anyone calculated how much they need to get on their final to still keep an A or a B?). If you want a serious score, you have to dedicate several months of your life to the test (you have to get obsessed with it); if you want a normal/OK score - you do some studying here and there.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  24 Mar 2010, 21:38
bb wrote:
lchan wrote:
I said "probably." There are no hard and fast rules. I mean, you may have been getting 790's on your practice tests, but if by chance, you all of a sudden have a diarrhea attack during the test, you might score 600. But IN GENERAL, yes, I do think MOST people who score under 700, either did not put in the work, or didn't care/need to.

Hi!

New to the forum here... Just wanted to ask the author of the above stmt... what is considered "caring" to you? Also, how can someone tell if they put in enough work before actually getting their score from an actual test. It's always easy to accuse someone of not practicing enough, but what is the determining factor here? Hours per day? The number of questions one practices? What?

Is someone who does nothing but study concepts and practice SC questions for 6-8 hours a day for 6 months not caring enough?

Welcome to GMAT Club Ichan!
You will find that people here take GMAT and MBA very seriously, as this thread illustrates

The biggest reason for failure that I see is trying to cut corners. People do the minimum required effort (which we are taught in school to do - anyone calculated how much they need to get on their final to still keep an A or a B?). If you want a serious score, you have to dedicate several months of your life to the test (you have to get obsessed with it); if you want a normal/OK score - you do some studying here and there.

Thanks for replying. I definitely get the seriousness of the conversation not only from this forum but also from someone close who's re-taking the GMAT soon. I just want to say that he cared. He was obsessed. He put in the work, but he still scored lower than he aimed for. It's so irresponsible to just sit here and judge others. To generalize and say that there's no other excuse besides laziness is just rude.
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  28 Mar 2010, 15:17
bb wrote:
lchan wrote:
I said "probably." There are no hard and fast rules. I mean, you may have been getting 790's on your practice tests, but if by chance, you all of a sudden have a diarrhea attack during the test, you might score 600. But IN GENERAL, yes, I do think MOST people who score under 700, either did not put in the work, or didn't care/need to.

Hi!

New to the forum here... Just wanted to ask the author of the above stmt... what is considered "caring" to you? Also, how can someone tell if they put in enough work before actually getting their score from an actual test. It's always easy to accuse someone of not practicing enough, but what is the determining factor here? Hours per day? The number of questions one practices? What?

Is someone who does nothing but study concepts and practice SC questions for 6-8 hours a day for 6 months not caring enough?

Welcome to GMAT Club Ichan!
You will find that people here take GMAT and MBA very seriously, as this thread illustrates

The biggest reason for failure that I see is trying to cut corners. People do the minimum required effort (which we are taught in school to do - anyone calculated how much they need to get on their final to still keep an A or a B?). If you want a serious score, you have to dedicate several months of your life to the test (you have to get obsessed with it); if you want a normal/OK score - you do some studying here and there.

i hear you
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Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep? [#permalink]  30 Mar 2010, 18:07
Some of the responses here are inspirational for some of us that are studying for this test. Striving for that 700+ score!

jallenmorris wrote:
Which is one of the intangibles that the GMAT can test for. Even though it's not a question that is answered, but the score shows that person's drive and abilities.

topher wrote:
In my opinion, all tests are, to a certain extent, learnable. This includes IQ tests. I really do believe it is possible for someone to work their way from a 500 to a 700 with enough time and practice. But the type of person that can do this needs to be smart and hardworking. Most people who score less than 700 probably either don't care that much about what score they get or don't work hard enough.
Re: Why do most people take the GMAT with insufficient prep?   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2010, 18:07
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