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670 score despite 720 average in 4 official mock exams

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 09:37
Hi,

in preparation for the GMAT I took 4 official practice exams and scored between 690-750 with an average of 722. However, when I took actual GMAT 2 weeks ago, I got a mere 670 (Q45, V38). During the test I felt the questions were way more difficult and I barely finished in time, although I often had 3-5 minutes spare during the mock tests. Generally, I am a good test taker and also did not feel too nervous so that I thought well, probably the actual test is just harder. However, after reading a bit on this forum, I realized the official practice exams seem to be pretty representative of a candidate's true potential. Today, I gave another mock test a try and even without studying in the past two weeks, I got a 730 again.
How can this huge discrepancy be explained? Was is just bad luck on the test day?
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New post 18 Mar 2019, 09:50
mat2089119 wrote:
Hi,

in preparation for the GMAT I took 4 official practice exams and scored between 690-750 with an average of 722. However, when I took actual GMAT 2 weeks ago, I got a mere 670 (Q45, V38). During the test I felt the questions were way more difficult and I barely finished in time, although I often had 3-5 minutes spare during the mock tests. Generally, I am a good test taker and also did not feel too nervous so that I thought well, probably the actual test is just harder. However, after reading a bit on this forum, I realized the official practice exams seem to be pretty representative of a candidate's true potential. Today, I gave another mock test a try and even without studying in the past two weeks, I got a 730 again.
How can this huge discrepancy be explained? Was is just bad luck on the test day?


Hope your exam anxiety led to getting a low score in quant.
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New post 18 Mar 2019, 11:12
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Hi mat2089119

You are not alone. From reading several debriefs and mock test experiences, I recognized that the official guide tests are the easiest and candidates may experience 40 points deviation from the mock test.

Don't worry, Test takers usually achieve a better score in their second attempt.

Try mock tests from MGMAT, veritas GMAT, GMAT prep, and GMATclub. They provide better anticipation of your real level.

this article is so helpful to guide your in your next steps and highlight things that may had lowered your score:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/official-gmat-score-lower-practice-test-scores/
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Re: 670 score despite 720 average in 4 official mock exams  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 12:12
Hi mat2089119,

When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 12:17
Mahmoudfawzy83 wrote:
Hi

You are not alone. From reading several debriefs and mock test experiences, I recognized that the official guide tests are the easiest and candidates may experience 40 points deviation from the mock test.

Don't worry, Test takers usually achieve a better score in their second attempt.

Try mock tests from MGMAT, veritas GMAT, GMAT prep, and GMATclub. They provide better anticipation of your real level.

this article is so helpful to guide your in your next steps and highlight things that may had lowered your score:


How does it then come that all the others are saying the official mock tests provide the most accurate results, even the article in the link you posted says so?
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New post 18 Mar 2019, 13:12
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Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
20 hours/week for one month
2) What study materials have you used so far?
Official Guides, questions in this forum
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
Feb 18 -> 740: Q48, V42
Feb 21 -> 690: Q47, V38
Feb 22 -> 730: Q47, V42
Feb 25 -> 750: Q49, V44
Feb 26 -> Actual GMAT 670: Q45, V37
Mar 18 -> 730: Q48, V42

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
700+
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
As soon as possible
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
I don't know why this is relevant, but to different master programs in Europe.

Unfortunately, I don't really have more time to practice. But since I scored 730 again today, I am thinking of just giving the actual test another try in a few days. Do you think it's worth it?
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New post 18 Mar 2019, 21:29
mat2089119 wrote:
How does it then come that all the others are saying the official mock tests provide the most accurate results, even the article in the link you posted says so?
The official practice tests are the most accurate, but they are not perfect. Neither is the GMAT, for that matter. Both the actual test and the practice tests try to produce good estimates of your "ability level", but keep in mind that they will never be more than estimates. They do however, indicate very strongly that you are capable of a better score than 670.

Have you considered purchasing the ESR for this attempt?
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New post 19 Mar 2019, 18:55
Hi mat2089119,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Believe it or not, your situation is quite common. Many test-takers score higher on their official practice exams than they do on their official GMAT.

Given that you studied for only a month (only doing practice questions, really) and admit that the questions on your exam “seemed way more difficult,” it’s possible that you had many weaknesses that were exposed on your actual GMAT. In an ideal world, I’d recommend that you keep studying until you have sufficiently addressed your quant and verbal weaknesses; however, you mentioned that you don’t have much more time to practice. Does that mean that your application is due in the next few days?

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: 670 score despite 720 average in 4 official mock exams  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 20:46
Hi mat2089119,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've really been studying for just 1 month, then it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort yet to have honed the necessary skills to have scored higher on the Official GMAT yet.

In addition, the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. By taking 4 CATs in the week before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. Even if you didn't "feel" tired, the fact that BOTH your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores dropped certainly makes it sound as if you were not at your best.

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Considering your Official Score - and your overall performances on your CATs - there's a reasonably chance that you could score 700+ on the GMAT right now. It's also possible that you've taken your CATs in an unrealistic fashion that has led to 'inflated' results - and if that's the case, then you'll need time to continue to hone your Quant and Verbal skills AND properly train for the exact parameters of Test Day.

The reason I asked about your timeline and Goals is because the Score that you "want" and the Score that you "need" to get into your first-choice School might not be the same thing. A 670/Q45 is a strong Score, so a retest might not be necessary.

1) What are the exact application deadlines for the Programs that you're interested in?
2) What is the minimum GMAT Score that you would apply with?

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Re: 670 score despite 720 average in 4 official mock exams  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 22:55
mat2089119 wrote:
Mahmoudfawzy83 wrote:
Hi

You are not alone. From reading several debriefs and mock test experiences, I recognized that the official guide tests are the easiest and candidates may experience 40 points deviation from the mock test.

Don't worry, Test takers usually achieve a better score in their second attempt.

Try mock tests from MGMAT, veritas GMAT, GMAT prep, and GMATclub. They provide better anticipation of your real level.

this article is so helpful to guide your in your next steps and highlight things that may had lowered your score:


How does it then come that all the others are saying the official mock tests provide the most accurate results, even the article in the link you posted says so?


Yes, it is generally believed that the official practice tests are the most accurate. But it is also true that people often see a lower score in their actual test. (Say, a Veritas practice test score may actually be closer to your official score)
And this is how we can explain this paradox: https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2013/0 ... bal-score/

Hope this helps!

And here is a free Veritas practice test for you to try out to test this hypothesis: https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/free-g ... tice-test/
:)
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Re: 670 score despite 720 average in 4 official mock exams   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2019, 22:55
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