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690 (Q39, V45) -- considering retake.

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690 (Q39, V45) -- considering retake. [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2007, 16:12
I took the GMAT 2 weeks ago, and got 690 (Q39, V45). My problem is that I am actually a mathematician of sorts, and yet scored only 57%ile on quant. My score was pushed up by a 98%ile in verbal. I don't want to insult anyone else who received a score of 690 - This can be a really good score but in my case the quant score could leave a big question mark hanging over my application (taregt schools are INSEAD, Kellogg, Michigan, Dartmouth). So, I think I might have to retake.

This was my study program last time (I knew already that quant would be lower than verbal and so I actually did not study any verbal). I began about 4 weeks before the test and studied intensively for the final 2.

--Official Guide (11th), did most problem solving and data sufficiency questions. The OG is a great book.
--GMAT Club challenges (completed only 9 becasue I discovered them with only 1 week remaining). Despite what I am saying here, I know that these are the best things out there and I very much recommend to others. I wish I had completed the whole series and then reviewed them.
--GMAT prep. Only good CATs I could find.
--Kaplan GMAT 800 - this is misleading nonsense. The questions are NOT typical of hard questions on the GMAT, in my experience.
--Kaplan CATs : again not representative of the GMAT in my opinion.

I found that the combination OG, club challenges and GMAT prep reflected what was on the GMAT pretty well. My problem on the day was one of time - I took too long on some questions and had to guess about 15 at the end. Depsite guessing those, I still thought I had a score of about 80%ile, I was shocked when it came back at 57%ile.

I would like to say something to people who have no technical background and are struggling with the GMAT. I think you should take heart from the fact that some of us with a strong technical background still struggle with the GMAT quant, which tests very particular concepts and empahises SPEED. Your background is not really important, it seems more about becoming familiar with all qustioning types so that you can do it quickly (something I did not do on the day).

I'd be very interested to hear any opinions about whether I should retake. Also, assuming I do put my self thourgh this again - any advice about more good quant materials and some new CATs would be really helpful. I'll definately be using this forum to try and both share my experiences and recieve advice from others.

Last edited by Ady on 06 Oct 2007, 16:34, edited 1 time in total.
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06 Oct 2007, 16:31
Retake it, your 57% will be hard to explain away. If it was verbal it would be something you can overcome. You sound like you can easily improve based on your background.
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06 Oct 2007, 16:58
You can very well improve your Quant. Practice more and your should be able to get 700+ if you maintain consistency in Verbal.

I would wave green signal for your decision to retake.

- Brajesh
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06 Oct 2007, 18:21
Retake it, Ady. But not right away. As someone who is NOT a mathemetician by background - far from it - I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the GMAT does not test your ability to do math, or at least, not in anything remotely approaching a traditional manner. I recommend the Manhattan GMAT series of books, if you don't wish to take a class. They were very helpful to me in learning exactly how basic concepts were tested, and what tricks to look for. Work your way through those - shouldn't take you too long - and then take both GMATprep tests again, reload, etc. You will see repeat questions, but if you go through the tests enough times, you will also see most of the different types of questions coming from the bin. This should be sufficient for you to raise your score to an appropriate level. Don't give up, and good luck!
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06 Oct 2007, 18:41
Thanks people! the concencus so far seems to be retake. I guess I better try and find some more time off work to give it a good 2nd go...

uphillclimb - thanks for advice re Manhatten, I will check these out. Do I need to buy those separate volumes for each sub-topic or is there a bigger book that includes everything? Do you get their CATs with those specialist books?

If I do retake, then the obvious question is when. I clearly need long enough to sort a few problems out - maybe early December leaving a window of a few weeks for round 2 deadlines. I'd be keen to know how long other people have been leaving it before going back.
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06 Oct 2007, 19:00
The MGMAT book series is comprised of 7 different books, one on each topic: number properties, geometry, word translations, RC, SC, etc. If you buy the books, I know you get at least 3 of their CATS - which by the way, are much harder than the real thing, but excellent practice when you are trying to nail down elusive concepts. You also get online practice banks to practice with. I believe their website is simply http://www.manhattangmat..com - you could check out what they have to offer there. If you decide to buy any of the books, you should go to Amazon - I'm pretty sure you can get them cheaper there.

In terms of how much time you should leave before taking the test again, I would give it at least a month, if not a bit more - really it depends on how much time you have to devote to studying!

Best of luck to you.
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06 Oct 2007, 19:44
I'm sure you'll be able to cross the 700 mark on your next try.
Just a fyi though- according to the rules you'll have to wait at least 30 days before your next re-take.
Good luck!

CD...
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06 Oct 2007, 20:54
your math score is quite simply hard to fathom someone getting considering your verbal score (which demonstrates a high level of intellectual capacity) and the fact you have a technical backgroud.

Quite simply put, I think you really bombed on time management. You should retake. And I am not even sure how long you actually need to make. How were your scores no math on the Challenges?
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07 Oct 2007, 14:56
thanks for the support folks.

dr908 wrote:
your math score is quite simply hard to fathom someone getting considering your verbal score (which demonstrates a high level of intellectual capacity) and the fact you have a technical backgroud.

I'm glad you think so. Its worse than it sounds - I have a degree in theoeretical physics, a Masters in applied Math plus I work as an applied mathemetician in the tech industry!!

Since you ask about the scores on the challenges - here are the percentiles I recorded. They were very varied.

challenge %
1 41
2 61
3 79
4 79
5 72
6 91
7 --
8 68
9 76
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07 Oct 2007, 22:47
I'm sure you can do better in quant. Your verbal is fantastic as it is already. So just go all out to up your quant score, practice your verbal once in a while so that your verbal skills stays in your head.

If you run out of questions, try the math forum. And keep doing more CATs to make sure you're okay with timing.
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09 Oct 2007, 18:07
If you can pump that quant score to the same value as your verbal score, assuming your verbal stays in 44-45 range, I think you're looking at a 730 or higher dead in the face. Do it, take it again.
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09 Oct 2007, 23:20
update : got the Manhattan books and have realized I needed this stuff before now!

Its interesting nobody has suggested that my 690 is OK. Sometimes people say high quant score is important only for those people who don't have numerical background. I guess in my case that could have worked if it was a little higher...

Thanks to everyone's support and some reflection, I think that i can get 700+ on this thing. My last GMATprep was 740 (2 days before the test). I'd like to get closer to that. I'll arrange another test for early december and keep track of my progress on here.

Thanks for the encouragement!

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10 Oct 2007, 11:55
update : got the Manhattan books and have realized I needed this stuff before now!

Its interesting nobody has suggested that my 690 is OK. Sometimes people say high quant score is important only for those people who don't have numerical background. I guess in my case that could have worked if it was a little higher...

Thanks to everyone's support and some reflection, I think that i can get 700+ on this thing. My last GMATprep was 740 (2 days before the test). I'd like to get closer to that. I'll arrange another test for early december and keep track of my progress on here.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Quick question here... if there are only 2 weeks left before the test, would you still recommend purchasing the challenge sets?
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10 Oct 2007, 12:04
Quote:

Quick question here... if there are only 2 weeks left before the test, would you still recommend purchasing the challenge sets?

I started the challenges only about 1 week before the test. Although I didnt get the score I wanted I, I think it came down to time management and tiredness on the day and I would still say the challenges prepared me really well for the real questions. If you can do 2 challenges a day, and painstakingly reviewing the incorrect answers, then it will help loads. I wish I had time to do all 25. Do you have 2 weeks with just evenings or 14 full days?

One thing they do not do though is prepeare you for time management, the questions are harder than the GMAT so you can't really stick to the 2 minutes per question, in fact I preferred not to do this for the challenges This time around, for speed I'll be doing OG questions with a stopwatch beeping every 2 minutes.
10 Oct 2007, 12:04
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