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760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake

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760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 07:32
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Hi Everyone! I wanted to debrief after taking the GMAT yesterday and also solicit some advice from the community on whether or not I should go for a retake. I'll lead with my testing progression, include some context about myself, and conclude with info on how I studied/general reflections.

Score Progression


My score was a 760 (V44, Q50). This seems pretty in line with my practice exams. My scores and progression on the 4 official practice exams were:

June 30: 670 (V42, Q39)

July 10: 740 (V44, Q48)

July 31: 770 (V46, Q50)

August 5: 770 (V47, Q50).

Given that my official score is only 10 points off of the two 770s that I received during practice, a retake might sound a bit bizarre. But there are a couple of reasons I think I could probably do better if I gave the exam another shot. First, my IR score on this exam was 6, which is kind of a bummer considering I got an 8 on all of my practice exams. I completely lost track of time during the exam and didn't even answer 3 of the 12 questions. This really shook my confidence going into the AWA section. Second, my verbal score is slightly lower than I got on my most recent practice tests. This alone wouldn't be sufficient for the thought of a retake to cross my mind, but combined with my IR situation, it is enough.

About Me / MBA Goals


I'm not planning to apply to MBA programs for another 2-3 years, so time isn't a big constraint for me. I just graduated from an Ivy League school with a 3.75 GPA. I'm getting ready to start work at an MBB office in the northeast. I'm a white gay male if it matters. My top choices are HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Sloan, and Columbia in that order, but I'm sure the order/schools may change before I actually submit my applications in 2 years.

I would love advice on whether or not a retake makes sense. I recognize that plenty of people would love to get a 760 GMAT score, but I hope it's understandable that I want to put my best possible foot forward when I'm aiming for some tough programs. For that reason, I hope this post doesn't come across as obnoxious and/or tone deaf!

Reflections & Advice


Don't buy the OG book. I quickly zero-ed in on my weakness in math after taking my first practice exam cold. I was initially surprised by my relatively lower score in this section because math was always my forté in high school. But then I remembered that I literally didn't take a single math class in college, lol. My gut reaction was to drop ~$75 on the OG 2020 book. While the OG does have a decent number of good practice questions, future test takers might want to spend this money elsewhere. The math review contained in the book was not detailed enough for me to reach the quant score I was aiming for. Further, a huge portion of the quant questions aren't difficult enough to be helpful practice. I think I wasted about a week of prep before realizing this type of practice really wasn't helping me.

Do utilize the GMATClub math guide and question directories. Discovering the GMATClub forum was an absolute game-changer for me. The free math guide is comprehensive and allowed me to quickly get back up to speed, especially in areas that I was struggling with. The question directories on here are free and contain many of the questions that are in the OG book. There is even the added functionality that you can filter questions by topic & difficulty. I went through each topic systematically, starting with 600-level difficulty to make sure I had a solid foundation in each topic. I revisited the guide if I struggled with the 600-level questions. From there, I moved to the 700-level questions. These were usually much more challenging than the type of questions I saw on official exams, but I think that helped ensure I was fully proficient in each quant topic.

Do time your practice. I saw plenty of people on GMATClub preaching the importance of keeping an error log and timing your practice. For whatever reason, I brushed that aside as unnecessary for about 10 days. I realized my error when I took the quant portion of a Kaplan practice test in mid July and I totally bombed. I think I only finished 20 of the 31 questions. This really shook my confidence and left me feeling kind of down. From then on, I made sure I timed every problem I did. It took awhile to calibrate myself to spending only 2 minutes on each quant question, but with consistent practice, I was able to finish the quant sections on my last two practice exams as well as my actual exam with about 2 minutes to spare each time.

If possible, don't neglect sections you feel confident about. I never worried about the timing or content of IR because I did well on it consistently. I also didn't really study much for AWA. As mentioned above, I flubbed IR and this probably could have been avoided if I just spent a day working on this section. I'm not sure about AWA yet, but I imagine I would have felt more confident about the section if I spent a day answering sample prompts.

Don't schedule your exam for the afternoon. I chose a 4pm testing appointment and regretted it. I spent the whole day thinking about the exam and wondering what to do to kill time. I think I would have been less anxious with an early appointment.

Thank you!!


I have only been a lurker on this forum during my study process, but I owe a HUGE thank you to everyone on this site. I couldn't have reached my current score without all of the people on here who make GMATClub so helpful. Thanks y'all! :)
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760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 07:48
1
shmeyers wrote:
Hi Everyone! I wanted to debrief after taking the GMAT yesterday and also solicit some advice from the community on whether or not I should go for a retake. I'll lead with my testing progression, include some context about myself, and conclude with info on how I studied/general reflections.

Score Progression


My score was a 760 (V44, Q50). This seems pretty in line with my practice exams. My scores and progression on the 4 official practice exams were:

June 30: 670 (V42, Q39)

July 10: 740 (V44, Q48)

July 31: 770 (V46, Q50)

August 5: 770 (V47, Q50).

Given that my official score is only 10 points off of the two 770s that I received during practice, a retake might sound a bit bizarre. But there are a couple of reasons I think I could probably do better if I gave the exam another shot. First, my IR score on this exam was 6, which is kind of a bummer considering I got an 8 on all of my practice exams. I completely lost track of time during the exam and didn't even answer 3 of the 12 questions. This really shook my confidence going into the AWA section. Second, my verbal score is slightly lower than I got on my most recent practice tests. This alone wouldn't be sufficient for the thought of a retake to cross my mind, but combined with my IR situation, it is enough.

About Me / MBA Goals


I'm not planning to apply to MBA programs for another 2-3 years, so time isn't a big constraint for me. I just graduated from an Ivy League school with a 3.75 GPA. I'm getting ready to start work at an MBB office in the northeast. I'm a white gay male if it matters. My top choices are HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Sloan, and Columbia in that order, but I'm sure the order/schools may change before I actually submit my applications in 2 years.

I would love advice on whether or not a retake makes sense. I recognize that plenty of people would love to get a 760 GMAT score, but I hope it's understandable that I want to put my best possible foot forward when I'm aiming for some tough programs. For that reason, I hope this post doesn't come across as obnoxious and/or tone deaf!

Reflections & Advice


Don't buy the OG book. I quickly zero-ed in on my weakness in math after taking my first practice exam cold. I was initially surprised by my relatively lower score in this section because math was always my forté in high school. But then I remembered that I literally didn't take a single math class in college, lol. My gut reaction was to drop ~$75 on the OG 2020 book. While the OG does have a decent number of good practice questions, future test takers might want to spend this money elsewhere. The math review contained in the book was not detailed enough for me to reach the quant score I was aiming for. Further, a huge portion of the quant questions aren't difficult enough to be helpful practice. I think I wasted about a week of prep before realizing this type of practice really wasn't helping me.

Do utilize the GMATClub math guide and question directories. Discovering the GMATClub forum was an absolute game-changer for me. The free math guide is comprehensive and allowed me to quickly get back up to speed, especially in areas that I was struggling with. The question directories on here are free and contain many of the questions that are in the OG book. There is even the added functionality that you can filter questions by topic & difficulty. I went through each topic systematically, starting with 600-level difficulty to make sure I had a solid foundation in each topic. I revisited the guide if I struggled with the 600-level questions. From there, I moved to the 700-level questions. These were usually much more challenging than the type of questions I saw on official exams, but I think that helped ensure I was fully proficient in each quant topic.

Do time your practice. I saw plenty of people on GMATClub preaching the importance of keeping an error log and timing your practice. For whatever reason, I brushed that aside as unnecessary for about 10 days. I realized my error when I took the quant portion of a Kaplan practice test in mid July and I totally bombed. I think I only finished 20 of the 31 questions. This really shook my confidence and left me feeling kind of down. From then on, I made sure I timed every problem I did. It took awhile to calibrate myself to spending only 2 minutes on each quant question, but with consistent practice, I was able to finish the quant sections on my last two practice exams as well as my actual exam with about 2 minutes to spare each time.

If possible, don't neglect sections you feel confident about. I never worried about the timing or content of IR because I did well on it consistently. I also didn't really study much for AWA. As mentioned above, I flubbed IR and this probably could have been avoided if I just spent a day working on this section. I'm not sure about AWA yet, but I imagine I would have felt more confident about the section if I spent a day answering sample prompts.

Don't schedule your exam for the afternoon. I chose a 4pm testing appointment and regretted it. I spent the whole day thinking about the exam and wondering what to do to kill time. I think I would have been less anxious with an early appointment.

Thank you!!


I have only been a lurker on this forum during my study process, but I owe a HUGE thank you to everyone on this site. I couldn't have reached my current score without all of the people on here who make GMATClub so helpful. Thanks y'all! :)



Hi shmeyers,

Congratulations on a fantastic score. Thank you for sharing your experience. Honestly 760-770 makes very little difference in terms of admissions and a 760 puts you in a very comfortable position when it comes to admissions. All the best.
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New post 08 Aug 2019, 09:19
Hi,
Congratulations on your great score. Thank you for sharing your debrief. Apart from the GMAT club resources and OG, did you use any other resources?

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Re: 760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 09:24
Sammysat
No, I didn't use any other materials. I found that the GMAT Club resources were more than sufficient to prep for quant and I feel like I barely even scratched the surface of what this site has to offer.

In the OG, I did the last ~50 CR questions and the last 25 SC questions, but I didn't do other prep aside from reviewing my verbal errors after taking my 4 practice exams.
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Re: 760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 00:09
First Off,
congrats on the Score Shmeyers ! That is indeed commendable.

One question. Did you take notes while solving verbal ?
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Re: 760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 05:11
aniriddha wrote:
First Off,
congrats on the Score Shmeyers ! That is indeed commendable.

One question. Did you take notes while solving verbal ?



No, I didn't. For some of the more challenging questions, I did write out A, B, C, D, and E and then crossed out wrong answers so that I could keep track of my thoughts. But no notes other than that.
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Re: 760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 05:25
I have a follow up question that could potentially make this a no-brainer for me.

When I took the exam, I selected 5 schools to receive my score report. I accepted my score, so I believe this means the five schools now have access to my results from this GMAT. My question is about what would happen if I took the exam again and accepted a new, higher score. Would these five schools receive both my 760 score and the other score? Would they only have access to the higher score? If they see both scores, I think this is a no-brainer. Would appreciate if anyone has any insight!
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New post 09 Aug 2019, 05:38
Congrats! They will see both scores from I heard. I say go for it! Admissions rep will always take the highest score. So if you don’t mind dropping another $250 you have nothing to lose.

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Re: 760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 06:42
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Congratulations Shmeyers !

This was such an inspiring debrief. Its been really long reading a good success story. From the past few days, I have just been reading stories about people who have scored way below what they have been scoring on the practice test.
Choosing between another retake is completely your choice, however, adding another cushion to your application won't harm anybody. Just in case if you plan to retake your exam, please order your ESR and post it on the forum, would love to go through it.
I just have a few questions - In your debrief, you dint talk about Verbal Section - Was it tougher on the real GMAT in comparison to the practice test? Were the questions in quants really tough at the end of the section? what was the quality of CR, SC & RC questions on the exam? Did you come across some very tough splits in SC which you never practiced? And, What were the resources you used for your verbal prep?

Sorry for bombarding you with questions, Hope you take out time to reply for the same.

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 07:39
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kavach
I'm glad that it was a good read for you! I'd rather not answer specific questions about the exam itself because I didn't really read the NDA agreement that they have test takers sign. Would rather not spill anything that would have been covered in that agreement!

Quote:
And, What were the resources you used for your verbal prep?

Truth be told, I didn't do a ton of verbal prep. My diagnostic made me realize that quant was my real weakness (even though there was still some room to grow from the V42 diagnostic). The verbal score seemed to naturally go up as I took each of my four official practice exams. There were a couple of times when I did verbal problems out of the OG book, but this was probably only for ~3 hours total during my month of preparation. I'm sorry that this answer probably isn't as helpful as you hoped!
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New post 09 Aug 2019, 09:57
shmeyers wrote:
Sammysat
No, I didn't use any other materials. I found that the GMAT Club resources were more than sufficient to prep for quant and I feel like I barely even scratched the surface of what this site has to offer.

In the OG, I did the last ~50 CR questions and the last 25 SC questions, but I didn't do other prep aside from reviewing my verbal errors after taking my 4 practice exams.


Oh that was really great. All the best in your application. Cheers.

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 15:06
Wow, 760 is one month is great. Although you could retake, I think you are pretty set with your score. Good luck!
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New post 13 Aug 2019, 06:38
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shmeyers wrote:
I have a follow up question that could potentially make this a no-brainer for me.

When I took the exam, I selected 5 schools to receive my score report. I accepted my score, so I believe this means the five schools now have access to my results from this GMAT. My question is about what would happen if I took the exam again and accepted a new, higher score. Would these five schools receive both my 760 score and the other score? Would they only have access to the higher score? If they see both scores, I think this is a no-brainer. Would appreciate if anyone has any insight!


shmeyers

If you select the same schools in your next attempt, they have access to both your scores. If you choose different ones, they can only access your latest score.
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Re: 760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2019, 14:52
Dear,

Great achievement by you.

Which study material you for verbal ? Please explain in detail.

Lastly, any special tips for Improving verbal part?

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760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2019, 15:29
shmeyers wrote:
I wanted to debrief after taking the GMAT yesterday and also solicit some advice from the community on whether or not I should go for a retake.

Given that my official score is only 10 points off of the two 770s that I received during practice, a retake might sound a bit bizarre. But there are a couple of reasons I think I could probably do better if I gave the exam another shot. First, my IR score on this exam was 6, which is kind of a bummer considering I got an 8 on all of my practice exams. I completely lost track of time during the exam and didn't even answer 3 of the 12 questions. This really shook my confidence going into the AWA sectiomy verbal score is slightly lower than I got on my most recent practice tests[/b]. This alone wouldn't be sufficient for the thought of a retake to cross my mind, but combined with my IR situation, it is enough.

I would love advice on whether or not a retake makes sense.


The GMAT has built-in margin of error. Your actual ability as measured by the test could be anywhere from 720/730 to 790/800. The IR and AWA have their own margins.

Focusing on one number is a mistake. Whether you should retake is for you to decide based partly on what you mention as lower scores in VA/IR/AWA.

Thanks for sharing debrief.

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760 in ~1 month studying! Excited but considering retake   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2019, 15:29
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