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Big Variation in Official Prep Exam Results

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New post Updated on: 11 Aug 2018, 06:41
Hi everyone,

I have been going through the official prep exams but my results are very inconsistent, ranging from 620 to 710. I did all on the same desk, in the library, at the same time of the day. I tried to create very consistent and realistic conditions.

Do you think that is due to a measurement error between Prep exams? I suspect that because one of them started with 3 questions (tagged in the forum as) 700-level questions. Doesn't it supposed to start with a question that half of the people would get right?

If that is not the case, does anyone have any recommendation for keeping a consistent performance?

Below is my varying results:
(The first is the score I got when I first took the GMAT, now I am preparing to retake.)
(Sorry about the mixed order but that is the order I took them.)
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Originally posted by robertwidmore on 10 Aug 2018, 19:54.
Last edited by robertwidmore on 11 Aug 2018, 06:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Variation in Official Prep Exam Results  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2018, 21:31
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we see inflated scores sometimes when we see an exam question that we had already solved on gmat club or other forum.
suggest you take the results with a grain of salt and just focus on your weaknesses.
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New post 10 Aug 2018, 22:06
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You have issues only in verbal. I have the same issue. I found out what is the reason: see where you make mistakes. Probably you make them in the beginning and if even not so then you make them in a row. My tactics: 1-12 questions I spend 2.30 min for question, 13-25 rushing with pace 1.45. 26-36 I give up 2 questions (not in a row!) to compensate some time. My verbal keeps in 35-40 with this tactics.

I have a very good accuracy but I’m a veeeeery slow reader. Try this tactics unless you can do questions faster.


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Re: Big Variation in Official Prep Exam Results  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2018, 12:05
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Hi robertwidmore,

On what dates did you take each of these CATs? I ask because on August 5th, you posted a message (here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/are-there-an ... l#p2107433) that made it sound as if you had just started taking CATs. Based on this post though, you've clearly taken 6 CATs. Did you take those 6 CATs over the last 6 days?

Beyond those questions, before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, 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?

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

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Rich
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New post 11 Aug 2018, 14:46
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi robertwidmore,

On what dates did you take each of these CATs? I ask because on August 5th, you posted a message (here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/are-there-an ... l#p2107433) that made it sound as if you had just started taking CATs. Based on this post though, you've clearly taken 6 CATs. Did you take those 6 CATs over the last 6 days?

Beyond those questions, before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, 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?

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

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Hello Rich,

Thank you for your answer. The first point on the graph (670) is my real exam score from a year ago. Planning to retake, I have been studying for the past 2 months [1]. I took PE1 before I began studying this time around (hence the dip). I took PE3,4,2,6 within the last 3 weeks.

I have been using OG 2018, Kaplan 800 and GMAT Prep Plus 2019. Recently, I found eGMAT SC resources on the forum very helpful too [2]. According to my error log, 69% of my mistakes are from SC. I am an international student and I am still struggling in Idioms and Modifiers. For exercise, I am trying to stick with the OG questions, thinking I would probably run out of time before I run out of real questions.

Now, I am in a business school that I got in with my first score. I am hoping to put my score over 700 [3] before the Fall semester begins in a month [4]. I will use this score to apply to PhD programs around November-December [5]. I couldn't dare to book an exam date so far. I will decide where I will apply to depending on my score [6].

Just like Iamnowjust, I am very slow in Verbal too. When I got V29, I didn't have time for the last 4 questions. When V30 happened, I started too fast and got 5 mistakes out of the first 6 questions (3 of which are the 700-level RC questions I mentioned). I am struggling with pacing and performing consistently in Verbal. I would appreciate any advice about these.

Maybe I should spend more time (within reason) on the first (5-10 or 12) questions? I found a lot of discussion threads in the forum about the importance of the first questions, both for and against that approach.
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Re: Big Variation in Official Prep Exam Results  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2018, 11:59
Hi robertwidmore,

Based on what you've described, there are a couple of things to consider:

1) GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, most of these CAT results show that you essentially performed the same as you did on the Official GMAT (about 670 +/- a few points) - even though your Official Score was on the 'old' GMAT and (I presume) your CATs are in the current/shorter format. This means that you continue to respond to the GMAT in the same ways as before. Right now, it sounds like you're working through lots of practice questions in the same ways, but unless you make significant changes to how you handle the Exam, then you will likely score at at the same general level on Test Day.

2) When you studied for the GMAT last year, did you end up taking any of the Official GMAC CATs? If you did - and now you're taking them AGAIN - then there's a high likelihood of seeing 'repeat' questions (re: questions that you answered before and may still remember the answer). Unfortunately, seeing even a few of those repeat questions can throw off the Scoring Algorithm and the 'realism' of the experience (your pacing, stress and energy levels would all be 'better' than they normally would be). This could explain the 'swings' in your Scores.

You still have time to improve in the Verbal section, but your focus needs to be on learning and practicing the proper Tactics - and not just working through lots of practice questions.

1) What is your exact Test Date?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Rich
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New post 13 Aug 2018, 07:05
Hi robertwidmore,

While evaluating your performance on mock tests, you must focus on aspects that are in your control. While it may be possible that there was a measurement error, but it is unlikely if the mock test was as official one.
To get a better understanding of this fluctuation in score, you would have to do a deeper analysis of your tests. Below are a couple of questions that would serve as the starting point for you to do the analysis –
    1. Is there a pattern with respect to sub-sections in which your performance is not consistent?
    2. What are the major challenges that you face while approaching questions in SC, CR, and RC individually?

Need help in assessing topic level preparedness?

If you are not able to get detailed insights from your review, then I would recommend that you take this Verbal Ability Quiz. It is designed to give you topic level insights of your preparedness. You can then isolate your weaknesses and work upon them to get to your target score.

Regards,
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Re: Big Variation in Official Prep Exam Results   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2018, 07:05
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