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# Didn't finish the math - scored a 580- I feel like crap.

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Intern
Joined: 28 Mar 2006
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Didn't finish the math - scored a 580- I feel like crap. [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2006, 14:58
GMAT score: 580 (36Q, 34V)

First off, let me say I wish I would have found this site before I took the GMAT. I didn't stumble across it until yesterday when I was looking for an explanation to my low score.

What a disappointment. I had taken the Kaplan GMAT Classroom Course. I attended all my classes but one and made that one up. I took 12 practice tests including Kaplan, Princeton, GMATprep and GMATbuster. I did every assignment on the Online syllabus (except for a few practice tests.) I also did the CD test included with the book.

I studied from last Thursday to Monday at noon, missing 2 1/2 days work. My practice tests were showing all showing in the 620+ range with the exception of the GMATbuster (550). I was feeling pretty good; I really felt I could score somewhere between 640-660; I also felt that I would not walk out of the room with less than a 620. Unlike some of the people on this board, I would have been ecstatic with a 640.

The test (I thought) went really well. I breezed thru my essays. My math seemed hard but not crazy difficult. My one big mistake was running out of time on the math. I confirmed question 36 and then had 2 seconds to click and confirm 37! I tried but I couldn't tell if I confirmed in time. How bad would this have hurt me?

So I take a quick break and hit the Verbal. Everything seems to be just cruising along and I finish 15+ minutes early.

Hit the "Score Test" button and pow! 580, arrghhhhh -what happened?

I feel violated.

I think the math hurts the most as I scored a 35 out of 36 on my ACT when I left high school. I'm 36 now and I guess my math skills have seriously diminished.

Now I have to decide if I want to take it again and spend more time and money to get a better score. A couple of the schools Iâ€™m interested in require a minimum of 580 so maybe I should just apply and call it done. Any advice?

The one other question I'm wondering about concerns the switching from ETS to Pearson Vue. Does anyone believe the test is harder now that Pearson Vue is administrating it? I was wondering if the pool of questions was the same as previous or has it changed? One line of thought would be my prep classes were geared towards an ETS test and may have not been ideal for the Pearson Vue test. Any thoughts?

Edit: It looks like doing some further research that the questions and test are the same ,just the vendor and some procedures are different.
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Arrrghhhhhhh!!!

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29 Mar 2006, 20:57
if i were you i would give it another shot... take some time off and get back to basics. If you dont have the OG11 get that and work on it. I took the kaplan courses also, i found that its not exactly like the real thing.
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29 Mar 2006, 22:00
bretpep, Take some time and polish those math basics, I'm sure you can do better the next time round.
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30 Mar 2006, 07:28
I definitely believe it is worth for you to take another shot. From your description you definitely have not achieved your potential score for both sections. For math it hurted you because you didn't have time to finish, and for verbal you were obviously doing it too fast and had not given each question enough time and attention that it deserves.

You first focus now, I believe, would be to practise timing. Sounds like you have done many practise tests. How did you do timing wise on those tests? You need to be able to use your time well so that you can fully realize your potential.

Good luck!
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31 Mar 2006, 10:22
Thanks a million for all the support. Itâ€™s really nice to have especially after the events of the last week.

At this point I am applying for this fall with two of my schools (due to their extended admission). We'll see what happens with their decision, and then Iâ€™ll decide what my next course of action is.

At some point, though, I really want to take it again because I know I can do better.

Again, thank you for the support and advice.

-brett
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Arrrghhhhhhh!!!

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11 Apr 2006, 09:30
'Morning Brett. I guess I don't need to tell you that strategy is crucial in these things. I agree with the others that you can indeed bring your score up, certainly to the 700 level if you want it enough.

Now, every person is different, but I think I have spotted several specific mistakes you can learn from before your next try. And because of your age and ability, I certainly agree that another go, expensive and difficult though it is, is worth your while.

OK, to begin. The math timing did not hurt you as bad as you think. This is evident from the fact that you appear to have only had to rush the last one or two questions. It is also evident from the low Verbal component to your score. Also, I got the sense that maybe the last 2 days before the test you were cramming? If so, all that did was fry your nerves when you needed rest the most. Also, I did not see any evidence in your words that you created and used an error log. So, there's room to set a better course.

I should stop here and mention that

A - I am going on 46 years old, so I understand the age thing.
B - I got a 730 (48 Q, 42 V, 6.0 AWA) on my GMAT in March

just so you know where I am coming from.

Now then, to simplify the matter you need to start with focus on your target: Getting into the best possible school for your MBA. If the schools ask for a "minimum" of 580, then honestly you want a 650+ to get their attention. It's always a good idea to give more than a required minimum.

Next, you want to set a schedule. If you have that much time before your application deadlines, give yourself about two or three months at least before your next test. While I understand the desire to run right out and slam that score where you want it, you need to be sure it's ready; while some schools will accept the highest or most recent score for their admissions consideration, do not forget that they will be told your last three scores (if you had that many), so if the first was not all you want, then the second should be significantly better. The '580' is still considered above-average, so it's not going to be a bad thing as long as you are ready for the rematch.

As you will have noticed, the GMAT is rough on those of us who have been out of school for a while. I mean, Geometry? I took that back in 8th Grade, and have had little call for it since then. And as for Verbal, it should be no surprise, sadly, that extensive use of American idioms and vernacular severely corrodes the grammatical knowledge we collected in school. So there's no choice but to go back and repair that knowledge, and to do in a methodical manner.

I mentioned the error log. That can be your very best friend in GMAT prep. It will track what you are missing, and help you focus on where you can improve the most. That translates directly into points.

And last but not least, the night before the test, relax and enjoy yourself, and make sure you get a good night's sleep. You need to be rested and calm when you take the GMAT.

Good luck.
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11 Apr 2006, 09:47

Praetorian
11 Apr 2006, 09:47
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