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Do I retake the GMAT?

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 14:09
Hi all,

I have taken the GMAT three times, and I am 50/50 on taking it once more. My scores are as follows:
May 11th: 680(Q41,V41)
June 9th: 640(Q37,V40)
June 27th: 650(Q38,V40)

My past two scores are frustrating for me, since in 4 or 5 practice exams before June 9th I scored 43 on Quant. Also, I added a Quant tutor for 3 sessions between tests 2 and 3 and it hardly moved the needle for me. My dream school is NYU or Columbia, and I was hoping to score somewhere in the low 700's to give me a better shot at those two schools.

I am considering cutting my losses and applying with my 680 because I have been studying 4.5 months now: as you all know, it is tasking, expensive, and B-schools have access to the number of GMATs that you take (although I heard this isn't much of a factor).

Looking for any advice! Should I take keep taking it? Or should I feel confident applying with my 680?

Thanks,
Chuck
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New post 27 Jun 2018, 16:16
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Hi Chuck,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Thus, your 3 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 660 +/- a few points). A 680 is a strong overall Score (it's around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice Business School. However, the Q41 might be seen as a 'red flag' at certain Programs, so retesting - with the goal of scoring higher in the Quant section - would make sense.

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 did you study before each of your first Official GMAT?
2) What study materials did you use for each attempt?
3) Which 'brands' of CATs have you used? Have you ever taken a CAT more than once?

Goals:
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 besides NYU and/or Columbia?

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 20:11
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I'd give it one more shot since you've been scoring higher on practice tests. Ideally, you want to at least hit a school's average GMAT & right now you're below the average for NYU & CBS. It's not the end of the world if you can't hit the average, but it will mean they'll place more weight on all the other parts of your application. At this point you've invested so much in your prep & you are in the home stretch. You still have some time too to get your score up in time for R1 deadlines without sacrificing time spent on your essays. You don't necessarily need to do a lot more prep but I'd say give it one more shot & see if you can get a score that's in line with those practice tests! And again, if you can't, there are definitely strategies to put the adcom's mind at ease if you are below their average.
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 01:05
vval121 wrote:
Hi all,

I have taken the GMAT three times, and I am 50/50 on taking it once more. My scores are as follows:
May 11th: 680(Q41,V41)
June 9th: 640(Q37,V40)
June 27th: 650(Q38,V40)

My past two scores are frustrating for me, since in 4 or 5 practice exams before June 9th I scored 43 on Quant. Also, I added a Quant tutor for 3 sessions between tests 2 and 3 and it hardly moved the needle for me. My dream school is NYU or Columbia, and I was hoping to score somewhere in the low 700's to give me a better shot at those two schools.

I am considering cutting my losses and applying with my 680 because I have been studying 4.5 months now: as you all know, it is tasking, expensive, and B-schools have access to the number of GMATs that you take (although I heard this isn't much of a factor).

Looking for any advice! Should I take keep taking it? Or should I feel confident applying with my 680?

Thanks,
Chuck


Hi vval121,

Considering you are targetting NYU and Columbia, we suggest you retake the test. Frankly, there is still some time left and you have already practiced a fair bit. In taking another attempt, you don't stand to lose much and the gain may be a lot more :-)

All the best!
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 03:50
vval121 wrote:
Hi all,

I have taken the GMAT three times, and I am 50/50 on taking it once more. My scores are as follows:
May 11th: 680(Q41,V41)
June 9th: 640(Q37,V40)
June 27th: 650(Q38,V40)

My past two scores are frustrating for me, since in 4 or 5 practice exams before June 9th I scored 43 on Quant. Also, I added a Quant tutor for 3 sessions between tests 2 and 3 and it hardly moved the needle for me. My dream school is NYU or Columbia, and I was hoping to score somewhere in the low 700's to give me a better shot at those two schools.

I am considering cutting my losses and applying with my 680 because I have been studying 4.5 months now: as you all know, it is tasking, expensive, and B-schools have access to the number of GMATs that you take (although I heard this isn't much of a factor).

Looking for any advice! Should I take keep taking it? Or should I feel confident applying with my 680?

Thanks,
Chuck


Hey vval121
since 680 is already a good score, but on the other hand you have what to gain from aiming even higher, I suggest you take a look at this post about How to Improve an Already High GMAT Score
https://exampal.com/gmat/blog/how-to-im ... mat-score/
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 08:51
EMPOWERgmatRichC JonAdmissionado ABatExpertsGlobal Thank you all for your responses

I have one more general question if you wouldn't mind - is it common that you see someone (like me) who has never struggled with a math course before but is having so much trouble with the GMAT's Quant section?

To be honest, before beginning the GMAT process, I did not anticipate Quant giving me much trouble, as I have always considered myself gifted at math throughout the course of my educational career. I am perplexed by the GMAT Quant section, and was wondering if this is something that any of you have come across before - if so, is there any solution for me?

Many thanks again,
Chuck
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 09:48
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I am not an expert but I feel that you should go for it one more time. Three things clearly stand out in your comments:-

1) You believe in yourself that you are good in math.
2) You have already scored a Q41.
3) Your verbal score has been consistent, i.e. Q40 or Q41.

My observations:-
1) Since you believe that you are good in Math then why is the GMAT quant section troubling you? i.e. is it PS or DS?.Is timing issue? Are you committing the same silly mistakes again and again? Have you reviewed your ESR? Do you review your mocks? The mere fact that you have tried to crack GMAT twice after your first attempt shows that you had belief in yourself.

You may consider approaching the exam for the fourth time with a fresh mind, enthusiasm and belief in yourself.

As a side note, you should be able to explain that you identified and rectified the area in which you were lacking & needed some more time to develop in the GMAT quant section.

If you really believe that you have it in you to cross 700 then you should go for it. The schools may perceive that you did not give up & persisted.

In any case, all the best!!
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 10:00
CAMANISHPARMAR wrote:
I am not an expert but I feel that you should go for it one more time. Three things clearly stand out in your comments:-

1) You believe in yourself that you are good in math.
2) You have already scored a Q41.
3) Your verbal score has been consistent, i.e. Q40 or Q41.

My observations:-
1) Since you believe that you are good in Math then why is the GMAT quant section troubling you? i.e. is it PS or DS?.Is timing issue? Are you committing the same silly mistakes again and again? Have you reviewed your ESR? Do you review your mocks? The mere fact that you have tried to crack GMAT twice after your first attempt shows that you had belief in yourself.

You may consider approaching the exam for the fourth time with a fresh mind, enthusiasm and belief in yourself.

As a side note, you should be able to explain that you identified and rectified the area in which you were lacking & needed some more time to develop in the GMAT quant section.

If you really believe that you have it in you to cross 700 then you should go for it. The schools may perceive that you did not give up & persisted.

In any case, all the best!!



Thanks so much for your answer!

In my latest ESR (GMAT from yesterday), I scored in 49th percentile for Data Sufficiency and 28th Percentile for PS. Obviously PS is a huge problem, but is that DS % high enough?
In other words, should I focus all of my energy on PS for my next GMAT and just make sure that I stay up to speed with my current DS score? Or do you think that there is a need to improve both?
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New post 28 Jun 2018, 13:29
Hi Chuck,

The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test', so if you're thinking of the Quant section in those terms, then that might be a part of the difficulties that you're facing. The Quant section is a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it; to score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.'

While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what you should work on to score higher. If you forward me your ESR (you can PM or email it to me), then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 10:07
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vval121 wrote:
Thanks so much for your answer!

In my latest ESR (GMAT from yesterday), I scored in 49th percentile for Data Sufficiency and 28th Percentile for PS. Obviously PS is a huge problem, but is that DS % high enough?
In other words, should I focus all of my energy on PS for my next GMAT and just make sure that I stay up to speed with my current DS score? Or do you think that there is a need to improve both?


I don't know how to answer your question, "is that DS % high enough?
you may refer to this link and update me on what is your current understanding of DS.
https://gmatclub.com/forum/data-suffici ... ufficiency

However, my initial thoughts (since you have mentioned you are good at Math):-
I think you should improve a LOT in DS and a LOT LOT MORE in PS. Try to touch touch Q45 and try to improve at least by 2-3 notches in verbal to V42-V43.

Few pointers to substantiate my point:-
1) Maintaining V40 and V41 over three tests shows that you are good at Verbal reasoning. (V41 is above 90th percentile). I am curious to know that why a person like you who is good in math and very good in verbal reasoning (i.e. means you do have reasoning/analytical skills) is scoring badly in GMAT quant?
2) To substantiate my point further a Q50 is 87th percentile, hence your verbal score is above a relative Q50 in ranking.

Keeping your question in mind as to is your DS score enough? I searched for few ESR's on GMATCLUB. Have a look at the two extracts from one ESR:-

Attachment:
RG2.jpg
RG2.jpg [ 230.21 KiB | Viewed 297 times ]


This person is 57th percentile in quant (52th in PS and 59th in DS). His score is Q45. (His verbal score is V21 with 27th percentile). No matter how much reasoning you add to quant, at the end of the day quant is black and white. Their are some core concepts of Math and lots of reasoning. I think Verbal is not that straight forward. Historically, it has been much difficult to score a high percentile in Verbal. Your strength is Verbal. Try to improve it further by two notches. It will do a world of good to your overall score.

Having said that you must aim high in quant as well. have a look at the following extract from the same ESR:-

Attachment:
RG3.jpg
RG3.jpg [ 132.55 KiB | Viewed 296 times ]


You can see the number of questions this person gets wrong to score a Q45. Out of 37 questions, this person has got more than 15 questions wrong and could still manage Q45. Out of every 10 questions you are answering, you can get 3-4 questions wrong to get a Q45. I think for a person who is good in Math and very good in verbal reasoning MUST do Lots and Lots of Quant practice, improve on his strategy, instill lots and lots of carefulness so that you don't commit any silly mistakes etc etc. A lot of Quant questions have to do with Verbal comprehension (you are already good at it, i.e. careful reading & comprehension). Improve your speed, maintain an error log and you should go for it confidently.

I don't see any reason why you should target anything less than Q45 and V42 in your 4th and ideally it should be your final attempt. Give yourself time, may be practice for another 2-3 months, no harm. YOU NEED TO REINVENT YOURSELF IN GMAT QUANT TOTALLY. This would mean you would have scored a 710 (Q45, V42)!!

All the very best!! I will be more than happy to help you in quant if you need any. I am not a professional, this is just a friendly gesture :-) ... I am giving my exam in exactly 2 months.

I am sharing the links as references for ESR and GMAT scoring tool:-

https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-esr-rev ... fl=similar

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/gmat ... alculator/
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 11:04
vval121 wrote:
Hi all,

I have taken the GMAT three times, and I am 50/50 on taking it once more. My scores are as follows:
May 11th: 680(Q41,V41)
June 9th: 640(Q37,V40)
June 27th: 650(Q38,V40)

My past two scores are frustrating for me, since in 4 or 5 practice exams before June 9th I scored 43 on Quant. Also, I added a Quant tutor for 3 sessions between tests 2 and 3 and it hardly moved the needle for me. My dream school is NYU or Columbia, and I was hoping to score somewhere in the low 700's to give me a better shot at those two schools.

I am considering cutting my losses and applying with my 680 because I have been studying 4.5 months now: as you all know, it is tasking, expensive, and B-schools have access to the number of GMATs that you take (although I heard this isn't much of a factor).

Looking for any advice! Should I take keep taking it? Or should I feel confident applying with my 680?

Thanks,
Chuck


You should better concentrate on your Quant

For Concept Learning

Manhattan Quant Guides

For Practice

The Official Guide for GMAT 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-18

One month for learning Quant concepts and one month for practicing question and same practice for Verbal. During you Practicing question don't forget to make an error log to track your weak areas after practice. Once you know your weak areas revise your Concepts related to those areas and do some more Practice. 6-8 CATs are enough for practice the real tests. Make your Stamina for sitting 3 hours in the test and don't study more than 2 hours in one sit and 4 hours per day

Top CATs for Practice

1. Official GMAC CATs
2. Manhattan CATs

Good Luck
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 11:06
CAMANISHPARMAR wrote:
vval121 wrote:
Thanks so much for your answer!

In my latest ESR (GMAT from yesterday), I scored in 49th percentile for Data Sufficiency and 28th Percentile for PS. Obviously PS is a huge problem, but is that DS % high enough?
In other words, should I focus all of my energy on PS for my next GMAT and just make sure that I stay up to speed with my current DS score? Or do you think that there is a need to improve both?


I don't know how to answer your question, "is that DS % high enough?
you may refer to this link and update me on what is your current understanding of DS.

However, my initial thoughts (since you have mentioned you are good at Math):-
I think you should improve a LOT in DS and a LOT LOT MORE in PS. Try to touch touch Q45 and try to improve at least by 2-3 notches in verbal to V42-V43.

Few pointers to substantiate my point:-
1) Maintaining V40 and V41 over three tests shows that you are good at Verbal reasoning. (V41 is above 90th percentile). I am curious to know that why a person like you who is good in math and very good in verbal reasoning (i.e. means you do have reasoning/analytical skills) is scoring badly in GMAT quant?
2) To substantiate my point further a Q50 is 87th percentile, hence your verbal score is above a relative Q50 in ranking.

Keeping your question in mind as to is your DS score enough? I searched for few ESR's on GMATCLUB. Have a look at the two extracts from one ESR:-

This person is 57th percentile in quant (52th in PS and 59th in DS). His score is Q45. (His verbal score is V21 with 27th percentile). No matter how much reasoning you add to quant, at the end of the day quant is black and white. Their are some core concepts of Math and lots of reasoning. I think Verbal is not that straight forward. Historically, it has been much difficult to score a high percentile in Verbal. Your strength is Verbal. Try to improve it further by two notches. It will do a world of good to your overall score.

Having said that you must aim high in quant as well. have a look at the following extract from the same ESR:-

You can see the number of questions this person gets wrong to score a Q45. Out of 37 questions, this person has got more than 15 questions wrong and could still manage Q45. Out of every 10 questions you are answering, you can get 3-4 questions wrong to get a Q45. I think for a person who is good in Math and very good in verbal reasoning MUST do Lots and Lots of Quant practice, improve on his strategy, instill lots and lots of carefulness so that you don't commit any silly mistakes etc etc. A lot of Quant questions have to do with Verbal comprehension (you are already good at it, i.e. careful reading & comprehension). Improve your speed, maintain an error log and you should go for it confidently.

I don't see any reason why you should target anything less than Q45 and V42 in your 4th and ideally it should be your final attempt. Give yourself time, may be practice for another 2-3 months, no harm. YOU NEED TO REINVENT YOURSELF IN GMAT QUANT TOTALLY. This would mean you would have scored a 710 (Q45, V42)!!

All the very best!! I will be more than happy to help you in quant if you need any. I am not a professional, this is just a friendly gesture :-) ... I am giving my exam in exactly 2 months.

I am sharing the links as references for ESR and GMAT scoring tool:-

Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to respond.
The most interesting thing about those ESR's that you attached is that it actually looks like I got more questions correct and less wrong than that person did. This must be a result of me missing difficult quant questions, and thus getting an easier pool of questions. My breakdown by % Correct/Quarter is as follows from my most recent ESR.
Q1 - 71% Correct
Q2 - 57% Correct
Q3 - 71% Correct
Q4 - 29% Correct

Do you think that when preparing for my next GMAT I should only be studying difficult Quant in order to correct this?

Once again, thank you so much for your advice
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 12:12
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vval121 wrote:
Hello and thank you so much for taking the time to respond.
The most interesting thing about those ESR's that you attached is that it actually looks like I got more questions correct and less wrong than that person did. This must be a result of me missing difficult quant questions, and thus getting an easier pool of questions. My breakdown by % Correct/Quarter is as follows from my most recent ESR.
Q1 - 71% Correct
Q2 - 57% Correct
Q3 - 71% Correct
Q4 - 29% Correct

Do you think that when preparing for my next GMAT I should only be studying difficult Quant in order to correct this?

Once again, thank you so much for your advice


Thanks for sharing your ESR quant accuracy rate break up. (Please feel free to PM me if you want me to have a look at your ESR)

According to my reading & comparing both the performances, I feel, it is exactly the other way round. You have got few very easy questions wrong. Look at the difficulty level of the questions after the 8th question for the same person.

Attachment:
ZZ2.jpg
ZZ2.jpg [ 78.08 KiB | Viewed 254 times ]


According to the little knowledge I have about the GMAT algorithm is that it is an adaptive test.

Consider the scenario of this person which we are discussing as a case:-
For him the accuracy is 71% for Q1 (coincidentally same as yours). Imagine he got the first 5-6 questions right...i.e. all of them (around 600 -650 & 650 to 700 level) right then ask yourself what will the algorithm do? It will increase the difficultly level, right? Then the moment the difficulty level (say above 700 level) was increased he got more of them wrong because they were above his pay grade. Again the algorithm gives him few around 600-650 level and he gets them right again. The process continues depending how you answer these questions.

Now consider your case. You have also got a 71% correct in Q1 but you got 2-3 questions of 600-650 level wrong. The computer might have got to giving you 550-600 level questions and, if you got those right, then again came back to giving you 600 - 650 level and then you get all the 5-6 questions right but still you have not reached 650-700 level because you have given a false signal to the computer and now the algorithm has heavily penalized you, i.e. in short the penalty for getting an easy question wrong is more than the reward for getting a difficult question right.

I will repeat, according to me you have got few very easy questions wrong. You cannot afford to give a signal to the computer algorithm by getting a very easy question wrong. i.e. the signal you are giving to the computer by getting a very easy question wrong is "you are telling to the computer that you are DUMMER than you ACTUALLY are". In result, the algorithm keeps feeding you with more easier questions before it could decide on your level in quant. Again if you get an easy question wrong then "you are ONCE AGAIN telling to the computer that you are DUMMER than you ACTUALLY are". It is a vicious cycle. No matter what happens, you cannot afford to get an easy question wrong on GMAT. The algorithm will heavily penalize you.

Look at the time management chart of the case in hand & relate it with the accuracy rate chart:-

Attachment:
ZZ3.jpg
ZZ3.jpg [ 85.57 KiB | Viewed 254 times ]


The difficulty level was at the peak in Q2 and started dropping. The person wasted a lot of time on questions which he got wrong. A person cannot afford to waste so much time on questions he gets wrong. The signal I am getting after looking at this chart is the person either did not know the approach how to solve these questions but was still trying hard, probably a better strategy would have been to let go quickly, specially on the ones you don't know how to approach them or was not solving the quant question with reasoning and using long division or multiplication or etc etc which does not require reasoning. One thing you need to understand that for solving quant questions you need to strategize your approach to solving questions in smarter ways using REASONING!! Not wasting time on questions finding perfect quotients and remainders, etc.

Also remember that in this case the person had given the GMAT in old format which had more questions and more questions were not counted in the final scoring & on deciding the difficulty level of subsequent questions. May be few of the Q1 questions he got wrong were not used in his scoring and deciding on his difficulty level for subsequent questions. The ones which mattered for scoring and deciding on the difficulty level, for next set of questions, he got those right.

Your attempts have been recent ones (new format). Hence we need to account for the aforesaid point as well in our analysis.

Since we are targeting only a Q45 in quant "I would first advice you to maintain your floor rather than aim for the ceiling"
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 18:54
The GMAT just takes practice so don't lose hope. It's great that you are good at math - that will make it easier for you to improve your score & get the hang of these GMAT quant questions. So much of it is about speed as well as strategy for how to approach questions as efficiently as possible (and what to do if you don't know the answer) so it's really not just about being good at math - it's about learning how to be good at the GMAT. But practice will make a huge difference so hang in there & don't lose hope. You can do it! :)
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New post 09 Jul 2018, 03:09
Hi vval121,

Our team visited NYU and Columbia admissions team last month to get any updated information about candidacy of students. They count the highest GMAT score in their official evaluation. They also like to see low GMAT scores and value the improvement of scores. This means that students showed the big efforts to get better scores. Yes, over 700 is very common for these two schools. We saw two students with a score of 680 entered CBS last year. Of course, their profile and specification were very good to offset a score of 680. To be safe, we strongly recommend retaking the exam. Many students struggle with verbal score because it is difficult to improve in spite of all the efforts on verbal, but in your case, you verbal is already over 40 which a majority of students find very difficult to achieve. In your case, you can simply target to hit a 45 for Quant, which is easy for our subscribers. Q47-49 is also doable in two months.

In fact, GMAT is a logic test, not a general math test. That is, you need to learn the logic to tackle GMAT questions.
You can still solve GMAT questions with the conventional method. If you aim to hit a high score in quant, the conventional method is time-consuming and tends to be inefficient. Hence, we strongly recommend learning the logic, which you can learn from our online course.

Most importantly, we can help you with the two key factors if youw ant to succeed in GMAT,
You may try our Free Resources including 4-hour video lesson, Diagnostic Test and Mock Test.
​www.mathrevolution.com ​

In addition, please refer to our GMAT Club posts to find more about our strategies: Link
If you have any further question, you can always reach out to us at info@mathrevolution.com

Best regards,

Jin
Math Revolution
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MathRevolution: Finish GMAT Quant Section with 10 minutes to spare
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Re: Do I retake the GMAT? &nbs [#permalink] 09 Jul 2018, 03:09
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