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# Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative

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Intern
Joined: 10 Jul 2018
Posts: 1
Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative  [#permalink]

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10 Jul 2018, 18:16
Hello all,

So first for some background. I am a rising senior engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh that will be trying to apply to dual MBA/MS Engr programs in the fall. There aren't a ton of these programs, but the schools I am interested in (University of Pittsburgh, MIT as a reach) seem to except either the GRE or/and the GMAT without preference. My plan was to take both the GRE and the GMAT and basically send which ever I did better on. However, I am concerned about how big of a gap my performance is between the two, and am questioning whether it is even worth it to pursue the GMAT further.

I took the diagnostic test in the official guide last week, and I did fine with most of the verbal questions (I scored excellent in all question types except sentence correction where I got above average), however was very disappointed with the quantitative results (scored average in all question types). Today, I did the full official CAT practice test #1, and the story only got worse:

Verbal = 40 ----> 91%percentile
Quantitative = 42 ----> 45%percentile
IR = 7 ----> 82%percentile
Total score = 670 --->81%percentile

I have taken 2 official GRE practice tests, and in both those I was scoring ~165 in both the verbal and quantitative sections, so usually around the 92% percentile per section. What is going with this major gap between the tests? I mean for context, I have a 3.9/4.0 GPA with a double major in Engineering. Clearly the engineering math is very different from the GMAT math, but for somebody that works with math/numbers in general as much as me, scoring in the 45%percentile is frankly shocking. To me the quantitative section and the sentence correction problems on the GMAT seems bizarre and convoluted. Honestly, my expectation going into this was my baseline score would be in the +90%percentile and I would just have to improve from there. That seems to have held true with the GRE, but the GMAT seems to be a totally different story. Does anyone have any advice to proceed?

Thank you for your time.
Senior PS Moderator
Joined: 26 Feb 2016
Posts: 3307
Location: India
GPA: 3.12
Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 Jul 2018, 21:57
Hey aj2pointo

Welcome to GMATClub!

To begin with, Q42 is not a very bad score at the beginning of your preparation.
The percentile may make it seem like a terrible score. I would recommend you
to try and understand what were the places you made mistakes in. Once you
complete that, go through concepts from the Manhattan strategy guides. After
completing these concepts, solve some problems(from the links given below)

You can take another test to understand where you actually stand. The reason
you may have scored low is that you have a few deficiencies in the concepts of
some specific topics. Data Sufficiency could be one of the reasons. This article
can help understand what is needed to solve Data Sufficiency.

You could also go through the concepts from the Quantitative Mega-Thread.

These are some links which you could use to practice some GMAT questions
1. PS Directory by Topic and Difficulty
2. DS Directory by Topic and Difficulty

Last but not the least, you could go through this post - Q44 -> Q50

Hope this helps you.
_________________

You've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got

SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 1839
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

10 Jul 2018, 23:21
aj2pointo wrote:
Hello all,

So first for some background. I am a rising senior engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh that will be trying to apply to dual MBA/MS Engr programs in the fall. There aren't a ton of these programs, but the schools I am interested in (University of Pittsburgh, MIT as a reach) seem to except either the GRE or/and the GMAT without preference. My plan was to take both the GRE and the GMAT and basically send which ever I did better on. However, I am concerned about how big of a gap my performance is between the two, and am questioning whether it is even worth it to pursue the GMAT further.

I took the diagnostic test in the official guide last week, and I did fine with most of the verbal questions (I scored excellent in all question types except sentence correction where I got above average), however was very disappointed with the quantitative results (scored average in all question types). Today, I did the full official CAT practice test #1, and the story only got worse:

Verbal = 40 ----> 91%percentile
Quantitative = 42 ----> 45%percentile
IR = 7 ----> 82%percentile
Total score = 670 --->81%percentile

I have taken 2 official GRE practice tests, and in both those I was scoring ~165 in both the verbal and quantitative sections, so usually around the 92% percentile per section. What is going with this major gap between the tests? I mean for context, I have a 3.9/4.0 GPA with a double major in Engineering. Clearly the engineering math is very different from the GMAT math, but for somebody that works with math/numbers in general as much as me, scoring in the 45%percentile is frankly shocking. To me the quantitative section and the sentence correction problems on the GMAT seems bizarre and convoluted. Honestly, my expectation going into this was my baseline score would be in the +90%percentile and I would just have to improve from there. That seems to have held true with the GRE, but the GMAT seems to be a totally different story. Does anyone have any advice to proceed?

Thank you for your time.
While that percentile (Q42 is actually 43%) does look a little low, there are a few things you should consider:

1. GMAT quant is considered slightly tougher than GRE quant. Schools are aware that they shouldn't compare percentiles from both exams directly.
2. A low score could be due to lack of familiarity with the question formats (especially DS). You'll be in a better position to take a call if you work through some SC concepts and some official GMAT questions (especially quant questions).
3. With 165 on both sections of an official GRE practice test, you could just take the actual GRE (a 330 or a 330+ score should work anywhere). Just check what the scores and acceptance rates are like at your target schools. You should also check the profiles of the candidates admitted on the basis of a GRE score.

Finally, if you're interested in why GMAT quant scores are the way they are, read this.
_________________
VP
Status: It's near - I can see.
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 1285
Location: India
Concentration: International Business, Operations
GMAT 1: 480 Q38 V22
GPA: 3.01
WE: Engineering (Consulting)
Re: Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

11 Jul 2018, 10:14
aj2pointo wrote:
Hello all,

So first for some background. I am a rising senior engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh that will be trying to apply to dual MBA/MS Engr programs in the fall. There aren't a ton of these programs, but the schools I am interested in (University of Pittsburgh, MIT as a reach) seem to except either the GRE or/and the GMAT without preference. My plan was to take both the GRE and the GMAT and basically send which ever I did better on. However, I am concerned about how big of a gap my performance is between the two, and am questioning whether it is even worth it to pursue the GMAT further.

I took the diagnostic test in the official guide last week, and I did fine with most of the verbal questions (I scored excellent in all question types except sentence correction where I got above average), however was very disappointed with the quantitative results (scored average in all question types). Today, I did the full official CAT practice test #1, and the story only got worse:

Verbal = 40 ----> 91%percentile
Quantitative = 42 ----> 45%percentile
IR = 7 ----> 82%percentile
Total score = 670 --->81%percentile

I have taken 2 official GRE practice tests, and in both those I was scoring ~165 in both the verbal and quantitative sections, so usually around the 92% percentile per section. What is going with this major gap between the tests? I mean for context, I have a 3.9/4.0 GPA with a double major in Engineering. Clearly the engineering math is very different from the GMAT math, but for somebody that works with math/numbers in general as much as me, scoring in the 45%percentile is frankly shocking. To me the quantitative section and the sentence correction problems on the GMAT seems bizarre and convoluted. Honestly, my expectation going into this was my baseline score would be in the +90%percentile and I would just have to improve from there. That seems to have held true with the GRE, but the GMAT seems to be a totally different story. Does anyone have any advice to proceed?

Thank you for your time.

These links may help you: https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-definiti ... 69705.html

https://blog.targettestprep.com/improve-gmat-score/

Akshdeep
_________________

"Do not watch clock; Do what it does. KEEP GOING."

Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4170
Location: United States (CA)
Re: Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2018, 09:11
Hi aj2pointo,

I’m glad you reached out and I’m happy to help!

Your initial diagnostic scores for both the GMAT and the GRE were really solid. However, you will be most successful if you put 100% of your focus on just one exam.

Once you make a firm decision about which test to take, prior to taking any further practice tests, you are going to need to create a study plan that will allow you to fully master your chosen exam. I realize that you are disappointed about your second GMAT CAT; however, you studied for only a week in between each practice exam. Both the GMAT and the GRE are challenging exams, so success won’t happen overnight.

In making your decision about which test to pursue, you may find it helpful to check out my article about choosing between the GRE and the GMAT. Once you make a decision, I’d be happy to provide some advice on how to create a great study plan.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Founder and CEO

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Math Revolution GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Aug 2015
Posts: 6517
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V42
GPA: 3.82
Re: Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative  [#permalink]

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20 Jul 2018, 00:37
Hi aj2pointo,

​An average math score of Asian students according to GMAC data is around 45 while an average score of US students is 33. That's why you would feel shocked at 45% percentile with a score of 42.

In fact, GMAT is a logic test, not a general math test. That is, you need to learn the logic to tackle GMAT questions, which explains the major gap in your scores.
You can still solve GMAT questions with the conventional method.
If you aim to hit a high score ​(Q49-51) on ​​math​, the conventional method is time-consuming and tends to be inefficient.
You may hit Q45 or above with the conventional way, but it is difficult or takes very long to study until you hit Q49-51.

The good news is that you can easily learn the logic to improve your score since you are in engineering​ background. ​
First, ​GMAC prep tests are reliable but other test prep scores can vary as the logic of scoring is not exactly same as GMAC, so don't soly rely on test prep scores.
Based on your CAT scores, it seems like you have a decent understanding of basics but you need an extra push to tackle 700+ level questions.

In order to hit a high score(Q49-51) in quant, you need to understand the logic of GMAT Math as it is 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 ​(Q49-51) on ​quant, the conventional method is time-consuming and tends to be inefficient.
You may hit Q45 or above with the conventional way, but it is difficult or takes very long to study until you hit Q49-51.
​ ​
Since your current score shows that your basic math skills are sold, we recommend you learn our Variable approach for DS, especially CMT (Common Mistake Type 3,4) questions determining a score of Q49-51. That's unique, short-cut and significant time-saving approaches

​The other thing you should remember is the importance of practicing the most current GMAT questions.
​Not many preps are updating new GMAT questions every year. A number of questions you get to practice​ online tend to be out-of-date and they ​might ​not ​be ​that relevant to the current type​s​ of GMAT questions. If you are not used to the current type​s​ of questions, this could also be a reason to why your score is not improving.
However, all the questions you get to practi​ce​ from our online course are developed based on the current type of GMAT questions.

Most importantly, we can help you with the two key factors if you want 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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"Only \$99 for 3 month Online Course"
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Re: Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative &nbs [#permalink] 20 Jul 2018, 00:37
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# Engineering Student Struggling with the Quantitative

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