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First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?

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First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2019, 19:33
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Hi everyone,

I took the GMAT for the first time today and got a 600 (35Q/38V/IR8). I’m pretty devastated and unsure if I should keep going with plans for business school or rethink.

I took off the last two weeks of work to prep. I’ve actually been keeping track of the hours on my phone on the “Forest” app and have studied 90 hours on my own outside of the live Manhattan class that I took from Sept - Nov. I figured that I would use the last two weeks to review and just drill problems (which I did). I was actually super confident going into the exam, and did great on the IR (and I assume AWA) initially.

The test center had a few issues that I think caused me to absolutely bomb quant. Even on the MPrep practice CAT’s I did better on quant. First, I knew that the test would just start if I wasn’t on time to return from my break, but apparently I didn’t pad enough time for the body pat-down and faulty palm scan machine. I had to scan my palm 4x to get back in to take quant. The administrators acknowledged it was an ongoing issue. Then, the markers given were ultra-thin. One broke and the other I could barely see on the graph paper it was so faint. I was so panicked about losing more time on the test after the re-entry procedure that I didn’t ask for new markers until the break before verbal.

Should I complain about these issues? Is a 700 even within shot for me at this point? I want to conquer this test I just feel like I may be going about studying wrong. I saw Empower’s score improval program and thought it looked good, just hesitant to sink more money into this after I paid for Manhattan live.

Please let me know any thoughts! I need advice as to how to move forward. I wanted to go FT to a top program and I’m frankly questioning my intelligence at this point.

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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2019, 19:47
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Sorry should’ve included this info as well:

9/20/19 MPrep CAT 1: 580 (39Q, 31V) - had basically done zero studying outside of attending three live classes
12/2/19 MPrep CAT 2: 580 (36Q, 33V) - this was in the middle of my two weeks of review and totally shook me. I considered rescheduling the exam. But I took it right after an email came through about a job rejection so I figured maybe my psyche was off.

Any idea why my quant score keeps going lower? I studied quant and verbal pretty evenly in my prep. I’m not sure if maybe the Manhattan material isn’t helping me?

I am 27 and went to Vanderbilt undergrad. I graduated with a 3.42 and had a 4.0 in high school. I got a 790M/790R on the SAT and a 35 on the ACT with absolutely no preparation so haven’t ever struggled this much with a standardized test. I mean I was a National Merit scholar!

Please let me know any and all advice! It’s becoming such a point of personal pride at this point that I have to beat this exam.

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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2019, 20:01
One last thing - would it be better to take the GRE? I cannot understand how I would achieve an 8 in IR but do so poorly on Quant. When I practice questions I have pretty good accuracy on OG problems that Manhattan defines as 700-800 level.

I was hoping to apply to HBS, Kellogg, and Stanford round 2 which is why I’m so devastated. I really wanted to be in a top FT program next fall. Is it worth a shot winging an application with the score I got today?

Open to any and all suggestions.

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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2019, 23:47
slpx92 - I am sorry to hear your GMAT score wasn't something your expected.

No one but you should decide whether you want to take the test again. Please do not blindly rely on the opinions of others. We have a well-structured in-house guide that can help you make a decision. Therefore, please take a few moments to review the GMAT Club retake plan: Retaking GMAT Strategies!
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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2019, 08:39
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Hi slpx92,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. I’m happy to provide some more advice but would like to learn more about your situation with the GMAT. I have some questions.

1) How many practice GMAT tests did you take? Please list the dates on which you’ve taken any practice GMATs, the total scores, and the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Also, please tell me where these tests came from (ex: mba.com).

2) Please describe how you studied. For how many hours a day did you study and for how many months?

3) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?

4) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?

5) For how many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?

6) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.
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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2019, 16:16
Your Mgmat score is about 580, and perhaps 600 in the real test. Looks like it is reasonable.

People who are weak in Quant tend to benefit by taking GRE. But they have to be good in Verbal (Vocabulary).

So it is time for you to decide which way to go. Both GRE and GMAT are accepted by most top-tier b schools with no preference

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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2019, 20:01
Hi slpx92,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't turn out better. 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, your 2 CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 590 +/- a few points); the 'swings' in your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores are likely due to a mix of little mistakes and lucky/unlucky guesses (especially on DS and any time you "narrow the answers down to 2 choices" in the Verbal section). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes.

Since you're interested in some highly-competitive Schools, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

Before we discuss how you might best proceed with your studies, 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 in total? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used besides the course that you mentioned?
3) Did you take just those 2 practice CATs or were there any others?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: First attempt got 600. Retake or quit?   [#permalink] 09 Dec 2019, 20:01
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