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GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams

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GMAT 1: 640 Q41 V37
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GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 13:17
Hello!

So I recently took the GMAT for the second time and scored 690 with a Quant 43 and Verbal 41. Leading up to this I had take 2 of the official GMAT Practice Exams. My testing history looks like this:

19 January 2019 (prior to any studying): GMAT Official Practice Exam 1 - 600 (Q44/V28/IR5)
31 May 2019: GMAT Official Exam - 640 (Q41/V37/IR6)
23 July 2019: GMAT Official Practice Exam 2 - 700 (Q47/V40/IR4)
28 July 2019: GMAT Official Practice Exam 3 - 690 (Q49/V35/IR8)
31 July 2019: GMAT Official Exam - 690 (Q43/V41/IR7)

In between Practice Exam 1 and my first official exam, I used both TargetTestPrep and e-GMAT Verbal to prepare and spent approximately 30 hours per week studying. I typically spent 4 hours per day M-Fri and 5-6 hours per day on the weekends. I did have commitments with work that interfered with this schedule, but on average spent that amount of time studying. When test day was a couple weeks away, I realized I still did not have enough time to cover all of the material in both courses and to practice different questions, so I made sure to first cover all the material and work on questions/application after if I had time (which I ended up not having time). I believe this is why my first exam score was so low.
After that exam, I was very disappointed, especially with my Quant score. My Verbal had improved significantly and I knew I could spend more time focusing on improving my Quant score. I went through a lot of questions on TTP for Quant and made sure to answer them all and review any answers I answered incorrectly or guessed on. Seeing that my second attempt was coming up soon, I decided to take an official practice exam to see where I was. I was fairly happy with the Quant score that showed up, but not happy with the overall score. I reviewed what I got wrong and worked on my weaknesses and then took a second official practice exam 5 days later. I was very happy with the Q49 I received, but my Verbal slipped. I compared what I did differently between the two practice exams and found that I needed to not rush CR questions and to take my time on them. e-GMAT also has some material on IR, which I skimmed through and felt that it helped prepare me well for the official test day.
Going into the official exam (attempt 2), I felt fairly confident that I could score 700+. There were issues with the test center and my exam was delayed for 2 hours. I couldn't reschedule, because I had already paid to fly down to the country to take it and figured it was best financially to just sit and take it after the delay. However, as I started the Quant section there were a couple questions that I just couldn't figure out even though they looked familiar. With my timing method, I realized I was very behind at one point and am not sure where I lost track of time to be honest. This forced me to rush through the rest of the Quant section, which ultimately led to my Q43. I cannot recall the type of questions I got hung up on. Quant was my first section, so during my 8 min break I calmed myself down and refocused. I knew that this may be my only chance to take the exam again prior application deadlines and because funds are getting tight. I ended up getting V41, which is the highest V score I have ever gotten.

I really felt like I could figure out every question on the official practice exams, but then didn't recognize some of the questions I got on the official exam. The Verbal on the other hand felt similar to the practice exams and I felt comfortable answering Verbal questions.

Do I just need to practice a lot of Quant questions? I'm thinking of going through a lot of the GMAT Club Quant questions. However, at this point I need to determine if I have the funds to go take the GMAT again since it is not offered in my current country of residence, and I have already traveled twice out of country to take it. I also have a very low salary based on the international volunteer work I am doing through Peace Corps.

Should I try to retake if I can find the funding in my budget? Round 1 application deadlines are coming up in just under a month and I will need to focus on those as well.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 00:32
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bglade - For the Quant section, GMAT Club Test Center is the best option. The questions available in the GMAT Club Tests are fairly representative of the ones on actual GMAT. If you do not have access to the GMAT Club Tests, please purchase the tests as early as possible. I highly recommend the GMAT Club tests, especially the Quant sectional test, because these tests can indeed give a significant boost to your Quant score, subsequently resulting in overall score improvement.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 00:54
DisciplinedPrep wrote:
bglade - For the Quant section, GMAT Club Test Center is the best option. The questions available in the GMAT Club Tests are fairly representative of the ones on actual GMAT. If you do not have access to the GMAT Club Tests, please purchase the tests as early as possible. I highly recommend the GMAT Club tests, especially the Quant sectional test, because these tests can indeed give a significant boost to your Quant score, subsequently resulting in overall score improvement.


Hi DisciplinedPrep! Thank you for the feedback. I have been thinking that I should utilize the GMAT Club Tests as well. I should have access to them through the course purchases I have made via GMAT Club, so I will definitely make use of them. This will be a great, free way for me to enhance my skills and up my Quant score. Now I just need to figure out if I have the time and resources to travel to take the GMAT again since I have to leave the country to do it.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 08:46
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Hi bglade,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. Given your practice test scores and the fact that you had some issues at the test center, I think, on a good day, you are capable of scoring Q47+. That said, I just PM’d you, so we can hop on a call to discuss a plan moving forward.

I’ve got your back my friend.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 09:09
ScottTargetTestPrep - Thank you! I appreciate the support. I just replied to your pm. TTP has been a huge help in my GMAT preparation process. Hopefully we can figure out where I'm stumbling.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 09:43
Considering your mock test scores, i think it was just another bad test day and nothing else. On the bright side, you have a very impressive verbal score. I think 690 is a great score and you should move ahead with the applications. What are your target business schools?
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 09:58
Abhi077 wrote:
Considering your mock test scores, i think it was just another bad test day and nothing else. On the bright side, you have a very impressive verbal score. I think 690 is a great score and you should move ahead with the applications. What are your target business schools?


Hi Abhi077,

Thanks for the feedback. I am looking to transition my career into the consulting industry with a focus in social impact, although I would be open to a more generalized consulting role that provides professional development and then transitions into more of a social impact focus. My background is in retail (2 years), entrepreneurship (4.5 years, sports retail more specifically), and now Community Economic Development via Peace Corps (2 years once my service ends, grassroots-level sustainable development).

Because I am interested in going into the consulting sector, I am considering the following programs:
Harvard
Yale
Duke
Haas
Booth
Kellogg
Darden
Tuck
ASU Carey (If accepted to program and Coverdell Fellowship, would be full-ride plus stipend)

Other schools I still have an eye on include:
Wharton
Ross
Sloan
UW Foster
ND Mendoza
Penn State Smeal

Others have also suggested:
BU Questrom
Georgetown

I would like to apply Round 1 as much as possible to help my chances. I have also reached out to Pearson VUE to see if they will grant me a waiver due to the 2 hour delay at the test center and my inability to reschedule due to the financial commitment. If I am granted a waiver, then I will try and retake one more time by the start of September. If I were to move ahead with my current score (good overall, but low Quant), what do you think are my chances at the schools I have listed?

Thanks in advance for your feedback and insight.
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GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Aug 2019, 10:20
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bglade

Yours is a unique profile among MBA applicants. Not many will be doing international volunteer work across countries and doing so for small monies.

Programs will likely look at your application in different light. It is likely your application will be considered favorably even if you have lower GMAT scores.

Re: test preparation.

Gmatclub is a good resource for tough quant practice. There are many resources available here. OGs have many excellent problems as well. Some third-party quant materials are also quite good.

For verbal practice, I recommend that you solely or mainly stick with official published materials from GMAC, ETS, LSAC, TOEFL, and IELTS. All will have excellent practice materials that will adhere strictly to official test standards. Most third-party verbal material is either confusing or ambiguous and just plain bad in many ways.

Originally posted by Hovkial on 07 Aug 2019, 10:07.
Last edited by Hovkial on 07 Aug 2019, 10:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2019, 10:11
Considering all the components you've mentioned, Your application can be very strong. I recommend that you spend more time on framing the application for R1, yes obviously if you do get a waiver, it's worth a try but think about the odds, your verbal scores of the mock vary a lot, Are you very confident that you'll score a V40 on the test on any given day? If so, surely taking gmat again would make sense. it's a gamble..for a few points of quant, you might loose out a few on verbal i.e if you're saying this verbal is your highest so far. improving/scoring high score on quant section is relatively easy. You might want to consult your admission consultant(if any) or post it on this forum about your chances https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... 4/?fl=menu . Goodluck with your applications. Hope you make it this time :)
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New post 07 Aug 2019, 10:25
Hovkial - That is my hope. I hope that my background and experience will help set me apart in spite of my low Quant score. I believe it demonstrates that I can bring something unique to the program. I will definitely keep in mind your advice about study materials. As of right now, I think I will dedicate a couple hours a day to studying using proper materials like I have been, but I will focus the majority of my effort on preparing my applications.

Abhi077 - My thinking is in line with yours. If the opportunity presents itself where I can retake the GMAT for free, I definitely will do my best to make that happen. In the meantime, I think I will try to focus primarily on my applications with some time spent testing on the side. It all will work out in the end.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 11:19
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Hi bglade,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. A 690 is still a strong Score though - and it may be good enough to get you into your first-choice Program. That having been said, you've named some highly-competitive Schools and your Q43 might be seen as a 'red flag.' As such, 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/

Having to wait 2 hours after your scheduled appointment time to begin your Exam almost certainly hurt your performance on Test Day, but there could have been other factors that might have also impacted your results (either during your studies or on Test Day). If you do choose to retest, then we should do our best to define (and fix) whatever those issues were.

Considering the long list of Schools that you've listed, have you broken them down into application 'groups' (some in Round 1, some in Round 2, etc.)?

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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 12:48
EMPOWERgmatRichC

Thanks for the response! The Q43 is the aspect of the score that is bothering me the most. I did get some feedback from an Admissions Expert who gave me a list of schools that she considered to be in my target zone based on my profile. Several of my top personal choices were still in that list, so I wasn't feeling completely at a loss. I know that schools take a holistic approach to profile evaluation, but that has to be a major red flag like you said.

I'm hoping the 2 hour delay will qualify me for a waiver to retake the exam. If not, I will most likely move ahead with the score I have. Either way I am going to start working on my applications and will make use of the GMAT Club Quant Tests and the Official Mock Tests to analyse my weak areas. I will still keep up with Verbal practice as well.

I only have the Round 1 dates plotted for all of the schools currently.

If I don't retake, I'd most likely be applying the following way (bolded schools are the schools the Admission Expert said are in my target zone):
Yale - Rd 1 (Due Sept 10)
Kellogg - Rd 1 (Due Sept 18)
Haas - Rd 1 (Due Sept 26)
Darden - Rd 1 (Due Oct 4)
Tuck - Rd 1 (Due Oct 7)
Duke - Rd 1 (Due Oct 14)

Carey - Rd 2
Foster - Rd 2
Mendoza - Rd 2
Smeal - Rd 2


Schools cut from list based on GMAT: Harvard, Booth, Ross, Sloan
Schools to still consider for Rd 2: Georgetown and BU Questrom

If I do end up retaking and achieve what I know I'm capable of, then I will have to reconsider my list. I also don't think this list is final. I'll have to see how the application process goes. I don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them.
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2019, 19:24
Hi bglade,

Since it's been a week since you took the GMAT, have you heard anything about receiving a free/discounted retest? What interactions (phone calls/emails/etc.) have you exchanged with Pearson?

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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2019, 02:50
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi bglade,

Since it's been a week since you took the GMAT, have you heard anything about receiving a free/discounted retest? What interactions (phone calls/emails/etc.) have you exchanged with Pearson?

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


Hi Rich,

I've been in email contact with their Customer Service department. They opened a case for me on Thursday evening, so I should hear back about a final decision by close of business this Thursday.

Thanks!
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Re: GMAT 690 (Q43/V41/IR7/AWA5) - Quant not reflective of Practice Exams   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2019, 02:50
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