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GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)

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GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Aug 2018, 10:08
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I am an Indian Male of age 25 working in a Central & State Government Undertaking. I am dealing with Procurement, Tenders, Project Planning & Legal in my organization. I am a graduate in Civil Engineering from a decent National Institute of Technology in India. There will be a lot of references to the Indian education system here. So, brother from another country, please pardon me for that.

It all started in March 2018 when I was done with my CAT, XAT, etc. (Basically Indian version of GMAT. A lot less flexible & a lot tougher though) and ended up with no more than 90%ile in any of these exams. I blame my foresight for not predicting that my current job would turn out to be so monotonous & boring. Had I been aware, I would have prepared at least a bit for the CAT that year. A part of me was also in regret for not opting for an IIM (Indian Ivy) straight out of the college when I had the convert. Nevertheless, I knew that my work experience had already crossed the 2 years mark and that would open up a box of new opportunities in business education at national & international level. The downside is that my work-ex would be close to 4 years by the time take admissions, if I chose to repeat CAT, XAT, etc. again. A number of 'experts' started to advise me about 1 year MBA. Now, since my country preference has been & will always be India, the natural choice was ISB. Although the average GMAT score for ISB is close to 710, I set a target of 750 for myself since the risk of not getting an MBA admit this year was not something I could afford.

My first diagnostic test was on GMATPrep Software in April 2018. The 680 displayed on my screen after this test gave me confidence & strengthened my resolve for keeping 750 as my target score. It was a Q49 & V33 split with IR 5.5. I am accustomed to much harder quant thanks to my Indian legacy and could easily deal with GMAT quant. My obvious choice was to work on my verbal score. I started off with MGMAT SC since SC is the easiest topic to improve for non-native speakers, or so I have heard. My scores started improving in SC but I noticed that I was not doing well in CR either. Powerscore CR was of great help for this. My CR also improved up to a good extent in a short while. I started hitting an accuracy of up to 75%. But my preparation was extremely slow. I used to study for about 2-3 hours per week. Further, my preparation was limited to solving some Veritas prep questions along the way apart from the SC & CR books. I didn't even touch OG yet. Then everything changed in the first week of July when I booked my GMAT appointment. I realized that 250$ is a lot for a middle-class Indian to waste for nothing and suddenly had this urge to study. I started going the Quant Review/Verbal Review & the OG. I used to solve around 20 questions per day along with studying the usual theory from MGMAT SC & Powerscore CR. By the time I was within the last 2 weeks before GMAT appointment, I was done with the Quant & Verbal review as well as the MGMAT SC & Powerscore CR. I appeared for my first mock with a decent amount of preparation. Let's review my mock scores till that date:

i. GMATprep 1, April 2018 before preparation: 680 (Q49 V33)
ii. MGMAT Mock 1, June 2018 after brief study: 670 (Q46 V35)
iii. GMATprep 2, July 2018 after decent amount of study: 730 (Q 50 V 39)


This was the test when my confidence soared up. The score was pretty close to my target. This assurance that the 750 score is achievable was a euphoric realization for me. I went full throttle with the GMAT preps after that. I completed almost all the 'Hard' OG questions within that 2-week time span & attempted 4 more mocks. My scores in these 2 weeks are mentioned below:

i. GMATprep 3, last week of July: 760 (Q50 V41) (Wow! I was on cloud nine!)
ii. GMATprep 4, first week of August: 690 (Q51 V31) (This was a shocker. My experiment with the changes in section order resulted in a disaster. I had severe time management issues with Verbal. No more experiments. Not to mention the failed energy drink experiment. The drink didn't suit me. Period.)
iii. GMATprep 5, first week of August: 700 (Q51 V33) (Again a shocker. The section order was right this time but it was just a bad day. I was too much exhausted from work and started my mock at 11:00 PM. The same issues with time management in verbal section happened again.)
iv. GMATprep 6, 2 days before appointment: 730 (Q49 V40) (I couldn't believe my Quant scores. I had only 4 incorrect questions out of 31. It was just bad luck I guess. But my verbal scores were back on track with no time management issues this time.)

My IR scores were in the range of 7-8. So, there wasn't much to worry about. My Quant scores were also quite reassuring. I knew that under normal circumstances, Q50-51 would be almost inevitable. Verbal was the only worrisome section. One thing I will always regret is not being able to use my error logs effectively. Although I had an error log of incorrect questions comprising of over 100 questions from Verbal & Quant each, I never really analyzed it carefully. A prime reason behind my good quant scores was the Manhattan Advanced Quant. It's a must have book for people aiming Q50/51.

Finally it was the D-day. 11th August, 2018. Here it comes:

It was a bright and beautiful day. I woke up at 9:30 am and had an appointment at 1 PM. I had some lite Indian breakfast at 10:30 and picked up some nuts for the testing center. Didn't dare repeating the energy drink fiasco that happened during my mock test. Anyways, I was at the test center by 12 PM. I admit that I was a bit nervous, not because of the GMAT itself but because my passport included included my middle name which was not reflected in the GMAT Appointment. And the stories I read about being denied the exam due to such naming errors made me extremely nervous. Thankfully the test administrator was a decent and humble guy and didn't create a big issue out of it. He knew how the Indian system works.

I went inside the testing room. It was a small cabinet with not much space. The marker was a bit dried and didn't work as well as expected but in the end, the overall testing experience was not so bad. I started off with my verbal section. I knew I had to be fast. My speed had failed me numerous times in verbal. Somehow I managed to solve the first 18/36 questions pretty fast with decent accuracy I guess. Then came the 20 minutes of my time I still regret. I spent too much time on the thrid quarter of my verbal section. I barely had 10-12 minutes for the last 10 questions. I knew at that time that I had **** up again. The best I could do is rush through some tougher questions, hoping that the easier ones will be correct. Alas, it was all in vain. My last quarter's accuracy was worse than ever. I will let my attached ESR explain it to you.

I came out feeling bad. I had some water, visited the washroom and got back to the testing room, gearing up for a Q51. My quant section was the smoothest ride ever. That's all I can say. I solved it within 50 minutes or so and spent the last 10 minutes just idling around with 1-2 questions. I knew I had done well, but getting ALL the qustions correct is something I never expected. Nevertheless, I came out again. Had some nuts & water and went back to the testing room. The first question in IR had me stumped. I skipped it after wasting 3-4 minutes on it. Rest of the questions were pretty ok. I didn't have much trouble with IR either. As for AWA, let me clarify this first, I didn't really prepare for it. I had written a total of 2 AWA during my prep and scored 5.5 & 6 as per some automated graders. So, this section wasn't worrisome either. I managed to put together a decent AWA in the actual GMAT and submitted it a couple of minutes short of 30. Here is the score that was displayed upon hitting submit:

GMAT 720 (Q51 V35) IR8 AWA 5.0.

I knew that considering the goofup I had during my verbal section, this score was pretty decent. But still, i was feeling a little down. I still know that I can cross the 750 mark. Anyways, I came out of the testing room. For a few moments, I forgot that I had to accept/reject the score. I grudgingly hit the accept button and came out.

For those still studying for the GMAT, mocks are very important. General test taking strategy can get you a 30+ score improvement. Don't neglect this important aspect.

Anyways, I am still contemplating a retake. I will most probably go for the retake after being done with R1 for ISB. And I will aim for international B-Schools after the retake. For the experienced folks, please do read my ESR and help me decide upon the retake.

Thank You.

PS- Credits to:

i. GMATclub for the awesome forums & tests.
ii. Manhattan GMAT for the nice book on SC & a great book on Advanced Quant.
iii. Powerscore for an excellent book on CR.
iv. An understanding boss for allowing me to take enough time off to prepare.
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Originally posted by tush1992 on 14 Aug 2018, 09:43.
Last edited by tush1992 on 22 Aug 2018, 10:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 09:57
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Hi Tushar,

Most of your mock scores are in the range of 690-730. Only in one mock test you scored 760. So I wouldn't take that as a measurement to retake.

If you had scored 740+ in all mocks and got 720, then yeah.

And also keep in mind that the scores vary +/-30 points from your mock.

Again, retaking the test after 720 is a personal choice. If you want to get that extra 20-40 points that would significantly improve your chances in your target school, you can obviously retake it.

All the best and congrats on a good score.

Regards,
GNPTH.
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 11:42
Many Congratulations tush1992 on the score !

Damn that quant section of the ESR :dazed

Wish you all the best for R1 ISB and if in case you happen to retake. :thumbup:
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 15:10
Congratulations tush1992. This is an awesome score. I won't retake if I was in your shoes but it's left to you to decide what the next step is. Man, you crushed that quant session. Welldone! At what point in your prep did you use @MGMAT's advanced quant book. I have one and I plan to use it towards the end.

All the best with your application.

Cheers!
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 05:28
Congratulations tush1992 on outstanding score :-)

mcelroytutoring Here is Q51 with all correctly answered. ESR attached
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2018, 06:58
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Hi tush1992,

Nice score! Now we know that 720 is the maximum composite score that correlates to a V35, since you answered all 28 counted questions correctly on Quant (impressive).

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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2018, 01:21
Gnpth wrote:
Hi Tushar,

Most of your mock scores are in the range of 690-730. Only in one mock test you scored 760. So I wouldn't take that as a measurement to retake.

If you had scored 740+ in all mocks and got 720, then yeah.

And also keep in mind that the scores vary +/-30 points from your mock.

Again, retaking the test after 720 is a personal choice. If you want to get that extra 20-40 points that would significantly improve your chances in your target school, you can obviously retake it.

All the best and congrats on a good score.

Regards,
GNPTH.


Hi GNPTH,

Thank you so much for responding. I was more concerned about my verbal score than the overall score. V35 looked too low for the amount of preparation I put in. Anyways, you are right about the 720 being close to my mean score. I was lucky to have gotten a top score in Quant. Nevertheless, I hope that the 720 will get me an admit in R1. Else, GMAT retake seems like the best possible way to get a spike in my profile in such a short time.
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2018, 01:24
sudarshan22 wrote:
Many Congratulations tush1992 on the score !

Damn that quant section of the ESR :dazed

Wish you all the best for R1 ISB and if in case you happen to retake. :thumbup:


Hi Sudarshan,

Thanks buddy. I was just as much amazed upon seeing the ESR. Let's see what happens with the ISB R1.
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2018, 01:31
funsogu wrote:
Congratulations tush1992. This is an awesome score. I won't retake if I was in your shoes but it's left to you to decide what the next step is. Man, you crushed that quant session. Welldone! At what point in your prep did you use @MGMAT's advanced quant book. I have one and I plan to use it towards the end.

All the best with your application.

Cheers!


Hi funsogu,

I know that prepping up for the exam again can be a pain. Let's hope I won't need to do so. I used the Advanced Quant book between week 3 & week 1 before my appointment. I didn't go through all the chapters, just the first 4-5. Again, it is imperative to repeat that the book must be used only if you are already comfortable with Quant basics and are scoring in the range of 48-50. Such a book will strengthen that Q50 score and push you towards a Q51.
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Re: GMAT 720 (Q51 V35). 40 Points Below Mock Score, Retake? (ESR Attached) &nbs [#permalink] 17 Aug 2018, 01:31
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