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GMAT Practice Test Discrepancies?

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GMAT Practice Test Discrepancies?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2018, 14:45
Hello Everyone -

I've been keeping track of various GMAT practice tests I have been taking. I tried to take an official GMAT practice test from GMAC, but it was unfortunately down, so I opted for the free one from Veritas. I got a 640 on that practice exam with all of my studying. However, I have previously been improving my score 10 points at a time and last week, pulled a practice score of a 700. I started at a 670. However, my IR score has seen improvement - a one point improvement, that is. I've been using Princeton Review and Kaplan practice tests. So now I'm wondering - was all of my prep just a fluke, or was there something going on with Veritas, Princeton, or Kaplan, or maybe there was something else at play?

Thanks
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Re: GMAT Practice Test Discrepancies?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 16:03
Hi jiameiefeng,

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 have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
4) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?

Goals:
5) What is your goal score?
6) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
7) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
8) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
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Re: GMAT Practice Test Discrepancies?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 16:24
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi jiameiefeng,

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 have you studied?
About 60 days
2) What study materials have you used so far?
I have been using a mixture of Crash Course for the GMAT from Princeton Review, Kaplan Premier 2017, the OG 2016, and GMAT for Dummies before all of those.
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
Test 1 (Kaplan): 670, Q44, V35
Test 2 (Princeton): 670, Q46, V37
Test 3 (Princeton): 680, Q47, V37
Test 4 (Kaplan): 690, Q47, V38
Test 5 (Princeton): 700, Q46, V41
Test 6 (Veritas): 640, Q43, V35

4) Did you take the FULL CAT each time (with the Essay and IR sections)?
Yes
Goals:
5) What is your goal score?
740
6) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
September 1st
7) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
Still up in the air. I'm not sure if I'll be using this score for an MBA program or a PhD program
8) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
Harvard (PhD or MBA), MIT (MBA), Boston College (MBA), Boston University (PhD), Bentley University (PhD)
GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13047
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: GMAT Practice Test Discrepancies?  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2018, 19:01
Hi jiameiefeng,

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC (the 2 free CATs, and each of the 2 that come with Exam Pack 1 and Exam Pack 2), but the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly).

From the data you've provided, your best CAT Score (and best Verbal Scaled Score) were both on the same 3rd-party CAT. Based on all of your CAT Scores, I would bet that you have the knowledge to score in the high-600s on the Official GMAT; whether you would actually do that or not (if, for example, you took the GMAT tomorrow) involves a number of variables that we have not discussed yet.

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 various CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 670 +/- a few points). Raising this general level up to a point that you could consistently score 740+ on the Official GMAT will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. This is meant to say that you might need to consider pushing back your Test Date.

Right now, we really need as realistic a CAT Score as we can get. As soon as you can reasonably do it, I strongly recommend that you take one of the Official GMAC CATs and take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss how best to proceed.

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

GMAT Club Bot
Re: GMAT Practice Test Discrepancies? &nbs [#permalink] 06 Aug 2018, 19:01
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