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GMAT Retake Strategy?

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Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 5

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GMAT Retake Strategy? [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2014, 01:01
Hi all,

I took my first official GMAT last weekend and my score was 640 (Q48, V29). My target was to break at least 700, if not more. In practice tests my quant was consistent at Q48, in verbal it ranged about V30-35. Test anxiety played a factor during the test and I personally acknowledged that I won't be able to rule that out completely. I thought I would screw up quant more than verbal since I knew my pace during quant was slower than usual at the beginning. I was expecting to get at least >30 in verbal and was disappointed when I saw my verbal score. I felt the difficulty level was similar to what I'd had in practice tests. I'm guessing that I screwed up in RC and got a few questions wrong in a row. I was disheartened and am still rebounding from the bad experience, but I'm determine to retake GMAT and improve my score. I'm hoping to get some feedback and suggestions from the experts or people who have gone through the same experience here about retake study plans and strategies. Here is my background:

Goal: improve from 640 to >700

-Non-native, background in engineering
-Self-studied for about 3 months using Veritas Prep full set and OG13, in average studied 12 hours/week
-GMAT areas from weakest to strongest: RC -> SC -> CR -> DS ->PS

I'm planning to prioritize in improving my Verbal in my next study and some of the improvement actions I'm going to take is to pick up reading habit, as suggested by bb, to to improve RC and to get MGMAT SC book. I'm also planning to go over and go remaining problems in the Veritas books as I have not exhausted all of them.

My questions are:
1. How long should I study before taking my next attempt?
2. What are the realistic Q & V raw score combinations given my situation to reach 700? I'm thinking to try improving my quant from Q48 to Q49-50 and improving my verbal from Q29 to at least Q37. Thoughts?
3. Should I study an area I'm stronger or weaker at first?
4. Any other tips?

Any feedback would be appreciated! Thank you!

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Joined: 27 Jan 2013
Posts: 230

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GMAT 1: 780 Q49 V51
Re: GMAT Retake Strategy? [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2014, 17:46
Hi Greenious,

I hope you are well. Great job on your Quant! It seems as though you have a really good idea of how to approach this second GMAT preparation. Here are a few things that might help:

1. Some additional and very helpful official GMAT resources: Question Pack 1, GMAT Paper tests (Verbal Only), Official Verbal Review 2nd Edition. In addition here on GMAT club you can find an additional set of old GMAT Paper tests and the GMAT Prep Verbal Question Bank. In general I would stick with Official GMAT Verbal questions. If you run out of official questions or if you want to practice on tougher questions then I would consider LSAT questions but at this point official GMAT verbal is probably your best bet.

2. Reading a challenging article every day is an excellent way to improve you GMAT verbal. To my students I suggest reading the Economist as the difficulty level and range of subjects of the articles is similar to those on GMAT RC passages. It is important to practice being an active reader. This article on using the Economist to improve GMAT Reading Comprehension might be helpful.

3. Your Quant is very solid. Good job on that. If you want to push it higher you might consider the GMAT Club Quant CATs. They are very tough but great practice for people who are already strong in Quant. You could also run through the set of MGMAT Quant CATs.

Getting confidence in your GMAT verbal can take some time. It's tough to put a number of weeks on this because the time you take study depends a bit on how you are improving but if you have time to dedicate to your GMAT studies somewhere in the ballpark of 5-8 weeks seems reasonable. Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Studies,


"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

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If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.


Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work:

Kudos [?]: 253 [0], given: 32

Re: GMAT Retake Strategy?   [#permalink] 12 Apr 2014, 17:46
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