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GMAT to GRE to T15

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Joined: 18 Nov 2014
Posts: 5
GMAT to GRE to T15  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2018, 08:45
Hi all,

I would like to share my experience to the GMATclub community because the community was so helpful to me during my test preparation. My story is humbling, but I believe it represents many of our GMAT struggles.

My background:

33 years old
Army helicopter pilot
BA Economics from a state school
3.1 GPA
3 years volunteer experience with large non-profit

My story:

I began studying for the GMAT in September 2015. I purchased the Manhattan prep Live Course and completed all requirements of the program. I figured that if I followed the syllabus and put in the necessary time, my GMAT score would end up at least in the 80th percentile. I was mistaken; regardless of how much time and energy I invested, my score didn't improve. To give you an idea of my lack of progress, here is my initial practice test history:

9/19/2015: Q39 V32 590 (Manhattan Prep)
10/31/2015: Q37 V24 590 (Manhattan Prep)
11/29/2015: Q37 V29 550 (Manhattan Prep)
04/02/2016: Q37 V35 600 (Manhattan Prep)

I knew that I needed a more competitive GMAT to get into a T15 program, so I decided to continue studying before taking the actual test. I re-read all of my Manhattan prep books, and I purchased and read the Veritas prep books and the PowerScore critical reasoning book. I read a post on one of the GMAT club forums that mentioned how people typically perform better on actual test day than their practice test days. I figured that I would perform well and score much better than my 600 practice test. I was wrong: I took the official GMAT on 04/19/2017 and scored a 610 (I cancelled the test and can't remember the breakdown). Later in 2016, I met a new work colleague who recently took the GMAT with tremendous success. He attributed his success to the GMAT club question bank. The GMAT club question bank breaks down the problems into difficulty level (sub-600 level, 600-700 level, and 700 level) and problem category (combinations, remainders, sequences, etc). I can't post links on this post, so if you would like the links please message me. If you would like to read my colleague's strategy, search the GMATclub forum for Hully205. I used my colleague's study strategy, solving hundreds of problems in what I was certain was the solution to my low GMAT issue. I took an official GMAT practice test and scored a 660. This score was a huge jump from my previous practice test and official GMAT, and I felt like I was finally on the right path. I thought that surely I would score even higher than 660 on the next official GMAT, but again I was wrong. On 06/05/2017, I was shocked to see another 610 pop up on the screen. I immediately cancelled the score and was incredibly disappointed. The second test was my last shot until November because I was leaving for a training exercise and then deploying to the middle east for three months.

I lost hope for a while because I thought there was no way I could put in any additional effort or study any more efficiently. Another one of my friends suggested that my standardized test taking skills may not be well suited for the GMAT and that I should try the GRE. Most of the subjects I learned on the GMAT were applicable to the GRE. The only additional subject I had to add to my studies was the GRE vocabulary. I spent the next 5 months memorizing thousands of GRE vocabulary words and refreshing my quant, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning skills; sentence correction is not on the GRE. I used the Magoosh program for this round of studying. I wish I would have found Magoosh sooner because it was inexpensive and comprehensive (every single one of Magoosh's problems comes with a detailed description of how to answer the problem). I returned from overseas and took a GRE on 11/20/2017. I scored a 161V 159Q AW4.5. Poets and Quants posted an article with the average GRE scores at top business schools, and I was pleased to see that my GRE score appeared to be much more competitive than my GMAT score. I felt pretty good about my first GRE, but I felt like I could do better. At this point, I had nothing to lose so I decided to take it again. I tested again on 12/30/2017 and scored a 168V 157Q AW4.0. I was excited to see such a high verbal score, but I was disappointed to see my quant and AW scores decrease. However, my overall score was higher and I was running out of time for the second round of applications, so I decided to stick with this score. In the end, my GRE score was enough to gain an admittance from one T15 and one T20 program.


- If I had to do it all over again, I would have mainly used Magoosh and the GMAT club question bank. I found it so helpful to try a problem and then see the multitude of ways other people approach the same problem. You can also ask questions on both forums.
- I would have used my colleague's study strategy from the beginning. I noticed a big change in my awareness of the many different types of test problems
- Sometimes we need to adjust our strategy and not just spend more time and energy doing the same thing
- For veterans specifically, service to school membership (free) provides you with huge discounts on test prep material
- Change your plan, but don't quit
User avatar
Joined: 01 Aug 2017
Posts: 21
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
GPA: 3.33
WE: Asset Management (Accounting)
Re: GMAT to GRE to T15  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2018, 19:17
Hi. congratulations on your great success. You sure seem to have put on a lot of efforts. On the scale on 10 , How would you like to rate GRE quant in comparison with GMAT's?

Sent from my SM-G955F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Joined: 18 Nov 2014
Posts: 5
Re: GMAT to GRE to T15  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 19:30

Thank you!

I would say the GRE quant is much easier than the GMAT quant. If the GMAT quant were a 10 difficulty, I would say the GRE quant is a 6 difficulty.
GMAT Club Bot
Re: GMAT to GRE to T15 &nbs [#permalink] 30 Apr 2018, 19:30
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