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Got 660, need advise for retaking the test

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Manager
Joined: 22 Feb 2004
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Location: Florida
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22 Feb 2004, 13:50
I took the test last Wednesday, the 18th and was rather surprised and dissapointed with my math score (66th percentile). My verbal score was pretty good (89th percentile). I had been reviewing math concepts for a few months and started doing a practice test every day for the past 2 weeks, expecting that my the 18th I would be ready for the math part. Unfortunately when test day arrived I didn't feel that confident that I could look at a problem and figure it out while under pressure. Data sufficiency problems were giving me particular difficulty.
When I finally took the test I felt like I got almost all of the questions right until the last 6 when I ran out of time. There were only 3 other questions that I found to be puzzling.
I was literally shocked when I saw that I got such a low math score. Now I realize that I should have been doing problems from the OG instead of the prep books. I waited till 3 days before the test and did the 2 powerprep tests, and also did some problems from the OG.
My tentative plan now is to go through the OG from beginning to end and try to get my mind to think about solving these problems and data sufficiency questions. Does anyone have any other advise for me?
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22 Feb 2004, 19:10
Max, where are you at in Florida? Maybe we could get together and study sometime if you're nearby. I have my February score posted above, but am not applying this year because I would like to try out the job market, and probably need experience if I'm to be competitive with the top schools.

I don't know that I will take the GMAT again, but if I do it would be great to study with someone. I don't think that going through the entire OG is a bad idea, but it might indicate some negative thoughts about your performance. That you want the sun, the moon, and the stars to be in alignment before you take the test again. That might be a lot of pressure on yourself and a surefire set-up for disappointment.

Unless the 200 dollars (which is a lot) is too much to fork over, you might want to give it another shot late next month. If you don't score well the performance won't hurt you and you'll have familiarity with the routine and the test center. You might well be pleasantly surprised.

And by the way, congratulations on a very good score. Let me know if you're near Orlando, I go to Rollins College and might give the GMAT one more go.
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Paul

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24 Feb 2004, 08:08
I am in Coral Gables, which is just south of Miami, so unfortunately I don't think we will be able to study together. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts on my situation.

You are correct that I do have some negative thoughts. I spent a lot of time doing practice math questions, but for some reason cannot seem to make one mistake or another when I'm under pressure. I read in Kaplan that the approximate breakup of the exam is 22 problem solving and 15 data sufficiency, so I've started doing that many problems in the OG and have been timming myself so I can hopefully perform better on the test date.

Is this going to be your first year in the job market? I have been working for about a year and was surprised to see that most applicants have so much work experience. Thanks again for your advice.
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24 Feb 2004, 16:55
Yeah, it's going to be my first year on the job market. I'm graduating from undergrad in May, and kind of have to fend for myself. I'll send out my resume and see how it works out.

Good luck on the retake. I'm sure you'll do great. When I finished my first test, I remember being so relieved that it took me another five months to get back to a test center. It wasn't worth the wait for me personally. You sound like you're already getting some work in directly after the test. It'll pay off.
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Paul

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28 Feb 2004, 13:33
First off congratulations on your score, I am sure you will improve with just a few weeks of study.

I am shooting for a similar score, my biggest problems seems to be reading comprehension. If you don't mind me asking, what techniques did you use as well as which resources.

Thanks,

wiseguy
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02 Mar 2004, 10:45
Wiseguy, I did not use a lot of official study guides for the reading comprehension. I read the kaplan strategy but did not find it very helpful. I found that in order to fully understand the passage you can't just skim it and get the general idea as the kaplan strategy indicates. While you do not have to understand every little detail it is extremely important to understand why examples were introduced and you have to have a fairly good understanding of what the author is saying. If at all possible you should try to become interested in what you are reading and try to make it relevant to you as doing this will make the passage easier to understand.

In order to prepare for the reading comp and critical reasoing I have been reading the newspaper as well as numerous online articles. Most of the articles I've read take a position on a controversial issue and while I'm reading I evaluate the author's argument and the examples he uses to prove his point. I also read a novel for about 45 minutes before going to bed.

Besides doing these things, I also made sure to understand the types of questions I'm going to be asked about the passage during the gmat. You can find the questions types in most of the gmat prep books. I did a few practice tests from kaplan, arco, the online princeton review, and powerprep to make sure what I was doing was working. I hope this information is helpful.
02 Mar 2004, 10:45
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