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GRE "at home" debrief while waiting for the GMAT "at home" edition

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New post Updated on: 20 Apr 2020, 05:54
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Hi everyone,

While I understand that this debrief is a bit off-topic since it is primarily about GRE, I will draw some (subjective) parallels between the two exams. Perhaps, the debrief will be useful for some test aspirants who are currently contemplating between which test to go for in the next few weeks/months.

I have taken the "at home" GRE this morning and got Q155 V155 AWA 4.5

UPDATE: It took 9 days since I toot the GRE at home to receive my official score report that included the AWA score.

My setup.

I did take the test on the MacBookPro that was running Windows 10 via Bootcamp. The windows was empty since I installed it specifically to take the GRE test. I only installed few browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and ETS browser tool) and a password manager. You can download a free official copy of latest Windows 10 from Microsoft website. And here is an official step-by-step guide from Apple support on how to install Windows using Bootcamp. Quick note: make sure to upgrade your MacOS to the latest version prior to manipulating your hard drive via Bootcamp Assistant. This might save you a few hours of time.

I used the scratchpad from Manhattanprep which I bought a while ago to simulate the GMAT experience prior to taking my very first GMAT. Make sure to remove the front page with Manhattanprep printed text to avoid any confusion with proctors from ProctorU. Also, I used fine non-permanent markers from Staedtler.

I began my exam at 7:50am by opening the ProctorU account and starting the exam session. I connected to a proctor within 2-3 minutes. The proctor asked me to show the room as well as the desk using the frontal camera in my cell phone. The proctor asked to put the phone away once I showed the desk. I placed the phone on the dining table that is ~ 10 feet away from my desk. Note, the proctor did ask me whether my scratchpad fulfills the requirements. I said (and printed into the chat box) that I have a laminated scratch pad that can be easily erased with a damp cloth. I also demonstrated that I can clean the scratch pad in front of the camera so that proctor could see it. He took about 5 minutes to confirm that I could use my scratchpad, but then returned back and said "OK, you can use it".

Before I will describe my testing experience, I would like to share the results of the GRE practice tests. Note that I have been preparing for the GMAT from 2018 (you can find my unfinished journey here). I took a 2-3 week break in late December 2019 - early January 2020, but then re-started preparation which included review of quant notes, and Verbal practice. So, I took GRE while preparing for the GMAT, i.e. I was not taking the exam "cold".

Free test #1: Q162 V152. I took my first ever GRE around Christmas in December 2019. I did not prepare for the test at all (I only went through ~40 samples questions to get acquainted with the format of some GRE specific questions). I made 6 or 7 mistakes in Quant and most of them were careless. So, I knew I could do a lot better in Quant. In Verbal, I missed 75% of vocabulary questions, and got about 75% RC and CR problems right.
Free test #2: Q158 V153. I took this test about 2 weeks ago, and I did spend about 10 days preparing for this test. I think I went through about 30 questions in both Quant and Verbal to prepare for the test. Quant performance is low, I made ~ 10 mistakes, 6 of which were super silly... So, I felt that I could do much better in Quant! This time Verbal was very weird. I did well in Vocabulary questions, and totally botched RC and CR...
Free test #1 (retake of the test that I took in December): Q167 V154. I did not remember most of the questions, so it felt like a "new" test for the most part. I was happy to see Q167, but was surprised that ETS algorithm deducted 3 pts for only 2 missed questions (one in each quant section). My Verbal performance was as expected. I answered incorrectly 80% of vocabulary questions, and correctly answered 80% of RC and CR questions.

It is worth to mention that quant felt quite easy in all free GRE practice tests that I took. I have not yet looked into the 2 Paper Tests that are available in the OG from ETS. So, I cannot compare question difficulty between free Online test and free Paper tests.

Real GRE "at home" test.

The two essays felt quite easy. I won't elaborate much on them, but I am confident I typed somewhat around 500-550 words per essays. I followed a famous template for the 2nd, Analyze the Argument, essay.

Overall, Verbal sections felt similar to those in the free practice tests that I took earlier, but Quant was way harder. There were a few easy questions, but I think they did not comprise more than 30% of the total number of math questions. The remaining 70% of the quant questions were not at all easier than those in the GMAT, and some of the questions were quite verbose. I run out of time in all three quant sections: I usually did not have enough time to solve 1-2 questions per section. I have spent quite a lot of time improving my Quant ability in 2019 and I worked with IanStewart, a quant pundit, who enabled me to climb from low Q40s into consistent Q47-Q48 on the GMAT (both practice tests and a real test). Notwithstanding, quant in real GRE kicked my butt. :dazed

Also, the GRE "at home" experience was somewhat enervating because it took about 30 minutes for proctors to login, check my room, computer system, etc. Also, the proctor software glitched during the 10 min break (at least it lagged during the break :D ...) and I had to reboot my computer a couple of times to login back into the ProctorU system. Thanks to mcelroytutoring, I was well prepared for some interruptions and glitches, I just did not know that this extra time will drain my energy... Anyways, once I logged in, I had to wait 10-15 minutes for a new proctor to give back access to the exam. Luckily, the new proctor was friendly and understanding. He just asked to show the room and the desk before allowing to continue the exam after the 10 min (scheduled) + 25ish min (caused by technical glitches) break. So, I started the exam at 7.50am and finished at 1.07pm. I think I spent 5-7 minutes choosing schools and cleaning up the scratchpad. The exam had one experimental section which ended up being Quant.

I cannot say which Quant section was experimental. All I can say is that I was completely exhausted in the last Quant section that started around 12.30pm. Also, I am not a person who uses restrooms often, but I did feel uncomfortable closer to the end of the exam. So, feel free to make your own inferences about the duration of the test.

My thoughts regarding GRE vs GMAT.

Although I did get Q167 V154 on my latest practice test, I wonder whether it was a fluke. Indeed, I drastically underperformed on Quant today, because Q155 is very low for someone who can regularly score Q47-Q48 on the GMAT. It seems that I might be better off going back to the GMAT since I am stronger in SC than in Sentence Equivalence. Despite the fact that I have learned around 600 new words in the last 3 months using Magoosh flashcards, ETS materials, and New York Times articles, I am not a native speaker. And in the last two months I have invested time (with guidance from GMATNinja and IanStewart) into RC and CR both of which are commonly tested in either test. Luckily, GMAC will be making an announcement about the availability of an "at home" GMAT on April 17th, which is around the corner. If GMAC will end up making a 2.5 hour "interim" test (Verbal, Quant, and IR) with one 8 minute break, such GMAT will be almost 2x shorter than the "at home" GRE.

My next step will be to take an official GMAT practice test soon to see where I stand score wise. Even though I took 5 out of 6 tests already, I took some of them in 2018 and mid 2019, so I have forgotten most of the questions anyways. Once I gauge my GMAT level, I will decide on where to invest time. It seems to me, though, that the GMAT is a much better way to go from now on, especially in a short term. :)


P.S. Some people would ask whether I saw opportunities for cheating. Yes, I did. I saw at least few of them and I do not believe a proctor would be able to quickly catch a savvy cheater. However, I hope that the majority of test takers are prudent and will not try to bypass the rules since such impertinent actions might lead to unforeseen consequences for the rest of test takers who are honest...

Originally posted by mykrasovski on 11 Apr 2020, 14:33.
Last edited by mykrasovski on 20 Apr 2020, 05:54, edited 6 times in total.
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New post 11 Apr 2020, 14:42
Thank you so much for posting and sharing! Is that a good score? I am no good with GRE :lol:

But regardless of the score this is super awesome!!! Thank you for the debrief.

PS. I assume you saw LBS and a few others have completely gone away from requiring any test score (not even after admission).

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New post Updated on: 11 Apr 2020, 19:41
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Hey bb, I hope the post will benefit the community.

My score equals 310 Q155 (56 percentile) V155 (68 percentile), which is alright. The score is higher than the average for all 1.6M test takers, but lower than average scores in top-10 US MBA programs that usually have average scores that fall in the range between 325 and 330.

ETS offers a GRE to GMAT conversion tool which is accurate within +-50 points on the GMAT. According to the tool, Q155 and V155 equal Q36 and V32 on the GMAT, respectively. Clearly, my Quant score is incredibly low (my highest official GMAT Quant score is Q47, highest in official prep tests is Q49) while Verbal is on par with my official GMAT scores (I did get Q37-Q39 in official practice tests, though).

I did hear that some of the schools accept applications without GMAT/GRE scores in R3 or extended R3, but I have not seriously considered applying. However, in light of the pandemic situation which will most probably affect international applicants, I wonder whether there is sense in applying to schools for this fall's intake. I observe that a decent proportion of admits consider deferrals. However, schools might start replacing deferred students by promoting waitlisted candidates. At the same time I realize that R1, R2, and R3 in next application cycle will likely be very competitive because of upcoming recession, which seems to be inevitable.

I have not investigated which schools have extended R3 deadlines and waived test score requirements, but perhaps it is worth to do a quick research.

Originally posted by mykrasovski on 11 Apr 2020, 17:38.
Last edited by mykrasovski on 11 Apr 2020, 19:41, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 11 Apr 2020, 17:42
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You can see a summary and a list of all schools that have modified their admissions processes:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/covid-19-out ... 19924.html

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New post 12 Apr 2020, 13:16
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Thanks for the helpful debrief, mykrasovski!

Below are the current ETS GRE percentiles for comparison.

Image

Source: https://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide.pdf

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New post 13 Apr 2020, 09:03
Hi mykrasovkski,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience. If you need any advice regarding your GMAT prep, feel free to reach out. Good luck with things moving forward.
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Re: GRE "at home" debrief while waiting for the GMAT "at home" edition  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2020, 14:55
bb wrote:
Thank you so much for posting and sharing! Is that a good score? I am no good with GRE :lol:

But regardless of the score this is super awesome!!! Thank you for the debrief.

PS. I assume you saw LBS and a few others have completely gone away from requiring any test score (not even after admission).

Posted from my mobile device



Hey bb,

Heres a link for all the average GRE score at top universities. https://poetsandquants.com/2020/03/23/a ... rograms/4/

As you will see the GRE score averages tend to be on the lower side. Its not as easy to score high on GRE as people think.
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New post 15 Apr 2020, 23:36
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bb wrote:
Thank you so much for posting and sharing! Is that a good score? I am no good with GRE :lol:

But regardless of the score this is super awesome!!! Thank you for the debrief.

PS. I assume you saw LBS and a few others have completely gone away from requiring any test score (not even after admission).

Posted from my mobile device



Overall it is a good score. Of course, it also depends where you want to use it or for which purpose.

here we do have ALL the GRE scores at the BS across five continents.

The GRE average score at Top 25 Business Schools 2020 Ed.

here a screen

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New post 16 Apr 2020, 05:29
carcass thank you for your compliment. Indeed, 310 is a decent score, but I was hoping for 320 or so because, when taking into account my performance on the GMAT and some GRE practice tests, I can clearly do much better in quant.

I might re-take the GRE in the coming weeks/months since the online GMAT is a preposterous with its online scratchpad...

Be safe!
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New post 16 Apr 2020, 14:23
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I don't know where the belief got started that GRE is easier than GMAT. It's harder in nearly every way. The vocabulary is very challenging. Yes, you are allowed a calculator, but the math covers more advanced topics and gives you less time per question. You don't have Data Sufficiency, but you do have questions that you have to type in your own answer, and "all-that-applies" questions with no partial credit. You also have less time per question in quant despite the questions being at least comparable in difficulty. If anyone out there is prepping for the GRE thinking you're getting away with something, you're not. It's a harder test. The only reason to take the GRE rather than the GMAT is if you are thinking of applying to programs that don't accept the GMAT and need a multi-purpose test. I keep telling my students who want to take the GRE rather than the GMAT that the GRE is harder. They argue and fight and then after two months tell me they wish they'd listened to me from the start. It's such a bummer.

That said, the at-home set up for GRE sounds better than the at-home setup for GMAT right now. I don't know how people can possibly take the GMAT without a break and without scrap paper.
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New post 16 Apr 2020, 15:40
Lorettagrace thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sounds like you are a tutor who is new to gmatclub?

I agree with everything you mentioned, with one little exception.

I have prepared for the GMAT for a while and can attest that a big majority of quant questions are challenging and not straightforward. One can only go so far using formulas and memorization. Quant questions in the GMAT are often based on concepts which one needs to master to excel and solve a question in 2 - 2.5 minutes. The GRE quant questions, however, are not so difficult, at least in the official prep materials. I have started solving the GRE questions from the ETS Official Guide few weeks ago and was surprised that only hard questions occasionally gave me hard time. This was not the case with the GMAT quant questions, at least for me.

Perhaps, I have mastered majority of topics and do not feel surprised anymore whenever I see a new question, but I cannot explain a massive drop in my Quant score on the "at home" GRE. This is despite the fact that I have scored Q167 on the free practice test. Even when I got a lower quant score on the free practice tests, my mistakes were careless (e.g. 12*2 = 48) and not because I was challenged by most of the questions.

Frankly, many questions in the real GRE felt "GMAT like", meaning that questions were not as straightforward as they were in the official free practice tests. This is my 2 cents.
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New post 16 Apr 2020, 15:58
I've been teaching and tutoring the GMAT and GRE for almost 19 years and have taught over 100,000 students between the classroom and tutoring. My opinion on the relative difficulty of the tests is based on that. It's also based on the real test, and not on the practice questions in the books -- which you seem to be basing your opinion on. You are welcome to hold any opinion you wish to on these exams. I do, however, find it bizarre that you are telling me that you found the GRE to be unusually difficult for you but continue to believe that the GRE is easy. It's a perplexing opinion to have. But as I've stated, it isn't my job to change your mind. Good luck in the future.
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Thanks for sharing! Interesting. I was/am also one of the people who believed GRE was easier.... but I don’t know the GRE and only base it on anecdotal reference and seeing what I saw simpler practice math questions.

PS. How do you compare the difficulty of the two tests by the way? Percentiles? Score required for admission? Competitiveness? Just curious....




Lorettagrace wrote:
I don't know where the belief got started that GRE is easier than GMAT. It's harder in nearly every way. The vocabulary is very challenging. Yes, you are allowed a calculator, but the math covers more advanced topics and gives you less time per question. You don't have Data Sufficiency, but you do have questions that you have to type in your own answer, and "all-that-applies" questions with no partial credit. You also have less time per question in quant despite the questions being at least comparable in difficulty. If anyone out there is prepping for the GRE thinking you're getting away with something, you're not. It's a harder test. The only reason to take the GRE rather than the GMAT is if you are thinking of applying to programs that don't accept the GMAT and need a multi-purpose test. I keep telling my students who want to take the GRE rather than the GMAT that the GRE is harder. They argue and fight and then after two months tell me they wish they'd listened to me from the start. It's such a bummer.

That said, the at-home set up for GRE sounds better than the at-home setup for GMAT right now. I don't know how people can possibly take the GMAT without a break and without scrap paper.


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New post 16 Apr 2020, 16:38
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ari.banerjee wrote:
bb wrote:
Thank you so much for posting and sharing! Is that a good score? I am no good with GRE :lol:

But regardless of the score this is super awesome!!! Thank you for the debrief.

PS. I assume you saw LBS and a few others have completely gone away from requiring any test score (not even after admission).

Posted from my mobile device



Hey bb,

Heres a link for all the average GRE score at top universities. https://poetsandquants.com/2020/03/23/a ... rograms/4/

As you will see the GRE score averages tend to be on the lower side. Its not as easy to score high on GRE as people think.


That article is completely bogus. I do not know where they took the data but they are NOT true.

Instead, I went on EVERY single BS page to check the GRE score and they totally show us a reality wholly different that article shows.

This is the ONLY guide you should trust https://greprepclub.com/forum/the-gre-a ... tml#p42871

Only one datum: they give you the AWA scores. FALSE

The only University in the entire world reveals the AWA score is Wharton. NO one other BS communicates the AWA score they indicate


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https://greprepclub.com/forum/the-gre-a ... tml#p42367
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New post 16 Apr 2020, 16:44
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bb wrote:
Thanks for sharing! Interesting. I was/am also one of the people who believed GRE was easier.... but I don’t know the GRE and only base it on anecdotal reference and seeing what I saw simpler practice math questions.

PS. How do you compare the difficulty of the two tests by the way? Percentiles? Score required for admission? Competitiveness? Just curious....




Lorettagrace wrote:
I don't know where the belief got started that GRE is easier than GMAT. It's harder in nearly every way. The vocabulary is very challenging. Yes, you are allowed a calculator, but the math covers more advanced topics and gives you less time per question. You don't have Data Sufficiency, but you do have questions that you have to type in your own answer, and "all-that-applies" questions with no partial credit. You also have less time per question in quant despite the questions being at least comparable in difficulty. If anyone out there is prepping for the GRE thinking you're getting away with something, you're not. It's a harder test. The only reason to take the GRE rather than the GMAT is if you are thinking of applying to programs that don't accept the GMAT and need a multi-purpose test. I keep telling my students who want to take the GRE rather than the GMAT that the GRE is harder. They argue and fight and then after two months tell me they wish they'd listened to me from the start. It's such a bummer.

That said, the at-home set up for GRE sounds better than the at-home setup for GMAT right now. I don't know how people can possibly take the GMAT without a break and without scrap paper.


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I do not know why the myth GRE is easier is still hard to die.

This test NOT only is very difficult BUT ALSO the verbal part is an overkill. if you pick a double blank 4/5 level or an RC long, they are wayyyyy more difficult than the verbal material on the GMAT side.

Moreover, the GRE is a verbal test not quant. and here is the catch: we communicate and evolve as a species via words, not math symbols. You can buy the trick on quant but NOT on verbal.

Humble and honest opinion.

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New post 16 Apr 2020, 17:08
Lorettagrace my apologies if my tone was too brazen. I expressed my subjective position regarding quant in the GRE and GMAT. Clearly, both exams are tough and I dot not believe that the GRE is an easier exam content wise ; otherwise, many test takers would have been scoring in 90% percentile :) Not sure how you inferred that I thought that quant in the real GRE is easier than that in the GMAT. In fact, I was trying to convey the message that based on my own experience, quant is equally challenging on either exam.

Also, it is great to see that gmatclub attracts experienced tutors and domain experts, the community surely benefits from experts' contributions.

Wish you all the best, too!
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New post 16 Apr 2020, 17:34
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bb, I compare it based on how difficult the questions are, how widespread the content covered is, and how much time per question people have. This is all through my students' eyes. Also, I have a friend who taught GMAT successfully for many years and had 750+ scores on the test, who couldn't break through the 90th percentile in quant in GRE on his first two attempts. If GRE was such a cake walk, you'd think he'd scoot right through it -- right? Put differently, I judge difficulty based on how difficult it is! I don't know how else to phrase that.

mykrasovski thanks for clarifying. I guess it's fair to say that the tests are similar in difficulty level. My main point though is that the GRE isn't easier than GMAT, and many people might actually find it more difficult, if only due to the insane vocabulary it requires. I love how when they revamped the GRE a few years ago they had the chutzpah to say that they were downplaying the importance of vocabulary!
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Lorettagrace wrote:
bb, I compare it based on how difficult the questions are, how widespread the content covered is, and how much time per question people have. This is all through my students' eyes. Also, I have a friend who taught GMAT successfully for many years and had 750+ scores on the test, who couldn't break through the 90th percentile in quant in GRE on his first two attempts. If GRE was such a cake walk, you'd think he'd scoot right through it -- right? Put differently, I judge difficulty based on how difficult it is! I don't know how else to phrase that.

mykrasovski thanks for clarifying. I guess it's fair to say that the tests are similar in difficulty level. My main point though is that the GRE isn't easier than GMAT, and many people might actually find it more difficult, if only due to the insane vocabulary it requires. I love how when they revamped the GRE a few years ago they had the chutzpah to say that they were downplaying the importance of vocabulary!


I totally agree with you bu the vocabulary. For me is more important the meaning of the sentence.

If you have it then you do have a higher probability to pick correct even though you do not have a huge database.

it is not true the other way around.

regards
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New post 16 Apr 2020, 18:01
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Lorettagrace yeah, the Vocabulary part is definitely challenging. However, I am grateful to both exams because I definitely improved my grammar knowledge (kudos to the GMAT) and already learned several hundred of new words (kudos to the GRE). I decided a few months ago that I might attempt the GRE, so I started learning every single new words that I encounter in literature such as The New York Times, The Economist, and so on. :-)
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New post Updated on: 16 Apr 2020, 20:46
Hi mykrasovski, carcass, bb, Lorettagrace
I have a 2 year old GRE score of 325(Q-165:88 percentile, V-160:86 percentile). I have been preparing for the GMAT since March. I've felt that the GRE is an easier test than the GMAT because I believe that it is more test taker friendly. In the GRE you may skip a question/ Review it for later and get back to it at the end. I feel this makes you feel more comfortable when testing compared to the GMAT.

How do you see GRE scores being evaluated for the admissions cycle of 2021?(Considering the issues with online GMAT and potentially many test takers struggling to find dates at test centres due to the inevitable rush post the pandemic). I have always felt that students applying with the GMAT are preferred over the ones applying with the GRE ( I feel that my ding from the Indian School Of Business is partly attributed to this )

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Originally posted by elPatron434 on 16 Apr 2020, 20:34.
Last edited by elPatron434 on 16 Apr 2020, 20:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GRE "at home" debrief while waiting for the GMAT "at home" edition   [#permalink] 16 Apr 2020, 20:34

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