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# I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT

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Intern
Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 7
I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 14:19
So guys today was supposed to be the big day...I prepped intensely for the GMAT and managed to constantly improve...
In the last two weeks I took four official mock exams from GMATPREP:
-700 (Q48 V38)
-710 (Q49 V36)
-710 (Q49 V37)
-730 (Q49 V40)

And today I scored a 640 (Q49 V28)
I don't know what happened, but the first 10 questions in verbal felt way harder than in the mock exams and then I got very nervous and confused, I could not concentrate in the RCs and had like 15 minutes for the final 12 questions where I was forced to guess a lot.
I know it is a blackout and I KNOW I CAN DO WAY BETTER and that I have the real experience now and I will study a lot more for Verbal...BUT
I was gunning for 720 today - until I realized that the percentiles in the mock exams are really off the 2017 percentiles
A Q49 that was a 83 percentile is just a 75 percentile nowadays and I doubt I can improve to a Q50...
Verbal 2017 percentiles have slightly improved compared to the mock percentiles but only for 1 or 2 %

Is it harder to score good in the GMAT nowadays than 5-8 years ago?
What should I do? I took all 6 GMATOFFICIAL CATs... What should be my approach?
Any successful retakers here? Glad for any experience
I am devastated GUYS I NEED YOUR HELP
I know that my score strongly depends on RC and maybe SC but mainly RC I will refresh everything but I really felt ready for today
Senior CR Moderator
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I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 18:14
1
You may find this post useful

https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... 46658.html

The fact that the questions at GMAT test are now harder than previous still remains mysterious. However, those questions from GMATPrep are discussed many times, and many GMATPrep companies tries to copy the logic of those questions. Thus, you could solve those questions easily because you are already familiar with the logic of those questions.

However, those questions in GMAT test bank may be in different logic, so you could get hard to understand them. This could be a reason to explain the score you got.

If I'm wrong, that the real questions in GMAT test are now harder, it supposes that we should study harder to reach the target.
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Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 1903
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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05 Dec 2017, 20:06
128 wrote:
So guys today was supposed to be the big day...I prepped intensely for the GMAT and managed to constantly improve...
In the last two weeks I took four official mock exams from GMATPREP:
-700 (Q48 V38)
-710 (Q49 V36)
-710 (Q49 V37)
-730 (Q49 V40)

And today I scored a 640 (Q49 V28)
I don't know what happened, but the first 10 questions in verbal felt way harder than in the mock exams and then I got very nervous and confused, I could not concentrate in the RCs and had like 15 minutes for the final 12 questions where I was forced to guess a lot.
I know it is a blackout and I KNOW I CAN DO WAY BETTER and that I have the real experience now and I will study a lot more for Verbal...BUT
I was gunning for 720 today - until I realized that the percentiles in the mock exams are really off the 2017 percentiles
A Q49 that was a 83 percentile is just a 75 percentile nowadays and I doubt I can improve to a Q50...
Verbal 2017 percentiles have slightly improved compared to the mock percentiles but only for 1 or 2 %

Is it harder to score good in the GMAT nowadays than 5-8 years ago?
What should I do? I took all 6 GMATOFFICIAL CATs... What should be my approach?
Any successful retakers here? Glad for any experience
I am devastated GUYS I NEED YOUR HELP
I know that my score strongly depends on RC and maybe SC but mainly RC I will refresh everything but I really felt ready for today
You can do (way) better

1. Not being able to concentrate can make even easy questions look difficult.
2. As can time pressure.

3. There are 11(!) experimental questions in verbal. Even the GMAT algorithm doesn't know how tough they are, or even whether they are good questions. Sometimes these can throw you off. Don't let that happen. Focus only on the question in front of you.

4. The percentiles shown in the GMATPrep software do not matter. The scaled (6-51 and 200-800) scores are still reliable, and you can aim for a 720.

5. The GMAT is an adaptive exam, so it is very difficult to say that it is "tougher" or "easier" now. What you're seeing in quant is a change in the competition (more people who are good at quant are taking the test than before). This changes the percentiles, not the scaled scores. Oh and by the way, you are one of those "good at quant" people, and your verbal is much better than your score suggests

6. What do you mean by "I know that my score strongly depends on RC"? Just asking, because the GMAT itself does not prioritize any one type.

Are you going to get your ESR?
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Concentration: Finance, Technology
Schools: CBS '20
GMAT 1: 640 Q43 V35
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2017, 01:54
@128- You will not believe this! I could almost bet my life that I am seeing a GMAT pattern here. This is the 5th post I have read on this issue. People scoring 650+ on GMAT prep and scoring in low 600s and even late 500s. May I ask you something? What was your section ordering? Did you attempt verbal first? In verbal did you get an RC passage in the first ten questions? At any point during the exam did you start to think how you were doing on the exam? Did you take too long on the first 5,10 or 15 questions?

Sorry too many questions but if any of this is you... I might have some tips to help you.
_________________

If you must err, err on the side of hope.

Intern
Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 7
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2017, 03:02
KungFuGmat wrote:
@128- You will not believe this! I could almost bet my life that I am seeing a GMAT pattern here. This is the 5th post I have read on this issue. People scoring 650+ on GMAT prep and scoring in low 600s and even late 500s. May I ask you something? What was your section ordering? Did you attempt verbal first? In verbal did you get an RC passage in the first ten questions? At any point during the exam did you start to think how you were doing on the exam? Did you take too long on the first 5,10 or 15 questions?

Sorry too many questions but if any of this is you... I might have some tips to help you.

Yes I took my verbal first
Yes I had an RC in the first 10 Qs
Yes I thought the whole verbal part that this was not going well
Yes I took too long for the first 5-15 Qs

AjiteshArun
No I did not order my ESR.
With "depends on RC" I mean - My CR and SC mostly were in the 36-44 Range in the GMATPrepmocks. When my RC was above 36 I scored a total of V37+.
Also when I feel really good about RC I save A TON of time

I did not think about the fact with the experimental questions. There might have been some weird Qs that threw me off. Doesn't that make the score more volatile compared to GMATPREP Mocks? Because you have 30 instead of 41 Qs
Manager
Joined: 15 Sep 2016
Posts: 73
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Finance, Technology
Schools: CBS '20
GMAT 1: 640 Q43 V35
I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2017, 03:58
1
@128- Ok this is a pattern. I am not an expert. I just scored 640 myself. But unlike you, my highest score in the mocks was 590. I did score 610 at MGMAT exam without the timer. I think I solved the whole thing in like 5 hours.

SO what is happening here?
1) I know there is lot of useful advice on the forum about taking Verbal first. Infact Veritas prep has done a fantastic article on GMAT tricks called GMATOLOGY. If you get the time, do read it... it is on Scribd. Very well written piece by how GMAT puts traps for us and all. Now I know that Verbal should be taken the beginning but imagine this... you are at the test center. You are taking the exam the first time or a re-taker, so you are in a pressure situation. It only makes sense that you would be unnerved for the first 10-20 minutes. After which you will get the "hang of the test" and will relax. So imagine in that pressure situation you choose the order Verbal. You mess up the first 10 questions. You brain knows this is not good. So you begin to read into your possible score. BIG MISTAKE! Hey, I made that mistake in my mocks too. The best advice I ever heard was... imagine it is a game. you answer 1 question and FORGET it existed. MOVE ON. But like me on the mock, you didn't do that. So you may have messed up even quant and tada!, excuse my saying wtf score.

2) I think the original order makes sense for most people. AWA matters, but is not critical to the score. Sure, towards the end of the exam one is tired and can overlook mistakes on verbal section. BUT imagine the order where you messed up first ten questions because YOU were so nervous. I don't know about you.... but I was pretty nervous in AWA. I barely completed the argument in time. Wrote some words in entire caps. Basically took 30 minutes to settle down.

3) GMAT is a test of nerves. Shock good or bad can unnerve us and throw us off our game. What is a question shock on quant? I don't know. Maybe too many DS questions. What is the single greatest shock for people on Verbal section? Getting RC in first 5 questions. And if that is your first question, 90% people would perform poorly not because we do not know RC but because we did not except it. THINK it shouldn't matter? Let me share a simple example. While I was prepping for IELTS, I read that that the interviewers for speaking section rarely smile or are friendly. I went in expecting the examiner to be stern, contrary to my expectations she smiled a lot, made small talk and I was so thrown off that I scored really bad. I know that is IELTS... this is GMAT. But IMO both are mind games.

You may order your ESR. It is always good to see how you scored in each section and how much time you took. But I think it is more important to know how you may have tripped because of your mind. Sure GMAT test writers intend to throw traps our way and our job is to avoid them. if we can, we will get the best score. So what I am saying that is there may be nothing wrong with you or your exam prep. It may be that you weren't expecting certain things like directly jumping to exam and being exam ready in 1 -2 minutes (the time to read instructions). Most people are not so good with getting into the flow right away. The verbal section with RC in the beginning throws a lot of people off. I heard that complaint at least ten times and people go like I don't know why my score was so low. I think I tripped when my first question was RC. thankfully it was just the mocks. I love it when the Verbal section starts with SC and followed by CR. But then I read some where you cannot win by fighting only the battles you like. You have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I have a feeling just give one more exam, following the original order and you should be good.

That's my 2 cents
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If you must err, err on the side of hope.

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Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2017, 13:23
Hi 128,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

As an aside, the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week. By taking 4 CATs in the last 2 weeks before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' and that kept you from performing your best on Test Day.

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

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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!*****

Intern
Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 7
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2017, 02:06
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi 128,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

As an aside, the process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week. By taking 4 CATs in the last 2 weeks before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' and that kept you from performing your best on Test Day.

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

Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

So I did anything possible to make the GMAT CATs as representative as possible:
I took them all around the same time my real GMAT exam was scheduled.
I avoided gmatofficial questions in this forum and did not reset a CAT.
I did not drink/pause etc. during the exam trying to replicate the real experience.
I did take some of the mocks at home but also some of the CATs in the library (had no problems in terms of noise etc. during the real GMAT)

Besides that, yes I never did the IR/AWA section in my mocks and always started Verbal and then Quant, so I think it does not change a lot.
A burnout might be possible, as the GMAT is really important to me and I felt a lot of pressure...
I consider starting with Quant and the proceed with Verbal due to 20 minutes that I need to settle in the exam....
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Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2017, 02:33
128 , do not worry about the result. I was in a similar situation last time. Seek one-on-one consultation. May be it will help... Best of luck !!
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Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2017, 02:40
128 wrote:
So guys today was supposed to be the big day...I prepped intensely for the GMAT and managed to constantly improve...
In the last two weeks I took four official mock exams from GMATPREP:
-700 (Q48 V38)
-710 (Q49 V36)
-710 (Q49 V37)
-730 (Q49 V40)

And today I scored a 640 (Q49 V28)
I don't know what happened, but the first 10 questions in verbal felt way harder than in the mock exams and then I got very nervous and confused, I could not concentrate in the RCs and had like 15 minutes for the final 12 questions where I was forced to guess a lot.
I know it is a blackout and I KNOW I CAN DO WAY BETTER and that I have the real experience now and I will study a lot more for Verbal...BUT
I was gunning for 720 today - until I realized that the percentiles in the mock exams are really off the 2017 percentiles
A Q49 that was a 83 percentile is just a 75 percentile nowadays and I doubt I can improve to a Q50...
Verbal 2017 percentiles have slightly improved compared to the mock percentiles but only for 1 or 2 %

Is it harder to score good in the GMAT nowadays than 5-8 years ago?
What should I do? I took all 6 GMATOFFICIAL CATs... What should be my approach?
Any successful retakers here? Glad for any experience
I am devastated GUYS I NEED YOUR HELP
I know that my score strongly depends on RC and maybe SC but mainly RC I will refresh everything but I really felt ready for today

Hi 128

I too scored a 650 in first attempt when I was consistently scoring 710-730 in GMATPrep mocks.

I realised that I was really exhausted with the intense preparation, could be the case even with you.
I suggest get your ESR and see where is the real problem in verbal. Guess what, I was assuming that I did pretty bad in CR and ESR showed me the mirror - it was RC that I did terribly bad.

RC can be improved with lots of reading, prethinking and practicing with GMATPrep Question bank. And ofcourse there are many resources.
I prepared RC for the second attempt in this manner and I think I improved quite a bit.

Since your quant is already steady, you could use the Gmatclub tests to improve further to 50!!

Don't be disheartened with this score, I am sure next attempt will be much easier on anxiety as now you know the entire process.

Attempt quant and verbal both with timers, you will improve tremendously.

Also, take a break before getting back to preparation.

Best wishes!
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13064
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2017, 14:00
Hi 128,

From your prior post, there were a couple of 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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!*****

Intern
Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 7
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2017, 02:02
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi 128,

From your prior post, there were a couple of 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

Hey Rich,

So
1) 2/3 days before the exam is just repeated some RC passages and some concepts for SC and quant but no intense learning. On the final day before the exam I just chilled/got in a workout to keep my head free
2) I would say a 7/10 - definitely enough but still a bit nervous
3) 30 Minutes
4) Not really
5) Toilet, then I ate a banana and some nuts and collected my thoughts for about a minute
6) I rushed through quant fairly easily so I had around 8 minutes for the final 3 Qs which I used up
7) YESSS! In Verbal I had roughly about 15 mins for the final 12 Qs
Re: I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT &nbs [#permalink] 13 Dec 2017, 02:02
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# I am devastated!! Need to retake the GMAT

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