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Intern
Joined: 15 May 2017
Posts: 1

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21 May 2017, 07:16
Hi Everyone
I had my GMAT exam yesterday and results were shocking to say the least.

Let me give you a little background. I am an engineer with a masters degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Rutgers University. For Rutgers grad school, I had to take GRE few years ago and got 85 percentile score.

5 years forward, I am planning to do MBA so I decided to take GMAT. I took a pre preparation CAT and got 580. I am fairly disappointed. So I started studying 2-3 hours a weekday and 8-10 hours each day on a weekend for about two months. I used Kaplan, Manhattan Prep and Barons books. With every passing week, I would take CAT using different sources (Kaplan, Veritas, GMAT software etc, in all I took about 20 practice tests).

After 2 weeks of prep my score raised to 600 and it kept raising till last week when I started scoring in the range of 680-700. I was satisfied with these results as I wanted to do part time MBA and the schools I was focusing, this range was good.

Yesterday was my test day. I took the test. During the math section, few questions made me uncomfortable rest were smooth. English I felt like I was doing really well.

Anyway, after the test, my score came in. I scored 530 , LOL, 44 percentile in quant and 20 something percentile in verbal.

I have no idea how to explain this. I am not here to complain, just want to understand what happened, or rather, how is that even possible? has anyone ever experienced this?
I highly doubt I will take the exam again because after intense prep and practice tests I was averaging 700 anyway so I don't know what else can I do differently. Any thoughts would be appreciated
Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 211
Location: United States (NY)

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21 May 2017, 08:16
Sorry to hear about your disappointing results. I've found that the best thing one can do if this happens is to take a class with an actual instructor next time, versus studying yourself from videos and books. In my opinion the actual physical classes are harder, and you'll get more personal insight and attention.

I suggest you do try again and don't give up, as it sounds like you were well prepared, but a private instructor or class often helps as it sometimes changes way you were/are learning, and that could make a big difference at test time.

Good luck!
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 16972
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21 May 2017, 08:19
Hi. That's quite annoying.... something went wrong for some reason.
What practice tests were you taking. What were your GMAT Prep results? Were they 680+?
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Joined: 19 Mar 2012
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Location: India
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
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21 May 2017, 08:38
Hi. I can feel your pain, but here's a few basic questions.

1. When you say you have used material from Kaplan, Manhattan Prep, and Barron's (did I read that right? Their GMAT material is sketchy at best), what do you really mean? Do you mean you just solved questions, or read the content coursework?

2. Which practice tests were you taking?

3. How did you review your tests?

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Joined: 09 Mar 2017
Posts: 91
Location: Netherlands
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 690 Q45 V40

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21 May 2017, 09:09
Hi Everyone
I had my GMAT exam yesterday and results were shocking to say the least.

Let me give you a little background. I am an engineer with a masters degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Rutgers University. For Rutgers grad school, I had to take GRE few years ago and got 85 percentile score.

5 years forward, I am planning to do MBA so I decided to take GMAT. I took a pre preparation CAT and got 580. I am fairly disappointed. So I started studying 2-3 hours a weekday and 8-10 hours each day on a weekend for about two months. I used Kaplan, Manhattan Prep and Barons books. With every passing week, I would take CAT using different sources (Kaplan, Veritas, GMAT software etc, in all I took about 20 practice tests).

After 2 weeks of prep my score raised to 600 and it kept raising till last week when I started scoring in the range of 680-700. I was satisfied with these results as I wanted to do part time MBA and the schools I was focusing, this range was good.

Yesterday was my test day. I took the test. During the math section, few questions made me uncomfortable rest were smooth. English I felt like I was doing really well.

Anyway, after the test, my score came in. I scored 530 , LOL, 44 percentile in quant and 20 something percentile in verbal.

I have no idea how to explain this. I am not here to complain, just want to understand what happened, or rather, how is that even possible? has anyone ever experienced this?
I highly doubt I will take the exam again because after intense prep and practice tests I was averaging 700 anyway so I don't know what else can I do differently. Any thoughts would be appreciated

Hi there,

Actually 2 months ago I had experienced a similar situation with you, I scored 650+ on my preps and scored 530 on the real test (23Q, 38V). I can really feel your pain there, I feel that I do not want to take the GMAT ever again when I saw that score. After a few days, I decided that I cannot give up as my future is at stake and took a retest a month later and scored a 660, I got (47Q, 35V). I am not entirely satisfied with that score as I am looking for 680+ and considered for another test, but at the very least it restored my confidence.

Here is my personal experience on the day I got that 530 score. I was extremely nervous and thus unable to think properly, I realized I made a lot of mistakes on the 1st 10 questions on the Quant, since then the test only gave me 500-600 level questions and I still got them wrong anyway. I only have 2 hrs of sleep at the time because the thought of the test bothered the hell out of me.

Your preps scores are actually your real potential as it does not involve as much nerves as the real test and is actually a better indicator without any regard in emotional factor of the test taker. Looking at your prep scores, I am sure that you are actually capable on getting your target scores. Please note that the closest prep software to the real test is only GMATprep with Manhattan as the second best in my opinion. I hope this encourages you!

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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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21 May 2017, 14:57

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 plan to take 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?

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Intern
Joined: 02 Oct 2015
Posts: 2

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21 May 2017, 16:27
such a poor initial mock test indicates a poor understanding of concepts. the issue then becomes, can you gasp the concepts.

i will admit 530 is a very low score if you were scoring 680-700. maybe it was a bad test. it wouldn't surprise me the least if you retook the test today and got a 630 (100 point increase). but to get to 700 or close to it, you need a fairly good gasp of the basic concepts.

anyone can score low initially, then memorize a bunch of problems and score 700 on mocks. keep in mind the GMAT test makers continuously browse test prep material and design their questions so overlap is at a minimum.
Intern
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 7

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26 Oct 2018, 04:14
Dear Pals,
I recently retouch GMAT, and it turn out that GMAT Official Practice currently generates suspicious point.
My practice (26Oct2018) show: vs Real GMAT taking someplace May2017
Don't you think GMAT Official Practice made an inflation, and shall we rely on this for performances.

Thanks and Bests Regards.
Senior Manager
Joined: 04 Jun 2018
Posts: 357
Location: Germany
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GPA: 3.6
WE: Analyst (Transportation)

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26 Oct 2018, 07:56
Hey buddy,

Try to identify the reason for this surprise, eliminate potential weaknesses and give the thing another try.
Unfortunately, you are not alone with your perils, but that makes it even more valuable to come out with such an experience.
Many people only see the positive debriefs of GMAT tests that went great and it is important to keep the perspective.

Best regards & good luck,
Chris
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A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated!

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Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4261
Location: United States (CA)

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28 Oct 2018, 17:11
Hi dungnguyenstu,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, your verbal score is based on not only the number of questions you answer correct/incorrect, but also the difficulty of those questions, among other things. Thus, it’s entirely possible to score a V28 when getting 9 questions wrong and a V40 when getting 8 questions wrong.

Furthermore, you must remember that scoring high on GMAT verbal tends to involve using logic and noticing key details. However, it is possible to get some verbal questions right by looking for patterns that you have already encountered in your preparation. Looking for patterns will not always work though, and if the patterns you are familiar with don’t show up in the questions that you see on the actual GMAT, your verbal score will not be very high. So, one possible reason for the difference between your verbal scores on practice tests and your verbal score on the real GMAT is that in your preparation, you did not really learn to do what you have to in order to score high on verbal. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests.

Lastly, Arro44 made a fantastic point; rather than spending timing worrying about the GMAC algorithm, you really should focus on the things you can control, and the number one thing you can control is getting better at the GMAT. If you get to a point at which you can dominate the GMAT, the specifics of the scoring algorithm won't matter because you will have the skills you need to get an amazing score, right?

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Intern
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 7

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30 Oct 2018, 23:25
Thank you for all, sincerely appreciate your supports. I think I would do another shoot before enrolling a prep.
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