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# OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?

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Intern
Joined: 26 Sep 2018
Posts: 2
OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2018, 12:34
I took the Manhattan Cat Exams and scored a 530, 540, and 590 respectively but for the Official GMAT Practice exam i got an unimaginable score: 390. I didn’t get home until late the night before and felt unprepared but I’m not sure what the discrepancy is. Please advise? I've been studying for 4 months now and I'm almost done with a GMAT in-class course but I thought I was progressing until I took my first ever Official GMAT practice exam.
Manager
Joined: 15 Feb 2018
Posts: 195
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2018, 13:11
You seemingly are advancing, going from 530-590 using the same material.
You can't compare tests you are well-prepared for with one for which you were tired, felt unprepared etc. You need the results from a test for which you're properly prepared for comparison purposes.

I would be questioning the efficacy of a GMAT class that doesn't boost you over 600. Question them about that.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13353
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2018, 13:51
Hi Focused21,

To start, the scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, but the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly).

When a big drop in your CAT Scores occurs, you have to consider a number of different variables - and some of those variables can only be defined after you review the questions that you got wrong (and your work/notes for that CAT). The first factor to consider is the number of questions that you got wrong that you COULD have gotten correct. Between the Quant and Verbal sections, there are only 67 questions in total, so you cannot afford to 'absorb' lots of little mistakes. Other factors include where you took your CAT, the time of day, how tired/distracted you were, etc. To receive a realistic Score on a CAT, you have to go to the extra steps of making sure that you are taking each CAT in a realistic fashion (meaning that you take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take them away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.).

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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
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SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2013
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2018, 19:57
Focused21 wrote:
I took the Manhattan Cat Exams and scored a 530, 540, and 590 respectively but for the Official GMAT Practice exam i got an unimaginable score: 390. I didn’t get home until late the night before and felt unprepared but I’m not sure what the discrepancy is. Please advise? I've been studying for 4 months now and I'm almost done with a GMAT in-class course but I thought I was progressing until I took my first ever Official GMAT practice exam.
Maybe you were just tired? From now on, try to avoid taking a GMATPrep under such conditions. Don't "waste" your best tests!
_________________
Intern
Joined: 26 Sep 2018
Posts: 2
OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 08:40
Also, I scored 520, 530, 540 (each 2 weeks apart) and then I scored 590 on my fourth CAT but for some reason its not loading for the percentile info so here are my first 3 CATs

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
I have been studying for the past 4 months, 2-3 hours a day on weekdays and then usually take Fridays off. I take practice exams on Saturdays or Sundays and I usually spend 4-5 hours a day Saturday and Sunday studying if I'm not taking the practice exam and adding to my error log. (My Sherpa GMAT class is usually tuesdays and every other sunday for 3.5 hrs each)
2) What study materials have you used so far? Official GMAT Guide 2019, Official GMAT Verbal Guide 2019, Official GMAT Math Guide 2019, Sherpa GMAT Class packets, Magoosh GMAT App

3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
Q/V Scaled Score/Q/V Est Percentile
CAT 1: Q: 32/22% V: 30/59%
CAT 2: Q: 36/31% V: 27/47%
CAT 3: Q: 37/34% V: 28/52%

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?680-700
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT? As soon as I get the desired score
6)When are you planning to apply to Business School? I don't plan to apply for business school until 2021 but I would like to get the GMAT done as soon as possible as I am trying to apply for Management Leaders of Tomorrow Prep Program by August 2019 which requires a 500 min GMAT score but if you don't score well above that I believe you have to pay for a GMAT course on your own in addition to strengthening your application within the program. (You apply to the program at least a year prior to applying to business school as the program is a year long process from my knowledge)
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
I'm interested in Consortium schools, ideally a top 10 (Interested in MBB.)

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13353
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 12:38
Hi Focused21,

You've given yourself plenty of 'lead time' before you actually 'need' your GMAT Score - which is good. Now that you've defined your timeline and goals, we can take a closer look at your most recent CAT (the 390).

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

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!*****

Manager
Joined: 06 Jan 2012
Posts: 101
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 14:45
Even though my first quant score on GMAT Prep was similar to my Veritas tests, I know that it left me shocked me with how much more abstract it felt compared to Veritas. There were 2 or 3 questions I felt like were more basic reasoning questions rather than math questions - it just felt far less quantitative to me. The next two exams were much smoother for me in the sense that I was better equipped to deal with what came my way and the questions didn't surprise me nearly as much with their presentation, and a lot of the thins I got wrong were due to careless mistakes. Remember, it's not how many questions you get wrong but rather what difficulty level questions that you get wrong which really matter for your score. As AjiteshArun mentioned, it's probably a waste to use the GMAT Prep exams while you are very tired. Good luck and happy studying!
Manager
Joined: 28 Nov 2017
Posts: 133
Location: India
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 15:12
Focused21 wrote:
Also, I scored 520, 530, 540 (each 2 weeks apart) and then I scored 590 on my fourth CAT but for some reason its not loading for the percentile info so here are my first 3 CATs

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
I have been studying for the past 4 months, 2-3 hours a day on weekdays and then usually take Fridays off. I take practice exams on Saturdays or Sundays and I usually spend 4-5 hours a day Saturday and Sunday studying if I'm not taking the practice exam and adding to my error log. (My Sherpa GMAT class is usually tuesdays and every other sunday for 3.5 hrs each)
2) What study materials have you used so far? Official GMAT Guide 2019, Official GMAT Verbal Guide 2019, Official GMAT Math Guide 2019, Sherpa GMAT Class packets, Magoosh GMAT App

3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
Q/V Scaled Score/Q/V Est Percentile
CAT 1: Q: 32/22% V: 30/59%
CAT 2: Q: 36/31% V: 27/47%
CAT 3: Q: 37/34% V: 28/52%

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?680-700
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT? As soon as I get the desired score
6)When are you planning to apply to Business School? I don't plan to apply for business school until 2021 but I would like to get the GMAT done as soon as possible as I am trying to apply for Management Leaders of Tomorrow Prep Program by August 2019 which requires a 500 min GMAT score but if you don't score well above that I believe you have to pay for a GMAT course on your own in addition to strengthening your application within the program. (You apply to the program at least a year prior to applying to business school as the program is a year long process from my knowledge)
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
I'm interested in Consortium schools, ideally a top 10 (Interested in MBB.)

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

Did you do a thorough analysis of the mocks that you took? Maybe there's a pattern where you are going wrong? Analyse them and make an error log. I know it sounds boring but you will see a jump in your score. Since you won't be applying for business schools until 2021, you have ample time but don't push your preparation for too long. And it only makes sense to start with the mocks once you attain a decent accuracy on the questions. How many of them are you getting wrong? Where are you going wrong? These are some of the questions you will need to find the answers to. Don't waste your good mocks!
If possible go for an online course. You'll find reviews on this forum. It will provide structure to your studies. Maybe you are getting the concepts but you fail to apply them?
Re: OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy? &nbs [#permalink] 17 Dec 2018, 15:12
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# OffiGMAT Practice Exam vs. Manhattan CAT Exam, what's the discrepancy?

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