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Really need some advice...Should I RETAKE??

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Joined: 16 Jul 2005
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Really need some advice...Should I RETAKE?? [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2005, 22:09
Hi Guys,

Let me start of first by saying that all you folks who went from 500-600+ to 700+ deserve my utmost admiration and respect.

Unfortunately, I am not in that 700+ club yet. I signed up for the exorbitantly priced KAPLAN course and I thought it was a pretty good course and the online material was quite excellent. I guess my strategy for GMAT preparation really pales in comparison with some of the members of this forum. I did at most 3 CAT tests-kind of haphazardly, section by section and not quite full-length to simulate the real exam. Randomly did questions from the online course and accompanying books, some timed some untimed. I tried not to overestimate myself in the Quant section even though I was an engineering major. So, I was SO SHOCKED when I got a miserable 38 on Quant and 41 on Verbal. HUH????!!!! My overall was 650.

I am targeting U of Chicago Part-Time Prg (no Harvard or Wharton or Kellogg) and maybe Fuqua and UC Berkeley. Chicago's my first choice though. I am in the lower range of their 80% GMAT scores but of course, in the lower range.

On the test day, I thought I was pretty well-prepared, having done about 3/4 questions on the KAPLAN 800, none on OG (I know, GASP!!!), and of course the KAPLAN online materials that I had signed up for. BUT I FROZE ON THE QUANT! I mean, I had trouble calculating 0.4/0.002. I KNOW RIGHT??!! The frustrating thing is this...when I stepped out of the room, I instantly knew how to solve the more difficult questions I had missed. Oh boy!

So, although I am a little burnt out and discouraged from my first attempt, I do want to consider retaking. Can anyone advice me on crafting out a better prep strategy for my second attempt? How long shall I wait before retaking? I know I shouldn't wait too long so that I can at least keep the test experience fresh in my head. How can I improve on Quant and curb my anxiety? Did I underprepare? I just feel so pressured to ace the Quant and ended flunking that and outperforming my expectations in Verbal. Super weird.

Finally, thanks to all 600-700+ GMAT superstars in this forum who has inspired me to even think about retaking. I was ready to give up. ANy advice would be greatly appreciated.
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New post 17 Jul 2005, 22:44
Hi Chicagogal, the first thing I would say is that you should definitely retake the test. Given that your verbal is already VERY good and that you were a quant-inclined type of person, the lower quant score was only the result of under-preparation.

Indeed, 3 CATs is clearly not enough because you need to build up your stamina and really put yourself under real test conditions. This means either timing yourself while doing paper tests or else doing full-length CATs. In total, I must have done over 10 CATS and 10 paper tests prior to taking my exam. Well, my case could be a bit of a stretch but it's just to emphasize how important stamina building is. You should contemplate doing 1 CAT or paper test per day and then spend about 1 hour correcting your errors and really understanding what went wrong. This is true so especially for verbal but given your innate strength in it, you should focus your effort on quant. You could try the plug-in method or backsolving if you like but try to at least fully work out a few problems so that you broaden your GMAT problem solving skills.

I would recommend you to reschedule your exam within the next 3-4 weeks so as to give you enough preparation time for quant and your lucky in that a lower quant score can much more easily be overcome. Try to actively participate in the gmatclub quant forum and solve as many problems as you can. Join the free bi-weekly gmatclub math challenges and you will definitely see an improvement. While doing those tests, you will realize how those challenges are tougher than actual GMAT quant problems but hey, there's nothing wrong about working twice as hard now and realizing how easy the exam is :)

Last but not least, if you need some inspiration, go over the "share your experience" stickies and see what old-time veterans gave as advice and follow what they did. You clearly have the potential to get 700+ and it is just a matter of being adequately prepared.

PS. The OG might not be necessary for you given that your verbal is already very strong and that the OG quant section might be a bit too easy compared to the current GMAT. I believe just solving questions from this forum and getting maybe Kaplan800 would be sufficient. Good luck and get back to us with good news.

Best Regards,


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New post 20 Jul 2005, 20:15
I agree with Paul- prepare for real this time and re-take the test.

  [#permalink] 20 Jul 2005, 20:15
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Really need some advice...Should I RETAKE??

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