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Should I retake the GMAT

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GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V37
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Should I retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2018, 22:51
I took my second GMAT test today and got a 680 (Q48, V35), which was lower than my first attempt of 690 (Q48, V37). I felt pretty bad today for quant, as I got a probability question right at the start which I couldn't solve, and it significantly reduced my confidence. I wasn't too worried at the end though, as I took an official CAT prep (new one, no repeats) last weekend and scored 730 (Q49, V41) and I spent the last few weeks looking through my errors and some strategies and concepts, so I went into the verbal section hoping that it would pull up my overall score. I was pretty confident afterwards and I thought I did pretty well, at least no worse than my last prep. The last few CR questions were really tough and I thought that I must have done something right. My time management was better this time too, finishing the section right on time, and I didn't rush through any questions. There were a few questions that I narrowed down to two choices, and I always took extra time to decide between the two. I was really shocked to see I only scored V35, and I immediately cancelled my score.

I'm waiting for my ESR now, but I can't for the life of me decipher why I did so poorly for verbal. Perhaps I was lucky to score V41 in my last prep, and my real capability is around V35-37, which is the typical range for my preps and my last exam. But that would also mean that I did not improve at all over the last 2 months, since I got V36 at the start of July, when I did my first prep. I'm bothered a lot more by this, since 690 should be comfortable enough to land me at one of the schools on my list. I'm really disappointed by the fact that despite numerous months of studying and having gotten a score of 730 in the mock, I was not able to do it in the real test.

It's easier to accept this score if I've never scored above 700 before under any circumstances. Having done that, I felt a sense of void for not able to crack 700 in the actual test. I've been losing sleep over this and probably will never forgive myself for not having release my full potential. Should I retake GMAT just for my sanity?
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New post 30 Aug 2018, 00:28
nilsinelabore wrote:
I took my second GMAT test today and got a 680 (Q48, V35), which was lower than my first attempt of 690 (Q48, V37). I felt pretty bad today for quant, as I got a probability question right at the start which I couldn't solve, and it significantly reduced my confidence. I wasn't too worried at the end though, as I took an official CAT prep (new one, no repeats) last weekend and scored 730 (Q49, V41) and I spent the last few weeks looking through my errors and some strategies and concepts, so I went into the verbal section hoping that it would pull up my overall score. I was pretty confident afterwards and I thought I did pretty well, at least no worse than my last prep. The last few CR questions were really tough and I thought that I must have done something right. My time management was better this time too, finishing the section right on time, and I didn't rush through any questions. There were a few questions that I narrowed down to two choices, and I always took extra time to decide between the two. I was really shocked to see I only scored V35, and I immediately cancelled my score.

I'm waiting for my ESR now, but I can't for the life of me decipher why I did so poorly for verbal. Perhaps I was lucky to score V41 in my last prep, and my real capability is around V35-37, which is the typical range for my preps and my last exam. But that would also mean that I did not improve at all over the last 2 months, since I got V36 at the start of July, when I did my first prep. I'm bothered a lot more by this, since 690 should be comfortable enough to land me at one of the schools on my list. I'm really disappointed by the fact that despite numerous months of studying and having gotten a score of 730 in the mock, I was not able to do it in the real test.

It's easier to accept this score if I've never scored above 700 before under any circumstances. Having done that, I felt a sense of void for not able to crack 700 in the actual test. I've been losing sleep over this and probably will never forgive myself for not having release my full potential. Should I retake GMAT just for my sanity?
That 730 is a reliable estimate of what your ability, as there were no "repeats" on that test. So, if I were you, I'd take it again (especially if I had a couple more 700+ scores on the GMATPreps). That said, keep in mind that a 690 is itself a very good score, so you may not really need to take the GMAT again (especially if the rest of your profile is strong).
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GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V37
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2018, 00:56
AjiteshArun wrote:
nilsinelabore wrote:
I took my second GMAT test today and got a 680 (Q48, V35), which was lower than my first attempt of 690 (Q48, V37). I felt pretty bad today for quant, as I got a probability question right at the start which I couldn't solve, and it significantly reduced my confidence. I wasn't too worried at the end though, as I took an official CAT prep (new one, no repeats) last weekend and scored 730 (Q49, V41) and I spent the last few weeks looking through my errors and some strategies and concepts, so I went into the verbal section hoping that it would pull up my overall score. I was pretty confident afterwards and I thought I did pretty well, at least no worse than my last prep. The last few CR questions were really tough and I thought that I must have done something right. My time management was better this time too, finishing the section right on time, and I didn't rush through any questions. There were a few questions that I narrowed down to two choices, and I always took extra time to decide between the two. I was really shocked to see I only scored V35, and I immediately cancelled my score.

I'm waiting for my ESR now, but I can't for the life of me decipher why I did so poorly for verbal. Perhaps I was lucky to score V41 in my last prep, and my real capability is around V35-37, which is the typical range for my preps and my last exam. But that would also mean that I did not improve at all over the last 2 months, since I got V36 at the start of July, when I did my first prep. I'm bothered a lot more by this, since 690 should be comfortable enough to land me at one of the schools on my list. I'm really disappointed by the fact that despite numerous months of studying and having gotten a score of 730 in the mock, I was not able to do it in the real test.

It's easier to accept this score if I've never scored above 700 before under any circumstances. Having done that, I felt a sense of void for not able to crack 700 in the actual test. I've been losing sleep over this and probably will never forgive myself for not having release my full potential. Should I retake GMAT just for my sanity?
That 730 is a reliable estimate of what your ability, as there were no "repeats" on that test. So, if I were you, I'd take it again (especially if I had a couple more 700+ scores on the GMATPreps). That said, keep in mind that a 690 is itself a very good score, so you may not really need to take the GMAT again (especially if the rest of your profile is strong).


Thanks for the comment.

My last prep of 730 was the first time that I actually cracked 700. My highest prep before that was the first one (680). In terms of application, I'm planning to go to HKUST since it's much cheaper as compared to US schools, ranked 14 in the world by FT, offers exchange program to Columbia (which used to be my dream school until I learned about HKUST), not to mention that HK's income tax is ridiculously low (roughly about 10%). HKUST's class profile for last year's intake has a GMAT score range of 600-730, so I guess 690 is above average and should be sufficient, at the very least it won't weigh me down.

My consideration for retaking is mainly psychological, as I've been studying for close to half a year now and I won't be satisfied with myself until I get at least 700 in the actual GMAT. Sure it might give my application an extra advantage, but I'm not too concerned about that. It's more for my sanity as I can't bring myself to do other things if there's a little bug in my head that keeps telling me that I'm not smart enough. I will try to do a few preps in the next few weeks and see if I can consistently score 700+. Perhaps that will help me decide whether this is just a bad attempt.
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New post 30 Aug 2018, 18:54
nilsinelabore wrote:
Thanks for the comment.

My last prep of 730 was the first time that I actually cracked 700. My highest prep before that was the first one (680). In terms of application, I'm planning to go to HKUST since it's much cheaper as compared to US schools, ranked 14 in the world by FT, offers exchange program to Columbia (which used to be my dream school until I learned about HKUST), not to mention that HK's income tax is ridiculously low (roughly about 10%). HKUST's class profile for last year's intake has a GMAT score range of 600-730, so I guess 690 is above average and should be sufficient, at the very least it won't weigh me down.

My consideration for retaking is mainly psychological, as I've been studying for close to half a year now and I won't be satisfied with myself until I get at least 700 in the actual GMAT. Sure it might give my application an extra advantage, but I'm not too concerned about that. It's more for my sanity as I can't bring myself to do other things if there's a little bug in my head that keeps telling me that I'm not smart enough. I will try to do a few preps in the next few weeks and see if I can consistently score 700+. Perhaps that will help me decide whether this is just a bad attempt.
Fair enough, but most schools know (or should know) that there is almost no statistical difference between a 690 and a 700, and so should you. Also, the GMAT shouldn't really be used to measure how "smart" you are—there are just too many other things that determine a person's capability. If you are taking the exam again (and I would support that decision), take it to improve substantially (720+ should be good), not just to hit 700.
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New post 03 Sep 2018, 15:54
Hi nilsinelabore,

There are some positive takeaways from your exam:

1) Your quant score has stayed consistent at a 48, which is a pretty awesome!
2) You verbal scores on your real GMATs were not that much much lower than those from your practice GMATs.

That being said, if your score goal is greater than 690, then yes, you should continue to prep until you improve your GMAT score. Remember, it's possible to score 690 without fully understanding some topics or refining certain skills. To score higher, your preparation is going to have to be more complete, meaning that you have to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you would have had to know in order to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT &nbs [#permalink] 03 Sep 2018, 15:54
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