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# Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores

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Joined: 21 Aug 2018
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Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2018, 18:07
Hi guys, I am new to this forum. I have studied GMAT for one month, mainly working on questions from OG-17. Recently I started to try some mock tests and wanted to get a main idea what scores I would be expecting for the real test. However, there is a strong variation in terms of my scores, and I am a little bit confusing right now

Aug 14th, London Business School GMAT, 720-770 (this is the score showed after I finished the test)

Aug 16th, GMAT Prep 1, 730 with Q 50, V 38 and IR 8

About one hour later, I tried MGMAT CAT 1 and scored 630 with Q 42, V 34 (this might be the result that I took two tests in one day, but indeed, I did really poor on Quant)

Aug 18th, I took Veritas Free Test and got 670 with Q 49 and V 33
Understanding that my strongest weakness is Verbal, especially Sentence Correction, I did more questions in SC section during the weekend

Aug 20th, I tried The Economist and got 740 with Q 47 (my internet was down for a brief moment, which left two questions blank) and V 45

Then one hour earlier, I took GMAT Club Quant and Verbal tests together and scored 630 with Q 49 and V 27!!! This is a surprisingly low Verbal score and I am planning to look into that later.

I am aiming at 750, but I will be satisfied with 720-730 (Q49-50, V39-40), but now my scores are fluctuating a lot, and I really have no idea what my current level is.

By the way, I took all my tests in the library around 1 pm to 3 pm, except for Economist and GMAT Club Tests which I took around 7 pm to 9 pm
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Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2018, 21:55
WillUoft wrote:
Hi guys, I am new to this forum. I have studied GMAT for one month, mainly working on questions from OG-17. Recently I started to try some mock tests and wanted to get a main idea what scores I would be expecting for the real test. However, there is a strong variation in terms of my scores, and I am a little bit confusing right now

Aug 14th, London Business School GMAT, 720-770 (this is the score showed after I finished the test)

Aug 16th, GMAT Prep 1, 730 with Q 50, V 38 and IR 8

About one hour later, I tried MGMAT CAT 1 and scored 630 with Q 42, V 34 (this might be the result that I took two tests in one day, but indeed, I did really poor on Quant)

Aug 18th, I took Veritas Free Test and got 670 with Q 49 and V 33
Understanding that my strongest weakness is Verbal, especially Sentence Correction, I did more questions in SC section during the weekend

Aug 20th, I tried The Economist and got 740 with Q 47 (my internet was down for a brief moment, which left two questions blank) and V 45

Then one hour earlier, I took GMAT Club Quant and Verbal tests together and scored 630 with Q 49 and V 27!!! This is a surprisingly low Verbal score and I am planning to look into that later.

I am aiming at 750, but I will be satisfied with 720-730 (Q49-50, V39-40), but now my scores are fluctuating a lot, and I really have no idea what my current level is.

By the way, I took all my tests in the library around 1 pm to 3 pm, except for Economist and GMAT Club Tests which I took around 7 pm to 9 pm

Hi
Gmat prep tests most closely resemble the actual test. So, a score of 730 on Gmat prep test is very good, considering you have studied for only a month. Also there is no need to give so many mock tests at this stage. Stick to GMAC tests. You get 2 free from the MBA.com website and can buy the remaining 4 tests. Keep prepping the way you are doing and analyze each test thoroughly.
Hope it helps.
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Re: Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2018, 23:39
short answer:
1) trust the GMAT Prep
2) don't worry so much about "knowing what your current level is"

slightly longer answer:
The only mock tests out there whose scores are actually worth paying attention are the GMAT CATs. They’re written by the same people who write the actual GMAT, and they’ve also been statistically tested and selected on thousands of students, so you know they’re realistic. Next, they’re the only mock tests out there that are adaptive, matching the questions you see – just as the actual GMAT does – to your performance.
However, taking any test in order to “know where you stand” misses the point. Your score on a practice test is a nice bit of gossipy information to share with friends who are also studying, and if you did well, brag, by all means. But this isn’t the point of these tests. The reason to take mock tests is that they are a vital part of your study and improvement process.

If you have any additional questions, fell free to ask me here

WillUoft wrote:
Hi guys, I am new to this forum. I have studied GMAT for one month, mainly working on questions from OG-17. Recently I started to try some mock tests and wanted to get a main idea what scores I would be expecting for the real test. However, there is a strong variation in terms of my scores, and I am a little bit confusing right now

Aug 14th, London Business School GMAT, 720-770 (this is the score showed after I finished the test)

Aug 16th, GMAT Prep 1, 730 with Q 50, V 38 and IR 8

About one hour later, I tried MGMAT CAT 1 and scored 630 with Q 42, V 34 (this might be the result that I took two tests in one day, but indeed, I did really poor on Quant)

Aug 18th, I took Veritas Free Test and got 670 with Q 49 and V 33
Understanding that my strongest weakness is Verbal, especially Sentence Correction, I did more questions in SC section during the weekend

Aug 20th, I tried The Economist and got 740 with Q 47 (my internet was down for a brief moment, which left two questions blank) and V 45

Then one hour earlier, I took GMAT Club Quant and Verbal tests together and scored 630 with Q 49 and V 27!!! This is a surprisingly low Verbal score and I am planning to look into that later.

I am aiming at 750, but I will be satisfied with 720-730 (Q49-50, V39-40), but now my scores are fluctuating a lot, and I really have no idea what my current level is.

By the way, I took all my tests in the library around 1 pm to 3 pm, except for Economist and GMAT Club Tests which I took around 7 pm to 9 pm

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Re: Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2018, 00:08
WillUoft wrote:
Hi guys, I am new to this forum. I have studied GMAT for one month, mainly working on questions from OG-17. Recently I started to try some mock tests and wanted to get a main idea what scores I would be expecting for the real test. However, there is a strong variation in terms of my scores, and I am a little bit confusing right now

Aug 14th, London Business School GMAT, 720-770 (this is the score showed after I finished the test)

Aug 16th, GMAT Prep 1, 730 with Q 50, V 38 and IR 8

About one hour later, I tried MGMAT CAT 1 and scored 630 with Q 42, V 34 (this might be the result that I took two tests in one day, but indeed, I did really poor on Quant)

Aug 18th, I took Veritas Free Test and got 670 with Q 49 and V 33
Understanding that my strongest weakness is Verbal, especially Sentence Correction, I did more questions in SC section during the weekend

Aug 20th, I tried The Economist and got 740 with Q 47 (my internet was down for a brief moment, which left two questions blank) and V 45

Then one hour earlier, I took GMAT Club Quant and Verbal tests together and scored 630 with Q 49 and V 27!!! This is a surprisingly low Verbal score and I am planning to look into that later.

I am aiming at 750, but I will be satisfied with 720-730 (Q49-50, V39-40), but now my scores are fluctuating a lot, and I really have no idea what my current level is.

By the way, I took all my tests in the library around 1 pm to 3 pm, except for Economist and GMAT Club Tests which I took around 7 pm to 9 pm

You are missing the point here - the purpose of practice tests is very different. They help you learn how to manage your time, how to implement your strategies during a crunch, how to take wise decisions (e.g. whether to skip ahead or give it another minute), and most importantly, which topics to review. Taking 2 practice tests in a span of a few hrs defeats every one of these purposes. If you have to run a marathon, will you run two marathons in a day for practice? You will only hurt yourself if you do.
Take a break - properly evaluate the tests you have taken till now. Find the patterns in your errors and work on rectifying those. Once you fix all the weak spots, then take another test and repeat the process.
The scores on practice tests vary widely for most people depending on which tests they take, how seriously they take them, how tired they were while taking them etc. Don't worry too much about your score on them. As long as you are hitting some high scores, it means the capability is there. You just need to channel it right.
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Re: Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2018, 00:36
Hi WillUoft,

I would recommend that you rely on the GMAT Prep mocks or official mocks for estimation of your current scores as they come closest to the actual test. If you need help in creating a personalized strategy and study plan to score 750 in GMAT, you can register for our free GMAT Strategy Webinar that will be conducted this weekend.

Fine Tune your Verbal Preparation

Taking your GMAT Prep scores into consideration, I would recommend that you fine tune your Verbal skills to ensure a score of V39/V40. You may follow the below mentioned steps to fine tune:
1. Take Ability Quiz in Scholaranium to assess your topic level preparedness
2. Isolate weak topics and Improve upon them using your current resources or e-GMAT Free Trial content
3. Track Improvement and repeat the process till you reach your desired abilities

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Aditee
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GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2018, 22:08
Hi WillUoft,

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 - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. By taking five CATs in a week - and under varying conditions - I would not expect you to have been at your best for any of the Tests after your first CAT.

While there are certain aspects to Test Day that you can really only learn by taking realistic, FULL-LENGTH CATs, once you've learned those things, it's important to remember that taking lots of CATs will NOT make you a better Test Taker. A CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to learn the necessary Tactics and put in the proper practice and repetitions. Thus, my immediate advice is to STOP taking CATs so frequently - it's not benefiting you at all (and you're just 'wasting' CATs at this point).

1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores  [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2018, 19:31
Hi WillUoft,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that you scored 730 on your first official GMAT practice exam -- nice job! That being said, given that you have been studying for only a month, you are taking practice tests before you are truly ready. Yes, you already scored within your desired score range of 730; however, it’s likely that you still have weaknesses that need to be addressed in order to score 730+ on the real GMAT. Remember, GMAT practice tests serve two main purposes: to provide diagnostic information and to get you accustomed to the test-taking experience. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you are comfortable answering, arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time, and practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

Can practice tests be valuable tools for learning and continued score improvement? Yes, of course they can, if they are used properly and at optimal times in your preparation. However, you should not use practice tests as primary learning vehicles because they don’t really provide the kind of practice that you need to increase your score. To improve your score, you need to learn the basics of answering various types of GMAT questions, and then practice applying what you have learned by carefully answering practice questions in order to learn to answer them correctly. When you first learn how to answer a particular type of question, answering that type of question correctly can easily take way longer than the two minutes or so per question that you are allotted when you take the GMAT. So, to effectively prepare, you have to practice answering questions of each type without the constraints of the exam, and work up to the point at which you can answer questions of each type in around two minutes.

When taking a practice test, you don’t give yourself the kind of time you need to learn to answer questions. Two minutes per question flies by, and if you want to finish each section of the test on time, in many cases, regardless of whether you have figured out how to answer a question, you may have to pick an answer and move on. So, while taking a practice test can be a great way to work on your overall approach to taking the GMAT, taking a practice test is not a great way to learn how to get right answers to various types of questions. To hit your score goal, you likely need to focus on the latter type of prep. You certainly can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation to gauge your current skill level (as you have done), but why spend three hours taking another practice test (and another, and another) to learn the same thing over and over again: you have to learn more content and develop more skills to hit your score goal. Using practice tests in such a way wastes a valuable tool.

Once you have done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GMAT, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas that require strengthening. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how you will score on the GMAT at a particular point in time, the sample size of the number of questions found on any practice test (31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions) is rather small, so practice tests don’t do a very good job of showing specific areas of weakness. For example, let’s say that on a practice test, you encounter one rate-time-distance question among the 31 quant questions, and you get the question wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on rate-time-distance questions? Of course not. Similarly, what if you correctly answered the rate-time-distance question? Does that mean you’re good to go on such questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s say that out of six practice tests, you saw a total of six rate-time-distance questions and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on rate-time-distance questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GMAT challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of variations of rate-time-distance questions that can appear on any test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) rate-time-distance questions doesn’t really tell you much. You must take care not to over-infer based on a handful of practice tests and nothing else.

Lastly, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Strong Variation in Mock Test Scores   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2018, 19:31
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