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Variation in Practice Test Scores

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Joined: 02 Sep 2018
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Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2018, 14:30
1
Hi everyone,

I've read a lot about how scores definitely vary from practice test to practice test. My actual GMAT is coming up this weekend and I don't feel too nervous about it, but my scores are just all over the place. My scores are:

Manhattan Prep:
700 610 580 670 600
Kaplan:
660
GMATPrep:
650 600

I've taken all these practice tests under good test conditions maybe 1-2 days apart from each out. I'm just wondering if the range for these scores is normal? I'm hoping to just get above a 660 on the real deal.

Thanks!
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2018, 19:20
pangjeremy wrote:
Hi everyone,

I've read a lot about how scores definitely vary from practice test to practice test. My actual GMAT is coming up this weekend and I don't feel too nervous about it, but my scores are just all over the place. My scores are:

Manhattan Prep:
700 610 580 670 600
Kaplan:
660
GMATPrep:
650 600

I've taken all these practice tests under good test conditions maybe 1-2 days apart from each out. I'm just wondering if the range for these scores is normal? I'm hoping to just get above a 660 on the real deal.

Thanks!
Apart from the fact that you took those tests very close together (1-2 days may or may not be enough for you to recover), there are a lot of factors that could account for the variation in your practice test scores. What's important at this stage is to focus on the actual exam. Try not to take another test, as you want to save your energy for the real thing.

All the best, and do post back here after your exam.
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2018, 20:33
Hi pangjeremy,

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. Since you're been taking your CATs so frequently - you might be inadvertently hurting your ability to focus and perform at your best over the length of the entire Test. By extension, since your Official GMAT is this weekend, you should NOT take any more CATs before then. In these last few days, you should limit your studies to general practice and light review (NO CATs and NO 'cramming') - you would be better served by getting some extra rest so that you can go into Test Day calm, clear-headed and ready to work.

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Rich
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 15:26
Hi pangjeremy,

Certainly, when you take practice tests from companies other than GMAC, you may find some variation in algorithms used and thus variations in your score. That being said, since you scored 650 on a GMATPrep practice exam, you certainly have a shot at hitting 660 on test day.

Since your exam is in just a week, try to keep your studying light. Review flash cards/notes from past topics to ensure that knowledge has not slipped through the cracks. I recommend that you don’t try to cram or learn any new material. At this point, piling on new topics would probably hurt more than it would help.

I wrote an article that you may find helpful that has some more advice regarding how to treat the final week leading up to your GMAT as well as some tips for test day.

Let’s me know how things end up, and please reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 11:37
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My recommendation is to worry less about what your score is on these practice CAT tests. These best predictors are the GMATPrep ones - and even then, it's not necessarily a perfect representation of the actual test.

So the most you can worry about is just getting WHATEVER comes at you correct. You should be familiar with what to expect and the types of concepts.

More importantly, to do well, you need to be familiar with what is likely being tested, where the booby traps, where you should focus your attention, and where you should avoid wasting time.

These are small, but critical elements that add up and affect your score -- and you actually have control over these. So don't fret over things you don't have control over -- such as the specific algorithm that is used to calculate a total score for you.

That said, if you are looking for an extra practice test, many of our students at GMAT Pill report scores within +-30 points of what they get on the actual test:

http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... ctice-test

We encourage you to learn more about GMAT Pill at http://www.gmatpill.com/testimonials
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 21:20
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the words of advice and encouragement. I scored a 640 (Q 45, V 32, IR 8). I thought the Quant was a lot easier than the practice tests I was using (especially Manhattan Prep), however, during the Verbal I definitely felt more shakey than normal. I probably averaged around a 34-36 V on the practice tests. IR was a piece of cake. The AWA wasn't too hard to throw down a decent template with three arguments. I guess I'm not too upset with the score I got (considering I only studied for 3 weeks and majority off practice tests), however, I'm just disappointed my Verbal score was lower than what I was expecting.

I'm just wondering (purely based off the GMAT score) would this score make me a decent candidate for mid-tier schools? The only thing I'm really satisfied with is the IR and Quant scores. I know top-tier schools most likely wouldn't give me a glance.

Thanks!
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2018, 19:04
Hi pangjeremy,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you really studied for just 3 weeks, then you could potentially score a lot higher if you were to commit to a longer and more structured Study Plan.

To answer your immediate question, your 640 would almost certainly be 'in the range' for any "mid-tier" School that you might apply to, but the way that you phrased the question is a bit vague. The process of applying to (and ultimately attending) Business School will require a big investment of time, money and energy on your part, so you really should make sure that the Programs that you apply to match your career goals/needs. There are a variety of factors that go into selecting the Schools that you'll apply to. Instead of just applying to Programs in which you might have a good chance to 'get in', here are some other things to think about:

1) Is there a particular company that you want to work for or industry that you want to work in? Certain degrees are more appropriate than others if you have a specific career goal.
2) What do you want your MBA to do for you?
3) Do you want to go to School full-time or part-time?
4) Are you willing to relocate? Are you comfortable with working through a program that is primarily online?
5) Are you going to be applying for scholarships?
Etc.

It's okay if you don't have answers to any of these questions just yet, but you really should try to define all of the important variables in terms of YOUR goals, so that you can tailor your entire approach to getting into the best School that matches what you're looking for. You might have a really strong overall profile right now - meaning that just putting in the proper amount of GMAT prep time might be all that you need to be a competitive applicant at a top-tier Program.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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Joined: 15 Jul 2015
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2018, 19:17
pangjeremy wrote:
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the words of advice and encouragement. I scored a 640 (Q 45, V 32, IR 8). I thought the Quant was a lot easier than the practice tests I was using (especially Manhattan Prep), however, during the Verbal I definitely felt more shakey than normal. I probably averaged around a 34-36 V on the practice tests. IR was a piece of cake. The AWA wasn't too hard to throw down a decent template with three arguments. I guess I'm not too upset with the score I got (considering I only studied for 3 weeks and majority off practice tests), however, I'm just disappointed my Verbal score was lower than what I was expecting.

I'm just wondering (purely based off the GMAT score) would this score make me a decent candidate for mid-tier schools? The only thing I'm really satisfied with is the IR and Quant scores. I know top-tier schools most likely wouldn't give me a glance.

Thanks!
640 is an above-average score on the GMAT, but it may not be above average at some schools. But whether you're a good candidate for those schools depends on many things, not just the GMAT exam. Reach out to the consultants here if you'd like to discuss your profile in detail.

Are you planning to take the GMAT again?
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Re: Variation in Practice Test Scores &nbs [#permalink] 09 Sep 2018, 19:17
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