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# Weird discrepancy in my practice tests

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Intern
Joined: 28 Jan 2020
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Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 12:46
Dear community,

I'm planning to take the GMAT next week. Although my preparation was a little rushed, I was satisfied with my progress : I scored a 620 in my first Kaplan practice test (Q49, V26) followed by a 630 in my second Kaplan test (Q41, V35) and finally a 680 in my third Kaplan Test (Q48, V35). I decided then that it was time to take the GMAC practice test 1, and to my surprise, I scored a... 540 (Q46, V19). I was, and I still am, in shock. Do you guys think that the Kaplan test was inaccurate or is it due to some factor?

(P.S. : I had more correct answer in the GMAC verbal section than in the Kaplan verbal section, but I know that the number of correct answers doesn't matter ^^')
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 14:52
For how long have you been preparing?
GMAT prep is the only test closest to the real deal
KP101 wrote:
Dear community,

I'm planning to take the GMAT next week. Although my preparation was a little rushed, I was satisfied with my progress : I scored a 620 in my first Kaplan practice test (Q49, V26) followed by a 630 in my second Kaplan test (Q41, V35) and finally a 680 in my third Kaplan Test (Q48, V35). I decided then that it was time to take the GMAC practice test 1, and to my surprise, I scored a... 540 (Q46, V19). I was, and I still am, in shock. Do you guys think that the Kaplan test was inaccurate or is it due to some factor?

(P.S. : I had more correct answer in the GMAC verbal section than in the Kaplan verbal section, but I know that the number of correct answers doesn't matter ^^')

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 19:33
Hi KP101,

While the most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, 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 correctly take the CAT in a realistic fashion). There are a variety of factors that can influence your performance on your practice CATs that have nothing to do with the 'brand' of CAT that you are using (including the time of day you take your test, how well-rested you are, the environment that you take the test in, etc.). It's possible that you just had a 'bad day' when you took your 4th CAT, but it's also possible that you took those first 3 CATs in an unrealistic way.

Have you actually scheduled your Official GMAT yet or are you currently thinking about taking the GMAT next week? Before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 20:28
KP101 wrote:
Dear community,

I'm planning to take the GMAT next week. Although my preparation was a little rushed, I was satisfied with my progress : I scored a 620 in my first Kaplan practice test (Q49, V26) followed by a 630 in my second Kaplan test (Q41, V35) and finally a 680 in my third Kaplan Test (Q48, V35). I decided then that it was time to take the GMAC practice test 1, and to my surprise, I scored a... 540 (Q46, V19). I was, and I still am, in shock. Do you guys think that the Kaplan test was inaccurate or is it due to some factor?

(P.S. : I had more correct answer in the GMAC verbal section than in the Kaplan verbal section, but I know that the number of correct answers doesn't matter ^^')
Hi KP101,

Don't worry too much about that score, at least not just yet. Stick to your study plan. Take the next practice test and check how well you do there.

This is not to say that you shouldn't analyze your test. You must check each and every question. Maintain an error log if you have the time to do so.
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 21:17
Hi KP101, not really sure about the accuracy of Kaplan tests, but it was slightly surprising to note that your prep did not factor any official mock tests.
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Joined: 28 Jan 2020
Posts: 10
Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2020, 23:30
Staphyk wrote:
For how long have you been preparing?
GMAT prep is the only test closest to the real deal

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi KP101,
Studies:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?

I have been studying for about a month now with an average of 12-15 hours per week. So far, I've only used Kaplan and the OG as my study material. My exam is already scheduled for next week during the morning, and all of the practice tests were taken not only under exam conditions, but also at the exact same time slot as my actual scheduled real exam. I'm hoping to get at least a 650 and I'll be applying to Business school on February (Essec, ESCP, HEC Montréal,...).

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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 07:35
1
Hi KP101,

What is your actual score goal? Would you be able to take one more official practice exam? Also, is there a particular reason why you must take the test next week?
_________________

# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 09:30
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi KP101,

What is your actual score goal? Would you be able to take one more official practice exam? Also, is there a particular reason why you must take the test next week?

As I have mentioned in the previous message, I will be happy with my result as long as it is greater or equal to 650, which mustn't be that hard. I think that I am going to take the second official GMAT practice test in the coming days just to make sure that the previous result was a "mistake", because the score difference scared me a lot. Concerning my exam date, application deadlines are getting closer for french universities and my dad pressured me to take the exam in the following weeks, so that every document will be ready way before the deadline.
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2020, 19:44
Hi KP101,

Many GMATers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've been studying for just 1 month, then that might help to explain your most recent practice CAT Score. In simple terms, you haven't developed your overall GMAT skills enough yet to consistently score at a higher level (and you might still be open to making little mistakes if you're strict-enough about putting your best efforts into taking the Exam).

What is your exact Official Test Date? I ask because 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 should not take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. If your Official GMAT is early next week, then you might NOT want to take another CAT - since doing so might increase your chances of 'burning out' before Test Day (which is something that we want to avoid).

In the last few days before your Official GMAT, 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.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Intern
Joined: 28 Jan 2020
Posts: 10
Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2020, 12:30
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi KP101,
Many GMATers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've been studying for just 1 month, then that might help to explain your most recent practice CAT Score. In simple terms, you haven't developed your overall GMAT skills enough yet to consistently score at a higher level (and you might still be open to making little mistakes if you're strict-enough about putting your best efforts into taking the Exam).

What is your exact Official Test Date? I ask because 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 should not take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. If your Official GMAT is early next week, then you might NOT want to take another CAT - since doing so might increase your chances of 'burning out' before Test Day (which is something that we want to avoid).

In the last few days before your Official GMAT, 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.
Rich

I see... Thanks for the tips!

I've finally decided to schedule my gmat exam on February 10th (it was either Feb 3rd or Feb 10th, so I opted for the latter which is exactly 22days before the application deadline for some universities). Thus, I can now take the second CAT during the weekend.
After reviewing the answers in my "weird" CAT score, I've managed to identify my biggest weakness : RC. The only difference between the Kaplan tests and the official practice test that I took concerns the order of my verbal questions : in the Kaplan tests, the three different questions were spread evenly throughout the exam whereas in the official practice test, my first 10 questions were all RC (3 texts, 4-3-3 questions).
At least now I do know what I should pray for, or what I should review more...
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2020, 20:20
Hi KP101,

On the Official GMAT, it is not likely that you will see 3 RC passages in a row. During that CAT, if you got most (or all) of those RC questions wrong, then that could have put you into too big of a 'hole' (as far as your Verbal Scaled Score was concerned) that you were incapable of getting out of. If RC has been one of your weak areas during your studies, then putting some extra time over the next few weeks into honing those skills would make sense. Once you've taken your next practice CAT/mock, you should post back here and we can discuss the results.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2020, 18:17
KP101 wrote:
Dear community,

I'm planning to take the GMAT next week. Although my preparation was a little rushed, I was satisfied with my progress : I scored a 620 in my first Kaplan practice test (Q49, V26) followed by a 630 in my second Kaplan test (Q41, V35) and finally a 680 in my third Kaplan Test (Q48, V35). I decided then that it was time to take the GMAC practice test 1, and to my surprise, I scored a... 540 (Q46, V19). I was, and I still am, in shock. Do you guys think that the Kaplan test was inaccurate or is it due to some factor?

(P.S. : I had more correct answer in the GMAC verbal section than in the Kaplan verbal section, but I know that the number of correct answers doesn't matter ^^')

You may find this interesting to read: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... st-scores/

It's about scoring lower on an official test (compared to your practice tests), but it also applies to a situation where you suddenly have a very low practice test. There's just the additional wrinkle that practice tests might be less 'accurate' than the real thing - but I doubt they'd be far enough off to completely explain the discrepancy you have here. If Kaplan tests were usually 100+ points higher than official scores, we'd probably have heard about it here!
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2020, 05:52
Well, I took the second practice test this morning and I scored a 600 (Q46, V26), which is less than my first Kaplan test. I have some mixed feelings about this score since it is far from what I wish to receive, but it is greater than the previous score. Also, I've discovered another issue in my test-taking method: I was 30 minutes down after 10 questions which made me rush for the rest of the exam. I also had troubles in focusing on the RC: I start daydreaming when the topic doesn't interest me, I get scared when I see a long text, and I lose focus when I see a short one thinking that I might have messed up in the previous questions (even though there's no relationship between length and difficulty).
I am and I've been confident in my math skills, but I've never been confident in my English skills (except for writing). Now I still have one week, but I don't know where I should focus (time management first or RC first) or which section I should start with the day of the exam (start with confidence (Q-V-IR-AWA) or finish with confidence (V-Q-IR-AWA)).
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2020, 18:11
Hi KP101,

Assuming that you took this CAT in a realistic fashion that matches what you will face when you take the Official GMAT, then you are closer to a 650+ than you probably realize. To determine what you should be focused on at this point, we need to do some analysis on this recent CAT.

"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
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2020, 10:39
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi KP101,

Assuming that you took this CAT in a realistic fashion that matches what you will face when you take the Official GMAT, then you are closer to a 650+ than you probably realize. To determine what you should be focused on at this point, we need to do some analysis on this recent CAT.

"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

1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
5 in quant : I didn't carefully read the question and I missed some little details (specifications such as "positive values") or I did a computation mistake,
2 in verb : I only focused on the beg of the sentence in one SC and I didn't real every alternatives in one CR

2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
1 in quant : I tried a shortcut for calculating work, but I messed up,
2 in verb : I didn't know the rules for when to use will and would (which is something basic) for one SC, and I wasn't sure about when to use because and due to in another SC

3) Because the question was too hard?
3 in verb : 2 were related to small details in a long text, and 1 was using a form of sentence I've never seen before

4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
1 in quant : I just assumed that the computation will take me some time, and that I could use that time for some question later in the exam
3 in verb : I realized that I was low on time, so I skipped a whole text and 1 CR

5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?
I only narrow down to 2 choices in SC, and I chose the wrong one twice
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2020, 16:09
2
Hi KP101,

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2020, 09:19
1
KP101 wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi KP101,

What is your actual score goal? Would you be able to take one more official practice exam? Also, is there a particular reason why you must take the test next week?

As I have mentioned in the previous message, I will be happy with my result as long as it is greater or equal to 650, which mustn't be that hard. I think that I am going to take the second official GMAT practice test in the coming days just to make sure that the previous result was a "mistake", because the score difference scared me a lot. Concerning my exam date, application deadlines are getting closer for french universities and my dad pressured me to take the exam in the following weeks, so that every document will be ready way before the deadline.

I see your test is in just 5 days. Do you plan to take one final practice exam?
_________________

# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
197 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

Intern
Joined: 28 Jan 2020
Posts: 10
Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2020, 10:14
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:

I see your test is in just 5 days. Do you plan to take one final practice exam?

I'm still hesitating about whether to take a practice test in the coming days... Here's the dilemma :
If I take the test and get an unsatisfactory score, I'll be extremely anxious during the actual test whereas if I don't take the test, I will be curious about how I've improved in the past week which may affect me during the exam (but I'm uncertain about this fact ^^').

What do you think?
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Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2020, 10:09
1
KP101 wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:

I see your test is in just 5 days. Do you plan to take one final practice exam?

I'm still hesitating about whether to take a practice test in the coming days... Here's the dilemma :
If I take the test and get an unsatisfactory score, I'll be extremely anxious during the actual test whereas if I don't take the test, I will be curious about how I've improved in the past week which may affect me during the exam (but I'm uncertain about this fact ^^').

What do you think?

_________________

# Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
197 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

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Intern
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Posts: 10
Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2020, 03:35
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:

I took it and cancelled the score. I got a 600 (Q42, V30) while I skipped a total of 4 questions in verbal and 4 in quant. I was barely focused in any of these sections and did many dumb mistakes in the quant
--> I noticed them throughout the section which annoyed me. For example, in a DS question, I've found out that answer A was sufficient by itself but not answer B, but I chose answer B and confirmed it. I realized what I did right after confirming the answer.
Now that I took the test, I realized that I was stressed for nothing -most of the problems I face were due to stress and my low self confidence. All I need to do for the time being is to find a cheap gmat exam voucher since I cannot afford the full price to schedule my next exam.
Re: Weird discrepancy in my practice tests   [#permalink] 11 Feb 2020, 03:35

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