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# When should I retake my test?

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 24 Sep 2018
Posts: 14
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V34
GMAT 2: 680 Q45 V39
When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 11:07
Hi All,

So I took my 2nd official GMAT last week and scored a 680 (Q45 V39). I did not properly budget my time on the quant section and pretty much had to guess for the last 6-7 questions.
I am totally kicking myself for this because during my practice tests, I have consistently gotten 710 - 730, so I know I can do better. And I have never run out of time on any of my previous tests. I spent way too much time on questions I did not know how to do. When I realized by mistake, it was too late for me to do anything

I believe my skills are solid, I just need to work on budgeting my time better.

Anyway, I am planning on taking it again after the holidays (early Feb 2019). Any guidance or tips? Please let me know!
RC Moderator
Joined: 24 Aug 2016
Posts: 639
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Operations
GMAT 1: 630 Q48 V28
GMAT 2: 540 Q49 V16
Re: When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 12:00
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-p ... ml#p605856
_________________

Please let me know if I am going in wrong direction.
Thanks in appreciation.

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13353
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 12:26
Hi Tanusree,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. While this more recent Score clearly shows an improvement in how you handle the Verbal section, the overall results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 660 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You referenced scoring higher on your CATs, so I'd like to know a bit more about how you took your CATs during this recent phase of your studies:

1) What 'brands' of CATs did you use over the last 3 months and how did you score on EACH CAT (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
5) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

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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Intern
Joined: 24 Sep 2018
Posts: 14
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V34
GMAT 2: 680 Q45 V39
Re: When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 15:49
u1983 wrote:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-study-p ... ml#p605856

Thanks, I will take a look at this.
Intern
Joined: 24 Sep 2018
Posts: 14
GMAT 1: 650 Q44 V34
GMAT 2: 680 Q45 V39
Re: When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 15:58
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Tanusree,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. While this more recent Score clearly shows an improvement in how you handle the Verbal section, the overall results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 660 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You referenced scoring higher on your CATs, so I'd like to know a bit more about how you took your CATs during this recent phase of your studies:

1) What 'brands' of CATs did you use over the last 3 months and how did you score on EACH CAT (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
5) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hi Rich,

So my issue was the timing on the official day, not so much the content. Even the ones I had to guess on, I knew how to do them, but I did not have enough time to complete all of them. So I made a guess on the last few rather than risking not completing the test. I think I spent way too much time on the questions in the beginning, so it took away from my time towards the end. I was definitely expecting at least a 49 in math, and I believe I could've accomplished this had I managed my time better. But there is no point in speculating now on what could have been

1. I started off taking the Kaplan tests, but after my first official GMAT attempt, I tried out Veritas.

Date Total Q V
October 6 650 / 73 46 / 58 34 / 71
November 5 700 / 88 50 / 85 36 / 80
November 10 680 / 82 49 / 74 34 / 71
November 17 710 / 90 50 / 85 38 / 85
November 24 740 / 97 51 / 96 40 / 90
December 2 710 / 90 51 / 96 37 / 82

2. No, I usually skipped the IR and AWR. I always started with Quant first.
3. Yes, I took them at home
4. No, the time varied, but I would start usually between 9 AM and 12 PM. My latest test was at 11:30 AM
5. Yeah.. I took longer than usual breaks and sometimes paused in the middle of sections
6. No, I took new CATs for each of my tests. For a majority of the tests, there were no repeat questions.

Thanks,
Tan
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13353
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2018, 18:41
Hi Tanusree,

I've sent you a PM with some additional questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

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

Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4551
Location: United States (CA)
Re: When should I retake my test?  [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2018, 19:17
Hi tmunshi,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, I realize that you believe your issue is not knowledge-based but time-based; however, despite scoring between 710 and 730 on your practice exams, since you got tripped up on a few problems on your actual GMAT, it’s likely that you have some lingering quant weaknesses that were exposed.

The thing to understand about timing on the GMAT is that it improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve, as with any activity in life. Timing does not improve simply by “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode their test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed right at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that once your GMAT knowledge improves, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of your reaction time when seeing a particular question. For example, consider the following simple question with which many students who are beginning their prep struggle:

14! is equal to which of the following?

(A) 87,178,291,200
(B) 88,180,293,207
(C) 89,181,294,209
(D) 90,000,000,003
(E) 91,114,114,114

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? Or are you able to quickly recognize that using the “5 x 2 pair rule” will allow you to efficiently attack the problem? (See the solution below.)

Solution:

14! = 14 × 13 × 12 × 11 × 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1.

Notice that there is at least one (5 × 2) pair contained in the product of these numbers. It follows that the units digit must be a zero. The only number with zero as the units digit is 87,178,291,200.

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT quant question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

If you’d like any further advice on how to improve your quant skills, feel free to reach out, and I’ll be happy to help. Also, you may find the following articles helpful: How to score a 700+ on the GMAT and How to get faster at solving GMAT questions.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: When should I retake my test? &nbs [#permalink] 19 Dec 2018, 19:17
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# When should I retake my test?

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