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# When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)

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Intern
Joined: 08 Mar 2018
Posts: 2
When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2018, 22:49
Hi everyone,

In my senior year of undergrad, I first took the GMAT in Dec 2017 after roughly 2 month of study and got 670 (Q46, V36). I felt like I didn't study as much as I should have, so I decided to study harder and retake it at a later date.

I got a couple months of between July - September 2018 so I took a GMAT class in Vietnam and felt like I did improve quite significantly. I did two GMAT Prep tests (6 and 2) and got 710 and 730 respectively. Timing was not a big issue in any section.

I just retook the exam today and got 680 (Q47, V40). I'll skip the whining part :/

As much as I'm devastated, I don't want to give up yet. I'm not planning on applying to grad school until around 2020-2021 so I still have a lot of time. I'm glad to read about many of your GMAT experiences and know that I'm not alone in this struggle.

As of now I'd really like some advices on what to do next. I will start my full-time job this upcoming week. I don't know if I should set the GMAT aside for now and pull it out at a later date closer to my application cycle, or should I keep studying and retake it at a closer date?

I'd also love to know what would be a good indication of 'GMAT readiness' now that the GMAT Prep tests seem to greatly overestimate my score.

Thank you!
Director
Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 502
Location: Kuwait
GPA: 3.2
WE: Engineering (Real Estate)
Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2018, 01:36
Hello linhhdao i’m no expert but I think the second split should represent something around 700 perhaps 710? (47Q,40V).

What schools are you planning to apply to?

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Joined: 08 Mar 2018
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Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2018, 03:24
Hi Salsanousi,

I decided to cancel my score at the test center as there wasn't any meaningful improvement compared to my first attempt (670), so I only had a minute to look at it, but I'm pretty certain that was the split I got because I remember I was comparing the results with my best GMAT Prep (730 Q49 V40) in my head. I remember I was 2 pt lower in Quant (so Q47) and same score in Verbal (V40). That being said, I was devastated by that point so I could very well be wrong.

At this moment I haven't had a list of schools I want to apply to yet, but I'd like to apply to Ivy League. After looking around I think the median for these schools are all above 700, so I'm aiming for about 740.

Thanks so much for the reply!
Director
Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 502
Location: Kuwait
GPA: 3.2
WE: Engineering (Real Estate)
Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2018, 03:33
Hi linhhdao

I think you can get your ESR for your last test and it would probably show you what is your actual score. If your score is within 700-710 then you have a score that could let you in one of these schools.

All the best in your endeavors

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Joined: 01 Nov 2013
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GMAT 1: 690 Q45 V39
WE: General Management (Energy and Utilities)
Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2018, 05:43
linhhdao wrote:
Hi everyone,

In my senior year of undergrad, I first took the GMAT in Dec 2017 after roughly 2 month of study and got 670 (Q46, V36). I felt like I didn't study as much as I should have, so I decided to study harder and retake it at a later date.

I got a couple months of between July - September 2018 so I took a GMAT class in Vietnam and felt like I did improve quite significantly. I did two GMAT Prep tests (6 and 2) and got 710 and 730 respectively. Timing was not a big issue in any section.

I just retook the exam today and got 680 (Q47, V40). I'll skip the whining part :/

As much as I'm devastated, I don't want to give up yet. I'm not planning on applying to grad school until around 2020-2021 so I still have a lot of time. I'm glad to read about many of your GMAT experiences and know that I'm not alone in this struggle.

As of now I'd really like some advices on what to do next. I will start my full-time job this upcoming week. I don't know if I should set the GMAT aside for now and pull it out at a later date closer to my application cycle, or should I keep studying and retake it at a closer date?

I'd also love to know what would be a good indication of 'GMAT readiness' now that the GMAT Prep tests seem to greatly overestimate my score.

Thank you!

Have you requested the ESR from mba.com to better evaluate your performance on both the attempts?
I am sure you will be able to make out few areas of improvement.
_________________

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Director
Joined: 14 Dec 2017
Posts: 512
Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2018, 21:07
Hi linhhdao

To measure your "test readiness" in quantifiable terms, there is no other test other than the GMAT Prep that comes closer to the real test. I think 2 tests is not a sufficient number to see the trend. I suggest doing a thorough analysis of the GMAT Prep tests as well as obtaining the ESR for the real tests.

You can then analyse to check commonality in errors in the ESR & GMAT Prep, for e.g. look for concepts where you got questions wrong in both tests or pacing issues in the mid of the exam in both tests. You will have to then actively work on each weakness in isolation & attempt a GMAT prep test again.

Repeat the analysis again for the new GMAT prep test. You should be able to eliminate your weaknesses effectively if you do that.

Most importantly be honest & true to yourself while doing the analysis, sometimes we tend to fool ourselves into believing for the sake of fake comfort, since the test is just daunting or made daunting because of the hype around it.

Another thing for test readiness, i suggest, this is from my personal experience, is for every question type tested on the GMAT, you should be able to figure out the direction or steps to the solution within 20 secs or less of reading the question. If its a Quant question, you should put your pen to paper within 20 secs or less & start working towards solving the question. Similarly for Verbal, for e.g. CR, you should immediately figure out the logical fallacy used in the question & the possible answer types (both correct & incorrect ones). This will all happen very fast in your brain, but your brain will quickly recall your response to a similar question or similar situation, which you had practiced number of times before.

Our brain is more suited for responding at its best with known situations rather than unknown ones. Try avoiding the fight or flight situation for your brain & it will reward you handsomely. This is will come with lot of practice & identifying patterns that the GMAT uses.

The more i practice for the test, i see that the test is more predictable than it seems. Once you get to that kind of comfort level, your accuracy & speed will be exactly what the test demands from you. GMAT is more of a test of identification of patterns & is designed to favor someone who knows the concepts thoroughly & has practiced enough to identify its patterns. It is as simple as that.

Also while you practice, make sure your hit rate for Medium level/600-700 level questions is 100%, if you are aiming for a 730+ score.

Above advice is from my experience with the test so far, so take it with a grain of salt.

All the best!

Cheers,
GyM
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Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2018, 13:43
Hi linhhdao,

A Q47/V40 would NOT be a 680, so something about the scores you listed is incorrect. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming that you did score 680 on this recent attempt, then your 2 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 670 +/- a few points). By extension, it's possible that you've gotten 'stuck' at this particular score level.

Since you're not going to apply to Business School for a couple of years, you have plenty of time to study and improve. That having been said, to earn a 740+ on Test Day, you will have to make some significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. That training will likely require another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you're going to have to focus on learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report for your most recent attempt. While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

Since you've been in 'study mode' for the last couple of months, it would make sense to continue studying, so that you can make the necessary improvements and 'lock in' that higher Score. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your practice CATs over the last 2 months (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

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Re: When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2018, 16:50
Hi linhhdao,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, believe it or not, things are not actually that bad! Sure your actual GMAT score was lower than your practice exam scores, but 680 is a pretty good place to be, right? Also, unlike many GMAT test-takers, you actually have TIME ON YOUR SIDE!! It’s not as though you are trying to hit a second round deadline, so you should be thrilled about that.

Since you have been studying consistently up to this point, I think that you should continue your prep despite starting a new job, so you can build on the momentum you’ve gained. Yes, it’s going to be stressful managing the GMAT and a full-time job, but I’m certain that you can do it.

To answer your last question, the best way to track your progress is to take MBA.com practice exams, even though your actual GMAT score dipped from your practice GMATs. Since your score did drop, it’s likely that some of your weaknesses were exposed on test day. So, before taking any further practice exams, make sure that you 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.

If you need any further advice feel free to reach out. You also may find it helpful to read the following articles about how to study for the GMAT while working a demanding job and how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)  [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2018, 00:36
Hi linhhdao,

Your scores indicate a good grasp on GMAT and with some more focused preparation you can reach your target score. Since you are already in the GMAT zone right now, it would be better if you do not take a long break from it. If you delay your preparations, you may have to again put in some time to revise and come up to speed with current level. I think this article on Balancing GMAT studies with Work will be helpful for you.

GMAT Prep comes as close to the actual test as possible. Another indication can be how confident are you while selecting answers. How often do you get stuck at 2 options and find it difficult to narrow it down to one? If this happens a lot, you know you need to study more to plug this gap.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat in case of any further GMAT related queries.

Regards,
Aditee
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# When should I retake the GMAT? (3rd time taker)

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