Sunday, June 21, 2009

I've got some bad news and a warning to test takers.

I gave my GMAT last friday for the second time, hoping to improve on my previous score. But, I ended up with a disappointing 620. Thats 20 points less than last time!!! I was so shocked and disappointed when i saw the score - i just sat there staring at my score for 5 mins. I have no idea what went wrong.

One word of caution to prospective test takers - The questions in GMAT were a lot tougher and trickier than those in the Official guides and the GMATPrep tests. So my advice is prepare hard, use a lot of other sources for your preparation, and finally practice, practice and practice.

Now with that disppointing performance, i'm in a bad situation right now. My scores certainly do not reflect my ability and i have nothing to prove to that effect. Should i take it another time - I dont know. I dont know how to improve as i had given my 100% during my last preparation. I seek the advice of my revered readers. What do you say???


  1. Hi Hari,

    Well done for your GMAT preparations. Im sure the score is not a result of lack of effort. Dont worry too much about it. I suggest going in for a fresh retake without putting too much pressure on yourself.

    All the very best!

  2. I would take it again, and I would try and alter my test prep. I would use completely different books and incorporate a different study pattern. This should provide you with something new and interesting to focus on. Have you tried the Manhattan GMAT books, I found them to be very different from most other prep materials. Best of luck, and great blog.

  3. I would suggest you to check if you are in the zone for any of the schools with your first score. If you have something that is different from other applicants it should get you through. If 680 is average score it means that people have scores varying from 620 to 760. By the way, if you are looking for part time programs, you should be fine.

  4. I am sure you are much more capable than this. Hmm...I am not that experienced to advice you, but you can try recollecting where you went wrong and work on filling those gaps. I strongly suggest you to give one more try. I am planning to take the exam in last week of july, now with your suggestion I need to prepare more rigorously. I might be asking too much but it would be great if you can post a detailed debrief on how the exam went. Finally, forget the past and march forward because this isn't everything.


  5. Thank you very much for all your kind words.. And I have made up my mind to continue my fight. I will go for another attempt.

    @Sree - I did not want to post a debrief as it would probably discourage or make other prospective test takers nervous. But i can say one thing - It was tough. There were many times during the test (esp. during verbal) when i felt that all the given answer choices could be wrong!!! It was difficult to pick the "Best possible" option. On the other hand while practicing with the OG one answer always popped out to me!!!

  6. Sahil Jain (s***l@s***lj** 26, 2009 at 6:50 AM

    Hey Hari -

    Coming from someone who scored a 620 in both powerpreps but was able to push it higher in the actual exam, I would say, watch out for the "if i can do og, i can do the real gmat" complex. OG (esp the hardest problems) are what most study material (kaplan, princeton) etc is based on, so most of the concepts asked in the OG questions are very easy to get familiarized to.

    There is a lot of random practice material online - and it takes TIME more than anything else to get used to the mentality needed to answer these questions. For me, 20 days down the line, I felt I had started getting the hang of things and thats when I gave the exam.

    PM me if you need more prep stuff - I might be able to guide you to some good resources.

    Lastly, don't give the exam again unless you are getting a 700+ on your sample (non og, non priceton, non kaplan, non powerprep) exam.

  7. My greatest lesson on the GMAT was know when to cut your losses. Do you feel overly anxious when you take tests? Are you too focused or not focused enough on certain questions? How much basic problem/content prep did you do versus the OG books?

    Figuring out weaknesses is hard, but necessary to improve. Is a certain type of problem giving you trouble? Etc...


  8. What is your break-up and which schools are you applying to? Sometimes, schools might consider the higher score from Verbal and Quant across multiple exams (ex. Tuck). So if you have a high in Quant, concentrate on your verbal and take the test again.

    Keep a log of which answers you get wrong when you practice. Take the practice tests again and check if you are repeatedly making the same mistakes.

    Look at the Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction book. It might help. Lastly, at one point, just accept a certain score as your GMAT score and move on with other aspects of your application. The GMAT is one small part of your app. If you have a high GPA/% and work in a highly analytical field, you can make up for a low GMAT if you present your application well.

  9. can u plz tell me ur tutor contact number...I would like to consult him/her?? my email id is

  10. You have to be more focused. You have to give 100% all of the time and believe that you can do it. You can also talk to friends who got high GMAT scores, and ask for help and motivation.

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