My GMAT retake was Sept. 19th and I resolved it would be my last. My preparation up until this retake was a little lopsided. I put off studying entirely for the two weeks immediately after my first attempt, and studied pretty consistently the next three weeks. I knew that timing was my big thing, so I tried to employ a variety of strategies including pacing myself and not running out of time at the end.
Like the first time, AWA went by quickly and though I had to think and plan longer on my topics this time, I still felt pretty good when finishing. Moving on to Quant, I started with some fairly easy questions, then moved up to medium level, and for a few that I had no clue how to solve, I gave it my best guess and moved on. What really scared me was a few easy questions in the middle: Was this a sign that I had made simple mistakes earlier? This caused me to panic and I resolved to keep truckin’ along, doing well at the end and finishing with a minute to spare.
When Quant was over, I was slightly worried – I hadn’t seen any rate or permutation questions, the ones that I felt solid on, but saw two functions questions, types of questions that I did not brush up on. I knew something was amiss, but wanted to head strong into Verbal so I only took a few minutes for the break.
The entire time on Verbal I told myself to work at a steady pace, which was my problem the last time. Halfway through Verbal, I noticed I was short on the time I had budgeted and guessed on two questions in a very long CR passage. I finished just on time, but thought I had bombed Verbal. Luckily, I did not have to go through the experimental section this time around and when my results screen finally came up, I put my hands over my eyes, much like you would do watching while The Ring:
The result? 710 (92%) with 44Q (66%) and 44V (97%). I had made my goal of hopping over the 700-barrier, but it was more of a stumble and dash at the end, rather then a true leap.
Go figure. While I’m happy with my Verbal score, the Quant leaves much to be desired. +20 points is not much, but it puts me closer to the average of the schools I hope to attend. My only concern now is in the unbalance of the scores – would a school look unfavorably upon such a low quant score?
Regardless, I really wanted to move on. Realistically, the most my score could go up is maybe 30 pts, and the 3 practice tests I took over the past week I scored 710, 720, and 730, so I knew it was within my range. At home, I googled a 44v 44q split and got some interesting feedback – most people said the 710 was a good score, but the split may be concerning to some as the 80/80 percentile is preferred. Gah!
I even wondered for a minute whether I should submit the 690 score because of the more even distribution, but realized how silly that was. 710 is a great score and I really did not want to keep taking this test again and keep forking over the $250. I have no plans of doing anything finance related, though I’m fairly comfortable with numbers and data as I use them in my job with relation academic performance across schools. After beating myself up for the split, I realized that I did okay considering I did not sign up for a class and used the Manhattan GMAT guides, OG books and a tiny bit of Kaplan and Princeton review here and there along with the Manhattan GMAT, GMAC and Knewton practice tests. What did help the last couple of weeks was googling types of questions that I was still unclear on – there’s a lot you can learn from random websites on basic math!
Set of GMAT guides, looking for a good home!
I am pretty much convinced that my GMAT tribulations are ending today. I even re-read through this thread on whether or not to retake, and can’t really point out a good reason other than increasing the Quant. On the drive home, I reflected on the irony of the situation, which should be taken as a sign to move on.
I thought back to My Biking Incident of Last Summer – in an attempt to fit in better in my city (I was not about to get a tattoo and could only take PBR in small amounts), I bought a vintage Schwinn off Craigslist and convinced myself to bike to work. The bike was not really my thing, it was more of a practical move with a 15- minute commute downhill to work. Riding home in a hurry one afternoon to get to kickball practice, I fell off and busted up my knee, landing in urgent care. (I still have the scar to prove it, and now have to pose strategically in photographs – ha!) A few weeks later, my bike got stolen as it was locked outside of my office; granted I had left it there for two weeks while I worked in Asia, but that’s besides the point. Maybe, somewhere the universe was saying that I need to stay off that bike, and maybe, this is an indication today that I need to focus on other parts of my app. This time around, I’m listening.