Archive for GMAT

%tile update

I called the GMAT (I think they offshore) and had to ask the guy my question four different ways before he understood my question. He kept insisting that my score does not change, which I understand. I’m asking about the change in PERCENTILES! So, here’s the answer:

Percentiles are calculated over a 3 year period so they are constantly being adjusted. I forgot to ask when this three year period starts or ends.

Schools may have received my higher percentile score IF they request score reports sent via paper. If they have their system set up where they just log in to verify scores, then they will see my lower percentile.

Not a huge deal, but again, very annoying.


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2nd official score report: Lower %

Grr! Last week, I asked the test administrators to send an official score report to Wharton, since it wasn’t one of my original five. Today, I received a copy of the report and all of my percentages are lower!! I guess this means I (unintentionally) reported errant scores to Kellogg (Part 1) and I’ll have to go back to all my applications and revise the percentiles.

Granted, verbal, quant, and the total only went down by -1% but analytical writing went down by -12%! AND this puts my quant score at 81%…just 1% above the “acceptable” range.

My first “Official” score report was sent 3 days after I took my test (I double-checked and the first copy said official copy on it). This second “Official” score report was sent four months later. If I had not asked for an additional copy sent to Wharton, I would have unintentionally reported errant scores to all my schools. Also, did all my schools receive the original batch of percentiles? Has this happened to anyone else?

I remember reading that the unofficial score report could differ on percentiles from the official score report. But variance from official report to official report? Very annoying, though not the end of the world.

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5.0 on my AWA

I’m surprised that my AWA score came back so quickly…

 Although I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t score higher (5.0 is only 73%-tile), I understand. I didn’t spend any time preparing, I didn’t write the most cohesive essay (I wanted to save my energy for the score that mattered), and I am not sure I spelled dissatisfied (one s or two) correctly. I used that word a lot. And I’m pretty sure I repeated myself a few times.

Oh well! Oh, and if anyone who reads this (I only know of one person besides myself that reads this) really wants to know my actual GMAT score, just email me. I thought it might be a bit weird to post it.

Now…on to applications! I’m currently reading Richard Montauk’s book How to get into the Top MBA Programs and contacting alumni from the schools I’m interested in (no particular order):

  1. Columbia
  2. Duke/Fuqua
  3. Cal/Haas (also my alma mater)
  4. Northwestern/Kellogg

I am also considering NYU (I sent them my score report) and last night I dreamt about applying to Harvard. While it may be a stretch for me, it is worth a try…the worst thing that happens is that I’m out a few hundred dollars, spent a few weeks of my time on essays, and they say no.

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Rocked the GMAT!

Took the GMAT yesterday and ROCKED IT! I scored exactly as my GMATPrep scores predicted. Afterwards, I had lunch with one of my recommenders and then promptly went out to celebrate. I feel sick today and I have to board a plane. McDonald’s is calling my name.

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2 days and counting…

Forums are like crack. While I’ve successfully stayed away from the very awful Business Week forums, I have been going into the Beat the GMAT and GMATClub forums. As anyone who has been reading knows, the forums always end up undermining my confidence. However, I need to remind myself of what I always tell J (who reads a lot of car forums and then ends up freaking out about his car). People with negative experiences are more likely to seek out help or complain on forums. Those with positive experiences are not as likely to go onto a forum just to post their great score and how everything is going swimmingly for them. In my marketing text, it gives a statistic that I’ve now forgotten, but goes something like “Dissatisfied customers are 10x more likely to tell others about their dissastisfaction whereas happy customers are less likely to tell as many people about their positive experience.”

Gotta remember that, as the forums continue to undermine my confidence in my preparation. As a reminder to myself as to how far I’ve come:

  • I’ve been studying pretty diligently since February 2007. I took the Kaplan GMAT course which ran Feb – Mar and spent a significant amount of my time doing Kaplan homework on the weeknights and CATs on the weekends.
  • I’ve carried my books with me on business trips and studied in my room at night while everyone is out partying
  • I’ve passed up numerous outings with friends and family in order to study for ~2 hours 4-5 nights a week, stayed home on Saturdays to study, and woken up early on Sundays to take my CATs
  • I’ve successfully improved my CAT scores starting with a 590 and ending with a 720.

I’m prepared. I may not be able to answer the most difficult questions, but I should be able to answer the questions that will get me within range of my target score. If I get get 680+, I will not be disappointed (ok, maybe a little). I just want anything from 700 and above. I’ve done all the work…and I’m usually successful when I’ve done the work. Hopefully I’ll get questions more like GMATPrep 2 than GMATPrep 1 🙂

Tonight, I will review the questions that I’ve gotten wrong. I have 13 problems between the OG & the Quant OG that I have still gotten wrong on the 3rd attempt. One question I always get wrong because I always miss one given in the question.

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Starting to get anxious. I’ve been consciously trying NOT to be overly confident, but I’m pretty much done with studying. My task for the next 4 days is to maintain this knowledge and not forget anything that I’ve learned. I need to sit down tonight and do some more problems just to keep my brain well oiled. I have to admit that my spectacular GMATPrep scored has caused me to relax a bit in the last few days.

Many people on the message boards (somebody please stop me from reading those awful things) have said that the GMATPrep was an incredibly accurate indicator of their performance, while a minority have posted dismal results after successful GMATPrep attempts. I’d like to assume that these are the people who panic under pressure (I usually am not), but I really need to focus on these last four days so that I don’t throw away all of the preparation that I’ve done over the last four months.

On the home stretch…just gotta keep my eyes on the prize. It is getting difficult. Last night, I saw my friends again for dinner, and it felt AWESOME. I’ve missed seeing them. Just four more days! Focus!!!!

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Woke up early this morning for my last GMATPrep CAT before the actual test. I pretty much approach these CATs as I do a marathon. I wake up about 2 hours prior, eat a nutrition bar (my recent fave is the Powerbar Harvest Nut something or other), drink some coffee, go to the bathroom, watch some TV, and do some practice problems to warm up my brain. I also make sure I’m well-hydrated, but not too much that I have to pee mid-test (or mid-run). During breaks (or sticking to the long run parallel, water stops) I swallow some Clif Shot Bloks w/caffeine and drink some water to maintain my energy levels. I only started doing this last week, and I’ve found that it makes a HUUUUGE difference in my ability to focus on the latter half of the test.

 Today’s result? 720!!!! (Q45, V44). If I get anywhere between 700 and 720, I will be more than happy and these last few months of hibernation will have been worth it. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!!!

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