The dreaded GMAT, part 2

As I wrote in part 1, there were two pieces of information that I learned from my first pass through the GMAT.  First, I needed to spend another $250 to re-take the exam (I didn’t need that new iPod anyway).  Second, and more importantly, I need to actually study for the exam!  Lucky for me, there is a mandatory “cooling-off” period of one month between test attempts. /sarcasm off

I scheduled my re-take for 35 days after my first sitting, to give myself motivation to study for exam.  And study I did.  Not only did I do every problem in the GMAT study guide, but I also took both Computer Adaptive Tests provided by  If you’ve never taken an adaptive test before, they are extremely difficult to gauge while you are taking them.  You must answer each question sequentially, and the test “adapts” to your level of brainpower.  So unless you are doing extremely poorly, the test will seem difficult while at the same time making you feel like you are doing well.

In my case, the feeling of doing well was short lived.

After spending untold numbers of hours studying, $500 in test fees and 4+ hours twice to take the actual exam, I was only able to improve my test score 60 points the second time to finish at 650.  While 650 is better than average, if I was to be admitted to a top business school I had my work cut out for me.

BTW, while I have no doubt that the GMAT proves “something” about B-school candidates, I don’t believe it measures propensity to be successful in an MBA program.  All that studying the second time showed me was that there is an underlying pattern in the questions; with enough practice, the questions just become another type of formula to memorize, then forget after the test is over.

Related Posts:

  • The dreaded GMAT, part 1
  • The Fuqua (pre-)Application – Duke initiates contact!
  • …And then there were two
  • Where to apply