Friends,

I have just sat the GMAT and have scored very high on verbal, but abysmally low on quant - 36% percentile. While my score was slightly lower than what I had obtained in the GMATPrep official practice tests, I am still dismayed that I cannot get my score higher. What bugs me more is that many areas I focused on did not even get tested (see below). I have been preparing consistently for about four months, and, recognizing that I am a lot stronger on verbal, focused solely on math, and intensively so, for the last two weeks.

The resources I have used are:

  • Official guide, 13th and 12th editions
  • A well known and established test prep provider's most recent guide
  • The online material provided by a well-known online prep provider
  • Random questions posted in forums such as this one


While working my way through the OG guide (all questions), I found I was getting about 80% of them, including those near the end, correct.

Here's what I got tested on today:

  • Remainders
  • Triangles
  • Functions
  • Exponents
  • Rates
  • Work
  • Inequalities
  • Absolute values
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Factors, LCM etc


Here are some areas that were not tested:

  • Roots
  • Probability
  • Simultaneous Equations
  • Sets
  • Counting
  • Shapes
  • Sequences
  • Ratios
  • Interest calculations



As you can see, some relatively easy topics (ratios, shapes, simultaneous equations) did not get tested at all. I am particularly frustrated at the choice of areas tested. During the practice tests, I struggled with sets, counting, and probability. So I dived deep into these areas in the last few week, got very good at them, and then nothing gets asked.

In order to best prepare for a retest, I welcome informed feedback on the following questions:

  • What conclusions, if any, should I draw from the algorithm's choice of questions today?
  • While working my way through the quant section, I did not "feel" like I was getting many questions wrong. I guessed rarely. My timing could have been a little less erratic - if a test-taker answers all questions, but takes an inordinate amount of time with some, does the algorithm take this into this and punish accordingly? And if so, how heavily does it punish? GMAC does not indicate that it does; some test prep consultants suggest that it does indeed punish. What is the truth of the matter?
  • This math material came easy, ridiculously easy, to me in high school. And I have a bachelor's in engineering which included a BA in mathematics. Although that was a long time ago, I am shocked at my struggle in this area. I appreciate that the GMAT ask things in tricky ways, combines areas together in one question etc., but I would have expected that, having re-familiarized myself with this subject over the last few months, it would come easy. Has anyone else faced the same hurdle, and how best to get over it?
  • Given all the above, what is a sensible way of approaching my study over the next four/five weeks before I re-sit?


Please, right now I am only interested in feedback on the GMAT in and of itself, not on scoring ranges and how they relate to admissions.

Many thanks