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2 apply or 2 not apply?

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2 apply or 2 not apply? [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2006, 16:46
Hi all,

I am not sure if I should post my state of mind in this forum. I do not have anywhere to go for advice and GMATCLUB was the only place that came to my mind repeatedly. That s why........

I am based in tokyo and hence would be an international prospective applicant. I am 29 yrs old at present and targetting Round 2 applications at 3 top schools (wharton, chicago and nyu stern).

I had been dreaming about top bschool from past 5 years but was not able to put in efforts + focus following family priorities. A year ago (2005) I was finally able to finish attending family priorities and was back with a fresh mind to kick-off mba prep. During same time I discovered my sweetheart, went into a live-in relationship after 1 year and now we are engaged. She has been extremely supportive towards my dream. Last 2 years I spent working hard saving money, took gmaxonline course, managed to get recommenders (both from current employer) and arranged bschool visits (onsite trips, class visits, meetings with students and admission directors). Being an international student it is tough and expensive to visit bschools just for the sake of deciding whether all efforts are worth spending. I found myself more confident after the bschool visits, meeting current students and admission directors. Besides 3 schools listed I had 1 more school in mind and after visiting that school I dropped it altogether despite being a top-notch school. In August 2006 I had to leave my current job as I needed more time for mba preparation and I am targetting 2007 Fall season for mba. My employer (they are my recommenders too) showed excellent understanding & respect towards my bschool goal and offered great co-operation and help. I visited bschools during Oct.2006 along with studying for gmat. Then came Nov.2006 when a family priority sprung up all of a sudden and I had to leave everything aside for 2 weeks. During same time I was studying for gmat, working with recommenders on letters, working on arranging college transcripts. Ofcourse mba preparation got affected considerably due to new family priority but family is important so I had no choice but to re-prioritise. I finished attending family priority and returned back to tokyo in late November 2006. After coming back I learnt that my fiance is getting concerned about me not having a job as we are planning for marriage in 2007. Her patience finally broke off and she did confess it to me. She has been an active partner in my struggles from past 2 years and being a full-time working professional gets her busy and tired too. So I had to change my priority again and directed my efforts for finding a new job. Finally by mid-December 2006 I got a confirmed job offer at a reputed firm in tokyo. As per my original application strategy I would apply to Round 2 at Wharton, Chicago and NYU Stern.
Today is Dec.26th 2006.
After all these years of struggle and a roller-coaster ride managing priorities I am currently left with 8.5 years of full-time work exp., 2 strong recommendation letters, official college transcripts, initial draft of essays for 3 schools, online applications that are completed 95%, low GMAT score (below 500) and average GPA.

I still have 6 days left to complete final draft of essays and mail recommendation letters and college transcripts. But I am thinking with low GMAT score (below 500) is it really worth submitting my application this year? Even after submission the probability of getting admitted this year is very less. I am also worried that if I apply next year as a re-applicant I will not be able to use same recommenders for next application season (because most bschools do not prefer 'same' content in a re-applicant's recommendation letter). I do not think my recommenders would consider spending another 2 months next year for re-drafting my letters.
I have spent 2 sleepless nights trying to decide whether to wait until next year OR simply submit application this year and see what happens.

I still don't know where I went wrong in my application strategy and planning. Was it the unexpected family priorities that I could not had avoided anyway? At present my mind is blank, very tired and shut off completely. Any advice, critical comments, suggestions....feel free to shower unto me. I think if not the emotional support but I do deserve the punishment for not meeting the mark. :(

Thank you for your time in reading my story.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2006, 17:42
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a sub-500 gmat gives you a zero chance at NYU, Wharton, or Chicago.

The only way you can get in with that score is if you are a celebrity or a millionaire who is willing to donate a hefty amount.

My suggestion would be to take the test again and apply next year. It is very much possible to go from sub 500 to a 700+ with hard work.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2006, 20:01
Yes, I agree with Kiddreck. A below 500 score just simply won't get you into the three schools you are targeting. It is virtually impossible, especially with fierce competition amongst your fellow Japanese (I know you are Japanese based on your writing style).

You could however, apply with the intentions of reapplying in R1 2007, provided that you substantially raise your GMAT score (150~200+ points). As a reapplicant next year, all you would need to submit is another essay, possibly another recommendation, and of course, a higher GMAT.

Another option, albeit less attractive, is to choose a state school program. Many have GMAT averages around 500~ points.

Gambatte kudasai. Zettai zetsume.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2006, 01:04
Hi Samdee,

I was happy to read your post because we are in the same situation. I also left my job in August to work on business school. But my GMAT is a 490 (everything else is strong; also I have been told I have a very untraditional profile). I have drafted essays and my recommendation letters are complete. But I know there is a dim chance to none with the GMAT score, even with my 3.9 GPA. (Believe it or not, I brought in 28 AP credits in English before I even started college, plus have a liberal arts background, and still came up at 76% verbal. I was scoring 95-99% verbal on practice tests. But I am one of those heart-palpitating, dig-your-nails-into-the-palms test takers. One thing is for sure, Nerve Control is one name of the game.)

Please, let me know what you decide, for we're in this boat together!
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2006, 11:42
I have given my GMAT 3 times and have not scored more than 550. But I am giving it the fourth time. GMAT is the only thing between me and MBA. I am sure I will get into a good business school if I apply with my 7 years of work experience and good application packet. If you want to apply, apply with confidence that your entire package is good. Do not apply with a couple of weak links in your package. That in my mind is a waste of time.

Invest that time in GMAT and I am sure you will do well.

Good Luck and patience is key!
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2006, 11:57
axl_oz wrote:
I have given my GMAT 3 times and have not scored more than 550. But I am giving it the fourth time. GMAT is the only thing between me and MBA. I am sure I will get into a good business school if I apply with my 7 years of work experience and good application packet. If you want to apply, apply with confidence that your entire package is good. Do not apply with a couple of weak links in your package. That in my mind is a waste of time.

Invest that time in GMAT and I am sure you will do well.

Good Luck and patience is key!


can't agree more!!! hope you listen to this advice!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2006, 17:41
quick poll for those who read this thread-

i took the gmat in dec. scored 490. was originally planning to apply for an ultraelite, round 2. sure i will be denied based on gmat alone. as a previous poster said, gmat is the only thing between me and a good business school.

should i go ahead and apply now with the bad gmat score, or take it again before round 3 and apply?

i know that timing is often everything, but right now it's a "sure ding."

if i apply in round 3 with a little better score (hopefully a lot better, and hopefully the score *will change), i am still up against the timing issue of most candidates being accepted.

since my reccs have already been written, i don't want to hold from applying altogether until next year round 1. also the creation of file gives me ground to reapply.

poll: round 2 or 3?

thank you so much!!
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2006, 18:31
I am applying in round 3 as well( not to the same schools though), and I will honestly say that having an average gmat is very important. The only person I personally know who got admitted to Columbia and Wharton with a lowest score that one could ever imagine and she had a 550 but her application was very strong . I think it is better to take the gmat again and then apply, I know that round 3 has limited seats, but if you can stand out with your essays and have a slightly better score, you will have better chances.


Good luck buddy!
  [#permalink] 31 Dec 2006, 18:31
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