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530 to 650, keep going? or call it a day?

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Joined: 13 Jan 2012
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530 to 650, keep going? or call it a day? [#permalink] New post 29 May 2012, 06:40
I know there are so many stories like this out there, but any views / advice would be appreciated.

Background:

British, 28yrs old
1st class BA(Econ.) degree, specialising in Politics (is 1st class a GPA of about 3.6?)
6 yrs work experience @ London-based Investor Relations consultancy - promoted to Board Director in Q3 2011.

GMAT:

Have sat the exam 3 times
530 (12th Dec 2011) - Q32, V31
590 (13th Jan 2012) - Q31, V40
650 (29th May 2012) - Q40, V40

Prep:

First off did the Kaplan On Demand course. After my first attempt, decided I needed some more help, so signed up to their Anywhere course (with interactive online sessions) over the Christmas 2011/12 holiday. This was decent enough, but after another attempt in Jan 2012, my quant score actually went backwards!

Did some more research with help from this forum and bought the MGMAT maths books - really worthwhile purchase. Worked my way through the questions and started to feel better about the concepts. Wish I had found these books earlier on.

In the run up to the exam I was taking the quant section of the MGMAT CATs (didn't feel like my verbal needed too much time spent on it).

Q30 (7th May 2012)
Q43 (13th May 2012)
Q46 (20th May 2012)
Q44, V36 (27th May 2012)

Actual Test:

Sat the test today and scored 650 (Q40, V40). In one sense I'm pleased that i've added another 60 points to the score, and am 120 points above my first attempt, but in another i'm gutted that I couldn't push my quant score up by a few points, especially as many people seem to think that the quant on MGMAT tests is harder than the actual exam.

I can only put it down to confidence on the actual test. Quite often I got the basic idea of the quant question, but I find it hard to follow through the math to make a definitive call on the answer - i'm often guessing between two choices, which I guess isn't good enough.

Application:

Really not sure what to do next, especially given that the new IR section will be added to the GMAT if I retake. Also, is 4 retakes getting a bit silly? I'm not looking to get into an uber elite school (Harvard / Yale etc), but I'm not sure whether my 650 with 55%-ile quant will be good enough for even a decent school. I'd be really happy if I could get into Marshall / Anderson / Irvine, but maybe they will not like the weak quant...

Any thoughts / examples of acceptances with a similar profile.

I'm pretty confident that I can make my application attractive, especially on work experience. I've got plenty to talk about in terms of i) managing a team to deliver programmes for our largest accounts (FTSE 100 / Top 30 Global companies); ii) designing and implementing a bespoke ICT system that has transformed our offering vs. peers; and iii) expanding the top line via successful pitches, networking and setting up our US-facing division. I also have extra-c activities like sailing (Dinghy National Championships & Yacht Skipper ) and cycling, but am light on charity / community work. To be frank, running a SME has occupied most of my time and energy for the last 5-6 years!

Thanks as always and good luck with your journey...
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 13 Jan 2012
Posts: 3
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Re: 530 to 650, keep going? or call it a day? [#permalink] New post 29 May 2012, 07:20
btw - you have to admit it's funny that some people are strong on Quant desperately trying to push up verbal and others have it the other way round (albeit fewer of the latter). I look at people with Q49, V30 score and just think - "some on guys, if you can do that level of maths you can surely see what those RC/SC questions are all about!". Im sure they think the same in reverse.

(yes, i'm a native speaker so I have an unfair advantage, but my education did not have a strong emphasis on maths - I wish it had)
Re: 530 to 650, keep going? or call it a day?   [#permalink] 29 May 2012, 07:20
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530 to 650, keep going? or call it a day?

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