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550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake?

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Intern
Intern
avatar
Status: Looking for an online MBA program only
Joined: 23 Apr 2012
Posts: 8
Location: United States
Concentration: Nonprofit, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Northeastern (A)
GMAT 1: 550 Q26 V36
GPA: 2.89
WE: Real Estate (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [1] , given: 1

550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 15:22
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I'm looking at online school only and I've already been accepted to Northeastern. For their FT/PT programs -- I am certain that they are not bad. But I am worry if I am about to invest $65k into a wrong school.

I bombed the Verbal, as expected, and got lower than I hoped in Quantitative section -- something I was really hoping would help my low verbal skill. I knew I would be fine in AWA -- but I also heard B-School doesn't really care about that. So ... damn.

Oh -- and I run out of time in Math. Yay me for spending 5 minutes on question #2!!!

Now, I must admit that I didn't study real hard. I couldn't focus and I was adjusting to a new position I was recently promoted to at work (Yay for extra $$$ .... Nay for no time for anything!!!). If I focus 100% of my time, I am sure I can do better. How much better ... that's a different story.

Yes. I have looked at ASU, Indiana, and UNC. Those are my top choices ... but I don't know if I'll get in. My dad kept telling me that I'm running out of time and I'm getting too old (even though I'm mid 20s) to finish my MBA, and that I may be wasting my time and my money taking the GMAT again. He said I should just stop worrying about the GMAT and go to Northeastern.

My stat
GMAT: 550
AWA: 6.0
Undergrad GPA: 2.89
Undergrad Major: English
Undergrad School: Tier 2 Regional School
Work Experience: Non-Profit Management 4.5 Years
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States (VA)
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32
GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Research (Other)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 50

GMAT Tests User
Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 12:10
In short, I don't think you have a strong chance getting an MBA at ASU, IU, nor UNC full time because of the GMAT.

You vs. the Numbers
http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/ra ... s/asu.html
Your GMAT is likely between the 10th and 25th percentile of apps at ASU, but your score is well below the 10th percentile of the incoming class.
the 10-25-50-75-90th percentile for apps: 570-630-680-710-730
the 10-25-50-75-90th percentile for incoming: 630-660-690-710-740

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/ra ... diana.html
At Indiana, your GMAT is likely below that 10th percentile of apps and the incoming class.
the 10-25-50-75-90th percentile for apps: 480-580-640-690-710
the 10-25-50-75-90th percentile for incoming: 620-650-680-710-730

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/ra ... s/unc.html
At UNC, your GMAT is below the 10th percentiles for apps and in the incoming class again.
the 10-25-50-75-90th percentile for apps: 570-630-680-710-730
the 10-25-50-75-90th percentile for incoming: 630-660-690-710-740

The odds aren't good for you to get to any of these programs with a 550, when you combine a sub 3.0 GPA. If your GPA is low, your GMAT has to make up for the difference (and the GMAT means more anyway). Admits with lower than average GMATs likely have well above average GPA's to compensate for it. Obviously admissions isn't just a numbers game, but when a school takes someone with a below average metric which will play into its rankings (like GMAT or GPA), that admit needs another rankable metric that's stellar.

Statistically, you probably won't get a fair shot at these schools without meeting at least the median on the GMAT imo. That means you need at least 100-120 points more, which is a 650-670 which would pull you into the middle 50th percentile. If your score was in the 25th percentile, you may only need 20-30 points to bump up to average for the last incoming class on the other hand, but because your score is very low for these programs, you will have to improve considerably and you're not helping yourself by not giving yourself an extra shot at this test.

It's not easy to improve your score obviously, but it is doable. I went up from a 540 on a cold practice test to a 660, and even now I still think that if EVERYTHING went right for me on test day, maybe I would have a 700, but take your extra points where you can. I'll take the 20 extra points I got last time.

Your goal: Re-take and improve your GMAT score
I recommend that you take a couple more months to study this test again and take it again. The math on this test isn't that hard. It's the wordy tricks in these problems that throw us off. You definitely should get a quant score above 40, which is barely above average too, because everyone in the world understands the language of math. For verbal, you should spruce this up too. You can really gain a lot of percentile points and GMAT score points the more you improve that section. The AWA's and integrated reason won't count as much, but they are still in the application too.

There are many folks here who have below 3.0 GPA's but still got into good schools because their GMAT and other accomplishments made up for it. I know some folks here think you should take community college classes, etc to provide an "alternate transcript" but I don't think that is worth your time at this point in the game. Killing the GMAT is more important right now. Good luck!



UPDATE

*crud* I saw you were going for the online only programs. In this case, the average scores for these programs are generally lower than the full time counterparts. I myself am applying to a part time (but not online program). That said, no schools have a part time or online MBA average at around 700 or more except Northwestern, Chicago, and Berkeley. But still, you should go for a higher GMAT, because the UNC online program's average was well above 600 when I inquired about it.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States (VA)
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32
GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Research (Other)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 50

GMAT Tests User
Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 12:45
I guess on your story about your family saying that time is passing you by with the MBA, I think you're actually now just entering prime MBA student age more or less. in your mid 20's, you're not too old for an MBA that's for sure.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Status: Looking for an online MBA program only
Joined: 23 Apr 2012
Posts: 8
Location: United States
Concentration: Nonprofit, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Northeastern (A)
GMAT 1: 550 Q26 V36
GPA: 2.89
WE: Real Estate (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 1

Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 13:35
Thank you guys!

I am admitted to Northeastern (conditional acceptance -- better than nothing!). The acceptance is good for 1 full year. Right now they put me down for the July program start date, but I can switch that to a later time.

I mean ... FT/PT, yes, NU is a very good program. Can it complete with Wharton, Booth, or Kenan-Flager? No, but it is still a very good and a very reputable school IMO. However, that's the on campus program.

The online program has so much debate these days - I won't get into that. But within the online program themselves, is NU a good enough school? I look at it with ... my GPA sucks, my undergrad school isn't amazing, and yeah .. sure, I have excellence work experience esp at my age, but so what? If they admitted me with my low GPA --- how good of a school can their online program be??? Do they just want my $$ ??

Since I'm already accepted, should I just not worry about GMAT and go to Northeastern? Or just push it out a bit more, take GMAT again, and hope to get a better score to apply toward ASU, IU, or UNC?
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States (VA)
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32
GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Research (Other)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 50

GMAT Tests User
Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 13:42
AlyxisPaige wrote:
Thank you guys!

I am admitted to Northeastern (conditional acceptance -- better than nothing!). The acceptance is good for 1 full year. Right now they put me down for the July program start date, but I can switch that to a later time.

I mean ... FT/PT, yes, NU is a very good program. Can it complete with Wharton, Booth, or Kenan-Flager? No, but it is still a very good and a very reputable school IMO. However, that's the on campus program.

The online program has so much debate these days - I won't get into that. But within the online program themselves, is NU a good enough school? I look at it with ... my GPA sucks, my undergrad school isn't amazing, and yeah .. sure, I have excellence work experience esp at my age, but so what? If they admitted me with my low GPA --- how good of a school can their online program be??? Do they just want my $$ ??

Since I'm already accepted, should I just not worry about GMAT and go to Northeastern? Or just push it out a bit more, take GMAT again, and hope to get a better score to apply toward ASU, IU, or UNC?


If your acceptance is good for a year, I'd defer for a little bit and try to raise the GMAT for one of the other three schools. You should take it twice, maybe three times, but no more than that if you can.

Also, do you live near Boston? Northeastern's reach has to be at its best in the Boston/New England area, especially, considering that you are doing an online program. That way you can take part in some networking and campus interviews. Assuming you want to increase your networking prospects, it is a plus if the school is relatively close to your town.
Intern
Intern
avatar
Status: Looking for an online MBA program only
Joined: 23 Apr 2012
Posts: 8
Location: United States
Concentration: Nonprofit, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Northeastern (A)
GMAT 1: 550 Q26 V36
GPA: 2.89
WE: Real Estate (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 1

Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 13:47
novanative wrote:
AlyxisPaige wrote:
Thank you guys!

I am admitted to Northeastern (conditional acceptance -- better than nothing!). The acceptance is good for 1 full year. Right now they put me down for the July program start date, but I can switch that to a later time.

I mean ... FT/PT, yes, NU is a very good program. Can it complete with Wharton, Booth, or Kenan-Flager? No, but it is still a very good and a very reputable school IMO. However, that's the on campus program.

The online program has so much debate these days - I won't get into that. But within the online program themselves, is NU a good enough school? I look at it with ... my GPA sucks, my undergrad school isn't amazing, and yeah .. sure, I have excellence work experience esp at my age, but so what? If they admitted me with my low GPA --- how good of a school can their online program be??? Do they just want my $$ ??

Since I'm already accepted, should I just not worry about GMAT and go to Northeastern? Or just push it out a bit more, take GMAT again, and hope to get a better score to apply toward ASU, IU, or UNC?


If your acceptance is good for a year, I'd defer for a little bit and try to raise the GMAT for one of the other three schools. You should take it twice, maybe three times, but no more than that if you can.

Also, do you live near Boston? Northeastern's reach has to be at its best in the Boston/New England area, especially, considering that you are doing an online program. That way you can take part in some networking and campus interviews. Assuming you want to increase your networking prospects, it is a plus if the school is relatively close to your town.


No, I'm all the way to the other end of the country in Seattle "-_-

Once I am through with my Master, I'm thinking Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin,...
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
Posts: 389
Location: United States (VA)
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V32
GMAT 2: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 3: 660 Q43 V38
GPA: 3.1
WE: Research (Other)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 50

GMAT Tests User
Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake? [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 20:31
AlyxisPaige wrote:
No, I'm all the way to the other end of the country in Seattle "-_-

Once I am through with my Master, I'm thinking Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin,...


Ok. The good part about an online MBA is that you will get to meet guys presumably from all over the world. So, while on campus networking is limited, at the same time, you will have a lot of potential opportunities too.

If you ultimately choose Northeastern, the issue is what kind of a brand does it have both in Washington State (where I assume University of Washington/Wash State/Gonzaga have a bigger reach and perhaps a lot of other western schools even in Cali due to the tech market that's in Seattle). However, if you also went to one of these schools for college, that could mitigate a "lack of brand name" with your MBA.

Lastly, they need to bring back the SuperSonics. The only bad thing is that the city has to rob another team to get them back, and it looks like the Kings may just be that team. Just imagine if the Oklahoma City Thunder was really in emerald green and rocking Key Arena right now with its current roster. Sure, the Storm is nice to have, and the Sounders are doing really well, but as a DC native where the Washington Wizards' history is deeply tied with the Sonics given the championships the teams have, it's like our history doesn't exist either. Sorry for the off topic rant on the NBA, but yeah, I like Seattle as a city.
Re: 550 w/ AWA 6.0 1st GMAT score -- should I retake?   [#permalink] 24 Apr 2012, 20:31
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