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700 (45Q, 40V) reflections / advice for retake?

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700 (45Q, 40V) reflections / advice for retake? [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 08:40
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Hi Guys,

I just took the GMAT and scored 700 (90th percentile) with 45Q (71st percentile) and 40V (89th percentile). One part of me is happy as the overall score is decent and I didn't prepare much at all, but the other part of me is severely disappointed in the Q score.

I'm looking to get into masters in finance programs at top schools (MIT, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford) and I don't think the Q score will do, as those programs tend to be heavily math oriented, and my math education is already somewhat lacking compared to pure math majors (Finance/Economics double major, Math minor). My GPA (3.99), work experience, and extracurricular activities are solid, but I still think the Q score will basically rule me out due to the already questionable math background. If I was applying to MBA's I think I would be okay with that score, but unfortunately I'm an undergrad with insufficient real-world experience.

So I feel the only option is to retake the test and try to boost the Q score. I figure I have 1 month to study, maybe 1.5 months maximum. This time around I basically just finished MGMAT books 1 and 2, and maybe 3 (I forget), took the untimed Q diagnostic in the OG (scored "excellent") and took the Q section of an MGMAT practice test (scored 45Q). Pretty pathetic studying, so I have no one to blame but myself for the Q score. I did not look at all at anything verbal related. Based on my experience (below) how do you all think I should study?

AWA - I have no idea how I did on this. I'm not sure how much this section even matters. I didn't feel like my writing was eloquent at all, but I figure my arguments were decent.

Q - I felt I did well on the computational questions, but questions with only variables (especially data sufficiency) confused me, and I sort of went with feeling rather than systematically solving them. Geometry was tough, and I definitely need to review many of those concepts, although I only got maybe 3 geometry questions. I wasn't really pressed for time, as I had ~10 minutes going into the last two questions.

V - I found the reading comprehension and argument analysis questions to be extremely easy. I wouldn't be surprised if I got a near perfect on those. Sentence correction, however, was difficult, and again I felt like I was going off of feeling, sound, or intuition rather than systematically finding explicit errors.

Given my goals and the (perceived) difficulties, how do you think I should study? Should I even bother with verbal? I doubt I would learn much at all in terms of reading comprehension and argument analysis (how can anyone?) but there is definitely improvement to be made in sentence correction. Is it really worth the time though? I obviously need to mostly focus on Q. I need to do much much more practice problems, and learn from my mistakes. Do you think the 5 MGMAT books, OG, and OG Q are sufficient? Do you think going from 45 Q to 48-51 Q is reasonable?

This post is lengthy, but I would appreciate any feedback!
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Re: 700 (45Q, 40V) reflections / advice for retake? [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 09:54
rk0900 wrote:
Hi Guys,

I just took the GMAT and scored 700 (90th percentile) with 45Q (71st percentile) and 40V (89th percentile). One part of me is happy as the overall score is decent and I didn't prepare much at all, but the other part of me is severely disappointed in the Q score.

I'm looking to get into masters in finance programs at top schools (MIT, Princeton, Cambridge, Oxford) and I don't think the Q score will do, as those programs tend to be heavily math oriented, and my math education is already somewhat lacking compared to pure math majors (Finance/Economics double major, Math minor). My GPA (3.99), work experience, and extracurricular activities are solid, but I still think the Q score will basically rule me out due to the already questionable math background. If I was applying to MBA's I think I would be okay with that score, but unfortunately I'm an undergrad with insufficient real-world experience.

So I feel the only option is to retake the test and try to boost the Q score. I figure I have 1 month to study, maybe 1.5 months maximum. This time around I basically just finished MGMAT books 1 and 2, and maybe 3 (I forget), took the untimed Q diagnostic in the OG (scored "excellent") and took the Q section of an MGMAT practice test (scored 45Q). Pretty pathetic studying, so I have no one to blame but myself for the Q score. I did not look at all at anything verbal related. Based on my experience (below) how do you all think I should study?

AWA - I have no idea how I did on this. I'm not sure how much this section even matters. I didn't feel like my writing was eloquent at all, but I figure my arguments were decent.

Q - I felt I did well on the computational questions, but questions with only variables (especially data sufficiency) confused me, and I sort of went with feeling rather than systematically solving them. Geometry was tough, and I definitely need to review many of those concepts, although I only got maybe 3 geometry questions. I wasn't really pressed for time, as I had ~10 minutes going into the last two questions.

V - I found the reading comprehension and argument analysis questions to be extremely easy. I wouldn't be surprised if I got a near perfect on those. Sentence correction, however, was difficult, and again I felt like I was going off of feeling, sound, or intuition rather than systematically finding explicit errors.

Given my goals and the (perceived) difficulties, how do you think I should study? Should I even bother with verbal? I doubt I would learn much at all in terms of reading comprehension and argument analysis (how can anyone?) but there is definitely improvement to be made in sentence correction. Is it really worth the time though? I obviously need to mostly focus on Q. I need to do much much more practice problems, and learn from my mistakes. Do you think the 5 MGMAT books, OG, and OG Q are sufficient? Do you think going from 45 Q to 48-51 Q is reasonable?

This post is lengthy, but I would appreciate any feedback!


Because I have been researching on MFin programs, I think I'll give my 2 cents.

Though your score is pretty great - I think you might need to retake if you are applying to Princeton or MIT - both are heavily quant based, you know.

Their websites mention that expected Quant scores are nothing less than 49-50. So you might be at a slight disadvantage here. Plus, the acceptance rate at these programs is very low.

Hence, I would suggest that you retake the test. You already are at a Q 45. It might be somewhat difficult to get to a Q48,49, depending on your prep and very difficult to get a perfect score, but its worth it, because most of the people get Q48-49 and anything below that is considered below average, IMHO.

But if you managed to score a Q45 without much work as you say, then Q48-50 shouldn't be a pain for you. Just a review of key concepts and a little practice should do the trick.

Hope that helps.

P.S. I too will apply to M Fin programs - not MFE - so keep it touch. Join the MFin forum and we can discuss about schools.
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Re: 700 (45Q, 40V) reflections / advice for retake? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2011, 03:18
I guess you should give it one more shot because improving on Q is much easier than improving on V because you are already in 40s in V. And reaching 48-49 on Q is not very tough.

BR
Mandeep
Re: 700 (45Q, 40V) reflections / advice for retake?   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2011, 03:18
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