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This is my first post in this forum after a long time of reading up on problems and strategies during my GMAT preparation. What a great site; probably the most helpful of all that I have come across in the web. I have taken the GMAT last week after a month of very focused practice and scored a 710 (44/44). This is probably an ok score but I am now considering a retake for the following reasons:
1. I am planning to apply for top US schools (HSW) and realise that I am below the average of the population applying to these schools. Otherwise I should be competitive (good work exp, good GPA, good EC) but I had hoped to add a strong GMAT score to this.
2. I took the GMAT with a cold (headache and feeling a bit dizzy at times) and really struggled fully focusing during quant -- in fact I ran out of time with just 20sec for the last two questions, which is a mistake I lately never made during my practice sessions. I realise that this bad timing issue alone had a substantial impact on my score and am not happy with 44q, having effectively always scored 47-49q in gmatprep/powerprep. I am sure that I could keep verbal at around 44 and move q from 44 to 48+ when retaking with a clear head, which would probably move my overall score from 710 to ~740.
3. I have read about the 80/80 split that business schools look for and my current q percentile is only around 67. It is my intention to demonstrate to adcom that I can deal with ‘quanty’ stuff, especially considering that I studied business administration during undergrad, which already was quite light in quant compared to engineering or hard science, for example.
While I think that these points are strong arguments in favour of a retake, I wonder whether a retake to ‘barely’ improve by 20, 30 or 40 points is worth the effort or whether it would position me, as discussed many times here before, as someone getting the priorities not quite right. I don’t think I can get to 750+ without significantly more prep, so am wondering what you guys think. I am just really disappointed about screwing up q....
Summarizing, I think you should start working on your application. Make it a heavy one and forget about gmat for this fall. There are some experts here on this forum who believe that one should try to retake and get some high score in between 740-760. This will help one in getting some scholarship too. So its totally your call then.
H/S/W is very subjective and hard to predict. It depends on so many factors including the GMAT score.
It breaks down as follows:
There is the very strong applicant group -- like those who went to top under grad schools, worked for top companies and have overall solid credentials. Also include US Army, Peace Corp, Dual Degree -- P.h.D, MD, JD, MS degree holders and in general high achievers.
Those who are on the cusp -- these applicants have one or two real strengths but they also have one or two weaknesses. Usually a majority of the applicants fall into this category. They might have great work experience -- but might have weak academic credentials. Or they might have a great gpa (but from a smaller or less competitive school or from a relatively less rigorous major). A good essay and personal interview can make the difference here.
Under represented Minorities -- There are not a lot of blacks and latinos (especially women) in b-schools. If you are an under represented minority -- your chances of getting admitted are a bit higher.
High volume applicant groups -- Indian IT engineers are known to apply in large numbers. There are also a lot of applicants from China and Korea. If you belong to these groups -- your chance of getting in is lower than average because of the high competition among the sub-groups.
It depends on which category you belong to. If you have stellar overall credentials -- a 710 is certainly not going to keep you out of H/S/W. It's a solid score worthy of the big 3!
On the other hand -- if you are a "on-the-cusp" candidate -- then you might have to work extra hard on the essays (Wharton places extra emphasis on the quant score -- their curriculum / program is significantly quant heavy).
If you are an Indian / Chinese Engineer -- then your chances are not very bright (unless you have done some extraordinary things at work or with your life). GMAT score is a significant factor for Internationals -- it's the easiest way to place them all on a level playing field.
Final decisions are in: Berkeley: Denied with interview Tepper: Waitlisted with interview Rotman: Admitted with scholarship (withdrawn) Random French School: Admitted to MSc in Management with scholarship (...