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710 on GMAT - Q47 40 IR 4!!. Betrayed by Verbal- Retake?

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Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 22
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Operations
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
WE: Corporate Finance (Consumer Products)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

710 on GMAT - Q47 40 IR 4!!. Betrayed by Verbal- Retake? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2014, 21:09
Hi Everyone,

I have been a silent spectator of this forum for the last 2 years. That's when i made up my mind that i want to get into a top 10 b school. The for 1.5 years work made me travel all over India and I could not pick up enough steam to be prepared enough for GMAT.

Finally studied over the last 6 months and gave the GMAT yesterday. Result - Q47 V40 IR 4!! overall score 710. And the reason I'm writing here is that im in a dilemma now, about retaking the exam. I was aiming to hit at least 730, worked hard.

Colleges that I am targetting - Harvard, Stanford (the dream), Booth (another top 10 in FT), Insead (in Singapore, 1 year and seems achievable since ive seen some similar people get in), Tuck (small class size, not top 10 but top 20).

I will share my concerns 1 by 1.

1. IR score of 4! - This shows as a 37 percentile on my score sheet. A lot of people have told me schools are not considering this yet, but i am still wary. Its just a bit below average and may be detrimental to my chances?

2. 710 with my given break up- Is this enough to apply to the B schools mentioned above and some others that i did not mention (such as cornell, yale, columbia, NYU stern)

3. My quant score is the same as what i had been getting on my mocks all this while Q47 (70th percentile). However my verbal on the actual exam was considerably lower than my mock scores (averaged around 45 , 96th percentile). This is actually where my score was pulled down. Further, throughout the test i did not feel uncomfortable and thought i was getting the answers right, so i do not know where things went wrong.

Sources of study -

1. Basic concepts revision - Quant - MGMAT, Verbal - CR MGMAT, SC - Aristotle, RC - MGMAT, IR - MGMAT
2. Practice books - OG12, kaplan800, Grockit (grockit was what i used majorly and was the main source of my practice)
3. Mocks
a. MGMAT - averaged 690 while struggling with time always
b. Kaplan - 700, no time issues
c. GMAT prep - 750 (Q47 V47) and 730 (Q47, V43), with a race to the finish.

Now my questions are -

1. Is my current score profile (quant, verbal and IR) worthy of applying to the kind of schools i am targetting (anything below top 15 will not be good from ROI point of view considering my current pay scale and growth. I am a chartered accountant and have been fortunate enough to get a good opportunity to work with Reckitt Benckiser. Also worked with PwC for 3 odd years before that). I have consistently been a topper in whatever exams i have given. But i have not done anything exceptional the way you see about people who go to harvard, stanford etc. I am just another middle class Indian who studied really hard and got a good job.

2. Should i retake - If yes then how do i identify which areas to work on. I know verbal as a whole needs attention. But what in verbal? I could not guage during the paper that i was messing up certain questions. Also, i wanted to know if there are some rock solid techniques for SC and CR. I do know the POE and vertical reading for SC but i still feel higher scorers must have a fool proof strategy (with all due respect a higher capability than me as well). Also i do not have a strong strategy for CR. I do identify question type, then conclusion then premise but the image in my mind comes out a bit blurry and not pristine.
Also, DS questions always bum me. The questions which would need an average level of application of mind i will be able to finish in time. But the ones which need multiple consecutive logics to arrive at the solution, i just give up. How do i work on improving this?

I will apply for the 2015 intake. earliest applications open in June (Insead). i still have some time in my hands. apparently there are some resources i have not yet used - Quant review and Verbal review by GMAC, E-GMAT (though i do not have unlimited funds :) ).

I seek the opinion of all the seasoned and unseasoned members here on my general situation and my specific questions. All suggestions will be highly welcome.
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 64
Concentration: Finance, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V40
GPA: 3.85
WE: Analyst (Venture Capital)
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Kudos [?]: 42 [1] , given: 67

Re: 710 on GMAT - Q47 40 IR 4!!. Betrayed by Verbal- Retake? [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2014, 18:57
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Hi!

I received the exact same quant, verbal, and IR split as you. Oddly, my overall score was a 700 and not a 710, so good for you!

In my situation, I was just excited to get over the 700 barrier. Even though I was also scoring higher on practice exams, the pressure always seemed to get to me on test day, so I was ultimately content with my unofficial 700 score. When the sub-IR score came in, I was pretty shocked since it was much lower than in my practice exams. Despite my IR performance, I decided to apply to top b-schools.

So far I've been accepted to Chicago Booth and Columbia - both with generous scholarship money. I've also been invited to interview at Harvard and am waiting to hear back from Stanford. My experience should be proof that your GMAT score is "good enough" for these elite schools, even if it is slightly below the median score.

Ultimately, to repeat what every program says, the GMAT is only one data point in your entire application. You need to ask yourself a few more questions to really assess the incremental value of re-taking the GMAT for perhaps +10-30 more points: how unique is your story? is your industry/background over/under represented in b-school? are you in a 'hot' industry? did you stand out academically as an undergrad? do you have allies willing to bat for you (rec letter, alumni putting in a good word, etc.)?

In sum, on its own, your score is 'good enough' to get into top programs. But the score is never presented on its own in an application so you have to weigh all the other factors. If you have the luxury of time on your side, I would say give it one more shot and go in with the mindset that you already have a solid score under your belt. With the pressure off you might just exceed your target score :D

Good luck!
Re: 710 on GMAT - Q47 40 IR 4!!. Betrayed by Verbal- Retake?   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2014, 18:57
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