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740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated!

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740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2013, 09:50
Hi All -

Have been lurking here for the past few months as I have gone through my GMAT preparations and wanted to say thank you to all of you who contribute and to the creators and moderators who work hard to continue its existence. I just got back from taking the GMAT today, and got a 740 (Q50, V50), a score I have mixed feelings about.

Before getting into those mixed feelings, a bit of background.

I started studying 3 months ago in November, getting a 610 (Q30, V42) on my first GMAT prep as a baseline. From there I identified quant as an area of major weakness, and methodically spent two months relearning basic quant before moving onto more advanced strategies and problems. The books I used during the end of Nov to the middle of Jan were:

End Nov - Jan 14

MGMAT - Number Properties
MGMAT - Algebra
MGMAT - Word Problems
OG Ed 12 (all quant problems)

These four books contained valuable review materials, and when I felt as if I had mastered the basic concepts I moved onto more advanced topics.

Jan 14 - Feb 12

MGMAT - Advanced GMAT quant.

I can't say enough about the quality of this book and how much it helped me. I was stuck around Q42-Q45 for a few weeks at the end of the first four books, but after completion of this book in early Feb I scoredQ48, Q51 and Q49 on the three tests I took. It elevated my thinking from the basics towards the application of those basics on the exams. Coupled with an increased understanding of what the question was likely asking, it enabled me to push my score up into my desired range (Q48-51).

From Jan 14- Feb 12 I also studied verbal mainly by doing as many questions as I could. I felt that my initial score (v42), combined with more familiarity with the question types and structure, would give me a score I was comfortable with. The main book I used was the OG Ed 12, answering most of the verbal questions it contained. I was shooting for V44-V46.

My practice tests were the following:

GMAT Prep 1 (Nov) - 610 (Q31, V42)

MGMAT Test 1 (Jan) - 698 (Q39, V44)

MGMAT Test 2 (Jan) - 680 (Q41, V43)

MGMAT Test 3 (Jan) - 680 (Q44, V39)

After this MGMAT third test, I started studying the Advanced quant guide, and saw my quant scores dramatically improve.

MGMAT Test 4 (Late Jan) - 740 (Q48, V42)

GMAT Club Tests (Feb)- 770 (Q51, V46)

GMAT Prep 2 (Feb) - 760 (Q49, V44)

The last two tests were the weekend before the test, and I felt confident that I was ready.

My experience was not extremely stressful, I didn't know that we were allowed to use a calculator for the IR section, so was handed a nice surprise when I noticed it for the first time. The quant section felt very easy for me, I moved through the questions easily and was confident I got a good many correct. During the break after quant I knew that if I scored just my average for verbal, I was set. Then came verbal, and for some reason it was a collection of the hardest verbal questions I had seen yet. My general technique for verbal when the answer wasn't immediately obvious, was to go through the answers and eliminate those it absolutely could not be. However, when i tried this technique today, I seemed to always be left with two answers that could be correct. I ended up guessing on the majority of these types of questions (a lot)

Given that I scored a 42 on my first practice test, and have been studying verbal since that time, I am disappointed with this score. On the other hand, I got near the high end of my quant range, and retaking the test could actually hurt my overall score (say if I get a Q48 and v42, or even Q48, V44).

I plan on applying to schools this fall, and am targeting schools that rank just below Harvard, Stanford, or Booth. (think Darden, Tuck, Columbia, Stern). I graduated from an ivy league undergrad (not HPY), double major, and was a varsity athlete. GPA was ~3. I was hoping to offset this low GPA with a steller GMAT score, and given my relatively low verbal, am considering a re-take.

Would be very interested to hear any thoughts, and would also be happy to go into further detail on any of the above. Again, thanks to all for the help. When I had any GMAT-related question, this was the first and last place I came.

Last edited by JohnGalt44 on 13 Feb 2013, 16:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2013, 14:47
your verbal score (V40?) is just fine. The fact that you are a native and have a degree from an ivy should allay the adcom's worries. I'm yet to see someone retaking the test after a 740. In fact, your split is very decent (>80 on both sections and >95 on the final score).
Move on and good luck.
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2013, 15:06
jumsumtak wrote:
your verbal score (V40?) is just fine. The fact that you are a native and have a degree from an ivy should allay the adcom's worries. I'm yet to see someone retaking the test after a 740. In fact, your split is very decent (>80 on both sections and >95 on the final score).
Move on and good luck.


This.

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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2013, 15:38
Thanks for the advice. I think I understand what you are saying, and the initial disappointment is subsiding. Its a mixed bag for me as verbal is really my specialty, i'm considering taking the LSAT as well, and was an area I hoped to excel in on the gmat. However, the splits make better reading the second time around (97% overall, 90% for both verbal and quant as per my score report), and I am leaning towards not retaking.
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2013, 15:42
JohnGalt44 wrote:
Thanks for the advice. I think I understand what you are saying, and the initial disappointment is subsiding. Its a mixed bag for me as verbal is really my specialty, i'm considering taking the LSAT as well, and was an area I hoped to excel in on the gmat. However, the splits make better reading the second time around (97% overall, 90% for both verbal and quant as per my score report), and I am leaning towards not retaking.


90/90 is ideal. You shouldn't sit for it again, unless you really believe you're 780+, and want to prove it to yourself.

I read your stats in the "ask admissions consultants" area, and think you're more than fine, buddy.
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2013, 15:49
I got a 740 and was a little bummed initially too. My last two practice tests before the real G-day were 760's.

Bottom line is the difference between a 740 and higher scores in terms of admission decisions is minimal (or at least from what I've read).

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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 14:26
You have more than sufficed the GMAT component of your application. Your GPA may prove to be a detriment. However, the thing that will offset that detriment at this point is the most important part of your application, your work experience. What is that?
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2013, 15:02
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740 is good enough to get into any school in the world.

You should get in anywhere unless your applications sucks and you have no personality. So work on those instead!

ASAP!!!!!!!1
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 20:56
I agree with everyone here. But I will add a few more points.

Quant is definitely the more important of the two splits. You are a native speaker and scored 90+ percentile verbal....it's all good.

Second point - If you go for a higher score, and get a lower result, it will definitely look like you don't know how to prioritize your application. There are many many more things you need to focus on now. Essays. Recommendations. Work. As much as other people have mentioned these, do not underestimate them. They are as important if not more so than your GMAT.

Last point - Even if you did get a higher score, I've seen it be a detriment to many applicants. ADcoms want to see a well-rounded applicant and love turning down 800's or score's near that range. Like I said before, what you want to focus on now is adding more spice into your application through your other components so that the ADcoms don't only see you as a grades focused bot.

Enjoy the process and good luck!
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 22:00
Good advice from all the folks here - 740 is good enough to check off the GMAT box. A 760 or even 780 is not worth the added time and it just tells the adcom you're not great at prioritizing. Start working on your essays (think about what experiences you'll want to write about), visit target schools before the summer and work on ECs if needed.
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Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated! [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2013, 13:19
I got a 740(Q-48, V-44) and I was bummed too. I remember cursing myself for making stupid mistakes in the Quant section of the test. My first instinct after the test was, like you, to sign up to take it again. I was scoring consistently in the 750+ range before the actual test and I was convinced that I could have done better. I was particularly concerned about my low Quant score. However, after looking at what role the GMAT score plays in the overall application (quant score-> will the applicant be able to handle the quantitative aspects of the course? verbal-> grasp of English, communication skills) I came to the conclusion that I could make a strong case for my quant skills by talking about my educational background and work experience (engineering). Retaking the GMAT to improve a 740 score is a game of diminishing returns, especially considering the risks involved. You have to remember that adcoms will see your application in its entirety. So in my opinion you can consider the GMAT component of your application done and concentrate on the rest of your application. It is highly unlikely that your application will get rejected in favor of another persons application based solely on that persons higher GMAT score.
Re: 740 - (Q50, V40), Retake advice appreciated!   [#permalink] 08 Mar 2013, 13:19
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