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740 without studying; go for 800?

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740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 07:47
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I don't want to hear any kudos. Intelligence takes on many forms and it is neither something that we control nor something to be proud of, but merely a lottery that we enter before we are born. I am here because I have a serious question. I did not get to study for the GMAT because I wanted to complete it before I started my job out of undergraduate and I only had a 1 week window. I went to a non-target, middling undergraduate university, ended up with a 3.7 (3.9 in-major) in mathematical economics, and I was fortunate enough to get the economics medal. I work in corporate finance at a bulge bracket and plan on working here for approximately three years before applying to business schools. I am working on becoming more invovled in community service and will make this a larger and larger portion of my life, as it is extremely important to me. I have my heart set on a top 3. Given this context, my questions is this: is there value in studying a sufficient amount to increase my score to an 800? I could not find any statistics with regards to the effect of changes in higher-end scores on admissions rate, and I would also like to know if anyone has such statistics and could provide them.
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 08:02
perhaps breaking down your sectional scores will help since many schools emphasize quant more than verbal. Any redflags with AWA or IR?
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 08:07
48Q, 44V. I took a practice test and the quant was 99th percentile, but I got nervous when I was taking the test and butchered the timing. However, I had a 4.0 in math classes in college including real analysis, stochastic processes, calc 3, etc., and scored 90th percentile quant on the GRE. I could specify this in my application. AWA was a 6.0 and IR was a 7. PS, I like your username, Glaucon :p
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 08:13
I've heard many applicants with your mathematical background get a free pass for a lousy quant score, although none graduated from "non-target middling universities". Could you be more specific as to which, or were you just being militantly modest?
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 08:19
I would put it on the same level as Fairfield University. It is a good school but I don't know if they've ever sent a student to a top program. It does have a respectable business school, and I'm grateful for the education that I received there.
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 08:31
I heard, although I can't recall where, that no business school in the world has a median score higher than 720, so your composite score is definitely sufficient. I've also heard, I think from poetsandquants, that Stanford rejected every applicant with a perfect 800 score a few years back. So I can only concur with your suspicion that your score is adequate enough, and that the deciding factor will be your work experience. However, there's one major caveat to consider: I know that quite a few masters in finance programs, like my target school HEC Paris, and my alma mater, the University of Toronto, will not accept GMAT scores older than two years regardless of however long GMAC says they're good for. I don't know if this is unique to MFE/MSc programs or whether business schools simply all differ in this respect. If your plan is to wait three years before applying, you may very well have to rewrite the GMAT if you want to broaden your target schools. And thank you, very few 'poets' know who Glaucon is nevermind math/econ quants.
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 11:02
Glaucon wrote:
I heard, although I can't recall where, that no business school in the world has a median score higher than 720, so your composite score is definitely sufficient. I've also heard, I think from poetsandquants, that Stanford rejected every applicant with a perfect 800 score a few years back. So I can only concur with your suspicion that your score is adequate enough, and that the deciding factor will be your work experience. However, there's one major caveat to consider: I know that quite a few masters in finance programs, like my target school HEC Paris, and my alma mater, the University of Toronto, will not accept GMAT scores older than two years regardless of however long GMAC says they're good for. I don't know if this is unique to MFE/MSc programs or whether business schools simply all differ in this respect. If your plan is to wait three years before applying, you may very well have to rewrite the GMAT if you want to broaden your target schools. And thank you, very few 'poets' know who Glaucon is nevermind math/econ quants.


I was not aware that certain MFE programs were not accepting scores that were less than 5 years old. I will have to research this in regards to MBA programs. Thank you for your thoughtful response.
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 13:01
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I am assuming that's your GMAT Prep score?

I don't know that 800 makes sense - I don't think it will hurt but you may want to cross the 99th percentile/760 barrier if it is pretty easy/straightforward. That gives you a few benefits:
1) 99th percentile to have on the resume/etc
2) Some consulting companies ask about it and have a min score
3) You can get a part time job as a GMAT Tutor/teacher/etc

P.S. 800 does not make a lot of sense as a goal and though i have heard about Stanford and 800 scores, I think it is a rumor and not a golden rule, but I would agree that 800 does bring a big of extra scrutiny just because people don't like perfect things. Just human nature.


P.P.S. Your background checks out for a great score but be careful with practice vs. real test. There is a variance. Just be aware.
When you do take a test, please post back - I am very interested in the final result for my crazy statistical purposes.
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 18:43
bb wrote:
I am assuming that's your GMAT Prep score?

I don't know that 800 makes sense - I don't think it will hurt but you may want to cross the 99th percentile/760 barrier if it is pretty easy/straightforward. That gives you a few benefits:
1) 99th percentile to have on the resume/etc
2) Some consulting companies ask about it and have a min score
3) You can get a part time job as a GMAT Tutor/teacher/etc

P.S. 800 does not make a lot of sense as a goal and though i have heard about Stanford and 800 scores, I think it is a rumor and not a golden rule, but I would agree that 800 does bring a big of extra scrutiny just because people don't like perfect things. Just human nature.


P.P.S. Your background checks out for a great score but be careful with practice vs. real test. There is a variance. Just be aware.
When you do take a test, please post back - I am very interested in the final result for my crazy statistical purposes.


It's his real score if he got a 6.0 AWA.
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 20:46
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Thanks. I see it now... I guess in that case I would say it may not be worth retaking... unless an ego is involved :-)
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Re: 740 without studying; go for 800?   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2013, 20:46
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