What is a good range for GMAT score plus work experience to get into HBS/Kellog/Wharton and if you could substantiate it with your personal performance/experience(s). Also, does quant performance matter over verbal?? Thanks.
The best way to gauge what GMAT scores to shoot for is to look at each school's middle 80% range for admitted students. We published those in <i>Your MBA Game Plan</i>, and you can also usually find them on each school's web site. For the top schools, they tend to be something like 650 to 740. You basically want to score above that minimum amount. Of course, 10% of the class scored below that number, so it won't keep you out for sure. But if your score is that low, then you REALLY need to impress the admission committee in other ways. Once you're in the 80% range, though, then don't worry about your GMAT score anymore. Don't, for example, take the GMAT again to try to improve from a 680 to a 700. A 680 is good enough to get you in anywhere. If you don't get in after scoring a 680, then it was almost certainly something else that kept you from getting in.
In terms of which matters more, the quant probably is more important because the school will have your essays as a good measure of your verbal skills. But, if you have a quant-heavy background (like if you have an engineering degree), then they will already know that you have good quant skills, and will therefore be focusing more on your verbal skills. It definitely depends on your background.
Omari likes to say that a good GMAT score won't get you into b-school, but a bad one can keep you out. That's a good way to think about it. Getting a 600 will make it very hard for you to get into a top school. But, getting a 780 guarantees you nothing. Just make sure that you're in a school's range, and then focus on the other, more important parts of your application.
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