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Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT

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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 15:07
I disagree. I would personally retake it one more time, but I do not think it is a requirement. Assuming the rest of the profile is strong, 650 is within the range for all of the programs he mentioned.

Darden's and Fuqua's mid-80% goes down to 630; Kellogg enrolled 23% with a GMAT between 650-690, and Ross' mid-80% goes down to 640. Granted his score is near the bottom of the ranges, I still think he has a shot at those programs.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 15:13
yes, it is possible that you can get in with a 650 GMAT. But the likelihood is low. I remember an analysis that pelihu and rhyme did on admit % by GMAT score. It was pretty clear that admit % drastically reducs with lower scores.I will try to find that post.

edit:OK, I found the thread. 103-t34770

maverick2011 wrote:
I disagree. I would personally retake it one more time, but I do not think it is a requirement. Assuming the rest of the profile is strong, 650 is within the range for all of the programs he mentioned.

Darden's and Fuqua's mid-80% goes down to 630; Kellogg enrolled 23% with a GMAT between 650-690, and Ross' mid-80% goes down to 640. Granted his score is near the bottom of the ranges, I still think he has a shot at those programs.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 18:10
I'm a fellow competitor that's going to provide my feedback. I'm looking at very similar schools with a similar profile: 26 (at matriculation), 3.8GPA in marketing and economics from solid state school, 4 years WE (2 in sales at top-tier CPG and 2 in marketing a smaller CPG), and a 720 GMAT (81q/93v). (White male)

My GMAT goal was 700 as I really felt it was necessary to "not be an issue" at a top school. I think you'll see the average at the top 5-10 schools creep into the 710-720 range this year. With a 650 GMAT, you're definitely bringing them down so you need to contribute elsewhere to make up for this. Your profile is strong, but I don't see where you add that extra special attribute that contributes in other ways.

I noticed you have a very narrow choice of top schools. I would consider all 3 very, very difficult for anyone to get into. Have you looked at other schools? I'm applying to Kellogg and Wharton as well, but I have selected 3-4 other schools below them that are very strong in marketing/brand management because I know how competitive it will be this year.

If I were you, I would either look at a few other schools to apply to as safety/back-ups or study hard and take the GMAT again (even a 680 would help quite a bit).

Good luck! Hopefully we'll run into each other at Kellogg or Wharton next year!
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2008, 06:40
ncprasad wrote:
If you dont mind me saying this, I am not sure this is the right decision. A 650 GMAT IMHO in the coming application season will 99% not cut it at the schools you mentioned unless you are a minority or from other very very under-represented demographic. Also, just because one ad-com during the course of a feedback session did not bring up your GMAT doesnt mean there is nothing wrong with it. Schools dont always disclose every single reason that held you back. So, in your shoes, I would re-take. If not, I would atleast diversify my portfolio and pick a few lower ranked schools. In any case, best wishes for the upcoming app season.

zmfatla wrote:
After thinking about this for the past couple of weeks, I think I'm going to pass on taking the test again. The feedback from my WL manager at Kellogg is sticking in my mind that there wasn't a specific concern about my GMAT or quant side. As other have said, I think my time is better spent on my essays and recs at this point. I feel much better about my story and the presentation of it after going through the process last year.

Thanks to all the posters for their input.


Not at all - that's why I posted!

I agree that a 650 by itself won't cut it. The feedback from my waitlist manager at Kellogg didn't include any comments on the GMAT, so I asked her about it. She said that they looked at the splits separately from the first two test (77Q, 95V) and said that they felt good about my verbal ability and, while it was a bit low, they didn't have a big issue on the quant side. They'd have to report a 650 as the official score, but they looked at the two tests together.

I'd also agree that transparency from adcoms can be hard to come by, but my take away was this - simply retaking the test to get a score of 700+ wouldn't necessarily help me (at least with Kellogg) because they already had two parts that added up to around a 700. Maybe that's incorrect, but that's what I got from our conversation. The additional value seems to come on the quant side, if I could bump up that score substantially (85th percentile, maybe).

Edit to add: saw your post on the GMAT breakdown - thanks for the info. Interesting stuff...

Last edited by zmfatla on 27 Jun 2008, 06:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2008, 06:42
maverick2011 wrote:
I disagree. I would personally retake it one more time, but I do not think it is a requirement. Assuming the rest of the profile is strong, 650 is within the range for all of the programs he mentioned.

Darden's and Fuqua's mid-80% goes down to 630; Kellogg enrolled 23% with a GMAT between 650-690, and Ross' mid-80% goes down to 640. Granted his score is near the bottom of the ranges, I still think he has a shot at those programs.


Thanks for post. The consensus from the last couple of posts seems to be that a 4th time (at least in this case) is worth it to bump up the quant side.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2008, 06:46
cpgmba wrote:
I'm a fellow competitor that's going to provide my feedback. I'm looking at very similar schools with a similar profile: 26 (at matriculation), 3.8GPA in marketing and economics from solid state school, 4 years WE (2 in sales at top-tier CPG and 2 in marketing a smaller CPG), and a 720 GMAT (81q/93v). (White male)

My GMAT goal was 700 as I really felt it was necessary to "not be an issue" at a top school. I think you'll see the average at the top 5-10 schools creep into the 710-720 range this year. With a 650 GMAT, you're definitely bringing them down so you need to contribute elsewhere to make up for this. Your profile is strong, but I don't see where you add that extra special attribute that contributes in other ways.

I noticed you have a very narrow choice of top schools. I would consider all 3 very, very difficult for anyone to get into. Have you looked at other schools? I'm applying to Kellogg and Wharton as well, but I have selected 3-4 other schools below them that are very strong in marketing/brand management because I know how competitive it will be this year.

If I were you, I would either look at a few other schools to apply to as safety/back-ups or study hard and take the GMAT again (even a 680 would help quite a bit).

Good luck! Hopefully we'll run into each other at Kellogg or Wharton next year!


Hey cpg, thanks for the post. Just to be clear - I applied to Kellogg, Tuck and Wharton last year and was dinged at all three (with a WL at Kellogg). This year I'm looking at Kellogg, Ross, Fuqua and Darden as the short list right now.

I do think this year will be a bear no matter what. Best of luck to you, as well - hopefully Kellogg it is!
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2008, 15:08
Yeah, that's a better range of schools. I'll be applying to all of those except Darden. Good luck!
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2008, 15:34
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I would reccomend taking it a 4th time. 650 just won't cut it at the top schools. I was actually in a situation very similar to yours. I had already taken the test 3 times and gotten 3 straight 650's (hence, my screename) and I also had subscores that were all over the place (only difference was that I took it twice, stopped, then took it again a year and a half later). I think if you added my best V and best M I had around a 690, again very similar to you. So, I was in basically the exact same situation. Looking at my individual section scores I knew I had a better score in me, I just hadn't "put it all together" on the same exam yet. That made me want to take it again. On the other hand, I was concerned that I just might not be able to break 650, a 4th test might look bad, and that I might just be wasting my time. In the end I decided to go for it. I then REALLY analyzed my weaknesses (pacing was a big one) and developed a strategy to improve my score. I ended up with a 740. So, it can be done and I think you should go for it! You have a 700+ in you. But you really need to buckle down for the next month and crack the books hard. Also, think about your weaknesses and what is hurting your score and focus on those. Another key is practice, practice, practice. If your friends remember your name at the end of the month you didn't study hard enough!

I had a long stickied post on my GMAT experience back in the day that I think would be really helpful for you to read. Maybe you'll get some tips but more importantly you might get some motivation.

Here is the post:

8-t31956

You gotta check it out!
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 28 Jun 2008, 11:39
good stuff IHateTheGMAT! Kudos and Congrats! =)
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2008, 06:58
IHateTheGMAT - thanks a lot for your post. You and I seem to have VERY similar circumstances and it's encouraging to read about your success. I've been going back and forth on this decision seemingly every day and your post certainly adds to it. A great data point to think about...

Edit to add: You obviously felt like the trade-off for a 4th attempt was worth it for the higher score. Any thoughts on how the adcom viewed the 4th attempt? My guess is that it wasn't an issue because you did so much better, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2008, 08:16
zmfatla,

I'm applying this year so I'm not sure how it will be viewed. But, 2 of the 5 schools I'm applying to let you self report only your highest score (or 2 scores) so they won't be an issue at all. The other 3 all claim to look at only your highest score, though they ask for the score report so they will see all of them. I talked to an adcom at one of the schools and he was adamant that they only consider the high score you report on your application. I get the impression that at a lot of schools all they do is have a student or some other low ranking member of the admissions office go through and verify that the score listed on your application is also on your score report and that's it. Then the adcom views your file and sees the score on your app. Of course, if they want to they can pull your official score and look at your history but that would be a personal decision of the person reviewing your file. My guess is that since adcom supposedly only spends an average of 10 minutes reviewing your entire file, they will be much more focused on essays, recs and transcripts than spending the time to go through your score history.

Lastly, I read about a panel held by Manhattan GMAT where the head adcoms at Harvard, Chicago and a couple other M7s were asked if they will somewhat discount a GMAT score for multiple attempts. All but one said they don't discount the score at all unless you have taken the test 5 times. The other school said they don't care at all how many times you take it.

So, I really don't think its going to be much of an issue. If I get unlucky, maybe an adcom at one of the 3 schools I'm sending an official score report too will look at my history and discount my score somewhat. But, at the end of the day I would much rather have a high score of 740 and 4 attempts than a high score of 650 and 3 attempts. Your high score is MUCH MUCH more important than your number of attempts. I think the same applies to you. If you can crack 700, I think a high score of 700+ with 4 attempts will put you in a much better position than a high of 650 after 3 attempts. You will have proven you have the mental aptitude to crack 700. Plus, at 650 they have to lower their average GMAT to accept you but at 700 they don't. Also, if your highest score is your most recent score it proves that you were not foolish to take the test again and you were correct in assuming that you could raise your score. I think the bigger problem for the adcom is someone that takes the test 4 times and never improves their score. Than you look like you lack self awareness and the ability to prioritize.

Edit: It looks like Tuck is one of your schools (I'm applying there also). They let you self report your 2 highest scores. So they will not even see your score history before deciding whether to admit you.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2008, 08:51
Thanks for the great post. You're confirming a sentiment that been expressed earlier - a 700+ on the 4th try is better than three 650s. The question now is whether or not I can crack that threshold. I've set a final decision date for this Sunday to make up my mind one way or the other...I'll let you know where I'm headed.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2008, 06:24
While it feels natural to flip-flop on this topic during election season, I've finally come to the decision to retake the test in mid-August. This should still give me ample time to hit my round 1 deadlines. At the end of the day, a 650 is still a 650 no matter how it may be divided up across multiple tests and I feel like I have a 700+ in me. Thanks for all of the input, especially from IHatetheGMAT.
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Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2008, 06:48
I think taking the test again is a good decision. I would not be suprised at all if 650 gets very close or drops off completely from the 80% range for the top schools. And like you said, anyway you cut it, a 650 is a 650. The dean of admissions at Cornell told me the he's pretty sure that Cornell's average GMAT will be 700 this year, or at least pretty darn close...and that's a school that's ranked 12-15 (depending on who you ask, of course).
Re: Advice for a re-applicant with regard to the GMAT   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2008, 06:48
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