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Can't Crack Past 600...

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Can't Crack Past 600... [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2004, 04:44
Hello everyone!

Just want to thank everybody in this forum for your incredible insights and help. Here’s my dilemma and any input will be appreciated.

I’ve taken the GMAT thrice already and haven’t been able to get past beyond 600. My first attempt was 2 years ago and I scored 540 (Q34 / V31 / AWA 5.5). The score wasn’t surprising since I barely reviewed and didn’t have OG back then.

Last November was my second attempt. After poring through all the questions in OG/ Powerprep and taking all tests in the Kaplan 2003 CD, I scored 590 (Q34 / V37 / AWA 6.0). Though my score increased, I knew I can still do better as time management was such a big issue for me. So two months of intense re-answering of OG, Kaplan and GMAT Plus and all the problems in this forum, not to mention taking control of my timing, made me feel I was more than prepared for my third attempt this January.

However, I was astounded to get a 580 (Q 43 / V27 ), not so much for the decrease in my overall score but for the nosedive my verbal score took. Coming from a liberal arts background, I knew verbal will be my strength (my TOEFL score was 290 / Essay 6.0). I guess all the preparation for math made my verbal skills rusty.

I just submitted my MBA applications anyway with a 590 score, a few at the top ten schools and the rest at the second or third tier. I was told that the Admissions Officers look at the highest score in each category. If that’s the case, I’d be satisfied with my highest verbal and quant score, although coming from separate exams. But I know a 590 overall is simply not good enough and I am seriously considering a retake this February. I’m not sure if the new score will be too late, considering majority of my applications was sent in by the January deadline. Given that that all the other elements of my application are ok, can I get in with a GMAT score of 590 and bank on the fact that my highest scores for verbal and quant will be acceptable?

As for the retake, I already know the GMAT concepts and strategies inside and out, but sadly, just haven’t been able to coax it on the actual test. Anyone please advice me what kind of preparation I need at this time and how I’d be able to prep myself, mentally and emotionally, so that I can maximize what I already know.

Thanks so much!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2004, 06:27
"I was told that the Admissions Officers look at the highest score in each category."

Just curious..who told you this? I've never heard that about any school. I've only heard they look at your highest composite score.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2004, 10:49
I don't know of any b-schools that take the highest from each section either, because you only get a raw score for each section, not something they can equate to a composite score.

A 590 is way too low for top 10 - you need to be a lot closer to 700 to be competitive at those schools unless something else in your application really, really stands out.

Honestly, I think if you're not breaking 600 you need to learn better GMAT strategies. You've only used Kaplan strategies, so I don't think they're working for you. Try Princeton Review's strategies - they worked extremely well for me. I thought their approach was much better.

If you can afford it, look into a class or even a tutor. I don't know that you can raise the score high enough in one month's time to still be competitive at top schools. It really depends on the rest of your application. If you do get waitlisted, though, you'd have time to take a full class and retake the GMAT and submit the new score. If you're determined to retake in February, then try an online class. PR has those too, a few different ones.

I really think either different strategies, and/or a prep class, will be what you need to crack the 600 barrier - and hopefully crush it. Good luck!!
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I totally understand.... [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2004, 11:57
janie-ds,

If you took the test recently, then I can vouch that my exam this month was much harder than my Dec exam. Can you give me some information? Like what you think your weaknesses are? How did you did on PR? If you really want to do well, then you might have to dish out the money. The first PP I took after five months of studying (without the OG) I scored a 550. To raise my score, I had to hire a tutor to sit down with me and watch me approach my problems. For example, even with the strategies in SC, I couldn't get more than 60% accuracy. He sat me down and explained why the answer choices were wrong. Most of the time there are a few errors in each.

If you are determined to get into a school this year, you might want to talk to someone to see where your best chances are. If you are a women you might want to apply to a school where there are low % of women applicants. That kind of stuff.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2004, 04:25
don't give up!
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Highest Score in each category. [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2004, 16:14
"I was told that the Admissions Officers look at the highest score in each category."

Just curious..who told you this? I've never heard that about any school. I've only heard they look at your highest composite score.

This is Tuck. They told me the same thing as this individual.
Manhattan GMAT books helped me a lot. My score went up 100 points from a year ago.

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Women in Business Schools..... [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2004, 16:19
If you are determined to get into a school this year, you might want to talk to someone to see where your best chances are. If you are a women you might want to apply to a school where there are low % of women applicants. That kind of stuff.

- This is across the board at all top MBA programs. The percentage of women in a class size is roughly 30%. Sometimes higher (Columbia), sometimes lower (Kenan-Flagler 27%, U Chicago is lower than K-F). Pretty sad if ask me if a school can't reach 30% women in a class size. They obviously haven't done their marketing properly. The schools that have their act together are on this web site http://www.fortefoundation.org.
I think these top schools will have a cut off for women for the GMAT no matter what. Just my experience and observation... I'm a reapplicant this year.
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In at UMICH with 600 [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2004, 11:35
A 590 is way too low for top 10 - you need to be a lot closer to 700 to be competitive at those schools unless something else in your application really, really stands out.

- That is bull. Please don't write blanketed statements. I just got into Michigan (OK top 13) with a 600. Female, 9 w/e investment mgmt, insurance. Currently report sales to CEO of a major insurance co. I write the executives ppt slides for the Ceo's meetings. Prepare the 3 year sales plan. Not too exciting, but I got into school with a low gmat score. Well, if you are male or Indian, you probably do need a 680+, but I really don't know for sure...
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Re: In at UMICH with 600 [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2004, 13:30
Soxgal09 wrote:
Well, if you are male or Indian, you probably do need a 680+, but I really don't know for sure...

male or Indian or engineer ! and for a male indian engineer like me .. man o man! :roll:
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Re: In at UMICH with 600 [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2004, 11:06
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trishuls wrote:
Soxgal09 wrote:
Well, if you are male or Indian, you probably do need a 680+, but I really don't know for sure...

male or Indian or engineer ! and for a male indian engineer like me .. man o man! :roll:


I would not be too negative about this, but indeed competition amongst you guys is pretty tough.

If you know Stolyar, he has the most posts on this board, more than 3,000 got into Michigan's business chool - he had 660 but his other stats and essays were very good. He had great work experience at a very high level and his interview went quite well.

-Bogdan.

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 [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2004, 07:41
Hey everybody,

I just dropped by since posting and just want to say thanks to everyone who gave such comforting words. After a lot of thinking, I decided to stick with my GMAT scores and just made sure my essays were topnotch. The upshot?...I'm headed to one of my top b-school choices this fall. Goodluck to everybody! Just don't give up as things have a peculiar way of working themselves out.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 May 2004, 14:31
so, what if i'm female and indian, do u think my chances would be good if i get a 600 to get into a good school?
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 [#permalink] New post 13 May 2004, 16:14
pieceofmoon wrote:
so, what if i'm female and indian, do u think my chances would be good if i get a 600 to get into a good school?


You can ask your question to Linda Abraham on the Ask Accepted.com forum at GMAT Club. i am sure she will be able to help you much better.

Sincerely
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  [#permalink] 13 May 2004, 16:14
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