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Do I need to take a prep course?

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Do I need to take a prep course? [#permalink] New post 19 Nov 2006, 11:19
I've been preparing for the GMAT for over 3 months using the OG and Kaplan books. I took the test yesterday and scored a disappointing 610 (37Q, 38V). I'm pretty happy with my Verbal score considering I finished early, but my Quant score is absolutely atrocious. I frankly don't know what happened, since I was pretty comfortable with most of the OG questions and, combined with the tips and tricks from the Kaplan book, I thought I was pretty ready. Instead, I ended up guessing randomly in the last 5 or so questions because I was running out of time.

I am seriously considering taking the test again, especially because I want to apply to some of the top executive/part-time programs (Yale, Columbia, Chicago, Stern, Cornell). I have about 5-6 years work experience and currently work for a Fortune Top 50 pharmaceutical company in Competitive Intelligence. I know my industry is underrepresented in most MBA programs and can use that to my advantage. I work in a pretty unique function that I hope to also use to leverage myself in the application process. Also, I have a previous Master's degree and an undergraduate degree from a top 10 liberal arts college with GPAs of 3.6 and 3.7, respectively. But with a low score of 610, I'm not sure how much of that will count. Should I take the test again and, if so, would I need to take a prep course? I would be happy with a score in the high 600s, but, of course, breaking into the 700s would be ideal. If taking a prep course is the best way to achieve my goals, then which one should I take? Kaplan is the most convenient for me in terms of time and location, but I also have the option of taking Veritas.

Please help. Thank you for your time.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2006, 04:09
It is a hard question.

610 is low for top fulltime programs but it might be ok for partime programs. Check with the schools you want to apply and take a look at the average GMAT score and the range (if provided).

Although the GMAT is only part of the application, keep in mind that there are many qualified applicants. So the higher the GMAT, the better your chances.

If you do decide to take the GMAT again. You will need to assess how much you need to improve. You didn't mention if you took any practice tests. If you did: was your real score much different from your practice tests? In any case, I would spend sometime in quantitative forum (GMAT CLUB) trying to solve questions and learning from others. Make it part of your study plan.

A prep course could be helpful but you mentioned you are familiar with Kaplan techniques. So I don't see how a Kaplan course can help you. Maybe a private tutor will be a better idea. There are many members of this forum that can help you to pick the right prep course. In any case, I would try the GMAT Club before considering a prep course.
  [#permalink] 21 Nov 2006, 04:09
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