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Excellent Score, but ridiculously lop-sided. What to do?

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Manager
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Joined: 25 Jun 2011
Posts: 111
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 760 Q44 V51
GPA: 3.6
WE: Other (Other)
Followers: 7

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 3

Excellent Score, but ridiculously lop-sided. What to do? [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2011, 10:44
So I took the GMAT yesterday, and scored better than I ever had on any practice tests (44Q and 51V, so a 760). Mostly I'm thrilled, but I'm a little nervous about that Quant score for the programs I'm targeting (top 20, a couple top 10s). I've heard about the apocryphal 80/80 percentile cut-off for top programs, so will a 66th %ile Quant kill me if I'm 99th %ile Verbal?

By way of background, I'm from a Humanities undergrad (graduated 6 years ago). Classic "poet" profile. Since then I've demonstrated a bit of Quant chops, I got an A in a graduate-credit level stats class I took via Continuing Education at a very fancy local university last year, and was asked back to serve as a grader the semester after. So I have something to show on the quant front, but it's still pretty thin. Not sure if it can offset that Quant score in the eyes of a top 10 adcom.

The Math 44 frankly wasn't that abnormally low for me. I had a couple practice tests up in the 88th and 77th percentiles, but I also had some where I bombed out and ended up below the 50th. Needless to say, math is not my strength. The verbal, though, has never been a problem. I've consistently been scoring in the 99th percentile on all CATs since the diagnostic, so I have no doubt that I could boost my current overall score by retaking if I were to do more math studying.

I just wonder if I'm crazy to even consider retaking the test, and investing yet more time into the GMAT, rather than spending that time on the rest of my app. Opportunity costs, trade-offs etc etc.

Any advice? Not sure I have it in me to retake the GMAT....

Thx
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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Re: Excellent Score, but ridiculously lop-sided. What to do? [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2011, 06:12
Expert's post
Hello JoelCairo, thanks for your question.

Congrats on your 760 – good overall score! I share your worry about the 68% verbal score, but I do think you can potentially overcome it.

The decision to retake the GMAT primarily rests on your ability to repeat your 760 (or in the neighborhood) and actually get your verbal score as close to 80% as possible. Have you been using a test preparation service (like Manhattan GMAT or Kaplan)? If not, then it would seem that making that investment could reap concrete rewards. If you’ve already used a service, then perhaps raising your score is less likely.

Your performance in the graduate-level stats class is encouraging. You should call this out in the optional essay. Moreover, do you have more analogues such as this to demonstrate to admissions committees that you can handle the quantitative workload of their programs? Perhaps take another quant class to have another data point?

As you point out, if investing time (and money) in GMAT preparation will detract from your essay writing efforts, then perhaps it is not worth it. A 760 overall score would be the envy of many applicants (even with the 66% verbal).

If you are not averse to applying in the 2nd round, this probably becomes an easier decision.

Best of luck!
Brian
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Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 25 Jun 2011
Posts: 111
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 760 Q44 V51
GPA: 3.6
WE: Other (Other)
Followers: 7

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 3

Re: Excellent Score, but ridiculously lop-sided. What to do? [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2011, 06:40
mbaMissionBrianE wrote:

If you are not averse to applying in the 2nd round, this probably becomes an easier decision.

Best of luck!
Brian


Thanks Brian,

If I plan to take a Calculus class this fall, should I wait till the grade is in and put it on my R2 application, or could I apply R1 and simply mention that I am enrolled?

Thanks

(for the record, it was my quant score that was in the 66th percentile, not the verbal, but I doubt that changes your feedback)
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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 306
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Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 0

Re: Excellent Score, but ridiculously lop-sided. What to do? [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 05:29
Expert's post
JoelCairo, I think either way is fine. Depending on timing, maybe call the admissions offices of a few programs and ask if you can list the class in your first round application and send the grade before they make their decision? That would be having your cake and eating it too, right?

Otherwise, opinions vary on applying in the 1st versus 2nd round, but I think you don't lose that much.

Best of luck!
Brian
_________________

Brian Eng
Senior Consultant
mbaMission

646-485-8844

Website: http://www.mbamission.com
Blog: http://www.mbamission.com/blog
mbaMission Insiders Guides: http://www.mbamission.com/guides.php?category=insiders
Free Consultation: http://www.mbamission.com/consult.php

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Excellent Score, but ridiculously lop-sided. What to do?

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