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Feedback: To retake, or not retake

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Feedback: To retake, or not retake [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2013, 10:53
Experts and Casual Observers,

I've been agonizing for days, and have finally realized I could use some outside opinions. I know these kinds of threads are common and annoying, but I've have few objective people whose opinion I can trust. So here I am, and I'm requesting your advice!

Question: Should I push back H/S to round 2 and retake the GMAT, or submit round 1 as is?

I recently took the GMAT, and while I scored 720, it was lopsided; 70% quant, 96% verbal. This is below my average quant practice test scores (720, 83% quant, 90% verbal), and within margins of error (according to the GMAC), and I'm not convinced I would certainly do better on another sitting, though I have a strong chance to boost quant. Not to mention, I've burned a lot of leave to study already, and my baby is due in a month!

I'm applying to H/S round 1, and if that doesn't work out, Kellogg/Wharton/Haas round 2.

The rub is, I just can't tell whether this will quant score will be a real, significant problem for my chances at these schools given their very heavy focus on mathematics, or if my background will offset this math score:
- Economics major from Northwestern (>3.7 gpa) and good scores in math classes (A in stat, A in econometrics, B/A- in calculus)
- Nuclear Engineer for Navy (Submarine Officer), and top 10% of Nuclear Power School class (beating MIT engineering masters holders, UChicago engineers, etc), mostly due to my IB education (explained later).
- Highly acclaimed military career, including 2 combat tours and selection as top performing junior officer and engineer in my Submarine Squadron (of over 200 other officers).
- Strong recommendations and (personal opinion) good essay.
- Lived overseas most my life, spent my entire childhood at an IB school in Asia, which is why I had so much problem with quant; my math has always been methodical and foundational, rather than memorized, so timed math is always a weakness for me (no excuses, I got the score I deserved and earned, just different methods!).
- Significant community service and involvement throughout my career, since it was such a foundational part of my childhood doing volunteer work in the remote parts of Asia and central america.

So that's where I stand; I feel like I'm in a gray area where GMAT won't help me (not with my quant at 70%), but I can't tell if it's going to hurt me enough to warrant an application push back, retake, and 5 simultaneous applications in round 2 with a new baby.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and I'd appreciate some different points of view!

-Travis
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Re: Feedback: To retake, or not retake [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 16:07
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Hi Travis,

Congratulations on the soon arriving baby! The short answer is: no, don't retake it. Even if you improved your quant slightly, it would only be a point or two on the raw score which doesn't amount to much in percentiles. Quant simply isn't where you're going to get the bang for your buck. Besides, no one will doubt your ability to handle academic rigor. A 70th percentile still puts your raw score in the high 40s which is definitely in play.

Besides, your career and status as naval officer is amazing. Even if you improved your GMAT score 20 points, so what? A 740 isn't that much different than a 720. A 720 is already a great score and a 740 won't be that much more in all honesty. At this point, focus on your apps and make sure you're not overburdening yourself. 5 applications with a new baby will be a tough go if you decide to pursue that route.

Also, as a side note, and I'm sure you already know this, you'll have to start working on your R2 apps before R1 decisions come back. You don't have to submit them if you get great news in R1 (which I hope you do!) but they definitely need to be in the pipeline.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Bhavik
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Re: Feedback: To retake, or not retake [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2013, 18:23
Bhavik,

Thank you so much for your kind words! My wife and I have come to the same conclusion that retaking the GMAT is, compared to time spent on applications, a waste of resources, though it's very reassuring to hear it fro someone else with perspective.

CriticalSquareMBA wrote:
Hi Travis,
Also, as a side note, and I'm sure you already know this, you'll have to start working on your R2 apps before R1 decisions come back. You don't have to submit them if you get great news in R1 (which I hope you do!) but they definitely need to be in the pipeline.
Bhavik


Yep, H/S are already done (mostly) so now comes the nice, calm pace of R2 school essays/recommendations! I appreciate your taking the time to respond, and your level-headed guidance.

Very respectfully,
Travis
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Re: Feedback: To retake, or not retake [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2013, 14:47
Expert's post
My pleasure - good luck!

Bhavik
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Re: Feedback: To retake, or not retake   [#permalink] 10 Sep 2013, 14:47
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