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GMAT Advice Appreciated [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2005, 19:49
Reading through the many posts of GMAT victory, I am disappointed that I am not one of them.

I am seeking advice on what others would do in my situation.

I have taken the GMAT 4X each time scoring in the low 600 (~620). Needless to say, I am exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged. I dont want to ruin my chances further by continuing to take the exam therefore supplying Admission Committees with a long list of similar below-average score. Yet, a 620 isn't strong enough to get me into the schools I want.

I dont mind paying the $250 to take it again so that isn't a factor.

I have taken this 4X over the pass one year. What are you guys thinking? How would you continue?

Curious to know what an admissions officer would think as well:
a) This kid is retarded - no way
b) I admire his diligence and effort - that is a plus even though his score is lower than our average

What are you guys thinking? How would you continue?

Thanks.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2005, 21:38
First 620 is not a below-average score.
I think the average is about 530 with 620 around the 80th percentile.

It may be that is a correct measure of your ability.
In which case, it may not help to go to a very intellectual school when you would actually enjoy the course far more elsewhere.

There is certainly no point doing it again until you can be near certain of getting 650+.
And I don't think you would get into Harvard even if you pulled a 700 out now, until after some of the 620s have dropped out.

Are you scoring more highly in Powerprep tests at home ?

Do you feel you are nervous during the test or similar ? If so, maybe you need to see someone who can help you with the right attitude and poise and breathing.

Do you know which types of questions you get wrong most ?
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2005, 08:30
I am not sure what the 'real' problem is. To be honest, I don't feel that I have a poor grasp with the content. In my Kaplan exams, I score anywhere between 670 - 720. I feel good when I walk in - but there is a test anxiety that overtakes me. Deep down, I have hunch it is more psychological than material.

I am not looking to get into Harvard. But I would like to attend a top tier school. Do admissions committee care a lot how many times I take it? I hear they look at your highest score anyway and if I do score say a 680 (closer to their 700 average) then I am not 'dropping' their GMAT ranking as much. I did graduate with a strong gpa, perhaps if they want an 'academic measure' then certainly four year of school work is a better measure of my academic prowess. maybe not.

I am certainly weaker in the verbal, my best Verbal to date is 38. My best Math is 45. Just that I could never score them together in the same sitting!

Don't know what to think right now.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2005, 16:35
if I were an officer, i'd think according to plan b.
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Re: GMAT Advice Appreciated [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2005, 17:57
Well, maybe the adcome doesn't need to know that you have taken it more than 3 times. The report that goes to them only shows the most recent 3.

Just take some time out for a few days to re-energize and get back into it...confidence is key.


NemoGDL2345 wrote:
Reading through the many posts of GMAT victory, I am disappointed that I am not one of them.

I am seeking advice on what others would do in my situation.

I have taken the GMAT 4X each time scoring in the low 600 (~620). Needless to say, I am exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged. I dont want to ruin my chances further by continuing to take the exam therefore supplying Admission Committees with a long list of similar below-average score. Yet, a 620 isn't strong enough to get me into the schools I want.

I dont mind paying the $250 to take it again so that isn't a factor.

I have taken this 4X over the pass one year. What are you guys thinking? How would you continue?

Curious to know what an admissions officer would think as well:
a) This kid is retarded - no way
b) I admire his diligence and effort - that is a plus even though his score is lower than our average

What are you guys thinking? How would you continue?

Thanks.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2005, 18:22
Sorry to hear abt ur exp. I won't retake the test unless u r 100% sure that u can increase ur score by atleast 30-40 points. Getting a lower score will be worse. Altho score report shows only last 3 scores, all schools require u to tell how many times u have taken GMAT in last 5 yrs and u shudn't lie there. Just by taking GMAT 4-5 times doesn't show the adcom ur perseverence. Read some threads in BW, many schools discourage ppl taking tests more than 3 times. 620 is a fine score, I wud recommend u rather spend time on ur app pkg and make that strong. Good luck !
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2005, 11:24
I've heard mixed oppinions on that, and none of them talks about diligence.
It all depends on Admissions Director.
I can tell you for sure that at UCLA you will hear a). If you take the test more than two times they will think that you are trying to "cheat" the GMAT.
I've heard also that some schools will go as far as telling you off the record "just get the score that we want, forget about the number of attempts".

If you have aspirations for Harvard, no score will give you an edge .
If you've done something astonishing in your life - you are in, if you are just an average applicant - you are out.
GMAT only assures the school in your academic aptitude. It will not get you admitted.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2005, 15:12
You have mentioned that if you are just an average applicant, does that mean basically you won't have a chance to get into any MBA programs? Or are you just referring to the top MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, etc. Does this mean that average applicants will have slim to none chance?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2005, 06:14
I am facing a similiar dilemma. The harder I try, the more the law of diminishing returns takes effect. Undoubtedly, Harvard is the apotheosis of a superior b-school, but then again it seems to accept people of truly exceptional talent and accomplishment. I have a friend who scored a 740 on his first attempt and even paid big money to one of those application services only to be rejected by HBS.

I think you have a very good score that would better serve you at a slightly lower than "super-elite" institution. Not only would you fit in better, but you would probably qualify for a partial/full scholarship and wouldn`t have to compete with those super neurotic "A types". Besides, most top 30 b-schools offer a good 5 year return on investment, regardless of where you studied.

Finally, IMHO it`s how you apply what you learn in b-school that will make the biggest difference over the rest of your career, rather than the name.

Your GMAT is fine, focus on the other aspects of your application and apply to a few appropriate safe schools with one or two dream schools.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2005, 07:30
NemoGDL2345,

What about taking a break, and when I say a break, is a long one.

You are frustrated right now, and this is normal...

Take a few months off from the GMAT. You might want to think about it again but without your actual frustration. This is only an exam. In fact ,life goes on... After a while, you will have to find out what are your weaknesses.

It took me few months to understand my weaknesses.

The first time that I did the GMAT, I thought that I mastered the exam content, but in fact I never mastered the core content of the verbal section. I guessed on a lot of verbal questions. I never remembered the basics. Plus, I am no a native english speaker, the fact that ETS was mixing SC, CR and RC was very stressfull to me.

The second time that I did GMAT, I mastered the basics, but I managed very badly my time. I remembered spending 10 minutes on a long counting numbers. The problem wasn't hard. Also, I remembered passing another 15 minutes reading a simple RC passage.

Just take a break, you will definetly come back stronger...
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2005, 09:36
GMATT73 wrote:
I am facing a similiar dilemma. The harder I try, the more the law of diminishing returns takes effect. Undoubtedly, Harvard is the apotheosis of a superior b-school, but then again it seems to accept people of truly exceptional talent and accomplishment. I have a friend who scored a 740 on his first attempt and even paid big money to one of those application services only to be rejected by HBS.

I think you have a very good score that would better serve you at a slightly lower than "super-elite" institution. Not only would you fit in better, but you would probably qualify for a partial/full scholarship and wouldn`t have to compete with those super neurotic "A types". Besides, most top 30 b-schools offer a good 5 year return on investment, regardless of where you studied.

Finally, IMHO it`s how you apply what you learn in b-school that will make the biggest difference over the rest of your career, rather than the name.

Your GMAT is fine, focus on the other aspects of your application and apply to a few appropriate safe schools with one or two dream schools.


From what you have mentiond earlier that the top 30 schools will offer a good 5 year return on investment, does that mean that all the schools below the top 30 is just a waste of money? Or do you mean that it would just take longer to get the return of investment? Do you think the top 30 schools is a good return on investment even for younger applicants with lack of work experience (I am thinking in terms that after graduating from an MBA, younger applicants would still not be as experience as the older ones).
From the rankings of businessweek, usnews, etc, it only ranks schools from 1-50. Those schools that are ranked before 50 (we dont know which ones since it's never posted), in your opinion, do you think they are a waste of time applying?
  [#permalink] 30 Sep 2005, 09:36
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