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GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?!

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Joined: 27 Nov 2012
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Finance
GMAT 1: 700 Q44 V41
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GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 13:32
I just took the GMAT for the second time. My first attempt I got a 670 (42Q/40V). I studied for about 6 weeks and took it again and got 700 (44Q/41V).

I am happy with the overall score, but a bit concerned about the Q split. I don't have the desired 80%.

I have a civil engineering degree, but only a 3.0 GPA (For certain reasons, and my GPA trends upwards in my last 2 years). I also have a very non-traditional application profile in major project construction and consulting. (I'm a white, American male, 27yrs old)

I am debating taking the GMAT for a third time before the end of August. I typically score 46+ (with some 48s) in Quant on my CATs, and just think I had a poor test day on the 2nd GMAT.

I have the following questions:

- Given my low GPA, do you recommend I take the GMAT again? (Assume that I will have very good applications, essays, and recommendations)
- If I were to score lower on the 3rd GMAT, would I absolutely kill my chances?
- Would I be better off focusing on applications and getting everything in for Round 1?
- Would taking the GMAT again by end of August put me in a serious time crunch?

I'm shooting for top 15 schools. (A few top 7)

Thanks so much. Look forward to hearing back.
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 16:28
what is your GPA scale? because some universities have 4-point, some 4.3, some others. so i am not sure whether a 3 is very good?
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 16:31
American. 4.0 Scale.

Averaged about 2.5 first two years (immaturity and a family death)

LAs 2 year averaged about 3.4 or 3.5ish.
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2013, 20:15
Expert's post
smp5000 wrote:
I just took the GMAT for the second time. My first attempt I got a 670 (42Q/40V). I studied for about 6 weeks and took it again and got 700 (44Q/41V).

I am happy with the overall score, but a bit concerned about the Q split. I don't have the desired 80%.

I have a civil engineering degree, but only a 3.0 GPA (For certain reasons, and my GPA trends upwards in my last 2 years). I also have a very non-traditional application profile in major project construction and consulting. (I'm a white, American male, 27yrs old)

I am debating taking the GMAT for a third time before the end of August. I typically score 46+ (with some 48s) in Quant on my CATs, and just think I had a poor test day on the 2nd GMAT.

I have the following questions:

- Given my low GPA, do you recommend I take the GMAT again? (Assume that I will have very good applications, essays, and recommendations)
- If I were to score lower on the 3rd GMAT, would I absolutely kill my chances?
- Would I be better off focusing on applications and getting everything in for Round 1?
- Would taking the GMAT again by end of August put me in a serious time crunch?

I'm shooting for top 15 schools. (A few top 7)

Thanks so much. Look forward to hearing back.


For the top 10 schools, the average GMAT score is somewhere around 710. Your score is slightly below average which is not much to worry about. The school wouldn't focus very much on it since they will have enough 720s to make up the deficit if they do like your application. Though a GPA of 3 is a little on the lower side. Some of the top schools may not be convinced of your capability to handle the rigor, some may be e.g. for Booth, your Quant score may be a little low. But you will also face a time crunch now since first round is around the corner.


- Given my low GPA, do you recommend I take the GMAT again? (Assume that I will have very good applications, essays, and recommendations)
Well, a 750 will be great to put the doubts of adcom at rest. You can use one of the essays to maturely discuss your 2.5 avg in first two years.

- If I were to score lower on the 3rd GMAT, would I absolutely kill my chances?
Most schools focus on your best score though they will get to see all the scores. But, 670-700-690 is certainly worse than 670-700. So if you plan to take it again, you must ensure that you work hard and see results on prep tests before you go out to take the actual test.

- Would I be better off focusing on applications and getting everything in for Round 1?
Your applications will certainly take time and effort. Even if you plan to start working for GMAT again, you will need to start working on apps simulatenously.

- Would taking the GMAT again by end of August put me in a serious time crunch?
As I said before, start working on your apps simultaneously.

All in all, I know I haven't given you proper direct answers and the reason for that is that your case is on the border. Some schools may choose to ignore 'average academics' (with respect to the top schools... otherwise, your acads are good) if they really like your essays. Others may fixate on them if your essays don't impress them much since they will have plenty of people with similar or better academics. So it will be a call you will need to take on your own.

Are you sure you can sweep them off their feet with your essays? If yes, forget GMAT and move on to your application. Some schools will definitely show interest. If you are not so sure about your essays, you might want to get a higher GMAT score (750+ for it to make sense) and then go on to your application. This also means, you might have to move your app to second round. The point is - present the best case that you can - round 1 or round 2 will not matter.
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2013, 05:04
Thank you Karishma!

Say I was to only secure a 710 or 720 GMAT on the third attempt (which is probably my best case scenario at this time), would that help at all? In my opinion a 700 vs 720 is not a huge deal breaker. Now a 750 is fantastic, but that's unrealistic in my time frame.

Round 2 is an option for me. You mentioned that Round 1 and 2 won't necessaily make a difference, can you elaborate?

Would you recommend I hold off until Round 2 and focus on the GMAT and try to get a 730+?
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2013, 21:23
Expert's post
smp5000 wrote:
Thank you Karishma!

Say I was to only secure a 710 or 720 GMAT on the third attempt (which is probably my best case scenario at this time), would that help at all? In my opinion a 700 vs 720 is not a huge deal breaker. Now a 750 is fantastic, but that's unrealistic in my time frame.

Round 2 is an option for me. You mentioned that Round 1 and 2 won't necessaily make a difference, can you elaborate?

Would you recommend I hold off until Round 2 and focus on the GMAT and try to get a 730+?



A 720 doesn't give you much additional value. It is not very different from 700. Instead of that, you might as well same your time, effort and money and work on your app. If you do take GMAT a third time, you should aim for 750+ to make a difference.

Round 1 or round 2 doesn't matter much. Of course, round 3 is not preferred. There are many theories out there but if you ask the adcom of a school, all they say is this - apply in that round in which you feel you can present your case in the best possible light. So though I may prefer to get most apps in in round 1 to get them out of the way, if I can present a better case in round 2, I should apply in round 2.

Of course, your score in GMAT remains a gamble even if you hold off. There are no guarantees that the 750 will come but worst case scenario, you apply with a 700 in round 2. At the end of the day, you have to take the decision according to your ambition.
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 23:12
Though your GPA is below average of what is commonly accepted at business schools, I still think that appearing for GMAT in August might hurt your chances. Your GMAT score is appreciable, and you could save yourself with other aspects of your application.

If you are applying in R1, it is better to focus on your application essays. If I were you I would focus all my energy on drafting best possible application essays. You won't be able to structure your essays in one go; you would have to get it reviewed and rewrite to give it the perfect shape.

As you have not mentioned anything about your work experience and extracurriculars, it would be difficult to comment on your chances at top 15 B-Schools. Please provide us more information on your profile.

Best of luck!
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Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?! [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 08:04
First off, thanks so much for any feedback!

Here are my Stats:

27 yr old, white, American male

Education:

Penn State University - Main Campus
3.00 Cumulative GPA, 3.5 Major GPA
Civil Engineering - 3.8 GPA avg 3rd and 4th year (all major-intensive courses), 2nd year had some family issues, 1st year immature (fraternity)
GMAT: 700 (44Q/41V)

Work Experience:

- 3 years in major construction project management. Was actually laid off twice in 1.5 years due to both companies suffering major, company-wide workforce reductions. Regardless, only unemployed for a total of three months in which I was proactive in job searching. Was still able to secure a great job and receive a promotion to Project manager after only 3 months. Managed two projects simultaneously worth a total of $25M from start to finish. Was overseeing all aspects of job operations which included a workforce of 40+ workers at times.

- Current (approaching 2 years): small, niche consulting division in Big Four firm. Global group with only 30+ members. Focused on major real estate and construction projects ($100M+). Provide both qualitative management consulting and quantitative analytic services. Promotion after one year.

Total 5 years.


MBA Goal:
I transitioned to a consulting role because my passion is actually in the "business" side of real estate and construction, as opposed to the heavy "engineering" side. Therefore, I thought consulting would be a good segue.

The reason for wanting a top-MBA is so that I can further learn and develop my business knowledge in finance and management in hopes of one day being a c-level member of a major real estate or construction firm. Although I have extensive experience in RE&C, I'm not necessarily looking to go back to a specific RE program.

Schools:
Tuck, Duke, Booth, Wharton (dream school), HBS (another dream), Stern, Columbia, Darden.

Open to other suggestions!!!

Open to others as well.

Extracurricular:

- co-leader of a yearly, global real estate and construction market survey. We contact over 130+ major companies in the RE&C industry around the world, and leverage our firm's partners across the world to meet with c-level executives of these companies and discuss future market predictions. We then take this data and form it into a formal document for presentation.
- assistant coach/volunteer for a golf organization that brings the game of golf to inner city children as well as teaching them life skills.
- lead organizer for Junior Achievement program within company. In charge of 30+ volunteers that go to inner city schools and help teach business/commerce to young children

Recommendations:

- expecting great recommendations from current supervisor as well as my previous supervisor
- also have multiple family friends who are alum and still involved with the following: Booth, Tuck, Fuqua, Wharton
Re: GMAT for a 3rd Time?!?!   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2013, 08:04
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