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# GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline?

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GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  06 Nov 2012, 23:22
Hi,
I got 740 on the GMAT (q49, v41) with a score of 5 in AWA and an inexplicably low score of 2 in IR.

I am applying for fall 2013 and the deadlines are not very far. I am not sure whether I should retake the GMAT and avoid any possible damage that the IR score can do to my application.

The dilemma is that retaking GMAT takes a precious 3 weeks of time away from my application, but, I also do not want to be rejected because of IR. I am an undergraduate degree in engineering from a prominent institute, a FRM charter holder, and a CFA Level 3 candidate. Calculations and charts were never a problem, but this IR score needs to be blanketed somehow. I have 3 years of work experience in data analytics with one of the big 4, post which I switched my career to financial services and joined a Hedge Fund as an analyst. I have a year's experience there.

What is the exact skill set that is depicted by the IR section, and, if you do not recommend a retake of GMAT, then what are the possible things that can substantiate this skill set in my application?

My target schools are Kellogg and Booth.

Best,
Rishu

P.S.: My community involvement is zilch and that I think will be more prominent in getting me rejected than the IR. Is there any way to make up for that on the application?
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  07 Nov 2012, 22:11
Expert's post
rishu19 wrote:
Hi,
I got 740 on the GMAT (q49, v41) with a score of 5 in AWA and an inexplicably low score of 2 in IR.

I am applying for fall 2013 and the deadlines are not very far. I am not sure whether I should retake the GMAT and avoid any possible damage that the IR score can do to my application.

The dilemma is that retaking GMAT takes a precious 3 weeks of time away from my application, but, I also do not want to be rejected because of IR. I am an undergraduate degree in engineering from a prominent institute, a FRM charter holder, and a CFA Level 3 candidate. Calculations and charts were never a problem, but this IR score needs to be blanketed somehow. I have 3 years of work experience in data analytics with one of the big 4, post which I switched my career to financial services and joined a Hedge Fund as an analyst. I have a year's experience there.

What is the exact skill set that is depicted by the IR section, and, if you do not recommend a retake of GMAT, then what are the possible things that can substantiate this skill set in my application?

My target schools are Kellogg and Booth.

Best,
Rishu

P.S.: My community involvement is zilch and that I think will be more prominent in getting me rejected than the IR. Is there any way to make up for that on the application?

Obviously it would be better if you had a higher IR score, but given the rest of your academic credentials, your work experience, and the time until the deadlines, I don't encourage you to retake because of your IR score, provided you are applying this year. It is inexplicable given your work. My understanding is that schools are not really using the IR this year, although they do see it. If you end up reapplying, it would probably be prudent to retake.

Two possible ways to address the IR without drawing attention to it:

1) If you have room, reference a project that you managed or completed that required visual presentation and analysis of data and text. IR is about integrating text, graphical, and quantitative data and the ability to analyze it. From your work, you must be able to do that well. Do NOT have your entire resume be about combating the IR score. But at least one or 2 references that highlight this kind of skill.
2) Ask one of your recommenders if s/he could comment positively on your analytical skills and use an example that shows your ability to analyze and synthesize multiple types of data.

It's hard to make up for lack of community service, but for some thoughts on that topic: MBA Admissions A-Z: C is for Community Service.

If you would like help with your MBA application, please keep Accepted in mind.

Best,
Linda
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  11 Nov 2012, 00:11
Thanks Linda!!
Really appreciate your prompt reply; what you said makes a lot of sense. Just purchased the 'MBA Admission for Smarties' as a starting point.

My target schools are Kellogg and Booth, and both of them are highly competitive programs. Specifically, Booth might be a problem because they have a very high quantitative inclination. I might be lucky with the uncertainty going on around the IR scores, but a 2 definitely stands out. The adcom at Columbia, unlike anybody else, openly told that they are going to look primarily at the main score, but with rolling admission, isn't it prudent to chose Booth over CBS at this point in time?

I am in immense confusion over the other programs to consider (esp with the IR score of 2), how to leverage my experience in data analytics and hedge fund, and most of all, which essay question (Kellogg/Booth) to devote to my not so great community service experience.
Rest assured, beyond the US top 10, I would chose schools like Insead (Singapore) and Rotman which lead in their respective countries.

If I happen to finish my application by second week of December and retake GMAT towards the end of December, then, given that AWA and IR scores will arrive after R2 deadlines have passed, will they still consider my new scores?
Just worried about IR forming a primary basis of rejection. An opportunity to retake after finishing the application and before the decision has been rendered will be great.

Best,
Rishu
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  11 Nov 2012, 17:13
Expert's post
rishu19 wrote:
Thanks Linda!!
Really appreciate your prompt reply; what you said makes a lot of sense. Just purchased the 'MBA Admission for Smarties' as a starting point.

My target schools are Kellogg and Booth, and both of them are highly competitive programs. Specifically, Booth might be a problem because they have a very high quantitative inclination. I might be lucky with the uncertainty going on around the IR scores, but a 2 definitely stands out. The adcom at Columbia, unlike anybody else, openly told that they are going to look primarily at the main score, but with rolling admission, isn't it prudent to chose Booth over CBS at this point in time?

I am in immense confusion over the other programs to consider (esp with the IR score of 2), how to leverage my experience in data analytics and hedge fund, and most of all, which essay question (Kellogg/Booth) to devote to my not so great community service experience.
Rest assured, beyond the US top 10, I would chose schools like Insead (Singapore) and Rotman which lead in their respective countries.

If I happen to finish my application by second week of December and retake GMAT towards the end of December, then, given that AWA and IR scores will arrive after R2 deadlines have passed, will they still consider my new scores?
Just worried about IR forming a primary basis of rejection. An opportunity to retake after finishing the application and before the decision has been rendered will be great.

Best,
Rishu

Rishu,

You can self-report a new score as long as you take the test before you submit the application. GMAC will forward the official score when it gets to it. If you take the test after the deadline, you run the risk that the schools will evaluate your application before they get the new score. They are very unlikely to re-evaluate it once they receive the new score.

I'm not clear what you are asking when you write about choosing Booth over CBS? If you apply to both, they are doing the choosing? Are you planning to apply to only one?

Linda
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  12 Nov 2012, 00:14
Hi Linda,

I am planning to apply to Kellogg, and either one of Booth/CBS. I spoke to adcoms at both CBS and Booth about how they are looking at IR scores. The dilemma is between choosing a school (Booth) that does not have rolling admission but will look at the IR scores closely, VS, choosing a school (CBS) that will admittedly not put much importance on IR score but has a rolling admission (and I am starting late).

After going through the first chapter of MBA admission for Smarties, I find myself open to know more about not-so-stellar programs that have a good offering for finance and economic policy-making, with the shorter term goal of working in developmental finance (plan A), or, working in risk and data analytic departments of macro driven asset management & investment research firms (Plan B). I am working hard on my goals!!

Kenan Flagler, for one, is a good option for buy side research, but apparently, Wharton, Booth, CBS are blinding the lights out. Can you please make an off-handed suggestion for the names of programs to research in greater detail?

Also, I went through the essay questions of various schools, but did not come across any that point directly towards community service. Is it something that we need to "fit in"?

Best,
Rishu

P.S.: I am worried about school selection because there is hardly enough time to finish 2 applications by Round 2, and choosing the wrong program means waiting another year, which is unaffordable since my current employer gave a week's time to decide and put in my papers in case I plan to go this year. (They will give good recommendation, they just don't want somebody to leave midway next year)
Do you have any programs that offer (limited or basic) help to cash strapped applicants? I will be jobless starting December, so certainly cant afford any premium services, as much as I would like.
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  12 Nov 2012, 22:33
Expert's post
rishu19 wrote:
Hi Linda,

I am planning to apply to Kellogg, and either one of Booth/CBS. I spoke to adcoms at both CBS and Booth about how they are looking at IR scores. The dilemma is between choosing a school (Booth) that does not have rolling admission but will look at the IR scores closely, VS, choosing a school (CBS) that will admittedly not put much importance on IR score but has a rolling admission (and I am starting late).

After going through the first chapter of MBA admission for Smarties, I find myself open to know more about not-so-stellar programs that have a good offering for finance and economic policy-making, with the shorter term goal of working in developmental finance (plan A), or, working in risk and data analytic departments of macro driven asset management & investment research firms (Plan B). I am working hard on my goals!!

Kenan Flagler, for one, is a good option for buy side research, but apparently, Wharton, Booth, CBS are blinding the lights out. Can you please make an off-handed suggestion for the names of programs to research in greater detail?

Also, I went through the essay questions of various schools, but did not come across any that point directly towards community service. Is it something that we need to "fit in"?

Best,
Rishu

P.S.: I am worried about school selection because there is hardly enough time to finish 2 applications by Round 2, and choosing the wrong program means waiting another year, which is unaffordable since my current employer gave a week's time to decide and put in my papers in case I plan to go this year. (They will give good recommendation, they just don't want somebody to leave midway next year)
Do you have any programs that offer (limited or basic) help to cash strapped applicants? I will be jobless starting December, so certainly cant afford any premium services, as much as I would like.

I don't think you're going to like my answer. Given your goal, Chicago is a fantastic fit. However, given that CBS has told you it is not considering IR, I would say apply to CBS, which certainly isn't bad. Any chance you can apply to both and Kellogg?

Other schools to consider: Yale, Georgetown, Cornell.

Regarding our assistance, obviously I don't know your budget. Our least expensive purchase is one hour at $270. WE also currently have a special$100 off any order over \$1000 (ends Thursday, but will be extended for GC members until Nov. 30). If you think you can afford either of these options, then please let me know and I'll put you in touch with a consultant. He or she will help you figure out with you how best to use our services.

Best,
Linda
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  13 Nov 2012, 01:03
As much as it is tempting to apply to all 3 (Kellogg, Booth, CBS), it would be extremely difficult to finish the applications (satisfactorily) by R2 deadlines, given that I am yet to start writing essays. Moreover, both CBS and Booth top my list. It will be heartbreaking to get dinged from both programs in the same attempt and not have a decent second chance.

I so wish I had the habit of writing a journal or a personal diary. MBA applications would be so much easier. Just pick and choose.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever come across a comparison of the top programs based on the so-called 'fun quotient' and do they tell anything meaningful? After all, its 2 years of life.

Will definitely get back on the packages you mentioned as I finish the research on goals & programs, and settle on the broad outlines of my stories.

Thanks
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Re: GMAT retake with just 7 weeks to deadline? [#permalink]  13 Nov 2012, 22:35
Expert's post
rishu19 wrote:
As much as it is tempting to apply to all 3 (Kellogg, Booth, CBS), it would be extremely difficult to finish the applications (satisfactorily) by R2 deadlines, given that I am yet to start writing essays. Moreover, both CBS and Booth top my list. It will be heartbreaking to get dinged from both programs in the same attempt and not have a decent second chance.

I so wish I had the habit of writing a journal or a personal diary. MBA applications would be so much easier. Just pick and choose.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever come across a comparison of the top programs based on the so-called 'fun quotient' and do they tell anything meaningful? After all, its 2 years of life.

Will definitely get back on the packages you mentioned as I finish the research on goals & programs, and settle on the broad outlines of my stories.

Thanks

Obviously I don't know your other commitments and demands on your time, but for most applicants from now to the early January deadlines does provide enough time to complete 3 applications. Obviously you have to start soon and work steadily. And I am assuming that you are not retaking the GMAT.

Princeton Review may have some kind of fun index, but I nothing comes immediately to mind. I suspect that in either NYC or Chicago, you can always find fun.

We look forward to working with you.

Best,
Linda
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