I sat my first GMAT exam yesterday and scored 710. While the score is decent, it's well below what I expected. I had substantial timing issues and if I were to re-sit, I'm confident I could improve. I've taken 10 practice exams (GMATPrep, Manhattan, Kaplan
) and have never fallen below 730. I average ~750.
My primary goal is to receive a full-time MBA offer from HBS or Stanford's GSB. My academic record is 10 years out of date (I'm 32) and includes a distracted 3rd year that brought my GPA down to 3.6. I work for a relatively prestigious Silicon Valley non-profit. One of my references will come from the CEO, who has a fair degree of national (& international) media exposure.
Which brings me to the GMAT score. In short, does anyone have any advice regarding how substantially an extra 20-50 points would improve my chances of an offer? I'm planning to apply this year, so if I were to re-sit it would push my application back from 2nd round to 3rd.
Any advice appreciated.
I'm no HBS expert, but I'd say that all other aspects of your application aside, you have a better shot in R2 with a 710 than in R3 with a 750. Most spots would be filled in R3, so the rest of your application would need to be stellar. However, if all other aspects of you application are stellar, a 710 won't keep you from being admitted. See my point?
That said, I went through the exact same thing when I took the GMAT. Scored lower than I was scoring on practice exams, but my score was above 700. After a weeks wondering if I should have re taken it, I realized that it would be just to satisfy my ego. Of course that when it comes to gmat, the higher you score the better, but past a certain score, it doesn't make that much of a difference. You'd be better off focusing on the rest of your application.
Remember that HBS has an average score of 724. That means lots of people are admitted with scores above and below that number.
Hope it helps. Good luck.