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How low is too low (revised!)?

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Status: I will not let the numbers undermine me! GMAT... See you again soon! And this time, i will come with a BANG!
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How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 00:37
Hello Experts,

I was planning on shooting this question once i scored really well on GMAT. Reason being, my GPA is just 3, with a Computer Science background from a All India 95 ranked college. I have a work experience of a year and a half only. With not very good Acads and with only a year's substantial work exp, i know i am in trouble.

I scored a 580 on my GMAT 2 days back. No, i am not giving up. But, i understand that i am might not get a 750 something when i give it again.

Having mentioned my academic background, i would like to throw some light on the other half. I took quiet a few management roles ( treasurer, VP and Adviser) where i headed a team of 100 people and took charge of organizing a state level tech fest which was attended by around 700 students from across the state. From sponsorships, to web site development to scheduling the events and booking the experts, I have been involved in all of it. I did win a few Debate and paper presentation competitions at other state level competitions as well. Now, I work for a MNC on a computer networks related project that involves a lot of client interfacing. Some associates face trouble with ascent, slang understanding and overall speed of talking as most of our customer base is in the United States. At office, other than the routine work, of late, i have been responsible for training the team on client communication skills and coordinating with our training cell to look for areas of improvement.

My question: Considering my profile, what seems achievable? I was targeting Duke, Mc combs, Cornell had i done real well on GMAT on my first attempt. But now that i have not, i would like to have your expert opinion. I am targeting a 650+ on my next attempt. I do not want to aim too high and end up being completely torn apart. I am not ready to bargain a very precious year of my life for some un-realizable dreams. My application will be driven purely by passion to learn more about management. Its not that i cannot wait for 2-3 more years, it is that i do not want to. I want to learn more as soon as possible, so that i can begin delivering in my area of interest sooner.

I will really appreciate if you have any word of advice for me. Please do not hesitate to evaluate me in the light of facts. I am open to criticism and discussion both.

Being ambitious does no harm, being over ambitious does! I just want to make sure that my goals are realizable!
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2013, 08:47
Expert's post
ankitac wrote:
Hello Experts,

I was planning on shooting this question once i scored really well on GMAT. Reason being, my GPA is just 3, with a Computer Science background from a All India 95 ranked college. I have a work experience of a year and a half only. With not very good Acads and with only a year's substantial work exp, i know i am in trouble.

I scored a 580 on my GMAT 2 days back. No, i am not giving up. But, i understand that i am might not get a 750 something when i give it again.

Having mentioned my academic background, i would like to throw some light on the other half. I took quiet a few management roles ( treasurer, VP and Adviser) where i headed a team of 100 people and took charge of organizing a state level tech fest which was attended by around 700 students from across the state. From sponsorships, to web site development to scheduling the events and booking the experts, I have been involved in all of it. I did win a few Debate and paper presentation competitions at other state level competitions as well. Now, I work for a MNC on a computer networks related project that involves a lot of client interfacing. Some associates face trouble with ascent, slang understanding and overall speed of talking as most of our customer base is in the United States. At office, other than the routine work, of late, i have been responsible for training the team on client communication skills and coordinating with our training cell to look for areas of improvement.

My question: Considering my profile, what seems achievable? I was targeting Duke, Mc combs, Cornell had i done real well on GMAT on my first attempt. But now that i have not, i would like to have your expert opinion. I am targeting a 650+ on my next attempt. I do not want to aim too high and end up being completely torn apart. I am not ready to bargain a very precious year of my life for some un-realizable dreams. My application will be driven purely by passion to learn more about management. Its not that i cannot wait for 2-3 more years, it is that i do not want to. I want to learn more as soon as possible, so that i can begin delivering in my area of interest sooner.

I will really appreciate if you have any word of advice for me. Please do not hesitate to evaluate me in the light of facts. I am open to criticism and discussion both.

Being ambitious does no harm, being over ambitious does! I just want to make sure that my goals are realizable!


Well, first of all, don't worry about the theoretical! :)

What I mean is you will retake your GMAT and get a new score, and if you have to retake it twice or thrice. So there's no help in worrying about what score you might or might not get until you get or do not get it. That having been said, schools like Duke, McCombs, Cornell, with anything less than a 690/700 as an Indian candidate will be tough. (and to be honest, even WITH an amazing score it can be tough).

So first concentrate on getting the best GMAT score you can. Anyhow, applying before two more years won't make any sense, as applying with less than three years experience in the bag is a folly. DON'T RUSH things!!!! With only two years experience, even if your profile was PERFECT you'd have a tough time getting it...

So my advice: take it easy.... step by step... getting the best scores you can on GMAT and TOEFL, and once you have those in the bag, THEN start worrying about where and when to apply.

Hope this helps!
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2013, 00:44
Hi Jon,

I took your advice seriously and worked on improving my Gmat scores in the past 3 months. I attempted Gmat 2 more times spread over a time gap of some 3 odd months. But, 580 is the best I've got! Both the attempts were worse than the first one. I need to apply before the second deadline. I scored a 113/120 on toefl. I know 2 years is less experience, but I have my own reasons for doing my MBA now. I cannot postpone it by a year or more.

Can you please advice on what would be the best way to approach this situation now? I was looking at Katz, Eller, Buffalo and Bentley. I know the choice of schools has drastically changed since the last time i asked for your help, but I just cant help it! I am prepared for the bargain. Which colleges would you suggest?

Also, i need help in building a suitable application for each of the school. I am based in Bangalore and want to know which company would be best to hire in India given my score and choice of colleges.

Any help will be highly appreciated.
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2013, 04:38
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Hmmmm, well that's a little bit the problem... With a 580 as an Indian candidate it can be miiighty tough. Out of all the schools on your list your GMAT is close only to Bentley. The other three schools have 620-640 averages, so 40-60 points higher. It's true that they are not as selective as top schools, but they will still likely have a choice of their students, and I'm not sure how realistic even these schools are.

My advice to you, even after these two retakes remains the same. Forget about the GMAT for a bit. Work, have fun, go out. And in two months think about how you can get that 650 in order to apply R1 of next year. With a 580 your chances are gonna be real low, and it'd be a shame since you have tested higher.

Did you take a GMAT course? Did you do the Manhattan books?

If not then you really should not apply now, because you can still boost your score. It's not always the fact of retaking again that helps, but some sort of paradigm change inside you.

Even if this is not the best news, I hope it helps.
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2013, 07:44
Jon,

Thanks for your wise inputs! I guess i will have to take a step back and rethink my plan! Unlike me, you are so clear about how to proceed and what NOT to do! Appreciate your guidance :)

However, i have one smal question: How about applying to 2-3 universities this year, with good essays and LORs? I can give it a try, in case it saves an year for me!

Does getting rejected by 2-3 universities this year harm my chances next year (if i get a fresh score and apply again?). I have heard people say that rejections look bad when applying for the visa. Will it reduce my chances later if i get rejects now?
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2013, 23:34
Expert's post
ankitac wrote:
Jon,

Thanks for your wise inputs! I guess i will have to take a step back and rethink my plan! Unlike me, you are so clear about how to proceed and what NOT to do! Appreciate your guidance :)

However, i have one smal question: How about applying to 2-3 universities this year, with good essays and LORs? I can give it a try, in case it saves an year for me!

Does getting rejected by 2-3 universities this year harm my chances next year (if i get a fresh score and apply again?). I have heard people say that rejections look bad when applying for the visa. Will it reduce my chances later if i get rejects now?


Well, it's a tough call. There is no clear answer here, and it depends on your personal situation as well. The fact is that if you apply with this score now, you will be applying to schools of a lower order than assuming a 650. Is this okay for you? Is it worth it? (meaning taking into considerations the schools connections, employment rate, the salaries that people are seeing coming out of a particular school?) In general though what makes a school "good" is its results. A good school will get you a similar job, but at a better firm and with a better salary (or the likelihood of you even getting that job in the first place will be higher). That's why usually it's a better idea to wait it out (becuase let's say you DO get into one of these schools. Do you go knowing that next year you could have gotten into a better school? How big is the advantage of having saved a year?), becuase a better school can translate to 5-10K a year more salary or a much better firm, and then in the long-term it's totally worth it.

But at the same time it is true that sometimes certain professional and personal situations can make it worthwhile to rush things.

Hope this meanderings help you out,
:)
JF
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2013, 08:43
I think you need to do everything you can to increase your score (even though you have already taken the test multiple times). Did you take any online or offline preparation course. The rule-of-thumb is that an Indian applicant should have an average GMAT score about 40 points higher than the school’s published average GMAT score, so you would be looking at applying to schools with an average published GMAT score in the mid-500’s.

You might wish to attend schools that give you greater branding and recruiting opportunities.

Good luck,
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Re: How low is too low (revised!)?   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2013, 08:43
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