I am in the last part of my preparation to take the GMAT. My goal has always been 750 (Q50 V42), and based on my CATs, I think I can do it. Just I need a little more practice, specially in timing.
However, I would like to know whether there is a great difference between let's say a 750 and a 710 in the decision of the admission boards in school such as HBS or Stanford. I have a very good GPA; I was the best student of my class and the best student in other academic programs in which other students of diverse universities participated.
Don't get me wrong. I am not being mediocre. The thing is that I don't want to waste my time. I have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS yet, and I need time to write my essays too. In this sense, I really want to know whether a 750 will make a difference or will be just marginal. Maybe a 710 or a 720 is enough, considering my other academic achievements and my work experience.
You have a good questions, but the answer will be that frustrating "it depends." If you are from an over-represented group that tends to do well on the GMAT, then getting a mid-700 GMAT could make a real difference. If you are from an underrepresented group and are otherwise qualified, competitive and compelling, then a higher GMAT score probably makes no difference.
Ironically, I suspect the difference is maybe less important at programs like HBS and Stanford, which get so many applicants with high GMAT scores they can look more closely at other factors once you cross that 80% threshold on Q and V, than perhaps at other programs that are watching their average GMAT closely because they know applicants (and rankings) use it as a surrogate for class quality.
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