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Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs?

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Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs? [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 14:02
Hi,

I took my GMAT earlier today and was quite disappointed to see a verbal score of 34, especially after studying hardcore for the past two months. I felt pretty confident going into the test but then executed poorly with time management on the verbal section. I was hoping to apply to top business schools on the east coast (Harvard, Penn, Columbia, NYU, MIT). After receiving my score, I'm a little concerned as to my chances of getting in. Based on my profile below, do you have any recommendations as to where I should apply and what my chances are of getting in to some of the schools I mentioned above?

I would also like to know what areas I should focus on in my resume and essays. I have a pretty extensive technical background (engineering, programming, cyber security, etc.) and have some experience with project management. Does it hurt my chances that I lack any background in traditional business areas (finance, marketing, accounting)?

Possible focus areas:
1) Northrop Grumman (3rd largest defense contractor) - I plan on utilizing my MBA to pursue more executive level positions within NG (tech director, possibly a CTO down the line). I have been promoted twice in the past year. NG is currently not listed as a major employer for most MBA programs. Are the top schools interested in expanding their list of employers in different disciplines? I haven't heard of too many executives in the defense industry that have gotten their MBAs from well known schools.

2) Experience working with several highly regarded Department of Defense agencies (w/ TS clearance). Does it hurt my chances that I fall in the Indian/Male/IT category? Or does the fact that I have a clearance set me apart from the rest since I will have more opportunities to make a direct impact in the security of the nation?

Program: MBA(FT)
Area of interest in MBA : General Management (focus on IT management if available, hoping to be more well rounded in non-technical business areas)
GMAT: 700 (34V 68%, 50Q 93%)
GPA: 3.75 Electrical Engineering w/ Minor in Math, Univ of Akron, OH (decent Eng school)
Work experience(WE): 4 years overall, mostly with defense agencies
Nationality: Indian
Age: 25
Gender: M
Extra-curriculars/community: Some volunteer work (no lead positions), currently working with my roommate on some entrepreneurship opportunities (mobile app development),

Schools I'm interested in (took out Harvard and Wharton):
School 1: Columbia ED (maybe ED will help?)
School 2: NYU Stern
School 3: MIT
School 4: Cornell
School 5: Yale
School 6: Dartmouth
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Re: Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs? [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 14:57
Congrats on your 700 :) The 50Q is outstanding!

http://www.mba.com/mba/thegmat/gmatscor ... gmeans.htm

700 = 90%, that is pretty good.
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Re: Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs? [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 16:58
congrats on the 700 and good luck on the application.
Please let me know how it goes, because I will be applying to MIT and Cornell as well. I have not yet written the actual GMAT, bust based on GMAT Prep, I am expecting low 700s.
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Re: Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs? [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 18:30
The 90% is quite good, but with Wharton and Harvard you might wanna bring up your verbal scores if possible. Stressing on your work experience and the insights you've gleaned from it would take the focus away from your scores a little. Plus your GPA is pretty excellent. I'd say that if you want to make sure you're not risking anything obvious, retake the exam and aim for a 40+ on the verbal. If not, this is a pretty good score considering it falls right in the bracket. :)
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Re: Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs? [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2010, 19:40
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. This website has been extremely helpful in preparing for the GMATs.

As I've already taken the GMAT once before, I probably won't be taking them again. The deadlines for Round 1 are also coming up so I just need to make a decision and submit the application. Do you have any suggestions on which schools are better suited for my background and where I'd have a higher chance of getting in? Are there any schools that value the quant score more than the verbal? Also, can you provide any guidance on what else I can do to overcome or justify my low verbal score (i.e. optional essay)?
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[#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2010, 22:30
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Last edited by osbornecox on 15 Dec 2010, 00:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs? [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2010, 21:04
GMAT shouldn't be an issue.

The schools you mentioned are within reach, at least judging from the writing of your post (you actually wrote in complete and coherent sentences and come across as a pretty decent writer, which suggests that you care enough about language that there's a good chance your essays should also be pretty strong).

Go for it. Yes, you're not super unique, but coming from a defense background may at least help a little (it's the same dish, but a slightly different flavor).

Apply to those 6 schools for Round 1, and assuming you get into at least one of them (my hunch is that you probably should), then apply to HBS or Wharton (or both) in Round 2 as lottery tickets - you never know.
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Re: Is 700 GMAT score good enough to get into the top programs?   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2010, 21:04
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