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JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia?

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JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 22:58
Hi All,

This is my first visit to the site, and I have to say I'm really impressed with how helpful and knowledgeable you all seem! I've been thinking about business school and I would appreciate a little bit of advice if you have time.

I am a law student at Columbia University, so if I get an MBA it will be through a joint program with the business school. I have been looking at the GMAT a little bit using a Kaplan GMAT book, and tonight I took the included hard copy practice exam and scored a 690. I saw that the range for CBS is about 660-760, with an average between 700 and 710. I know that for law school every LSAT point counts, and if you are even one point (which usually translates to literally one LSAT question wrong) below a school's median it significantly changes your odds of admission. Are business schools as hard edged about numbers as law schools, or is it more acceptable to just be "in the neighborhood" of the median? If a 690 isn't good enough, how much do I need to improve to be competitive? Are there any study materials that you recommend?

Also, I've heard rumors that standards are a bit different for joint degree applicants at a lot of schools. For example, they might overlook less work experience from law students as they tend to be younger than the average MBA candidate. Does anyone know if this is true?

I'm sorry for all the questions, but I am really new to this. Thanks in advance!
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 23:54
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NYER wrote:
Hi All,

This is my first visit to the site, and I have to say I'm really impressed with how helpful and knowledgeable you all seem! I've been thinking about business school and I would appreciate a little bit of advice if you have time.

I am a law student at Columbia University, so if I get an MBA it will be through a joint program with the business school. I have been looking at the GMAT a little bit using a Kaplan GMAT book, and tonight I took the included hard copy practice exam and scored a 690. I saw that the range for CBS is about 660-760, with an average between 700 and 710. I know that for law school every LSAT point counts, and if you are even one point (which usually translates to literally one LSAT question wrong) below a school's median it significantly changes your odds of admission. Are business schools as hard edged about numbers as law schools, or is it more acceptable to just be "in the neighborhood" of the median? If a 690 isn't good enough, how much do I need to improve to be competitive? Are there any study materials that you recommend?

Also, I've heard rumors that standards are a bit different for joint degree applicants at a lot of schools. For example, they might overlook less work experience from law students as they tend to be younger than the average MBA candidate. Does anyone know if this is true?

I'm sorry for all the questions, but I am really new to this. Thanks in advance!


Welcome to GMAT Club NYER!

Bad News:
1. Kaplan paper test does not really evaluate your performance accurately.
You will need to kill another 3 hours of your life on this. Please get GMATPrep - official GMAT evaluate test. It will give you a very accurate reading of your GMAT level.

2. GMAT is not as critical for Business Schools as LSAT for Law Schools. However, Columbia has been an exception to this rule for a while. I am not sure it has ended but a few years ago, they really wanted to see applicants with higher GMAT scores.

Good News:
1. You are correct - you do have a good case being already a Law School student. What most do in that case, is stop by the admissions office at the Business School and have a friendly chat (since you are already a student in one of the schools) - often you can get a good evaluation of chances from the admissions person. They can't tell you things exactly for legal reasons, but can give hints how to strengthen your application and if it is worthwhile for you.

2. Most of the Law Students are able to ace the Verbal part on the GMAT, which means if you are not too rusty, you will be able to breeze through verbal and just need to spend a few weeks brushing your Quant to get a 710+ score.

Go ahead and take the GMATPrep and try to take it seriously so that your results would be representative from both effort and stress perspective.
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 05:56
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I'll agree with what bb said, especially the fact that you should be doing very well on the verbal section, since its just an easier version of the LSAT - logic games. However, the quant is definitely tougher than what most people first expect, so you'll need to study that a bit more. Don't use kaplan- use Gmatprep or MGMAT. Go back to the Arthur D. Diamand law library and party less in the annex!
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 07:00
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One other thing to note:

You're a non-traditional student. (Most) Schools value having a decent population of non-traditional students to supplement the interaction among the students.

Non-traditional students GMAT scores tend to vary more.

Have you posted in the ask an admissions consultant section?
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 09:48
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The books you *need* to use will depend on what subjects you need to address.

Take the free Manhattan GMAT test. The MGMAT group provides a very detailed result of practice exams and this will help you create a "game plan" to address your weaknesses.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/free-gmat.cfm

Once you know where you need to focus, you can read the debrief (Share your GMAT experience) threads to see what has worked for others.

You will probably find some useful info on the 700+ thread as there are a number of debriefs there.
700-clubbers-add-your-name-to-the-list-64636.html
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 11:20
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NYER wrote:
Thanks for all the great advice! I figured things might be a little bit screwy with the Kaplan book. I noticed quite a few mistakes in the review sections, and I remember now that the Kaplan LSAT book I looked at briefly at a bookstore had almost no relation to the actual test. I guess I'll chuck it aside in favor of GMAC materials. I'll also take the online diagnostic later this afternoon, it looks very helpful.

I have not posted in the "ask an admission consultant" forum as I didn't know such a thing even existed! I sort of stumbled upon this great board and wrote my post just hoping to get some advice. It's heartening to hear that b-schools sometimes reserve slots for non-traditional students. Hopefully I can grab one of Columbia's seats.

Are there any books that anyone found especially helpful for review? For example, I know that nearly everyone looking to get a top score on the LSAT uses a book called the Logic Games Bible. Are there any guides that are ubiquitous in the world of top GMAT scorers?


Here is the forum that was suggested: Profile Review

For GMAT books, you can start here: top-gmat-prep-books-guides-reviews-comments-77703.html

And also here is what most of GMAT Club members end up getting on a monthly basis: top-20-best-gmat-books-on-gmat-club-76582.html

Here is how to create a study plan from scratch (again dependent on your GMATprep results) - gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html

Finally since most of your effort will be put into Quant - this thread may be helpful: my-quant-wakeup-story-journey-to-q50-gmat-80842.html
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 09:34
Thanks for all the great advice! I figured things might be a little bit screwy with the Kaplan book. I noticed quite a few mistakes in the review sections, and I remember now that the Kaplan LSAT book I looked at briefly at a bookstore had almost no relation to the actual test. I guess I'll chuck it aside in favor of GMAC materials. I'll also take the online diagnostic later this afternoon, it looks very helpful.

I have not posted in the "ask an admission consultant" forum as I didn't know such a thing even existed! I sort of stumbled upon this great board and wrote my post just hoping to get some advice. It's heartening to hear that b-schools sometimes reserve slots for non-traditional students. Hopefully I can grab one of Columbia's seats.

Are there any books that anyone found especially helpful for review? For example, I know that nearly everyone looking to get a top score on the LSAT uses a book called the Logic Games Bible. Are there any guides that are ubiquitous in the world of top GMAT scorers?
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 21:19
Hi all,

I just wanted to thank you again for your help! I went to Barnes & Noble today and picked up the Official Guide to the GMAT as well as the Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review. So far I have completed about half of the questions in the quant book and I'm finding that I am doing much better than I did with the Kaplan one. I think it helps that the questions don't have errors in them. The verbal section has been going near perfectly every time, so I don't think I need to review as much for that. I'm going to keep working on my math for a couple weeks and hopefully I'll be able to knock this thing out. Good luck to all of you!
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 23:35
Expert's post
NYER wrote:
Hi all,

I just wanted to thank you again for your help! I went to Barnes & Noble today and picked up the Official Guide to the GMAT as well as the Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review. So far I have completed about half of the questions in the quant book and I'm finding that I am doing much better than I did with the Kaplan one. I think it helps that the questions don't have errors in them. The verbal section has been going near perfectly every time, so I don't think I need to review as much for that. I'm going to keep working on my math for a couple weeks and hopefully I'll be able to knock this thing out. Good luck to all of you!


Quick pointer - the problems in the OG are arranged in the order of increasing difficulty, so the earlier questions will be the easier ones. Kaplan questions are indeed harder, and I understand frustration you may have with their books and possible errors. Don't put me as a defender of theirs, but I think the other 99% of their materials are pretty good -I got 750 using only Kaplan though that was a while ago :oops:
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 11:05
Hi all! I just wanted to write with an update as I incorporated the advice in this thread into my study plan and it was very beneficial. I used official GMAC materials to study for a while and I just finished a practice exam with a score of 720! This is a 30 point boost over my performance on the Kaplan paper GMAT, and I'm very pleased with my improvement.

That said, I was wondering if anyone could offer insight into how an admissions committee might view a split score. I missed 15 questions in the quantitative section, resulting in a 44 overall quant score, and I only missed 4 in the verbal section, which gave me a 45. Do I need to keep working on my quantitative skills to become more competitive, or is the overall score of 720 plus the fact that I'm already in the law school enough of a boost that I shouldn't worry too much? I'm willing to put in whatever work is necessary to do this right! Thank you again for all your help.
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2009, 14:20
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I would schedule your GMAT in a 2-4 weeks and during that time push math to get a 46, 47, or 48 on math, basically to get over the 80th percentile. You should be able to get there in that time frame.

I think yes to be on the safe side.
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2009, 05:01
bb wrote:
Quick pointer - the problems in the OG are arranged in the order of increasing difficulty, so the earlier questions will be the easier ones. Kaplan questions are indeed harder, and I understand frustration you may have with their books and possible errors. Don't put me as a defender of theirs, but I think the other 99% of their materials are pretty good -I got 750 using only Kaplan though that was a while ago :oops:


Just to be contrary, I'll chip in and say that I find Kaplan to be the worst of the bunch for GMAT prep, at least their advanced books. GMAT 800 is filled with questions that are much more vague than the real questions you encounter on the GMAT. They make SC questions out of stylistic issues that are subjective and which you will not find on the real test -- despite getting a great verbal score and getting all the OG11 verbal questions right when I was practicing, I was missing 50% of their SC questions.
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2009, 08:32
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Skitalets wrote:
bb wrote:
Quick pointer - the problems in the OG are arranged in the order of increasing difficulty, so the earlier questions will be the easier ones. Kaplan questions are indeed harder, and I understand frustration you may have with their books and possible errors. Don't put me as a defender of theirs, but I think the other 99% of their materials are pretty good -I got 750 using only Kaplan though that was a while ago :oops:


Just to be contrary, I'll chip in and say that I find Kaplan to be the worst of the bunch for GMAT prep, at least their advanced books. GMAT 800 is filled with questions that are much more vague than the real questions you encounter on the GMAT. They make SC questions out of stylistic issues that are subjective and which you will not find on the real test -- despite getting a great verbal score and getting all the OG11 verbal questions right when I was practicing, I was missing 50% of their SC questions.


Interesting - most folks have issues with Kaplan's CR's (I did too). SC is new to me.
I will agree - harder and higher level verbal questions are off the mark (in my experience especially in CR), but I found it to be easy to recalibrate using OG or even GMATprep. I have not used the Kaplan 800 book - not a big fan of it actually. It has a funky format and I do hear that the verbal questions are off. Math is a bit better as it is a clear cut.
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Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia? [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2010, 19:24
Hey guys - just wanted to revive this long lost thread to let you know how the GMAT wound up! I took a long break from thinking about it during my first year of law school, and only recently made the decision to take it and apply to the b-school at Columbia this year. I only studied for about two weeks, but I pulled together a 730. My verbal was higher than my math (90x% verbal vs. 70x% math), but I'm pretty happy with the overall result. Do you have any thoughts on how the business school will look at this score with that kind of breakdown? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.
Re: JD/MBA - Is a 690 Good Enough for Columbia?   [#permalink] 22 Nov 2010, 19:24
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