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Low gmat for Top consulting firms...how to address

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27 Oct 2009, 14:47
I got a 690 on the gmat (49q 35v) but I plan to retake it after my applications are complete, only for the fact that top consulting firms will use that as a selection criteria, and I believe it will negatively affect my chances for recruiting, well that is if i do get into a program. Do you think this is something to address in the optional essay? and if so how? Should I mention that I plan to retake it, but say that I think it is sufficient for now?
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27 Oct 2009, 17:19
paulymba wrote:
I got a 690 on the gmat (49q 35v) but I plan to retake it after my applications are complete, only for the fact that top consulting firms will use that as a selection criteria, and I believe it will negatively affect my chances for recruiting, well that is if i do get into a program. Do you think this is something to address in the optional essay? and if so how? Should I mention that I plan to retake it, but say that I think it is sufficient for now?

Three things

1) If you are going to go through the horrific pain of taking the GMAT again, might as well take it before your apps are done so you can benefit there too.

2) It really isnt going to matter that much for your consulting interviews frankly. Getting the interview isn't that hard and a 690 is pretty respectable. More important than your GMAT will be networking, meeting people, going to events, writing a cohesive cover letter, etc.

3) The school isn't going to care what your GMAT is when it comes to what you want to do - so I wouldn't waste time writing about it.
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28 Oct 2009, 05:36
rhyme wrote:
paulymba wrote:
I got a 690 on the gmat (49q 35v) but I plan to retake it after my applications are complete, only for the fact that top consulting firms will use that as a selection criteria, and I believe it will negatively affect my chances for recruiting, well that is if i do get into a program. Do you think this is something to address in the optional essay? and if so how? Should I mention that I plan to retake it, but say that I think it is sufficient for now?

Three things

1) If you are going to go through the horrific pain of taking the GMAT again, might as well take it before your apps are done so you can benefit there too.

2) It really isnt going to matter that much for your consulting interviews frankly. Getting the interview isn't that hard and a 690 is pretty respectable. More important than your GMAT will be networking, meeting people, going to events, writing a cohesive cover letter, etc.

3) The school isn't going to care what your GMAT is when it comes to what you want to do - so I wouldn't waste time writing about it.

I don't have time to take it again before I submit my apps, trying to finish my r1 and r2 schools now. I have heard though that firms like mckinsey won't even talk to you if you don't have a 700...is that not the case?
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28 Oct 2009, 10:02
paulymba wrote:
I have heard though that firms like mckinsey won't even talk to you if you don't have a 700...is that not the case?

Full disclosure: I'm not a consultant or a b-school student.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's 100% false. There are plenty of very smart and accomplished b-school students that didn't score 700+. Although consulting firms probably do use the score as a filter, they aren't going to turn you away simply because you scored below 700 (especially a 690).
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28 Oct 2009, 10:40
That's definitely false. One of my friends now at McKinsey didn't get a 700. A 690 is very good I wouldn't worry about it and definitely do not write in the optional essay about it.

Firms are much more interested in your work experience when choosing who they want to interview (at least right now, could be different in better economic times). Networking is only minimally important from my perspective for consulting. Also, at many schools you can bid so even if they don't choose you, you can still get on the interview list. Once you are in the interview it's all about how you do on the case. From what I've seen they really don't care if they close listed you or you bid it's about your performance.
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28 Oct 2009, 16:02
Thanks all for the help...been very helpful!
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29 Oct 2009, 08:18
FYI all...this is a blog entry that I read of a guy who was trying to recruit at the top 3 firms, and was told by his friends who worked there that a 7xx was beneficial

http://speedywithchicken.wordpress.com/ ... -abridged/
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30 Oct 2009, 05:25
I think a 7XX GMAT can be supplemented with good work experience, or other impressive elements on the resume. If you are an applicant with few years of work experience, a higher GMAT may make a little difference, but I doubt it would be that much.

Here at Ross, if you don't have above a 700, it is recommended you leave it off the resume. This way, firms may think you just opted not to include it; not necessarily that it was less than 700.
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30 Oct 2009, 05:47
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I'm the author of said blog post regarding the 7xx bump, and I probably should clarify something:

I still believe that a sub-700 GMAT will raise eyebrows amongst firms unless your score is supplemented by previous consulting experience (or other similar, intensive work experience). Now, in my post I didn't mention that three critical adjustments happened that, I believe, placed me on the closed list of 2/3 of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG:

- GMAT score (bumped up from 690 to 7xx)
- Summer internship with a mid-tier consulting firm
- Cover letter refinement (which didn't matter for BCG since they didn't ask for one)

I can't say which of these exactly carried more weight, but my performance regarding closed lists improved dramatically compared to my internship recruiting.

I should also say that these weren't just friends that provided this advice: each one of them has been involved in the closed-listing and interviewing of candidates for their firms from top-tier business schools like Wharton, NYU, Columbia, Ross, and Harvard.
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30 Oct 2009, 06:29
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The 700+ GMATwill haunt people to the day you die. If you don't get a 7xx GMAT, from my experience your chances of hooking up with a hot girl on campus is significantly reduced unless you have consultancy (the strategy trifecta) or prime IB experience (read - still in business, not laid off). And even then, a sub 700 GMAT merely tells us that your dad has a solid network and you are rocking on their dime.

I am actually surprised that anyone dare still attend business school with a sub-700 GMAT - it is a land of ritual humiliation where people administer wedgies to you in class and they don't give you a pass to drink beer at the weekly drinks. I can only assume they will soon include it on name badges for students in recruiting ("dumbass") to save we recruiters from wasting time even deigning to make a decision based on their performance outwith standardized test scores.
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30 Oct 2009, 06:52
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I'm actually going as a 700+ GMAT score for Halloween to a boats n' hoes party tonight. I'll letcha know how it turns out.
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25 May 2012, 08:54
hey everyone...
about the cover letter, any tips?
i have to write one and don't know what to include.
more specifically i dont know what the consulting companies
are looking for in their candidates....

i am a software engineer just out of school.
been working for the last year
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26 May 2012, 06:56
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michimoby wrote:
I'm actually going as a 700+ GMAT score for Halloween to a boats n' hoes party tonight. I'll letcha know how it turns out.

Nice, man! Next year I'm going as someone who thinks 3-4 extra quant points are more important than soft skills.

We should hang out.
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26 May 2012, 08:02
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Consulting firms won't use GMAT score as a filter for you - unless it's markedly low. We had a McKinsey student struggle in the 600s the finally get to 700s. But the point is, GMAT score won't really matter at the Associate Consultant level. If you're interviewing at the bschool level, a score screen (if used) probably would be a cut off of around 650 - everything else after that depends on the interview, case study, and soft skills like communication, voice intonation, and demonstration of confidence in an answer.
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27 May 2012, 08:23
Oh man, this whole time I thought that I needed a 720+! Now its just a 700? What is becoming of these consultancy firms?
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14 Jan 2015, 11:16
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Re: Low gmat for Top consulting firms...how to address   [#permalink] 14 Jan 2015, 11:16
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