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Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it?

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Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 09:44
Hi

I plan to apply for PhD in Accounting one year later, but I have a very low GMAT score (660), so I would like to ask what I can do to compensate for it.

My undergraduate degree (finance in US): 3.85 out of 4.0
My graduate degree (Accounting in Hong Kong): 3.88 out of 4.0

As you know, tons of appplicants did much better than I did.

I guess that most universities focus much more on GMAT than GPA, so I am very at risk.

Therefore, what can I do to compensate for my low GMAT score except retaking it, but will increase my chance to get accepted by the school in U.S?

Thank you
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 11:30
Well, retaking it is probably the best idea since a 50 point increase changes the situation entirely. If that's not an option for you, then

- aim for low to mid-level schools. Most top 25 schools will have a cutoff in the high 600's if not higher so probably not worth wasting your time on those.

- That said, what you can do to try and compensate for it depends on your verbal/math breakout. If you didn't do so well on the math side, then supplement that with advanced math courses and get A's in them to prove you are capable of understanding advanced math concepts. If it was verbal that weighed you down, then I'm not sure what you can do but I'm sure other threads from internation applicants address this.

- I'm not sure what professional experience you have but try to get some relevant experience in the field. From there, your best bet is to try and develop good research insights and write a great SOP to address your weaknesses and research interests.

Best of luck to you!
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 16:39
Thanks,

Actually, I am a Teaching Assistant in accounting at a university. I have some practical accounting experience.

I got Math (43), Eng (38) total = 660
However, before that, I got Math (48), Eng (2x) = 600.
I published a paper in Hong Kong Institute of CPA, but it is not an academic research.

Well... Since I have already graduated from the school, where can I take the advanced math course? Also, If I want to do some research, how may I start?

Thank you very much
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2010, 23:24
So, I'll caveat this by saying I am an aspiring applicant like you and I just want to reinforce the idea that these sentiments are educated opinion and not fact. If you took your 48 math score and your 38 verbal, you'd have a 700 total and this will be a non-issue. Unfortunately, I think schools won't take best performance on each part over several attempts. That said, knowing you can achieve the scores needed in each part but need to combine them in the same attempt is more than enough reason to buckle down and retake the GMAT. A 700 total (Q48/V38) puts you in a totally differnet class. I think the other parts of your profile (accounting grad degree, some practical experience, TA exposure) are pretty good but the 660 GMAT will probably close a lot of doors. It's amazing the power that one number can have.

If you are steadfast in your desire not to retake, then based on your 660 breakdown, quant skills will be a concern. If you haven't taken multiple calc courses and linear algebrea, a good start would be enrolling in these in any possible way. Distance learning is probably the most efficient and cost effective way to do this if you are a good self-learner. But any way you can get tangible proof of advanced math competence (community college, distance learning, etc.) will help alleviate concerns about your ability to complete econometrics and other math heavy courses at a doctorate level.

Best of luck!
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2010, 10:23
Thanks,

Actually, I will retake GMAT and hope that I can achieve 700+, but still want to know the backup plan for my low GMAT Score (660)

I have one more question. Does high GPA and name of school compensate a little for my low GMAT score?

Since my 3.85 undergraduate GPA is from Brigham Young University, Provo and my 3.88 graduate GPA is from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, I hope that it will help a little to compensate for my low GPA score.

(Although I think some applicants of course score much higher GPA than I did)

If my GMAT remains the same, and I target for middle tier, well.... what kind of universities are middle tier? like lower than the first 25th or first 40th?

Thanks
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2010, 11:17
Just opinion but I think high GPA and school prestige do strengthen your application significantly, though they are interpreted differently and may not be a direct offset to the GMAT. The idea being that when an applicant has high GPA's and low GMAT scores, it's natural for an individual to paint the mental picture of someone who obtained great grades through obsessive studying as opposed to natural intelligence (the flip side being Low GPA and High GMAT will spawn images of a smart individual with a questionable work ethic). PhD programs want innovative thinkers so they want the right combo of natural intelligence and work ethic. The more challenging courses you took at the graduate level, the more you can start to dispell this image. Also, I think wriiting a great SOP that shows innovative research ideas can help. But the issue at top schools may be that a 660 is bordering on their initial screen threshold.

As far as what schools qualify as middle tier, I'd define it as schools outside of the concensus top 25 but still high-quality programs with respectable placements. Some examples I'd give are UMass, Pitt, Drexel. These are all schools where the average GMAT is around 670/680 as opposed to say a 720. Depending on your specific interests, you can find great faculty at these schools to work under and learn from.
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2011, 07:33
i think your profile looks good except for the GMAT part. GMAT>750 can make you stand out. Every professor would ask your GMAT at the first place once they heard you are going to apply PhD.
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2011, 04:08
Due to the fact that some (good)schools have a gmat cut off (>=(680-700)) you should probably retake the exam if you bother to apply to top 20 programs. On the other hand, really good phd programs admitted students who had a "low" gmat score. Keep us informed about your decision!
I personally would advice you to retake the gmat only if you feel that you could do much better ~720.
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 19:09
Hello I am facing the same problem. I sat my GMAT exam today I received a disappointing 470, my prior score(December 2009) was 560 which allowed me to get into a top ranked school in my specialty (i.e International Business) to pursue my Masters. Eventhough my 560 score does not expire until December 2014 I decided to retake the GMAT with the hopes of upgrading my score and to avoid having to do the new GMAT. I would like to pursue a Phd International Business beginning Fall 2014. I am unsure of whether to sit the exam again as I don't believe standardized test are my thing. I am afraid that my score would drop again. I am hoping that my profile otherwise could help given my GMAT scores. I have proven that despite low GMAT scores I can perform well academically. My profile is as follows:-

Caribbean Native. I was awarded a Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship to pursue my Masters degree which I completed in 2011.
Undergrad GPA:- 3.67/4.0- Management and International Relations. I was awarded a scholarship by the government of my country to pursue undergraduate studies. This scholarship was based on academic excellence.
Postgraduate GPA:- 3.797/4.0- I graduated with honors and I was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.

I will have about 4yrs work experience by the time I am ready to start my Phd. Part of my work experience involved working in the US on two internships, one with an International Organization and the other with a major Healthcare provider. I have also had consulting experience.

Moreover, I have undertaken a Spanish study abroad in Latin America last year, with the hopes of doing so next year.

Extra-curricular- Charity events(volunteering), Toastmasters member, Swimming and Travelling.

The schools I am interested in are Moore Business School and Rutgers University. It is very difficult to find a school that offers a Phd in International Business tailored to how I want it.

What do you think/recommend I do?
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2012, 19:40
What is your mathematics background? PhDs in business are research degrees, and by nature rely on economics and statistics with the calculus sequence, linear algebra, and real analysis as preferred courses taken prior to application/entrance.

The GMAT score is going to be a problem, I think, unless you have a killer track record in quant coursework.
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 13:40
Hey thank you for your response. I have done quite a bit of quantitative courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. I pursued statistics,mathematics and business economics courses at the undergrad level. At the Masters Level I took courses in Quantitative Methods, Decision Science and International Economics. In each of these courses I have scored either an A or A- grade. As of this week I am 90% sure that I will resit the exam before the new format rolls out. I just don't want to do even worse than 470.
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2012, 05:20
Trini wrote:
Hey thank you for your response. I have done quite a bit of quantitative courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. I pursued statistics,mathematics and business economics courses at the undergrad level. At the Masters Level I took courses in Quantitative Methods, Decision Science and International Economics. In each of these courses I have scored either an A or A- grade. As of this week I am 90% sure that I will resit the exam before the new format rolls out. I just don't want to do even worse than 470.


How much mathematics, I guess, is one question. The next is, what's your GMAT score split? Something doesn't jive between the As in these math classes and the performance on the GMAT, what is your take on what's happening?
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Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2012, 10:43
Trini, I definitely understand feeling defeated by the GMAT. Been there...done that. I also understand rushing to take the exam before the format changes but I suggest that you take adequate time to prepare and sit for the exam when you're ready. Your current score, when compared to your academic performance, shows me that you don't have a strong grasp of the current format of the exam so you won't be at a disadvantage by taking the "new" GMAT. Even further, the true meat of the exam, the quantitative and verbal sections which make up the score that matters most to schools, will not change.

I will be 100% honest with you and say that your current highest score is not sufficient enough to be admitted to the PhD program at your target schools. There are international business programs that will accept students with a sub-600 score, but Rutgers and Moore are not them. A test prep course would definitely help you reach your goal but it's not required. At minimum, you should engage in intense self-study and take timed practice exams. Schedule the GMAT once you can consistently hit practice scores in the range of accepted students (Rutgers reports 645 and Moore reports 695). It's better to practice for free than to practice at $250 a pop. Good luck!
Re: Low GMAT Score for PhD Program, how do I compensate for it?   [#permalink] 03 May 2012, 10:43
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