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Social Science Major with modest MBA dreams...realistic?

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Joined: 08 Jun 2012
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Social Science Major with modest MBA dreams...realistic? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2012, 00:05
Greetings everyone,

I am a student at San Diego State University majoring in communication (Social Science) with a minor in business management. I am roughly 3 semesters away from my graduation and I am looking to apply to several MBA programs once I graduate. Unlike many of the people who I have been reading posts from, I do not have any aspirations to attend a top business school, nor is my academic background in any way quantitatively intensive. I have always had an extremely hard time understanding mathematics and mathematical logic.

I am wondering if its possible for a Social Science major to manage a score of 500+ on the GMAT? I have been reading countless posts about engineers, business, and natural science majors scoring in the 500s and 600s. Considering how math intensive some of those majors can be, I begin to worry about my chances.

To be perfectly honest, I am feeling quite disillusioned.

My only experience with math is pre-algebra, Algebra, geometry and elementary statistics. I really struggled to pass those classes in community college and I have never been in a trigonometry or calculus class in my life. I want to study for the GMAT this summer because it is the only time within the next year that I will likely have 8 weeks of completely stress free, uninterrupted time. My only real responsibility this summer is to work my 10hr/week part time job. Other than that, I have nothing else really going on until the semester begins in mid August.

I purchased the book "GMAT for Dummies" to get me started. It is providing me with a very basic idea of what I can expect from the GMAT in terms of content, question types, and strategies. I am planning to purchase other help books once I am done with this book (About 2 weeks from now).

I am studying about 4 hours a day 5 days a week, I could study more but I don't want to burn myself out. I am also getting math tutoring about 2 hours a week from my friend who is a recent electrical engineering graduate. He is really helping me understand some of the math concepts on the exam.

In general, I really just came here to ask if there is really hope for someone with as little math background as myself of doing well on this exam? I am by no means very smart. I have a high GPA (3.7) in my major, but that is only because I study 40+ hours a week and have the luxury to live at home and work part time. My IQ is somewhere around the 102-104 range. I want to get into the University of Montana's MBA program which requires a 500 GMAT score to get in. Is this a realistic goal for an average person like myself?

Any tips, advice, hints, or comments that you guys can provide would be of great help. If you need more information in order to help me please let me know and I will provide it.

Thank you :)
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Re: Social Science Major with modest MBA dreams...realistic? [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2012, 19:24
Start here:


Then read this:


It's best to start with a full length practice test and then develop a study plan from that. The GMAT focuses more on problem solving skills then actual math skills. If you can nail down the fundamentals of high school math through trig, you should be fine (calc is not tested). It's possible you'll need no prep given you have a targeted school with a known targeted score. Don't invest more time/effort than you need to.

Feel free to come back with any other specific questions.

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Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Philippines
Schools: Yale '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GPA: 3.51
WE: Marketing (Telecommunications)
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Re: Social Science Major with modest MBA dreams...realistic? [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2012, 18:36
Hi, Calintz!

There's really no reason for you to not be able to get a decent score in the GMAT (unless perhaps you deliberately try to flunk it just to prove a point). If you're performing well in your academics now, I would be willing to bet that it's because you're able to show analytical thinking in one way or another, which I believe is what the GMAT actually tests.

I'm sort of in the same boat as you. I'm a social science major (communication), and I had six units of calculus in college because I was originally a computer science major. Got a D there, which forever haunts my transcript. Nonetheless, I was able to get a pretty decent score (710 Q47 V41) after one and a half months of review (I used Manhattan GMAT) while working full time.

Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 82
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Northwestern (Kellogg) - Class of 2000
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Re: Social Science Major with modest MBA dreams...realistic? [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2012, 05:02
there's no reason to think you cannot score 500+ on the gmat with enough work and diligence, which you likely have given your GPA and your demonstrated work ethic. the gmat is a test where a score like 500 is reasonable to achieve, but one that makes the scores exponentially difficult to achieve the higher you go. so, getting from 500 to 510 is a lot easier than 700 to 710. make sense? for that reason, a 500 seems very reasonable.

hope that's helpful
-james young
Former Kellogg adcom member, offering a new approach to MBA Admissions Consulting.

Re: Social Science Major with modest MBA dreams...realistic?   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2012, 05:02
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