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My disappointing performance .... need your advice

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My disappointing performance .... need your advice [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2006, 12:18
Today I took the GMAT (just completed the test couple of hours ago) and scored 660 Q48 (86!) V33 (69!) - overall 86 percentile.

I prepared for GMAT a couple of months (every day 2 hours) and then took a month break. Then studied for a month (again every day 2 hours), before taking the exam.

I have good math skills and average (or slightly below average) verbal skills.

I am an engineering graduate with 8.04/10 CGPA, probably translates to 3.1 or so. I have over 12 years software industry multinational experience (UK - 3 years, US - 6 years, India - 3 years).

I am confident that if I take the test again, I would score atleast 680 (may be even 700). My highest GMAT prep score is 760 (paper II) and 710 (paper I). The gmatprep scores are non indicative as I have taken the tests multiple times.

I would like to study in one of the top 5 schools. (Wharton/Stanford being the favorites).

Do you guys think I have any chance at all applying with this score or should I take the GMAT again. I am more inclined towards taking the test again, because I think I can score atleast 20 to 30 points more. (690 to 700).

Can you guys please let me know what you think of my profile and any recommendations on what I should do?

I would like to thank the following people for all their postings on this site, without going through those postings I would have definitely not scored more than 600. Thanks to ps_dahiya, matt, pelihu, haas_mba, jay_nayak, u2lover, gayathri (she probably used this site couple of years ago) and other folks who have helped me.

Thanks
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Some updates about the test ... [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2006, 12:39
1. All the questions were very similar to GMAT prep and OG
2. Found all math questions to be simple
3. RCs were very straight forward. 2 passages were 15 lines each and one was about 20 lines.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions about the test and I can answer the same.
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2006, 14:01
You didn't say so, but I will guess from the fact that you worked in India that you are Indian; combine that with your background in the software industry and you're looking at the toughest demographic around.

For schools like Wharton and Stanford, you GPA will be near the bottom of their middle 80% range, and your GMAT will be at the very bottom of the middle 80% range (if it is in range at all). Considering your demographic, I would say there is almost zero chance you can get into Stanford or Wharton. Any of the top 5 would be an extreme longshot. I'm saying this just based on your scores and demographic - if there is something extraordinary in your background, it could be different. You should also consider that based on your 12 years of experience, you are probably an older candidate, which makes things even more difficult at Stanford and HBS (I know this too well as I'm in the same boat here).

I would say that even a with a 30 point improvement on your GMAT, you would still be a longshot at any of the top 5. The average GMAT for the Indian demographic is at least 730 (probably higher for admitted IT/engineering/software types), and the average GPA is over 3.5. I believe it is extraordinarily rare for someone to be well below the average in both metrics and gain admission. You need to put ask yourself why an Adcom would choose you when there's a grip of other applicants with similar backgrounds that have substantially higher scores (the top 5 schools are inundated with these).

Again, if there is something else in your background that is exceptional and useful to the schools, things might be different. You might consider submitting your profile to one of the admissions consultants on this board. I think they will tell you about the same thing though.

Good Luck.
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2006, 14:21
Pelihu,

Thanks for your feedback. Yes, you are right, I am an Indian. I am presently in the US. I have good experience consulting with various blue chip clients and can also get some good recommendations. However, I agree with you that my GMAT score needs to be more than this to get admission into good schools.

I have decided to give GMAT another try. I am actually changing my goal from 700 to 750. I am going to prep hard and make this happen. If I score 750, I think I will have a good chance of getting into one of the schools of my choice.

I always felt my quant is good and can score 49/50. I have to concentrate on my verbal.

As I did in my last attempt I am going to use the GMAT site as much as possible and I am confident that I will make it happen.

Thanks again for your feedback. I hope I will score higher next time.

Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2006, 14:23
One quick question Pelihu. How is the demographic decided? What if somone is an Indian, but kinda settled in the US. (May be has a green card). Would he be pooled with Indian group or the US group?

I still don't have my GC but hope to get it soon. If I get it, will it make any difference? Do you know?

Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2006, 15:49
I have heard that if you are a US citizen or PR you will not be grouped with the Indian demographic from India. The bad news is that the Indian ethnicity demographic from the US is very strong as well, and is overloaded with engineering/IT/software types.

I think you are making the smart choice with the GMAT. Getting into a top school will open up many more opportunities for you down the road (as I'm sure you know as you are targeting top 5), and a higher GMAT score will be an important part of the puzzle.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2006, 17:51
Off topic a bit, but if they are considering ethnicity in the admissions, could't that be considered a violation of EO? At least in PhD programs, some apps don't even show your age to help curb the possibility of age descrimination being a deciding factor... but maybe all schools are different on this.

Pelihu is a lawyer I gather and might be qualified to answer ...

thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2006, 20:16
josh478 wrote:
Off topic a bit, but if they are considering ethnicity in the admissions, could't that be considered a violation of EO? At least in PhD programs, some apps don't even show your age to help curb the possibility of age descrimination being a deciding factor... but maybe all schools are different on this.

Pelihu is a lawyer I gather and might be qualified to answer ...

thanks!


Well, the Bakke decision from the Supreme Court still controls. Basically, they the Court in that case was split, and what some would argue was the least persuasive argument in the case prevailed, because the other 8 members canceled each other out. To summarize, the Court ruled that people could not be admitted or denied based on race, however race could be one factor in the admissions process.

There are two more recent cases on the subject that made it to the Supreme Court, one involving the Michigan Law School, and one involving the Michigan Undergrad (I was at Michigan Law School when these cases were launched). The cases were separate, but were considered together by the Court. The Court did not make new law in these cases, the simply interpreted the admissions policies based on the Bakke decision.

They deemed the admissions process for Michigan Undergrad to be a violation of the earlier ruling. Michigan used race as one of many factors in admissions, (Michigan used a point system), but the points assigned to underrepresented minorities was greater than the weight given to GPAs & SATs and everything else put together. The Court ruled that this policy was not narrowly construed under their Bakke ruling. Michigan was forced to revamp their policy - I do not know how it currently stands.

The admissions policy for Michigan Law School was challenged at the same time, and their process was upheld even though there was literally no crossover between the scores of admitted student populations of Whites and Asians (few Indians apply to law school) and the scores of underrepresented minorities. In other words, the lowest GPA/GMAT combo for White/Asian that year (I'm just recalling off the to of my head) was something like 3.2/163 or something. There were no minorities applicants that exceeded this lowest score. The Supreme Court ruled that the law school policy was narrowly construed and was the only way to meet a constitutionally acceptable goal.

That's a very very brief summary of a subject that just begs for hours of discussion.

There was also another decision that affected the UC school system (strangely, I was at UCLA when this policy went into effect). The details are really vague, but if I recall, this was an action taken by the UC Regents and was not a court mandated change, but the UC system disallowed the use of race entirely. The very next year, schools with traditionally very high minority representations (most schools in California do) went to less than 5% minority. At the same time, the Asian populations jumped to over 50%. The most drastic changes (not surprisingly) were at UCLA and Berkeley, where for years (probably decades) Asians were severely punished for their ethnicity.

In any case, it's no fun being on the wrong end (as I was for college and law school), but I believe most schools policies are constitutionally valid.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2006, 21:46
pelihu wrote:
josh478 wrote:
Off topic a bit, but if they are considering ethnicity in the admissions, could't that be considered a violation of EO? At least in PhD programs, some apps don't even show your age to help curb the possibility of age descrimination being a deciding factor... but maybe all schools are different on this.

Pelihu is a lawyer I gather and might be qualified to answer ...

thanks!


Well, the Bakke decision from the Supreme Court still controls. Basically, they the Court in that case was split, and what some would argue was the least persuasive argument in the case prevailed, because the other 8 members canceled each other out. To summarize, the Court ruled that people could not be admitted or denied based on race, however race could be one factor in the admissions process.

There are two more recent cases on the subject that made it to the Supreme Court, one involving the Michigan Law School, and one involving the Michigan Undergrad (I was at Michigan Law School when these cases were launched). The cases were separate, but were considered together by the Court. The Court did not make new law in these cases, the simply interpreted the admissions policies based on the Bakke decision.

They deemed the admissions process for Michigan Undergrad to be a violation of the earlier ruling. Michigan used race as one of many factors in admissions, (Michigan used a point system), but the points assigned to underrepresented minorities was greater than the weight given to GPAs & SATs and everything else put together. The Court ruled that this policy was not narrowly construed under their Bakke ruling. Michigan was forced to revamp their policy - I do not know how it currently stands.

The admissions policy for Michigan Law School was challenged at the same time, and their process was upheld even though there was literally no crossover between the scores of admitted student populations of Whites and Asians (few Indians apply to law school) and the scores of underrepresented minorities. In other words, the lowest GPA/GMAT combo for White/Asian that year (I'm just recalling off the to of my head) was something like 3.2/163 or something. There were no minorities applicants that exceeded this lowest score. The Supreme Court ruled that the law school policy was narrowly construed and was the only way to meet a constitutionally acceptable goal.

That's a very very brief summary of a subject that just begs for hours of discussion.

There was also another decision that affected the UC school system (strangely, I was at UCLA when this policy went into effect). The details are really vague, but if I recall, this was an action taken by the UC Regents and was not a court mandated change, but the UC system disallowed the use of race entirely. The very next year, schools with traditionally very high minority representations (most schools in California do) went to less than 5% minority. At the same time, the Asian populations jumped to over 50%. The most drastic changes (not surprisingly) were at UCLA and Berkeley, where for years (probably decades) Asians were severely punished for their ethnicity.

In any case, it's no fun being on the wrong end (as I was for college and law school), but I believe most schools policies are constitutionally valid.

I could have never studied law. I'm glad we have people as devoted to it as u Pelihu.
  [#permalink] 30 Nov 2006, 21:46
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