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No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5)

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Joined: 06 Dec 2009
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Schools: Kellogg
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No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5) [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2009, 08:23
Everybody seem to be posting success stories. I wanna post one with a less positive view and hoping for your viewpoint.

Background
Non-native speaker
Undergrad: Economics
8 Years investment banking experience in Europe

Preperation
    September: Very unfocused month, mainly questions from the Official Review. Very unhappy with the progress I made
    October: Purchased Veritas Prep on Demand and went through all the lectures, eight tests, and all the study material
    November: Final preparation with Veritas and a GMAT on Friday the 13th (no I was not afraid of the 13th)

Took the first GMATPrep test in mid September and scored a 650. Hoped to see much higher numbers in the preparation but the range was always between 620-700. I always thought scoring 650 in the first test would make it relatively easy for me to score 700+ in the actual GMAT but I did not.

Actual GMAT
To be very prompt I made a huge mistake in the Quant section that was supposed to be my strong side. I started on the wrong foot, took way to much time in the first questions, e.g. a very easy first question that I did not "see" in the beginning.

With 4 minutes left and 4-5 questions left I did the most stupid thing of all and lost track of time and was out of time - without finishing the test. It looks to me like I lost like 20-30 points on that.

I knew that one of the biggest mistakes of the GMAT is not to complete each task. Therefore my mindset was probably not right during the verbal section.

I thought after the Q section that this was a complete failure and I would see something in the 500's. I knew that one
of the biggest mistakes of the GMAT is not to complete Q or V. Therefore my mindset was probably not right during the verbal section and scored in the low end of my test score range.

After all this time and extremely many hours of work I am very frustrated with my outcome. I have now focused on my essays.

Questions
DO you think I should retake the GMAT? I am a bit afraid of mistake in that as I have not looked at the GMAT material since the test and don't see that I have much time to study. I could maybe scratch 1-2 weeks at max before a test in late December. On the other hand I have not scored more than 700 in practice tests.

My goal has been to enter one of the leading general management schools. HBS and Stanford GSB have been on the top of my list followed by Kellogg. I have a very strong background and can show admissions proven leadership skills and extensive work experience over a period of a long period. I have strong ties with my community and my extra curriculum activities are "dressed to impress".

I therefore just ask you bluntly. Is my goal of entering Stanford or Harvard completely out of the picture with a 680 GMAT (and should I retake)? he 80% range starts at 670 in both schools if I remember correctly. Would the picture change a lot with a score of 700-720?

If your answer is that I should retake the GMAT how should I alter my preparation from what I did last time.
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Re: No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5) [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2009, 08:58
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Well I am quite confident that you will join 700 club next time you go in the test room. :)

This was not your day, (its as simple as that). With few missed quant questions, you got a reasonable score, what if you had not done this :?:

So apply for the second attempt within 1 month,, do a lot of practice during this month specially for verbal, ..... all will end well.

Best of luck!!! & Congrat for your current score. (Its not bad, remember!!)
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Re: No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5) [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2009, 09:01
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hi:

first, yes i definitely think you should retake. don't go overboard with studying. instead, focus on your timing. leaving unanswered questions is unacceptable by any means. if this means taking a large # of practice tests so you can get the feel for answering questions during a 3 hr test, then do so (I would recommend MGMAT full length tests if you have access to them).

second, i know i'm probably not in the best position to opine about this, since i am neither a consultant nor a current student, but assuming you are nearing 30 (you mentioned 8 years experience), i would say a 680 probably hurt your chances more than anything. this is because from what i've read, HBS (and to some degree Stanford) have been trending younger in recent years. they are much more likely to take a 24 or 25 year old with similar stats than a 29 year old (if you are actually much younger, then this won't apply to you).

in short, practice your timing and retake in a month. focus on your kellogg essays and app before your other 2.
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Re: No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5) [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2009, 12:52
@Hussain15 Thanks for this. I must admit I am not very sure about how to spend the next weeks. What is the worst case scenario...

Option A) Focus on the essays and be sure that the recommenders do a good job. No more GMAT.
Option B) Take the GMAT on the 18th of December with on average 3 hours GMAT work a day.

@shadowsjc Congratulations on your 770. Nice work!

You are right about the age issue. It worries me a bit too. I am also a bit worried about applying with this lousy Q score.

If I am planning to apply in #2 can I really take a GMAT again in January (after I submit the application?)

When I go through the posts here and see all the +740 gmats I am wondering who are the people that are admitted with the lower GMAT scores. I would like to hear their stories to better estimate my standings.

It would be great to see some more posts.
Re: No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5)   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2009, 12:52
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No, I am in not in 700 Club - 680 (Q44,V38, AWA 5.5)

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