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Overall score better - quant score down, advice please!

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Overall score better - quant score down, advice please! [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2011, 09:55
I did my GMAT for the first time in December last year and got 640 (Q39 V41). I've been studying for about a month with various practice books and really felt a lot more comfortable with my maths skills but when I took the GMAT for the second time today I ended up with 660 which sounds like an improvement but Q36 V44 and i'm really disappointed because although the score has improved, the gap between the two parts is so big and I know the quant part is more important and it's actually gotten worse.

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Female, English, 25.
I've been working for almost 3 years - most recently just under 2 years at John Lewis (big department store chain in the UK) in online merchandising for 9 months and as a manager of a department in a store for 1 year.
Before that I spent two stints of 6 months working in events (in between each stint I first went travelling in Central America for 6 months and then in the second gap to Austria to study German for 6 months).

I left my job to focus on getting into B-School and have spent the last month studying for the GMAT and volunteering at elderly persons care home (my goal after MBA is to work in non-profit with the elderly) and I was planning to continue volunteering while doing b-schools applications and also studying Spanish. I was then planning to enroll in a college from January to study some calculus, stats etc. in prep for starting an MBA.

Undergrad was in Psychology from top 20 school in England - equivalent of about 3.3-3.5 GPA with lots of extracurriculars from University as well, charity work drama etc.

I am thinking now that my plan might not be good enough and wondering if it is worth delaying my applications to round 2 and re-taking my GMAT or taking some online math classes so I have grades to show admissions team that my quant abilities aren't as bad as they seem (I don't have many quant classes from undergrad either).

Just wondering what your thoughts were - can I make up for my quant score with some online classes with good grades or do I have to re-take the GMAT? I am worried i'll do even worse (I really thought my math skills were better this time!)

I'm not aiming for any top 10 schools, I know I would need a lot better scores for that but i'm wondering what i might need to do to get to say a level to be considered for somewhere like Georgetown, UCLA or UNC?

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Re: Overall score better - quant score down, advice please! [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2011, 13:17
Do you know how your quant score compares to the averages at your target schools? It looks like your overall score is in Georgetown's range. I ask because if it's close then I wouldn't worry much more about it. I tend to think that the claim that the Q component is more important than the V component is over-stated, at least at the less Q-focused schools (MIT, Berkeley seem Q-focused).

So part of my point is that I think you need to think more about the other aspects of your application, namely the work experience. You seem to be taking the "holistic" view, which is good, but I'm not sure about the rationale for quitting work to focus on B school. While you appear to be making up for things with good, relevant extra-curriculars, I think some schools might view the lack of a job somewhat skeptically, particularly with only a few years prior experience. Are there opportunities to get some work experience in a field that interests you more? Can you turn the volunteer work into a paid gig where you can get more leadership achievements under your belt?

You seem like a strong candidate in terms of demographics, undergrad and extra-curriculars (and you have an impressive Verbal GMAT score), but work experience is probably the #1 criteria for evaluation in most cases. Generally I would say that delaying your applications to build up more work experience and related leadership is more valuable than further progress on the GMAT.

Just my opinion though. Best of luck!
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Joined: 14 Sep 2007
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Schools: Kellogg '10
Followers: 6

Kudos [?]: 87 [0], given: 15

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Re: Overall score better - quant score down, advice please! [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2011, 13:20
Oh, one other thing.

At the risk of contradicting my last post, have you looked into the GRE at all? Maybe you are better suited for that test? I'm not sure how many schools are accepting it these days but it seems that the list is growing.
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Re: Overall score better - quant score down, advice please!   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2011, 13:20
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