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Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep)

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Affiliations: CFA L3 Candidate, Grad w/ Highest Honors
Joined: 03 Nov 2007
Posts: 130
Location: USA
Schools: Chicago Booth R2 (WL), Wharton R2 w/ int, Kellogg R2 w/ int
WE 1: Global Operations (Futures & Portfolio Financing) - Hedge Fund ($10bn+ Multi-Strat)
WE 2: Investment Analyst (Credit strategies) - Fund of Hedge Fund ($10bn+ Multi-Strat)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 26 [0], given: 9

Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep) [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 07:04
I am completely demoralized! My 2nd attempt resulted in a 660 (47Q; 36V) which was 100 points below my practice exams (I was scoring 750-760 on GMAT Prep, Q49-50, V40-42). On my 1st attempt I scored a 640 (41Q; 36V). My verbal score didn’t change at all! I think may be able to cross the 700 mark with additional effort but am not sure it is worth sacrificing time from essay writing as there are only a few precious weeks till R2 deadlines.

I wanted to apply to a top 5 business school for 2010 admissions. Overall I think I have a strong application but my GMAT score is low. My current score is barely within the 80% distribution of GMAT scores. I am wondering if you can help decide whether I should re-take the exam or just focus on the essays. I do not want to apply to these schools if my chances of getting in are really poor.

Target Schools: Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth….possibly Harvard


Work Experience:

5 years upon expected matriculation.

2005-2007 Worked at a very well known multi-billion dollar Hedge Fund. I worked in a operational role building out futures clearing business and coordinating financing arrangements for the fund.

2007-2010 Worked at a multi-billion dollar Fund of Hedge Fund which is owned by one of the largest banks in France. I work as an Investment analyst. My job is to select outperforming hedge funds for our portfolios and communicate these investment ideas to our Portfolio Managers. We have offices globally so I regularly deal with colleagues or clients in London, Paris and Tokyo. As part of my job i regularly speak with Hedge Fund executives regarding their trading strategies and securities in their portfolio in order to make investment decisions. I have been able to have conversations with people like Ken Griffin, John Meriwether (principle at JWM and LTCM) and Myron Scholes (Nobel Prize winner and principle at LTCM) as well as many other famous persons in asset management.

Academics

3.9 GPA with a Major in Finance from a slightly above average university. I graduated within the top 3% of my class.

Passed Level 1 and Level 2 in the CFA. Candidate for Level 3 this coming June.

I took the GMAT twice, 1st: 640; 2nd: 660 (Q47 & V36).


Extra Circulars

I am involved in a Alumni mentorship program from my undergraduate university. I spend a few hours a month with students helping them with their career goals which also include practice interviews and Resume critiquing. I also help coordinate Alumni networking events a few times a year.

Other Things Unique

I lived in a foreign country for 5 years. My parents were involved in a faith based institution which founded a school for Pastoral Studies in Romania. I have no biological links to the country. I learned the language while i was living there and am fluent in Romanian to this day. I am still very attached to the Romanian community and help a Romanian charitable organization coordinate cultural events a few times a year.



What do you think I should do???
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Joined: 16 Jan 2009
Posts: 187
Location: Ithaca, New York
Schools: Cornell University - The Johnson School
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Re: Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep) [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 09:55
robertrdzak wrote:
I am completely demoralized! My 2nd attempt resulted in a 660 (47Q; 36V) which was 100 points below my practice exams (I was scoring 750-760 on GMAT Prep, Q49-50, V40-42). On my 1st attempt I scored a 640 (41Q; 36V). My verbal score didn’t change at all! I think may be able to cross the 700 mark with additional effort but am not sure it is worth sacrificing time from essay writing as there are only a few precious weeks till R2 deadlines.

I wanted to apply to a top 5 business school for 2010 admissions. Overall I think I have a strong application but my GMAT score is low. My current score is barely within the 80% distribution of GMAT scores. I am wondering if you can help decide whether I should re-take the exam or just focus on the essays. I do not want to apply to these schools if my chances of getting in are really poor.

Target Schools: Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth….possibly Harvard


Work Experience:

5 years upon expected matriculation.

2005-2007 Worked at a very well known multi-billion dollar Hedge Fund. I worked in a operational role building out futures clearing business and coordinating financing arrangements for the fund.

2007-2010 Worked at a multi-billion dollar Fund of Hedge Fund which is owned by one of the largest banks in France. I work as an Investment analyst. My job is to select outperforming hedge funds for our portfolios and communicate these investment ideas to our Portfolio Managers. We have offices globally so I regularly deal with colleagues or clients in London, Paris and Tokyo. As part of my job i regularly speak with Hedge Fund executives regarding their trading strategies and securities in their portfolio in order to make investment decisions. I have been able to have conversations with people like Ken Griffin, John Meriwether (principle at JWM and LTCM) and Myron Scholes (Nobel Prize winner and principle at LTCM) as well as many other famous persons in asset management.

Academics

3.9 GPA with a Major in Finance from a slightly above average university. I graduated within the top 3% of my class.

Passed Level 1 and Level 2 in the CFA. Candidate for Level 3 this coming June.

I took the GMAT twice, 1st: 640; 2nd: 660 (Q47 & V36).


Extra Circulars

I am involved in a Alumni mentorship program from my undergraduate university. I spend a few hours a month with students helping them with their career goals which also include practice interviews and Resume critiquing. I also help coordinate Alumni networking events a few times a year.

Other Things Unique

I lived in a foreign country for 5 years. My parents were involved in a faith based institution which founded a school for Pastoral Studies in Romania. I have no biological links to the country. I learned the language while i was living there and am fluent in Romanian to this day. I am still very attached to the Romanian community and help a Romanian charitable organization coordinate cultural events a few times a year.



What do you think I should do???


I'm sorry about your dilemma.

I had the same issue with the GMAT. I was scoring in the 720 to 740 range on GMAT prep and scored a 620. However, I know that timing was my problem and as a result I screwed up the last 10 questions in both sections. Obviously you have room to increase your verbal score. Is there an area in the verbal section that you feel you can improve? If you decide to retake this should be your primary focus area. An increase in the 42-44 range would really boost your overall score.

The question you need to ask yourself is whether your GMAT score will hold you back from acceptance to a top biz school. Do some due diligence by asking other applicants/current students/alumni of your target schools that have similar backgrounds. You seem to have an impressive background. You should read the thread that bb always posts about GMAT scores. There are plenty of people who have amazing GMAT scores and do not get in anywhere.

I owned a real estate business and whenever I had to submit a loan application for a property I wanted to acquire I would ask two questions: Have done all that I can to ensure an acceptance? Have I given the bank or investor a reason to reject my application? I would say to you that you should ask yourself those same questions. I have asked myself these questions and I feel the need to retake the GMAT. I don't want to give the adcom a reason to reject my application. Everything else in my application is very good.

What would it hurt to attempt the test again? If you get a higher score it can only help you in your biz school quest. Read the thread about retaking the GMAT it may help you with your decision. should-i-retake-gmat-thread-retaking-gmat-strategies-83339.html

I just noticed that this post is just a rambling mess. Sorry 'bout that. I hope this helps somehow!

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Re: Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep) [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 12:24
I was in the same state last year.. You can read my previous posts to ascertain that ...

My suggestion to you would be

1) Take a break . Forget about your GMAT for a while

2) You need to unlearn your wrong concepts, specially in Verbal. I realized that my score never improved because I wasnt conceptually strong on my GMAT Verbal in the first two attempts .

3) Take up GMAT Prep Coaching , if you can afford it. Its your third attempt , you will have nothing to lose. I improved my score by 60 points just by taking up GMAT Prep coaching from Knewton, from a 660 to 720. Theyve been quite useful in my prep , and they offer a refund if you dont get a 50 pt improvement on your GMAT score. Try going through them for a week, I know its free, and see if online learning suits your style.

I joined Knewton as I didnt have any good GMAT instructors or institutes in my city, and Knewton charged me about 600 $. Am glad that I joined them. Knewtons relatively new so I had my apprehensions when I joined them, but now can confidently recommend them to any one looking at raising his GMAT score.

(BTW I dont work for Knewton and neither am I paid for this post .
But I am really delighted with my score and I can surely attribute my score to my mentors at Knewton)

4) You may not believe this and neither did I , but if you have done the GMAT prep more than once, it does raise a false expectation , as your score rises with every new attempt, as you do get questions you have seen earlier, and perhaps every time you got a certain question wrong the first time you woulld have searched for the correct explanations for the same. Hence in your 760 attempt you may have answered the tougher questions correctly leading to the higher score. I have gone through this first hand, and hence dont beleive that GMAT Prep is an accurate indicator of your score beyond the first two attempts. If you have taken the test once, and are repeating it, GMAT Prep is bound to raise a false expectatation.

Last edited by bhatiagp on 16 Sep 2009, 09:26, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep) [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 13:12
One other thing that might have happened is that, knowingly or unknowingly you might have solved most of the questions that belong to the GMATPREP pool in this forum. This might have boosted your GMAT Prep scores.........(I feel this is one of the draw backs). I think you narrowly missed the 700 mark. If you would have got 2 more points in either of the sections then probably you might have crossed 700 barrier.

If you are confident enough that you are well above 660, limit - go for it. But 660 is pretty decent score.
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Re: Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep) [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2009, 14:57
Thanks for the debrief.
Re: Please help (660 on 2nd attempt but 760 on GMAT Prep)   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2009, 14:57
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