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Profile eval - re-take GMAT?

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Profile eval - re-take GMAT? [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2013, 08:48
Hi there.
Thank you in advance for providing your insights!

I was just wondering what other people would do to maximize their time/money/chance of getting accepted.

So I have a GMAT score that is on the lower edge of range of my target schools and a significantly weak part.
I have 690 (M:50 V:33) with AWA:4 and IR:1 (yes. 1 on IR.. haha)
Just to give you more of my background, I am a Korean American who went to state university (GPA 3.43 Accounting major) and will have 8 full years of experience by the time I start the school.
6 year in accounting firm for audit and sales (US and international experience), and rest years or so for co-founder of a startup (didn't go well) and one of the first employee of a startup (doing well).

I am thinking of applying following schools (reach: HBS, Stanford, Target: Sloan, Kellogg, Others: Yale, NYU, Duke, Darden)
I was originally going to apply for round 1 for few of these schools with my existing GMAT score and retake GMAT in November and apply the rest in Round 2.
Then, I spoke to a Kellogg alum few days ago, he shared that he would focus more on writing killer essays and spend more time on mapping out the whole application rather than re-taking GMAT.
Unless I know for sure I will score 750 or higher. He doesn't see much advantage if I score 720 and below.

What should I do in this case?
1. Re-take GMAT (there is guaranteed higher IR and more likely higher score on AWA, probably similar math if not higher, but no guarantee on higher verbal as I stopped studying since January.) and keep the original application plan.
2. Go with what I have and spend much more time on other part of my application. And explain how I can mitigate extremely low score on IR section.
3. Other advice.

I know that getting a higher GMAT score is good in any case, but I'm trying to evaluate what would be the best way to allocate my time/effort with given capacity.

Thanks!
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Re: Profile eval - re-take GMAT? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 06:52
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Hey okwon619 -

If you only took the GMAT once then we would strongly recommend taking it again. While none of the schools are requiring the IR component as part of an application, because not everyone took the GMAT when the IR was part of it, it's still being looked at for people who tested since it was implemented. We've honestly never seen someone with an IR of 1 before - we're concerned about that. We're also concerned about the overall verbal - not just the 33V, which is low but not completely awful, but the combination of that with the AWA of 4 - and of course the IR doesn't help you.

Your profile shows you can handle quant easily enough which certainly matters a lot but your profile really doesn't show you as qualified across the board. If you only tested once then it makes sense to try again. Otherwise, it sends the message that you're satisfied with doing below-average, which isn't such a strong thing to say to these schools.

The other reason we're encouraging you to retest is due to your age. This needs to be your year to make it in - it's going to get increasingly harder as time goes by. You should pull out all the stops.

Also don't go by the advice of one school when you strategize for all schools; they treat things differently. If you feel that your essays are awesome then it can overcome - but frankly, we're worried about that, given the low verbal/writing scores you're presenting. That sort of indicates to us that another GMAT test is warranted.

If you don't really care about getting into Kellogg then sure, go with the advice you got - but there's risk to it. Remember that a conversation with the adcom pre-submit doesn't guarantee anything. They could react very differently when they see your app in front of them. A 690 score is totally in range for a school like Kellogg and if you informed the adcom person only about that datapoint, then we can understand their advice to turn to the essays now. But if you didn't share with them the full score breakdown that you told us about, then that advice might be different, not sure. You'd need to be bringin' it in a major way with those essays to overcome the glitches - and given that the glitches are on the writing side then we just have some concerns going into the whole proposition.

There's no risk to retesting and it could have a good upside; there IS risk to applying with this score in Round 1, especially when you're not forced to - you could work to improve and then do Round 2 instead. That's the tradeoff that we'd be making, if this was us.

Probably not what you want to hear but that's our recommendation.

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Re: Profile eval - re-take GMAT? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 07:40
essaysnark,

Thank you very much for your honest and thorough feedback.
It actually makes me to focus more on the re-taking GMAT!!!!!
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Re: Profile eval - re-take GMAT? [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2013, 08:15
okwon619 wrote:
essaysnark,

Thank you very much for your honest and thorough feedback.
It actually makes me to focus more on the re-taking GMAT!!!!!
Right on - that's a great attitude - good luck with the test!!!

EssaySnark

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Re: Profile eval - re-take GMAT?   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2013, 08:15
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