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Profile Evaluation - H/W/S

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Profile Evaluation - H/W/S [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2012, 17:46
Hi,

I am hoping to get your thoughts on my profile for the above schools (Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford) and primarily whether it would be worthwhile to retake the GMAT, since I'll have time.

-While male, graduated from an Ivy with a degree in Political Science and 3.8 gap (magna cum laude)
-Have worked for 3 years at a bulge bracket investment bank in New York
-Will be working for a reputable west coast private equity fund starting this summer (2-3 years)
-Took the GMAT this week and scored a 740 (46V, 46Q)

My main question is how important is the 80% / 80% split I've recently read about on these boards. My 46 in quant was only 73%.

I'm content with my overall score, but given that I only studied hard for 5-6 weeks in order to take the test before it changed, would it be worth my while to dedicate more time to studying in order to boost my quant into the 80th percentile. I am hoping that my 5 years of work experience in finance will be enough to prove quantitative aptitude, but as I'm really only considering an MBA if its from one of the above 3 schools, I'd willingly re-study for the test if it was going to be a weak spot on my application.

I'd obviously rather spend my time focusing on more meaningful endeavors, and also wonder what kind of message re-taking a standardized test after achieving a score I'm relatively happy with would send.

Thank you for any advice or thoughts you can share!
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Re: Profile Evaluation - H/W/S [#permalink] New post 01 May 2012, 15:27
Hi - any feedback would be appreciated.
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Re: Profile Evaluation - H/W/S [#permalink] New post 01 May 2012, 23:02
Expert's post
Hi there, thanks for reaching out. My first response is a self-serving one but true nonetheless - the most critical thing you can do now is nail your essays. Proper goals (appropriateness of your pursuits and the MBA path), showing transferable skills for the ST goal, showing a moment of passion/inspiration for the LT goal, showcasing key b-school traits and skills, and - most importantly - hitting the DNA of the programs. Your goal - and everyone's goal - is to move from the huge stack of "deserving" candidates to the short stack of "wow, this guy is perfect for our program" candidates. a 20-40 point swing on your GMAT (in either direction, by the way) wouldn't really impact that migration. You can only do it by penning a set of essays that makes the reader go "this applicant is one of us." So yeah, self serving because that's what we do, but the reason we do it is because that's the reality.

Now, all of that doesn't really change one key fact: an increase in your GMAT score can still help you ... it's just probably more likely to be in the financial aid stage. Most schools - although they don't disclose this - run their scholarship and fellowship offers on GMAT score and so the higher the score, the more likely you will receive a healthy award at a top program. And, of course, it never hurts to have the highest score possible, especially at the top programs.

As for the splits, we've only truly seen that matter at Haas and Sloan - two schools that are a bit more paternalist about academic preparedness. Usually it is offset by strong finance chops (either academically or professionally), but those are the two programs were it seems to be a concern. I've personally had clients in the 50s on their quant split, from functions ranging from marketing to finance to non-profit, and all were able to get into top schools - even "quant heavy" programs. So to me, the split thing is one of those red herrings that gets everyone all hot and bothered on forums, but rarely is a game changer.

So, to sum it up:

- Splits should be okay at most schools
- Score is more than good enough to step up to the plate with
- Getting into an HSW is going to come down to the narrative now, especially program DNA
- If you honestly don't mind taking it again and think you can tack on another 20 points, go for it
- Especially for $$$ considerations
- But you don't *have to* in order to compete

Hope that helps.

Best,
-Adam/Amerasia
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