Question about Quant / Verbal split : The B-School Application
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# Question about Quant / Verbal split

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Manager
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20 Nov 2007, 05:24
i have heard that schools prefer candidates who cross the "80/80 threshold" on the GMAT, meaning that they score above the 80th% in both quant and verbal. i am a little worried about this because it seems like the quant score is skewed upward by foreign national engineering types (nothing against them but they are generally very good at quant!). i have heard quite a lot about the legions of indian engineers who score 51Q and ~35V (or something similar).

my undergrad is in humanities and i am not sure if i will be able to cross 80th% in quant since it is a skewed number (though i do expect a perfect or near-perfect verbal score). i also have very little quant exposure on my transcript. that being said, i have passed level one and two of the CFA program, which is fairly quantitative (finance, accounting, stats) and is basically represenative of the kind of work i would be doing in B-school. i am curious to know how you think i may be perceived by the adcom if i do fall below the 80th% in quant (assume everything else is strong - strong UG, VERY good ECs, 4 major leadership awards, good work ex, etc.).

i should also mention that i am only applying to m7 schools. thanks.
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20 Nov 2007, 05:37
Depends on the schools...at some the 80% is rumored to be a near hard limit (wharton) except for certain demographics that are tough to find. If you can pass the CFA and have a quant based job you should be able to break the 80% mark on the Quant. Aim for a 47+ and you wont have to worry about finding out the real answer to your question.
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20 Nov 2007, 06:16
"If you can pass the CFA and have a quant based job you should be able to break the 80% mark on the Quant."

i found the quant on the CFA to be very easy compared to advanced gmat questions. i also don't feel that working in finance is really a "quant" job... i do a fair amount of intermediate level financial modeling (earnings and DCF models), but that's basically just algebra and arithmetic. no funky geometry problems, hard combinatorics, etc.

what % is Q47? is that 80%? that seems awfully high for just 80% lol.
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20 Nov 2007, 06:31
sudden wrote:
what % is Q47? is that 80%? that seems awfully high for just 80% lol.

It is 81% but by next year that probably will be closer to 79-80% the way the test scores are going these days. Unless you get a very high V score without a 46/47+ Q a 700 is tough to get.

http://www.mba.com/NR/rdonlyres/105C7177-7A89-4D1D-B285-7F1400360055/0/GMAT_Test_Taker_Score_Report_Sample.pdf
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20 Nov 2007, 06:44
riverripper wrote:
sudden wrote:
what % is Q47? is that 80%? that seems awfully high for just 80% lol.

It is 81% but by next year that probably will be closer to 79-80% the way the test scores are going these days. Unless you get a very high V score without a 46/47+ Q a 700 is tough to get.

[url]http://www.mba.com/NR/rdonlyres/105C7177-7A89-4D1D-B285-7F14003
60055/0/GMAT_Test_Taker_Score_Report_Sample.pdf[/url]

Yeah - my 46 Q - with which I was deliriously happy, by the way - was 79%. My 45 V was 98%! Unbelievable.
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20 Nov 2007, 06:49
thanks for the replies. i take my test in < 2 weeks, so fingers crossed. i have worked *very* hard on the quant and i am not sure there is that much room for me to improve even if i did have more time... just feels like i am hitting a plateau. if i can hold the line on Q and get 47/48, i will make it. i will be surprised / disappointed with anything below 49V.
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20 Nov 2007, 07:56
49V is extremely difficult.

I think verbal is scored differently from quant. Getting a V45 or higher is really just about luck and getting the right ones correct.
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20 Nov 2007, 08:15
49Q does not equal to 49V in how GMAT scores. With 49Q you can get 10 questions wrong while with 49V you can hardly miss 1 or 2.
Have you taken any practice tests yet?

I am also in Finance now and graduated with a degree in Finance with a 3.9 GPA; scored in the 66th% in quant (42Q) and 99th% in verbal (47V). Still, I am applying to all the schools I view as best for my career.

I guess I will soon find out just how much my low quant score affected my candidacy if at all
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20 Nov 2007, 08:16
gmatclb wrote:
49V is extremely difficult.

I think verbal is scored differently from quant. Getting a V45 or higher is really just about luck and getting the right ones correct.

You could say that about quant as well. If you get the majority of problems that are in your strong areas, you might score better than you would on another day.
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20 Nov 2007, 08:27
haha, well, thanks all for believing in my wicked verbal skills. i didn't major in finance, i majored in humanities, which is probably why i have a harder time on the quant (i guess that makes me the antithesis of the typical indian engineering test taker . actually, i don't think the quant is really THAT hard, but it's a steep slope for someone who hasn't done any quant in a while.

the verbal is NOT luck, it's skill just like the quant. if one reads and writes a lot, they will develop above average comprehension and argumentation skills. i will admit that SC is a bit of a crap shoot since i think some of the SC questions i have seen are wrong or ambiguous at best, but i am hoping the calibre of the real gmat will be higher than SC1000 and the like.

i have taken practice tests and done practice questions and i rock the verbal to the ground (i missed 3 questions across the OG verbal (all sections) and and 3-4 in the purple verbal book). it's possible that the real GMAT is harder, but i doubt it's that much harder. i guess i will see on Dec. 1st.
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20 Nov 2007, 08:28
Strategery wrote:
gmatclb wrote:
49V is extremely difficult.

I think verbal is scored differently from quant. Getting a V45 or higher is really just about luck and getting the right ones correct.

You could say that about quant as well. If you get the majority of problems that are in your strong areas, you might score better than you would on another day.

That describes my day very well. I was routinely getting 51s on all the practice tests the month before the exam but pulled a 48 the day of. I got 30 points less than my gmatprep tests but it definitely wouldn't be worth the $250, study time, and time away from essays to bring it up to a 50+Q. Nervous you are a going to be a terrible example for almost everyone though even with a lower Q. Your native country is uncommon and you are female...that gives you two HUGE advantages. Especially when combined. Your profile is extremely unique, even if you dont realize it. VP Joined: 06 Feb 2007 Posts: 1023 Followers: 22 Kudos [?]: 178 [0], given: 0 ### Show Tags 20 Nov 2007, 08:40 riverripper wrote: Strategery wrote: gmatclb wrote: 49V is extremely difficult. I think verbal is scored differently from quant. Getting a V45 or higher is really just about luck and getting the right ones correct. You could say that about quant as well. If you get the majority of problems that are in your strong areas, you might score better than you would on another day. That describes my day very well. I was routinely getting 51s on all the practice tests the month before the exam but pulled a 48 the day of. I got 30 points less than my gmatprep tests but it definitely wouldn't be worth the$250, study time, and time away from essays to bring it up to a 50+Q.

Nervous you are a going to be a terrible example for almost everyone though even with a lower Q. Your native country is uncommon and you are female...that gives you two HUGE advantages. Especially when combined. Your profile is extremely unique, even if you dont realize it.

River, I agree about my "uniqueness" factor.
However, I still think that applicants should not shortchange themselves just because of the lower quant score, especially in the case of sudden. Passing two CFA levels speaks a lot about a person's analytical abilities. At the end of the day b-school is not about doing hard-core math with integrals. It's more about application of analytical skills and communicating your ideas effectively.

Just my 2 cents
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20 Nov 2007, 08:44
What I mean about the verbal score and quant score is this.

V43 is ~97percentile....

V45 is ~ 99 percentile

V49 is ~ 99 percentile

So a V45 and above is a 99th percentile.

Very easily someone that is a verbal master could easily score a V45 or a V49 depending on very minute details.

A Q45 and Q49 is more than 20 percentile difference.
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20 Nov 2007, 09:00
Oh if there is no way you will break the 80% barrier than definitely apply...however if you aren't applying until next year then after your test you will know where you stand and can decide on where you want to go. As nervous said don't let it hold you back but she also took hers late in the summer and had to decide between a month+ of studying for the GMAT and maximizing the quality of her R1 applications. She definitely made the correct decision by going to work on the applications.

Its getting late in the cycle to be starting applications anyway if you haven't even taken the GMAT. Most schools say that R1 and R2 are the same but there is a difference at a lot of schools. I think someone analyzed data found on Ross and determined that your chances are twice as good R1 as R2, and during my MIT visit the adcoms actually basically said that was true for them. With application being up significantly last year and most likely being up a lot again this year its only going to get tougher as the rounds go on.

As for the Verbal...the difference between a low 40 and a high 40 can be a question or two. Once you break 40 you are a verbal stud vs breaking 49 for quant. Beyond a 42 you are in the top 5% and pretty much the difference could be missing a SC question. Getting upper 40s in Verbal is a huge achievement...
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20 Nov 2007, 09:10
it's interesting that you have learned that R2 \= R1. everything i have read says that R2 = R1, but a lot of that has been on the internet, so i don't doubt that some of that info. may be wrong.

i wish that i had more time for this, but i am on an expedited timeline. i took CFA 1 12/06 and CFA 2 6/07. took some time off (brain was fried!!) and then started studying for the GMAT / polishing off some outstanding EC projects. i am not going to have a ton of time for my applications so i may need to take some time off work to get them done.

that being said, i'm not sure that skipping CFA 2 in order to apply in R1 or give more time for R2 would have been a viable option. CFA 2 is highly prized where i work and may lead to a promotion, so if i do not get into b-school, at least i am hedged. i also believe that it will go a long way in my particular case in addressing the adcoms concerns about my analytical ability (which, incidentally is pretty good, even if it doesn't show up my liberal arts transcript haha). oh well, one can only push forward so hard.
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20 Nov 2007, 09:18
If you can get solid apps out R2 go for it...if you can't, wait until next year. R3 applications are basically throw aways at most schools. Chances are much better first time around than being a reapplicant, especially at top schools like HBS. Also, if you are below the average age and confident you will get a promotion then your chances next year will be that much better.
20 Nov 2007, 09:18
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