I recently wrote my GMAT and scored 710. I realize that this is a decent mark, but was actually expecting a higher score - all of the prep tests I wrote were in the 730 range. I did a poor job of budgeting my time in the verbal section of the gmat, and was forced to basically guess on about the last 5 or 6 questions. I don't think a score of 710 would hurt many people's applications, but I am 26 years old and don't have the work experience that others may have. I was really looking for a score in the 750 range to boost my chances of getting into a top school like Harvard. Do you think it is possible to get into a top 10 school based on gmat score alone? What sort of score would be required in this case? I am trying to decide whether or not to write the gmat again.
Please let me give you a bit more background about myself. I have a degree in engineering (3.2 gpa) from a Canadian university, and have worked as an engineer for about 1 year. My leadership experience came from running a franchise of College Pro Painters during my summers while in university. The downside of this is that it isn't a corporate environment. The upside is that I was the most successful franchise manager in Canadian history (out of thousands), that running a franchise involves knowledge of many different business principles (marketing, accounting, human resources, etc), and that I lead a team of 15 employees in an entrepreneurial environment. I hope to focus on entrepreneurship in my MBA. I have also been very involved in extra-curricular activities over the years, many involving leadership - I was president of my undergraduate program, captain of an engineering design project team, active in my fraternity, and coached minor league hockey for many years.
Do you think I may have a chance at acceptance to a top school, or should I wait until I have more work experience? I have heard that Harvard often favours younger applicants, is there any truth to this, and what would be their reasoning for doing so?
Thank you very much for your help with these questions Linda, it is greatly appreciated.
You are a strong candidate and do have a chance at HBS as well as other top schools that consider seriously early career candidates: Wharton, Stanford, Columbia, and UCLA. I personally suspect you would get more out of the program if you work for another year, but if you are determined to start sooner than later, consider the programs I mention above.
I don't think an extra twenty points on the GMAT will make the critical difference for you. Please see The GMAT in MBA Admissions
. So spend your time now on the essays.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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