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Seriously Worried, Unbalanced score top tier MBAs

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Joined: 01 Apr 2012
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GMAT 1: 700 Q42 V44
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Seriously Worried, Unbalanced score top tier MBAs [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2012, 11:57
Hello everyone,

First of all this is a great forum, thank to all the contributors!

Few days ago (after a serious amount of stress) I finally took the GMAT and with enough surprise I achieved a fairly good score:

700 (Q42 59th V44 97th)

First of all I am very happy I took the GMAT previously to get into a Msc (nearly 5y ago) and got a 580 that was cause of a bit of depression (thats why I did not retake it). On my first attempt verbal went really bad (29) and thats why, when I decided to retake it, I mostly focused in improving my verbal score.

I am quite happy now and planning to apply to a top tier school (HBS / STAN and even Columbia) however I am quite worried about my low quant (42 is like 59th percentile).
I have an Italian Bsc in Law and Economics with 3.9+ gpa and solid scores (A or A+) in math, microecon, macroecon, finance and accounting. I have a Msc in Stretegic Management between France and Germany (with some time spent in England and Argentina). I am a former semiprofessional rugby player and I speak professionally 3 languages + 2 on a casual conversation level.
I am currently working in a top tier consulting firm that yearly send at least 6 candidates each to HBS and Columbia (Not familiar with figures from other uni). I am planning to get recommendation from a client (CEO), Senior Partner and possibly my Math professor during my Bsc (Italian luminar that teaches in Ivy league UNIs as well)

At first I thought that my profile was solid enough to achieve my target schools however reading this forums I started to sadly realize that my supposed "excellent 700 GMAT" score is not that good as it is "Unbalanced" :shock: .

I see two option sin front of me:

1) Retake it - which I really dont want, as I have a clean 700 with my old 580 expired, preparing it was really stressing, the test is changing soon and I am honestly proud of my 97th percentile verbal as a non native english speaker

2) Back up my application with quantitative stuff, Bsc subjects records, highlight quantitative intensive project I took part in and the recommendation from the Bsc math prof

What do you think?

PS I admit that the Q score could be improved by a couple of points ( i kinda panicked during the quant part, however would really a 65 or 70 percentile change that much?)
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Re: Seriously Worried, Unbalanced score top tier MBAs [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2012, 13:18
Well, my personal advice is to retake. The reason being that schools look heavily on the Quant score, and the 59th percentile will raise some red flags. Without quant heavy courses in undergrad to fall back on, they will question your quant ability.

Not to mention, the average GMAT score at a place like HBS is like 730, so if you think you can push up into that range or above, your shot will be better. It sounds like you have a strong profile, but just because your company sends students to those schools doesn't make you a shoe-in. If I was applying, I'd want to know that I did EVERYTHING I could to get into the school of my choice. And I'm assuming that you are applying round 1 of next year, so you actually have a lots of time. Plus, quant is usually easier for people to improve in, so with a month or two of quant study you could really blast into the 740+ range if you're able to still perform in verbal.

I know this is the news you want, but the best things in life are sometimes the hardest to achieve. Good luck!

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Re: Seriously Worried, Unbalanced score top tier MBAs [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2012, 18:15
Expert's post
I agree with comments of GMATLA , retaking is the best option.

Three points

1) Quant is easier to improve as compared to verbal, identify your strengths and weaknesses ( i know every one says the same thing :) ) but believe me work on identifying the areas for at least one day, and you will have areas to work on.

2) I would suggest you to go for manhattan advanced gmat quant, though it is recommended for Q-45+ , but you are close and this book will help you devise good strategies for quant.

3) Now comes the main initiative, identify short term courses in statistics, mathematics etc, so even if you do not get your desired score, you have something else to scream about in your optional essays, though your undergrads reflect quant background, joining a small term course ( by the time you apply to round 1 ) is a good option.

Increasing GMAT Quant is supreme, and choosing courses as per point 3 is not alternative to it, but i am suggesting step no 3 so even if things do not turn out the way you want , you can still speak out that you have shown dedication in working on your weakness.

Good Luck

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Re: Seriously Worried, Unbalanced score top tier MBAs [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 11:43
I agree with the advice on retaking. I remember reading Q&A from adcom from Stanford mentioning that an unbalanced score was a red flag, especially if the quant was low.

I am in the same boat with a 70% Q and 90% V giving me a 690. I am going to work on my quant to push it up.
Re: Seriously Worried, Unbalanced score top tier MBAs   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2012, 11:43
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