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Should I retake? 680 first time, non-MBA

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Should I retake? 680 first time, non-MBA [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 23:49
I'm in a gap year between undergrad and a masters program. Applying to UNC MAC program and Duke MMS. I was a sociology major (I know...) and ended up with a 3.5. Trying to lateral into business with a more related degree.

I didn't study too hard for the GMAT, maybe 20 hours total. Mostly just worked through the Kaplan premiere guide. Took a Kaplan practice test 2 nights before and got a 690. Wound up with a 680 the day of.

Right now I'm earning my living teaching the SAT for two different companies. I am a good standardized test taker. My hours are getting cut back for the holidays and I'm going to have an excess of time. I would really like to get my score up in the mid 700s, not just for some comfort for my current application cycle, but hopefully to avoid taking it again down the road for an MBA program.

My quant section needs more work than verbal. I was very good at math in HS but only took stat and accounting in college. Teaching the SAT to advanced students has helped me brush up a lot, but the presentation of questions on the GMAT is very different than the SAT--even if the subject matter isn't. I need a lot of work with data sufficiency. definitely my weakest section in the official guide initial screening test.

CR I'm fine on, cramming for the LSAT helped with that. RC is also good. I can ace the grammar section on SAT practice tests but find the GMAT SC markedly more difficult. Just missing a few, but really holding back my verbal score.

So first... is it even worth it? 680 isn't bad but I know I can do better. I have the money to buy the prep books and the time to study. At the very least I know it couldn't hurt. Even if I do increase my score 40-50 points, will it make a big difference now for non-MBA programs?

And second, how should I go about doing it? The 650 to 700+ in the sticky seems catered toward my goals. I want to get the Kaplan 800 book as well as the Manhattan advanced quant book. Probably the Manhattan SC book as well.

I know I have the potential for a home run, I just don't know if it's worth going up to bat again. I would really appreciate any input/suggestions.
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Re: Should I retake? 680 first time, non-MBA [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 00:02
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Do you know the averages for those programs you are applying to? If you are around average (preferably above, then you are safe). If below or around and your GPA is average and all other things average, then it would make sense to retake (taken into consideration how little effort you put into it). most of us have to sweat (profusely for 680). I started at 540 and pretty much crawled my way to 750.
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Re: Should I retake? 680 first time, non-MBA [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 01:01
UNC is 640, 3.4 and Duke is 650, 3.4. By your advice I shouldn't. Probably not worth the time/financial investment. But as someone who is very interested in the testing (and it would probably allow me to get more clients in my tutoring gig) it is tempting.

Probably won't be applying for MBA programs within the 5 year window of when I would take it anyway. I was probably just hoping to find a somewhat productive use of my time while I hold my breath for admissions decisions.

Thanks for the input, the resources you've accumulated here are immensely helpful, wish I had found the website a few months before my test date.
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Affiliations: UA-1K, SPG-G, HH-D
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
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WE: Information Technology (Hospitality and Tourism)
Followers: 2219

Kudos [?]: 8186 [0], given: 3641

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Re: Should I retake? 680 first time, non-MBA [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 01:10
Expert's post
Visirale wrote:
UNC is 640, 3.4 and Duke is 650, 3.4. By your advice I shouldn't. Probably not worth the time/financial investment. But as someone who is very interested in the testing (and it would probably allow me to get more clients in my tutoring gig) it is tempting.

Probably won't be applying for MBA programs within the 5 year window of when I would take it anyway. I was probably just hoping to find a somewhat productive use of my time while I hold my breath for admissions decisions.

Thanks for the input, the resources you've accumulated here are immensely helpful, wish I had found the website a few months before my test date.



Here are some more ideas/thoughts:
Is GMAT Useless After Admissions?
A number of people say - No. However, some of the top companies (e.g. McKinsey, Barclays, etc) ask for your GMAT Score on the internship/job application. Also, if you get a good score (90+ percentile, it is something else to put under your achievements section of the resume). Also, if you ever wanted to be a tutor, you need 760 to really get admissions into the inner circle of Veritas, MGMAT, and Kaplan. Here is a discussion on this very subject: gmat-score-use-in-employment-21669.html
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Re: Should I retake? 680 first time, non-MBA   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2011, 01:10
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