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Should I retake the GMAT (690)?

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Joined: 12 Apr 2013
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Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2013, 08:14
My GMAT prep consisted of a Princeton Review Prep course and the review guides that came with it + The Official GMAT Review guide (13th ed). My classes didn't seem too helpful due to their incredibly slow pace (most of the other students in the course were aiming for scores in the mid 500s) and the teacher didn't seem like he had a strong grasp on the material--in fact, sometimes he taught us stuff that was blatantly incorrect. At the same time, though, the course did offer what I considered to be a strong structure and a logical progression that definitely guided me throughout the process.

My practice scores from the MBA official website ranged from 640 (early on in the process) to 690 (the day before the exam) and I ended up with a 690. My math score was lower than I expected but my verbal score was higher.

The reason why I'm tempted to re-take the GMAT is (a) It seems like there's much better review material out there, such as the Manhattan GMAT prep set and (b) I'm planning on applying to top-15 MBA programs within 5 years (I'm entering an accelerated MSF program this summer, and hope to gain 3-4 years of professional WE before I apply). I realize that 3-4 years of WE is relatively low for most of the top programs, but at that point I'll already be 29-30 years old.

I took my GMAT on 4/10/13

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2013, 10:43
Hi Esuric
You should definitely give GMAT again if you want to improve your score. The B-Schools you are targeting look for high GMAT score. If you improve your score than it will show the admission committee your commitment to the goals set for yourselves. Also, while you take time to improve your score, you should look for opportunities where you could show skills like leadership, multi-tasking and perseverance. The ad-comms will look for these qualities apart from a high GMAT score.

Best of Luck!
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2013, 14:09
I'm assuming you are targeting at Top-15 from the Financial Times' rank and you are only considering schools in US.
690 is not a bad score, but if you don't consider other great schools from the next layer (such as Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua), unless you have a really great story to tell, I'd recommend you to retake the GMAT to increase your chances.

Another light in your vision. If you're going to apply with 29/30 years, make sure you also choose wisely what career you want to aim. For instance, management consulting firms and investment banks usually prefer younger graduates (even though there are some graduates who succeed in their career plan with 32/33 years in such positions).

Good luck!
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2013, 17:23
rainfall wrote:
I'm assuming you are targeting at Top-15 from the Financial Times' rank and you are only considering schools in US.
690 is not a bad score, but if you don't consider other great schools from the next layer (such as Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, Duke Fuqua), unless you have a really great story to tell, I'd recommend you to retake the GMAT to increase your chances.

Another light in your vision. If you're going to apply with 29/30 years, make sure you also choose wisely what career you want to aim. For instance, management consulting firms and investment banks usually prefer younger graduates (even though there are some graduates who succeed in their career plan with 32/33 years in such positions).

Good luck!


Thank you for your comment.

I could swear that Ross, Johnson and Fuqua were in the top 15. I would be more than happy to attend either of these programs. Also, do you think my study material put me at a real disadvantage? In other words, what do you think my chances are of increasing my score by around 30 points if I used better material, such as the MGMAT stuff?

Thanks again.
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2013, 04:35
I'm applying this year with a 690. Retaking comes down to answering the following question: If I retake, can I reasonably stand to gain 30 points? The difference between 690 and 700 or 710 is negligible, all else equal.

Looking at your split (42/42), I'd be a little concerned with that quant score. A 42Q is lower than most top 15 schools want to see, but it looks like you also have an outstanding 3.93 GPA...

Finally, Johnson, Fuqua, and Ross are all excellent schools. Most people place them within the top 15 comfortably - not to start a rankings debate, but I find the Nathan Silver-esque rankings at Poets and Quants to be the most reasonable.. That said, each school has its own quirks, so don't think that because Fuqua is 10, and Ross is 12, that Fuqua > Ross in everything.
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 15 May 2013, 19:40
Doesn't seem like anyone can give me a clear answer. Basically, my question is simple:

I used crappy prep material (Princeton Review stuff) and want to know my chances of increasing my score (by at least 30 pts) by using better prep material (such as the MGMAT stuff).

Thanks again.

(am I in the wrong thread?)
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 15 May 2013, 22:03
No one else can give you a clear answer Esuric.

You've got to decide whether you can actually get more than a 30 point improvement on your current score by switching your study materials (and studying harder hopefully :P ). If you think you can, then by all means throw yourself into it.

If you think you need a little break in between before you get down to it, do so.

Point being, don't settle for less than what you think you can realistically achieve - if this is the best, then your time would be better spent improving the other parts that go into making an MBA admission, IMHO.

Either way, this is a decision you have to take - no one else can decide appropriately fr you.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)? [#permalink] New post 16 May 2013, 00:38
Esuric wrote:
Doesn't seem like anyone can give me a clear answer. Basically, my question is simple:

I used crappy prep material (Princeton Review stuff) and want to know my chances of increasing my score (by at least 30 pts) by using better prep material (such as the MGMAT stuff).

Thanks again.

(am I in the wrong thread?)


Your Verbal score is actually quite good. Your quant score would worry the adcoms from the top15 schools though as 42 is a bit low. I would concentrate on that and MGMAT is generally regarded as the best set of prep books. If you can boost that quant score you should be able to break the 700.
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Re: Should I retake the GMAT (690)?   [#permalink] 16 May 2013, 00:38
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