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Should I take the GMAT a 4th time?

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Should I take the GMAT a 4th time? [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2010, 18:12
Hi,

I am looking to get some advice on wether to take the GMAT again for a 4th time. I just finished my 3rd test and I think it went surprisingly badly. 640 V40 Q37.

Last year I took the test twice:
1st time - 600 (cant remember exact breakdown, but favored verbal)
2nd time - 680 V41 Q41
Graduated in 2005 from a top 25 undergrad school, majored in film production with a 3.55 GPA and have been working at an internet company for the last few years in a product and business development role.

I applied to 6 schools last year including HSB, Stanford, Columbia, Haas, UCLA and USC (round 3). Unfortunately I wasn't accepted to any of these schools and I was also later told by an admissions officer that one of the reasons was that I didn't have stellar quant scores.

I plan or reapplying to UCLA and USC in round 1 this year and I took a management mathematics UCLA extension course this summer to prop up my math scores. I got an A in the class which was good. I also wanted to improve the quant score on my GMAT and have been killing myself for the last 6 weeks studying every day after work and all weekend. I have also been working with a private tutor to address my specific areas of weakness. I was getting in the 700 range on my last couple of practice tests.

I was really surprised to get a 640 today. I wanted to write about the GMAT on my reapplication essays as one of things that I worked on to improve my candidacy, but now I feel like I cant bring it up. I think this was a fluke test, but the real question is wether to take it again for a 4th time or is that beating a dead horse? I think I have it in me to get a higher quant score, but would that be drawing too much attention to this section of my application?

I am really perplexed about how to best proceed and would really appreciate some advice.
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Re: Should I take the GMAT a 4th time? [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2011, 13:38
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Hi mhla82,

Thanks for your post. With regards to your earlier applications, MBA programs accept noticeably fewer applications in the 3rd Round. For your GMAT score, to show your ability to handle quant and an MBA curriculum, you can retake the GMAT or you can take a quant focused class. On your business school application, your GMAT score is self-reported, so MBA programs will only see your highest score. You may want to consider this if you decide to take the GMAT for the fourth time. If you have been scoring in the 700's on official practice GMAT tests, you may want to seriously consider taking the GMAT test again.

I hope this was of help. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best Regards,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Should I take the GMAT a 4th time? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2011, 21:12
Although the GMAT is self-reported, some schools do ask how many times you have taken it and to list all scores. Most of the schools you selected are ultra-competitive, and you will need much much more than just a good GMAT to be realistically considered for acceptance. I would advise against taking the test for a fourth time and to focus on the other equally important aspects of the application.
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Re: Should I take the GMAT a 4th time? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2011, 21:36
You already have a highest score of 680, and your expectation is till 700 - I wouldn't advise you to take it the 4th time. The school is anyways going to consider your highest score which is 680, which is not definitely the weakest score. Yes, it will also not be a strong point in your profile. Regarding the quant part, the A in the extension course should definitely help to address the adcom concern.

What you should really focus your efforts on is your applications. Other than USC, first four schools are going to be very competitive and even someone with a 750 score, chances are low. To have a good chance, you will need to execute your application exceptionally well and make sure that your application properly reflects your strength and adequately address the weakness. Execution is the key.

Round 3 is usually the most difficult to get into because most of the seats are already filled. Even if you don't get an admissions call from USC in R3, I'd definitely recommend applying to the school in R1 during the coming fall.

Good luck!
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Re: Should I take the GMAT a 4th time? [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2011, 09:27
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Hi mhla82,

I had initially been under the impression that your GMAT score was a 640, and you believed you could improve your score to the low 700's. After revisiting your post I see that your highest GMAT score was a 680. With regards to whether you should retake the GMAT, you should be very realistic about what score you believe you could attain. If you think you could only increase your score by 10-20 points, your time would be better spent elsewhere in your application.

I hope this was of help. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Best,

Conrad and the Stacy Blackman Team
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Re: Should I take the GMAT a 4th time?   [#permalink] 14 Feb 2011, 09:27
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