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Time is running short! [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2004, 15:41
Linda/Hjort,

Brief stats...
GMAT (1st try): 650 (q38, v41)
GMAT (2nd try): 670 (q39, v42) (57 and 96 percentiles, respectively)
GPA: 3.4 from University of Michigan - Dearborn
Major: Computer Science (finished while working full time)
Work: 7 years full time, 5 of which with a Fortune 10 IT company
Multiple extra-curriculars / leadership activities

3 Questions...

1: I (as most) would like to go to Harvard (primarily), followed by Duke, Wharton, Virginia, and UNC. As I'm sure you have noticed, my GMAT score isn't great... especially my quant. Most of the posts on this board seem to be from people that have great quant, but not so great verbal.... so I can't gleen too much from their posts. I took the second GMAT today, and was severly discouraged to see that my subscores only increased by one point each! Now I'm faced with the question, do I study harder and try to improve the quant (which I think I could), or do I press on with my applications so I can make the first round deadline that is oh-so-near?

2: I am half "euro-mutt" (English, Scotish, Danish, etc) and half Afghani. Do I report myself as "white", "Asian-American", or "multi-racial/multi-ethnic"? Would any one be an advantage or a disadvantage over the others?

3: Does it hurt my application that I got my undergrad from UofM-Dearborn, and not the main campus, UofM-Ann Arbor?

Thanks in advance.

David
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2004, 18:12
I'm not an expert; so, please take that into consideration when you read this.

How did you prepare for the GMAT? Did you take a course? Did you study every day for the past couple of months? Do you feel you could do something in the next month or two to improve your score? If the answer is yes, then I would retake the exam after improving your weaknesses.

I would put multi-ethnic since that's what you are. It probably helps a little, but I'm not sure how much.

Obviously, U of M Ann Arbor is more prestigous than Dearborn so I'm sure admissions will take it into account. I'm not sure how much of a factor it is.

Good Luck!
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Preparation and retake... [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 05:37
Mawaru - Thanks for your comments. I first took the GMAT in 2002, then (after being rejected from Chicago and Virginia) did nothing for one year, eleven months, and one week. I then got the urge to try again, so I studied for 3 weeks, and retook it 2 years after my first time. To prepare, I used the Kaplan book w/ software, 800score.com's tests, the Princton Review math book, and POWERPREP tests. My last round of practice tests yielded Kaplan 640, and POWERPREP 700.

As for what I feel I can do to prepare better for a re-test... I don't know. I'm quite tempted to drill the hell out of the math portions of any test I can get my hands on for the next few days, then retake it (there's an open seat this Sunday) with a much closer eye on the clock. Both times I took the real GMAT, I had to skip/guess through the last 6 or so questions because of time. Clearly, 800score.com's pacing software didn't help me that much (although I think it's more due to the test's weak questions than the pacing functionality).

Anyhow.... Linda/Hjort... any words of wisdom?? (please at least answer my first three questions!)
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 08:41
Hi,

I will try to address your three main questions.

1) RE: Repeating GMAT. Assuming that you do not jeopardize the rest of your application AND your score is likely to impove by a significant increment I would consider retaking. Otherwise, I think it is best to choose a strong portfolio of schools and work on the essays etc.

2) How do you identify yourself? Which culture(s) do you consider your own? I think these answers will determine which "box" to check.

3) In general, schools will pay some attention to your undergrad institution. However, I would not commit undue attention to this issue since Dearborn is certainly a known institution and your performance (in terms of nominal GPA) does not appear to have been near either the floor or the ceiling of the grade distribution

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Strong portfolio [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 09:06
Hjort,

Thanks for the reply. In your note you say I should choose a "strong portfolio of schools". Based on where I stand now, do you think the schools I mentioned in my first note (Harvard, Duke, UNC, Virginia, Wharton) constitute a strong portfolio?

David
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 09:51
Hi again,

These are all strong schools from the top clusters of schools in terms of general reputation. However, do you consider admission to any of these schools as a high probability event? What about to at least one school in the portfolo (subjective probabilities suffice for these purposes)? What was your rationale for inclusion of each? What others did you reject?

What are your goals for the MBA?
Do you prefer a particular geographic area?

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Bye bye $225 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 11:57
I'm either a gluton for punishment, very stubborn, or downright dumb... in any case, I'm out another $225 since I signed up to take this stupid test one last time on Sunday... yes, a little over 48 hours from now.

With regard to your questions, I get the sense you're trying to hint that I'm not being terribly realistic with the schools I've selected. I'd like to think that my chances are good at least at UNC and Virginia (I was wait-listed at Virginia last time - before I finshed my B.S.). As for Harvard, Duke, and Wharton (which I may drop since I'm not in love with Philly and the Wharton app would compete with the Harvard app for my attention due to the near simultaneous deadlines) I think I may have a chance. Of course, I may have just bought into the Harvard-esque rhetoric of "just tell your story... you're unique, and that's what we're looking for... unique, diverse leaders." But I'd like to believe that they won't completely disregard me just because my GMAT score isn't perfect.

I chose not to stay in my home state of Michigan and attend UofM because, quite honestly, I'm sick if this place. I would like to go somewhere warm (hence, UNC and Duke) but if, by some fluke, I get into Harvard/Wharton, I'll gladly endure a few more icy winters.

My goals are to get an MBA from a highly respected school (Top 10-15) that uses the case method and has a strong General Management and Entrepreneurial curriculum. Harvard is my ideal school because it fits all of these criteria, but I'm a realist, so I chose to apply to other schools too :)
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Re: Bye bye $225 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 12:54
lacrosse_20 wrote:
I'm either a gluton for punishment, very stubborn, or downright dumb... in any case, I'm out another $225 since I signed up to take this stupid test one last time on Sunday... yes, a little over 48 hours from now.
I think this is a really bad idea. I would wait at least a week or two. Take some practice exams and address the areas that you did poorly in the last time.

That being said.... Good Luck!
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I wish I could! [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 13:03
Trust me, I know this isn't the best idea... but... my first round of apps are due in 2 weeks, and I need to focus on them and not worry about trying to explain away a low GMAT score. I know one reason I did poorly on this last try was because I did not pace myself... I skipped through guessing on the last 6 or so on the quant section before the buzzer rang. Assuming I got all those wrong (the probability of which I can calculate :) ), I'm sure that took my score down severely (I know the last few questions count the least, but I also know that successive wrong answers do lots of damage). Hence, the way I justify this insanity to myself is that if I change nothing but improve my pace so I'm not guessing at random on the last 6, I think I can hit at least 700.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2004, 13:14
Hi,

I am a big proponent of candidates applying where they actually want to attend. If you are paying 100+k for something you might as well get what you want.

While many students cite the tiny percentage of students that Harvard admits, few consider that Harvard accepts more students than virtually any other major business school in the United States (depending on the year a school such as Penn might accept more students). This is more than Stanford and Yale combined. Selectivity, it seems, has many dimensions . . .

If you are considering school in warm climates, with a strong entrepreneurship program, and a relatively strong emphasis on the case method I would also consider UC Berkeley.

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It worked! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2004, 12:27
IT WORKED!!! 700!!!! 3 days after getting a 670, I pulled off a 700 (45Q, 41V)!!! No more GMAT!!! wooohooo!!!

Hjort, thanks for your feedback. However, rather than adding UC Berkley, I've decided to trim my list. I'm now going to apply to Harvard, Duke, Virginia, and UNC (in order of preference). Wish me luck!!

Dave
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2004, 13:30
woot! congrats and good luck on the apps!
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Re: It worked! [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2004, 20:39
Expert's post
lacrosse_20 wrote:
IT WORKED!!! 700!!!! 3 days after getting a 670, I pulled off a 700 (45Q, 41V)!!! No more GMAT!!! wooohooo!!!

Hjort, thanks for your feedback. However, rather than adding UC Berkley, I've decided to trim my list. I'm now going to apply to Harvard, Duke, Virginia, and UNC (in order of preference). Wish me luck!!

Dave

Sorry I was out while you were gathering info and making your decision, but it certainly looks like it all worked out and you got excellent help..

Congrats on the GMAT and good luck with your applications!
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