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unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions?

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unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2009, 06:45
forums, adcomms, and admissions consultants always talk about how GMAT is pass/fail. Pass the 700 mark and things don't matter anymore.

but lets look at the stats.

there are 200k test takers per year. so around 2000 of these get a 760 or above (99th percentile).

lets say that around three fourths end up actually applying to top business schools in the US (the others might go to other grad programs, strengthen their gmat tutor credentials, apply to international programs only, etc)

the top schools have roughly 5000 total slots.

the top 10 programs each have an 90th percentile of the class at 760 or above. which means that 500 of those 5000 slots (top 10%) go to our 1500 students.

now lets repeat the analysis for 700-760 scorers (92nd percentile-99th percentile). there are roughly 16000 people that score above 700, so 14000 score between 700 and 760. Assuming once again that 3/4 will apply, there will be 10,500 applicants.

The top programs (in general) have scores 700-760 from their median to the 90th percentile, so 40% of the incoming class. so there will be around 2000 slots at the top 10 schools for this batch of scorers.

extending the analysis to the 650-700 crowd, this score range is roughly the schools' 10th percentile to the median, so once again 40% of the incoming class. so 2000 slots. there are roughly 22000 scorers above 650, yielding 16000 applicants.

without looking at the application,

the 760+ scorer has a 33% chance.
the 700-760 scorer has a 20% chance.
the 650-700 scorer has a 13% chance.

That is a pretty big difference, and to me it seems that while a 760 won't get you in automatically, it looks like schools do treat these "jumbo" gmat scores differently than the low 700's.
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Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2009, 07:04
I didn't really look to closely at your math, but I think what you're illustrating is a classic case of the misuse of statistics. It goes back to the old adage that correlation does not imply causation. What is more likely is that the 760+ scorers also had success previously in life and have the professional experiences to backup their admits.
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Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2009, 19:12
There's a thread from the last year or two that looked at Kellogg admissions in terms of GMAT score. It's a pretty interesting read in terms of the correlation/causation context that highhopes mentioned. Also, even though pretty much all sources do say that a low score won't keep you out and high score won't you get in, I wouldn't think of 700 as the benchmark. The incoming class profiles could be looked at from a dozen ways but that number is still arbitrary. I think the best way to think of the GMAT is in terms of ranges from a particular school's average and even then just a single factor.
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Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2009, 13:55
I didn't really look to closely at your math, but I think what you're illustrating is a classic case of the misuse of statistics. It goes back to the old adage that correlation does not imply causation. What is more likely is that the 760+ scorers also had success previously in life and have the professional experiences to backup their admits.


Great point from highhopes. The most ambitious, motivated, intelligent students are the ones liable to score more highly on the GMAT and gain admission into top schools. Just scoring highly on the GMAT doesn't necessarily put you in that pool of elites, though doing well on the GMAT may mean you are one of those ambitious, motivated, intelligent students.

Maybe it's like Calvinism. God has pre-ordained your capacity for salvation (admittance into b-school). There is little you can do to affect your chances at admittance since it's up to God's (adcoms?) sovereign, albeit ambiguous, decision, but those who are likely to be saved usually show the signs: piety, morality, goodness (high GPA and GMAT?). So it's all random, like...whether not you get in. Y'know?

Err, maybe not.
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Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2009, 14:17
Expert's post
There are a few threads around with lists of 750+ gmat scores and dings. Here is probably the most famous one (sad)
2009-profiles-w-admit-dings-results-no-discussion-62945.html?view-post=511828#p511828
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Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 00:12
bb wrote:
There are a few threads around with lists of 750+ gmat scores and dings. Here is probably the most famous one (sad)
2009-profiles-w-admit-dings-results-no-discussion-62945.html?view-post=511828#p511828


I hate this thread!
Every time I see it, it just makes me feel that I won't go anywhere with my GMAT score :cry:
:arrow: Time to work on my essays and build a good application package...
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Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 04:06
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The Kellogg math was as follows from gmat-scores-yield-and-selectivity-for-kellogg-34770.html?highlight=kellogg+math

Total Applicants 4449 (provided in the document)
Total Enrolled 652 (provided in the document)
Enrollment rate 14.7% (calculated 652 / 4449 --- not an accept rate, but an enrollment rate)

Of applicants who scored 640 or less, 9% enrolled, and they made up 20% of the applicants. Of those who scored, 650 to 690, 25% enrolled, of the total applicants they made up 28%. For 700-740, 49% enrolled, 41% of total apps had this score. Same kind of stuff for 750-800.

Based on the total applicants # (4449), and the total applicants %'s we can back into the number of applicants per score group.

< 640: 890 applicants
650-690: 1246 applicants
700-740: 1824 applicants
750-800: 489 applicants

(cut out a bunch of boring stuff here)

Then, if there are 652 enrolled (total), and those who got a 640 make up 9%, then we'd expect 59 students from the < 640 group enrolled. Knowing kellogs YIELD (NOT selectivity) hovers around 57%, that means that we would expect for those under 640, that 103 offers were made, and 59 attended.

Do the same for the others:

640: 103 accepts
650-690: 286 accepts
700-740: 560 accepts
750-800: 183 accepts

Total accepts ~ 1132

So now we know this...

Out of the 890 applicants who applied with less than 640, 103 got accepted. Hence, if you fall into this bucket, your odds of acceptance are 11%.

Do this for the other numbers:

640: 103/890 = 12%
650-690: 286/1246 = 23%
700-740: 560/1824 = 31%
750-800: 183/489 = 37%

Voila!

Anticipated accept odds by gmat level!

Whadda ya think? Math geeks? Am I nuts?

Now here's something even more interest....

So lets take this a step further.

Lets take two candidates:

Candidate A, 620 GMAT score, gets accepted to Kellogg
Candidate B, 780 GMAT score, gets accepted to Kellogg

Now, imagine 100 candidate A's, and 100 candidate B's.

Odds are, candidate A will have less schools to pick from, and is more likely to accept Kellogg. Candidate B, on the other hand, has far more schools to pick from (in all likelihood), and may or may not choose kellogg.

So, the yields, logic dictates, should differ from band to band. What this means is, the numbers will diverge.

Another way to look at it: Lets say I want 10 students with a 640, and 10 with a 780. To get 10 students with a 640, I may only need to make 15 offers. To get 10 students with a 780, I may need to make 20 offers.

So now we have to estimate yield by gmat. Virtually impossible to do admittedly, so lets try and estimate intelligently.

We know KGSM has 4449 applicants, and has 652 enrolled. This means, that roughly speaking, they would need to make 1144 offers. (based on the average yield of 57%)..

So, and I admit this is pure speculation.....

640 yield: 66%
650-690 yield: 60%
700-740 yield: 55%
750-800 yeild: 51%

Would give you:

640: 89 offers
650-690: 272 offers
700-740: 580 offers
750-800: 205 offers

This is 1146 offers, 2 offers more than the expected 1144 (to get that 57% overall yield).

Now, based on this, we can recalculate the percentages.

640: 10%
650-690: 22%
700-740: 32%
750-800: 42%

Interesting no? Obviously, the numbers depend greatly on the yield percentages you choose, so for this next exercise, lets go back to assuming that no matter your gmat score, the odds of you picking Kellogg remain 57%.

That gives us what we had before - 1132 offers, 12% odds, 23%, 31%, and 37% respectively.

Extrapolating this, and taking the midpoint of each range as our defined % , taking a linear approach to it as well, we get:

640 12%
650 17%
660 20%
670 23%
680 25%
690 26%
700 28%
710 29%
720 31%
730 32%
740 33%
750 35%
760 36%
770 37%
780 ?
790 ?
800 ?

To get to the 780, 790, 800 ranges, we can estimate - looks like the 40% would cross at about 790.

This is by no means scientific, but its interesting.

Based on all this fun stuff, I think that AT WORST, your odds are in the table above. If you buy my premise that yield will vary based on score,

640: 10%
650-690: 22%
700-740: 32%
750-800: 42%

and maybe even higher.
Re: unconventional look at super high gmat in admissions?   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2009, 04:06
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