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I took my GMAT last week and I scored a disappointing 600.
I was hoping to enrol in a good marketing school located in California that is ranked in the Top 20. Ideal targets will be Berkeley and UCLA. I heard that Kellogg has a very good program but the GMAT score requirement is even higher.
What should I do now? Should I just apply nevertheless and try my luck or should I retake my GMAT first before making a move? How much will my resume count? I've won several marketing awards in global competitions.
I would advise trying to take the GMAT again before applying. While the GMAT is definitely the the beginning and end of your app, your score may be too low for you to get into your target schools. Dedicate yourself to some serious prep for a couple of months and then try again. You could still get in your apps for Round 2 of this year if you start now, but definitely don't rush it just for the sake of meeting a deadline. You may want to consider really taking your time to boost your GMAT score and then applying next year.
But, one thing I want to add is that no school has a GMAT *requirement*. Yeah, it will be hard to get into Kellogg with a 600 score, but it's been done. Schools don't have hard GMAT requirements. Those numbers that you see are just averages. The closer you are to the average, the better, but don't think that everyone at Kellogg scored 700+ on the GMAT! Try to get within your target schools' middle-80% range, and you'll be fine. You won't be guaranteed to get in, but your GMAT score probably won't keep you out, either.
Ok, will consider taking the GMAT again, it's just that I am not sure how well I can do this round, granted that I didn't prepare that well the last time. I just don't have a good feeling about it...
Hjort - What's good about the Indiana/USC prog? Other good marketing progs to recommend? This sounds silly but I wanted to do the MBA in California cos I heard so much nice things about it! I've never been to USA.
Actually, I consider the fact that you didn't really prepare the first time to be good news. If you had said that you studied for months, took a course, etc., and got a 600, then I might think that you may not be able to do much better this time around. But the fact that you got a 600 without a loty of prep suggests to me that you should be able to approach the high 600's (at least) with some serious, dedicated preparation. And a score like that should help you get into the schools that you're targeting. Good luck!
I got a similar score and want to apply to Kellogg. In addition to the 600, I also have five years work experience at a major investment bank and a Big Four accounting firm. I also have a CPA. How much will my "low" 600 weigh on my other credentials? Is a 600 a end all be all despite work experience and CPA?
No, the GMAT score is never the end all, be all. The same goes for any other application component. But, a score of 600 will be looked at as a weakness. Hopefully your undergrad GPA and courseload wil help to balance it out. The CPA certainly helps, too.