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What should be my game plan?

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What should be my game plan? [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2004, 06:45
I just took my GMAT for the third time.

I am terribly disappointed that I didn't improve on the 640 (M-45, v-33) I scored last round. The Maths questions were not too difficult but I just froze and panicked when I was stuck on one question. It didn't help that I could not sleep the night before the exam and eyes were just tired.

My aim was to apply for the b-schools in the top 20, esp those well known for marketing programs. Eg, Kellogg, Michigan, Cornell, Virginia, Duke, and Indiana. Should I even bother to try or I can just forget it since my GMAT score is no where near the usual 700 required?

Here's my background. I am currently working as a PR manager with the government. I've been working for 7 years, dabbling in various types of communications from journalism, marketing/promotional and currently public relations. My basic degree is in communications. My undergrad scores are above average and I've won a couple of global marketing awards and a local journalism award in my career.

How realistic are my chances to get into a top 20 b-school? If I've any chance of making it, what should I do to boost my chances? Appreciate your advice please. Thanks in advance.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2004, 13:59
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Your score is on the low side of where you'd want it to be, but let me start off by saying that there is DEFINITELY not a required GMAT score for any school. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't know what he's talking about. Also, there really is far more to your application than your GMAT score. Most people who think that nailing GMAT is the most important thing end up not getting in. They come across as far too one-dimensional in most adcomms' eyes.

So, remember that the GMAT is just one part of your app, and a low score can be overcome with a compellng application story (significant leadership experience, overcome adversity, unique career goals, etc.). If you're still concerned about the GMAT and how it might affect your chances, the best way to judge your chances at a particular school is to look at that school's middle-80% range of GMAT scores. That info is available in our book and also online at places like Business Week's web site (http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/04/index.html). Most people trick themselves into thinking that they have to score at least as high as the school's average GMAT score, but this is simply not true. The higher your score, the better, but as long as your score is within the school's middle-80% range, then your GMAT probably won't keep you out.

Were you planning on applying this year? At this point it might make more sense to take on last serious shot at the GMAT in the spring/early summer and to apply in the fall of 2005. I don't know how you prepared for the exam in the past, but if you take it again, I recommend doing as much preparation as you can. Many applicants simply keep taking the GMAT without significant new preparation, but if you jsut keep preparing the same old way, how will your score improve? So, I recommend maybe even taking a GMAT prep course if you haven't already. Then, take the GMAT, hopefully do well, and then forget about it and move on to the even tougher parts of your application, like your essays and recommendations.

Good luck,
Scott
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Taking the GMAT again [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2004, 05:06
Hi Scott,

Thanks much for your advice.

I've been told that you should not take the GMAT more than three times. Doing it more than three times will make the b-school think there's something wrong with you.

In my case, I've already taken it three times, even if I can improve my score, is it still worth taking it?

Yes, I intend to apply for 2005 intake. I think I'm getting old (32) and if I wait some more, I may have to join the EMBA crowd! :lol:

Appreciate your insights please. Thanks in advance.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2004, 08:13
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Yeah, that's generally the advice that we give to people. You definitely don't want to appear as someone who's just taking the test over and over agani without taking the preparation seriously. They won't think that there's something wrong with you, but they may question how serious you are about it.

But, if you do a significant amount of new preparation and have a good reason to believe that you can really do better if you try it a fourth time, then I would consider doing it. If you don't think you can actually do better, then I recommend sticking with your best current score and targeting schools where you think you have a reasonable chance of getting in.

You're on the high side in terms of typical ages, but definitely don't rush to send in apps this year just for that reason!

Scott
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