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Why is 700 the magic number?

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Director
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Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2008, 06:18
People always seem to say that 700 is the magic number (although not for everyone). Yet they also seem to say that there is no real difference between 2 GMAT scores that are about 20 points apart (stated by adcoms in chats and info sessions). Which is it?

It seems that *both* of these statements cant be true right? If somebody has a 680 and a 700 or a 690 and a 710, the two scores wont be looked at the same, will they?

I scored a 700 even (40+/40 , 80p/80p splits) and was planning on retaking the test until I spoke with MBA experts (you know, the consultants who are floating around on these forums). They stated that I reached the magic number and, coupled with my solid GPA, academics would no longer be an issue.....especially since I am not in any of the major applicant pools (Indian, Asian-American, IB, Consulting, IT). I just needed to hit a 7.

Is this really fair? How can adcoms state that 2 scores will be looked at about the same when they obviously wont.

Im sure it boils down to simple psychology. Seeing the "7" probably does something in an adcom's mind without them knowing. It is like buying something for $9.99 vs $10.........

Rant over :P

Thoughts? Anybody want to continue my rant?
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2008, 07:58
because that is the average of the top schools. The magic number is slowly trending upwards since the averages are, 720 may be the magic number soon. If you dip below the average you are going to negatively affect their reported average so they would need to balance you out with someone that many points higher than the average.

Also since IB and MC recruit 700+ , and a person states they want to get into that field with a sub 700 GMAT , that will probably hurt their chances of admission.
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2008, 14:56
The answer is why is 710 the magic number...reposting from a previous thread.

So I have been seeing the posts with the old adage that with a 700 you are set at all top schools...which I really bought into last year. However, I noticed looking at stats last fall when researching many top 10 schools that it seems almost all have average GMATs higher than 700, some significantly more. So in a completely unscientific comparison. Numbers are from 2000 and then this past year (numbers for class of 2010 are not available). Interesting only Stanford has gone down...and we all know they could fill a class with 760+ if they wanted to.

In a very short time overall average has gone up 13.2 points. Haas (26), Chicago (25), Ross (23), and Tuck (21) had the changes of more than 20 points. I am sure that schools lower down in the rankings would show similar increases.

School: 2000 / 2008 / Change
Chicago: 684 / 709 / 25
Columbia: 704 / 707 / 3
Haas: 684 / 710 / 26
Harvard: 701 / 713 / 12
Kellogg: 690 / 704 / 14
MIT: 703 / 705 / 2
Ross: 677 / 700 / 23
Stanford: 727 / 721 / -6
Tuck: 692 / 713 / 21
Wharton: 700 / 712 / 12
Average: 696.2 / 709.4 / 13.2
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2008, 15:37
River,

What do you make of the difference between mean and median GMATs? I know they usually are about the same (or +10ish).

That would mean that half of the class (that didnt hit the median on the dot) has lower scores. Thats a pretty huge chunk. Do you think they are all overachievers or are there some normal people mixed in? What have the people you have talked to from Kellogg been like? Any "average joes" by Top 25 b-school standards?

Your input is always appreciated 8-)

P.S. Im also curious what you make of the whole "scores within 20 points of one another are looked at pretty much the same" thing? I was pretty much saying I think its bull-crud.
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2008, 17:49
terp26 wrote:
Also since IB and MC recruit 700+ , and a person states they want to get into that field with a sub 700 GMAT , that will probably hurt their chances of admission.


I promise you this isn't the case... The reason is simple: the majority of people change their mind about what they want to do when they come to an MBA program - if the school tried to craft a class based on what people said they would want to do, they'd fail miserably. By the same token, it is quite meaningless for a school to "penalize" you because you want to do IB and have a sub 700.
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2008, 18:20
raabenb wrote:
That would mean that half of the class (that didnt hit the median on the dot) has lower scores. Thats a pretty huge chunk. Do you think they are all overachievers or are there some normal people mixed in? What have the people you have talked to from Kellogg been like? Any "average joes" by Top 25 b-school standards?

P.S. Im also curious what you make of the whole "scores within 20 points of one another are looked at pretty much the same" thing? I was pretty much saying I think its bull-crud.


I dont think many schools post the median, a lot do 80% ranges...Kellogg actually breaks down the score ranges and last year some current b-school students did some analysis (Rhyme and Pelihu) of how chances breakdown. Its a very interesting read http://gmatclub.com/forum/p239229

I must say that to be on the low side the rest of your profile is going to have to be that much more impressive overall. It also helps to be in a less competitve demographic, female minority etc. Even with a low GMAT the people I have interacted with and seen backgrounds for is very impressive. Just seeing peoples undergrads and where they work is intimidating...heck one person turned down Stanford for Kellogg. I think the caliber of students at all the top schools is going to be impressive.

There are many things out of your control during the process...you cant redo your last four years work experience, your undergrad school and GPA, activities for the last several years, what makes you unique and special. The ONLY thing you have absolute control over is your GMAT score, you can up that until the last minute. At DAK I they said the average gmat of admitted students was 721, figure the mean will drop down but also figure that the bar is supposedly lowest during R1. I think scores are only going up, so if you believe you can raise your score more than 20 points I would give it a shot. However if you only could get it up 10 points not worth the effort. I mean if anyone believes that mid 700s is within their reach and abilities, I would say get there if you can...especially if you are at 700 or less.
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2008, 04:51
Wow, thanks for that link. His analysis is insane! Must have taken him a long time but what a great thing for us to read through.
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2008, 06:10
yeah that was quite some analysis although am not sure one should take it too seriously.

Now back to improving that wretched GMAT!1
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 05:06
yeah ... but isn't 730 the new 700? :)
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 06:09
the more the better ... a lot depends on your pool though.

If you are from certain demographics a 700 is a well below par score. From other less represented areas, 700 would be more than enough

Darden2010 wrote:
yeah ... but isn't 730 the new 700? :)

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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 06:15
If 730 is the new 700, I am going to go jump of a cliff!

Seriously though, as I look back over my correspondence with the experts and consultants, they mention that a 700 is the magic number for me for *the programs I am targetting*. I am not aiming for any in the top 5...one in the top 10...and five in the 10-25. Of course the "magic number" is different for everybody judging from the programs they are targetting and their specific profiles and essays.

780 is the new 650 :P
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 06:21
well ... it used to be that if you were from a normally represented population and got 700+ you didn't have to worry about your GMAT score no matter which school you applied to.
But I don't think it is the case any more because many top programs have GMAT averages of above 700
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number? [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2008, 17:06
riverripper wrote:
The answer is why is 710 the magic number...reposting from a previous thread.

So I have been seeing the posts with the old adage that with a 700 you are set at all top schools...which I really bought into last year. However, I noticed looking at stats last fall when researching many top 10 schools that it seems almost all have average GMATs higher than 700, some significantly more. So in a completely unscientific comparison. Numbers are from 2000 and then this past year (numbers for class of 2010 are not available). Interesting only Stanford has gone down...and we all know they could fill a class with 760+ if they wanted to.

In a very short time overall average has gone up 13.2 points. Haas (26), Chicago (25), Ross (23), and Tuck (21) had the changes of more than 20 points. I am sure that schools lower down in the rankings would show similar increases.

School: 2000 / 2008 / Change
Chicago: 684 / 709 / 25
Columbia: 704 / 707 / 3
Haas: 684 / 710 / 26
Harvard: 701 / 713 / 12
Kellogg: 690 / 704 / 14
MIT: 703 / 705 / 2
Ross: 677 / 700 / 23
Stanford: 727 / 721 / -6
Tuck: 692 / 713 / 21
Wharton: 700 / 712 / 12
Average: 696.2 / 709.4 / 13.2


This actually isn't too bad over almost a decade given that the scores are measured in 10 point increments. The other thing is that the schools making the biggest leaps had room to grow. The closer you get to 800, something will have to give - either the scores will plateau or the test will have to change.

At least I hope that's the case, I don't really want to have to get a 750 to stand a chance.
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Re: Why is 700 the magic number?   [#permalink] 26 Jun 2008, 17:06
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