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Zero admit...retake a 720?

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Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 14:33
Hi guys, just got the last of my 5 dings of this app season and I am feeling like crap... :( trying really hard to keep my head up and I am hoping to apply again later this year

A bit about myself: I'm 27 y/o asian male and have 3 years of work exp in IT in the states. Undergrad & grad degrees are in engineering and both are received from non HYP ivies. For undergrad I transferred from a tier two school and my GPA in the first 2 years was 3.8 but only 3.3 for the last 2 years after the transfer...overall GPA would be 3.5 if you do a weighted average though I don't know necessarily if that's how adcom's would think. I took the GMAT twice, receiving a 690 on the first try and then a 720 (50q 38v) on my second attempt. In retrospect, my essays weren't well written and probably contributed significantly to all the dings and I'm going to work extra hard on these this time around. However I'm also wondering whether it's worthwhile to re-take my GMAT and try to bump it up to 740+ since my GPA isn't exactly stellar? I appreciate all of your help.

Edit: my EC's are relatively standard and i dont think anything stands out in particular. I conduct interviews for undergraduate admissions as an alum. Also I'm a pretty active volunteer and did quite a bit of work for low-income families and at-risk youth

Last edited by noof on 26 Feb 2013, 15:55, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 15:17
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noof wrote:
In retrospect, my essays weren't well written and probably contributed significantly to all the dings and I'm going to work extra hard on these this time around. However I'm also wondering whether it's worthwhile to re-take my GMAT and try to bump it up to 740+ since my GPA isn't exactly stellar? I appreciate all of your help.


I think you hit the nail on the head - if your essays were lackluster, then it doesn't matter what your profile looks like if you can't present.

3.3 Engineering from non-HYP ivy and 720 doesn't guarantee admission, but shouldn't keep you out either. I think your stats are solid - especially that 50 on the quant. Getting a 740+ would be strictly for ego purposes.

How are your extracurriculars? Instead of studying for the GMAT, I'd use that time to round out your application and develop a strategy so you can get rockin' and rolling this summer when schools release their essays and apply R1.

Good luck!
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 16:08
CobraKai, thanks for the reply. I've updated the post with some additional info but to answer your question, I think my EC's were pretty standard and probably don't really stand out...
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 17:00
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noof wrote:

Edit: my EC's are relatively standard and i dont think anything stands out in particular. I conduct interviews for undergraduate admissions as an alum.


Don't sell yourself short on this one. A lot of MBA programs use alumni interviewers, so you could show you're the type of guy that would remain involved in interviewing MBA applicants after graduating. Better yet, you can sell yourself on wanting to be involved as an ambassador or admissions while in school as some schools use 2nd year students for interviews. I think a good place to work this into an essay is the "Why [School name]?"
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 18:06
Hey Noof,

Out of curiosity, which schools did you apply to?
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2013, 19:29
icehawk wrote:
Hey Noof,

Out of curiosity, which schools did you apply to?


I applied to HBS, Wharton, Booth, Sloan and CBS and didn't receive a single interview invite :(
This experience definitely proved to be much tougher than i thought
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2013, 12:23
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I will suggest that work on improving ur profile,get a promotion.Joining a club such as Toastmasters will also help.If u are a finance guy,CFA certification helps else go for PMP certification.
Basically,i will suggest u do everything to improve ur profile except retaking GMAT.

Thanks,
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 09:07
Anyone wants to play devil's advocate and think I should retake?
For what it's worth, I finished the quant section about 15 mins early on my last try so I mat have a shot at the coveted 51q. Not sure how much better I can do on the verbal though
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2013, 09:11
noof wrote:
Anyone wants to play devil's advocate and think I should retake?
For what it's worth, I finished the quant section about 15 mins early on my last try so I mat have a shot at the coveted 51q. Not sure how much better I can do on the verbal though


If you KNOW you can do better, than go for it. Getting a 740/750 might not help get you admitted, but it could come into play in terms of merit scholarships. You do have time, so it's really up to you how you want to spend it.
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2013, 10:09
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Let me play a devil's advocate here. Unfortunately you fall into the dreaded category of Indian IT Male. You have the advantage of US Experience and US undergrad. However then people with your background may have jobs in Finance/Consulting. An Indian working in India has the excuse that there are few finance and consulting jobs. Hence IT is more excusable in this case. Overall you are in a better position than IIM category due to your US pedigree.
Bottom line is retake GMAT and try for 750-770 , the higher the better. Keep a journal and add material to your essays during your GMAT Prep as thoughts pop up in your mind. An Indian IT fellow with a 720 got no interview calls from Duke/Ross this year. I myself fall into IIM category. Would suggest you to apply to a few schools in the range of 5 -15 next year as a back up. Though I agree that schools outside Top 5 are not as attractive as they were 5 years ago.
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2013, 12:44
I'll obviously give my best if I retake.. to be completely honest though I think my limit is probably 51q and maybe 40v, which translate to 750, and that's if I'm lucky. I didn't grow up speaking english so chances are I won't end up with a really appreciable increase in verbal with just another month or two of cramming..
Having said that, right now I am more inclined to give GMAT another shot. My thinking is that if I end up with same/lower score--which I really hope won't happen--I still have the 720 to fall back on. On the other hand if luckily end up improving, I may stand out just a tiny bit more. In either case, I feel retaking won't hurt and might actually demonstrate that I'm actively trying to improve my profile and that I'm committed to the process?
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2013, 16:49
You could definitely retake the 720, but you're probably right that your essays brought you down more than your test scores/GPA. Why not add in the likes of Tuck, Fuqua or Darden next year so that you have other options if you get rejected by your top choice schools again?
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 08:16
With 2 months of prep you may not get a 770. However you can with 4-5 months of preperation. Taking a couple of hours with a 800 scorer tutor like -Ron, Stacey, GMATNinja can help fine tune your strategy. At the end of the day it's all about how bad you want to get into your dream school.
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720? [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2013, 09:07
AbhiJ wrote:
With 2 months of prep you may not get a 770. However you can with 4-5 months of preperation.


Quality > quantity. Studying for 4-5 months risks burnout. You got better things to do with your time. 8 weeks is plenty of time to prep, especially if you know you're capable of a 720.
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Re: Zero admit...retake a 720?   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2013, 09:07
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