There it is, staring you in the face. A low score. Not just any low score, but a soul-sucking, dream-crushing, never-gonna-get-out-of-this-dead-end-job score. I can think of more than a few four letter words that are probably rolling across your tongue now. It hurts. Then the fun part comes where you berate yourself over this failure, wondering just how strongly the GMAT compares to your IQ. “I’m so dumb!” you conclude. You don’t just reassess your immediate plans, but you start evaluating your self worth.
But wait! Quit your moping and take action! Brace yourselves, guys, I’m about to get a little corny (the best coaches are). The answer to the question is a sold “no” - a bad GMAT does not make you an idiot, just as a good GMAT score doesn’t make you a genius. So instead of sitting on your lazy tush and complaining that you were given a bowl of old spaghetti for a brain, why not do something to change the situation? Remember the old Thomas Edison quote: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.” Ask any budding entrepreneur or promising young executive after their MBA program and he or she will point you to a closet full of sweat-stained shirts. Success is a lot more than brain power. If you’re not willing to perspire then maybe an MBA is not for you?
Now that you’re off that couch, it’s time to make some decisions. The first is deciding on retaking the GMAT or not.
Trying it again
Maybe you had an off day or you weren’t prepared? Maybe nobody told you there’s a pretty big difference between the best GMAT books and the worst (read the book reviews people!)? Or perhaps you thought grammar was best left to the GRE? Well whatever your excuses are, reflect on them, grow from them, and then forget about them. Use this site and our own GMAT blog to build your skills and comfort with the format of the GMAT. You’ve got the skills to gather the resources to do well, so I’ll stay off that soapbox.
The less desirous route
Giving up on the dream. It’s hard to let go, that’s for sure, but let go you must sometimes! Maybe quant is not your thing. Maybe if you convert your GMAT scores to GRE, you’ll see that you might be be able to stretch your math mileage percentage-wise. Sure your fluffed up GRE scores still might not be good enough to get you into Harvard, but you’re reasonable. Or heck, maybe you’re downright awful at math, but your brain pumps out eloquent and thorough arguments to the most basic of impasses (that’s how you convinced yourself that business school was for you, right?) and the LSAT is up your alley? Or even still, maybe now is not the time for grad school. Maybe never is the time for grad school? Really reflect on these thoughts.
The truth is none of these routes make you any dumber or smarter than another, and you shouldn’t base your self worth on a silly little score flashing on your computer screen. It’s not worth the angst. Instead find your strengths and interests and then build on them. Alright, I'll get off my soapbox now.
This post was written by Chris Swimmer an analyst at Magoosh who spends his time helping folks out with their math hang ups while studying for the GRE and the GMAT.