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680 (Q43 V40) Round 1 vs Retake advice

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Joined: 23 Aug 2017
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New post 23 Aug 2017, 09:56
Hey All,

I recently retook the GMAT and scored a 680 (Q43 V40 IR8) which puts me in the 50th, 91st and 93rd percentiles respectively. I'm looking to apply to the top schools and I had imagined that maths was my strong point, but after a month of intensive studying was sorely disappointed with my Quant score.

I have read loads of forums, and figure that a Q43 (50th percentile) is woefully under par for the schools I'm looking at (LBS, Cambridge Judge, Oxford). So I guess I'm heading for a third attempt (first attempt was three weeks ago and scored a 620 with the 36th percentile for maths!

I have put all hours into my GMAT revision, initially two weeks of study into the 620, followed by another three weeks of intensive study getting up at 5am every day to cram in the most hours. I know that I could do better at the Quant section as I am confident that I can improve the score with more practise questions and papers. And most of my revision to this point has been simply covering the subject matter with a few hours of questions on each quant topic (very little verbal revision). I mainly used Target Test Prep and the 2017 OG.

I guess my question to you all is, how bad will it be to retake the test in another few weeks and miss the deadline for the first round of applications for all three of those schools? I feel that I would be missing out by not applying within the first round and don't want to get left out as people start to get accepted for scholarships. But I know deep down that a higher quant score may be vital, so submitting this 680 for first round applications could be suicide.

I am 30 years old now after a decade flying in the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot (hence mistakenly thought my quant was stronger than my verbal!). My background is quite different from many others and though I don't have an undergraduate degree (impatience to get into the cockpit), I am currently studying for a Masters (Air Power in the Modern World) with Kings College London. The Masters won't be complete until after the application process so I guess I'm relying on a conditional offer of entry.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: 680 (Q43 V40) Round 1 vs Retake advice  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2017, 10:40
Hey owenet,

To begin with, GMAT is just one part of the business school application and
680 is a decent score. Though the Quant score could have been better,
there are other ways to offset a low Quant score on the GMAT. The rest of
your application is very unique(its not everyday that these schools get a
student who has been a fighter pilot for a decade)

You should definitely try and connect with current students to find
if there is somebody with a similar case(low Quant on the GMAT)
who has secured admission in one of the schools mentioned.

Hope that helps you in some way!
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Re: 680 (Q43 V40) Round 1 vs Retake advice  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2017, 11:42
Hey, 680 is a great score. I think you have a very different background and this will be a huge selling point for you (as the above person mentioned). You should definitely talk about how being a pilot taught you how to deal with stressful situation and taught you to deal with problems and challenges different and how that will translate to business success.... I mean you've trained for life and death situations so i imagine you've got some experiences that might really blow away some people.... Focus on those and you will have a good shot at getting into a great school.
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Re: 680 (Q43 V40) Round 1 vs Retake advice  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 11:53
Hi owenet,

First off, a 680 is a strong score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. You've named some highly-competitive Programs, so you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here: ... tants-124/

You have a suitably interesting background, which you should be able to take advantage of in your essays/interviews. However, Business Schools tend to look at an applicant's Quant Scaled Score as a way to gauge how the applicant might handle the 'academic side' of the Program. A Q43 might be a minor 'red flag' at some Programs - and since you don't have an undergraduate degree, there might be a question as to how well you might handle that academic side of things (since there's no evidence of prior academic success). At face value, I think that retesting - with the goal of scoring significantly higher in the Quant section - might be a good idea. But again, I highly recommend that you consult with an Admissions Expert first. If you do choose to retest, then you should post back here and we can discuss your study options.

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Re: 680 (Q43 V40) Round 1 vs Retake advice   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2017, 11:53
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