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# 750 but low quant - retake?

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Intern
Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Schools: HBS, Stanford, Kellogg
750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2009, 16:43
Hey all,

So I just took the GMAT and got a 750 (98th percentile). I'm very pleased with this, but I was less pleased with my quant score.

Q: 48 (83rd percentile)
V: 46 (99th percentile)

I will be applying for HBS, Stanford, Kellogg in a couple of years and was wondering if I should retake to try for a higher quant score? I scored 50 in most of practice tests, but didn't manage my time well on the actual test.

I'm working at one of top 3 consulting firms, and have 3.6 GPA from top 10 school (but no quant heavy classes in last 2 years).

What do you guys think? I could retake next month.
SVP
Joined: 30 Apr 2008
Posts: 1564
Location: Oklahoma City
Schools: Hard Knocks
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2009, 20:45
5
Retake from a 750? Are you insane?

Consider this: Last year Stanford dinged every single perfect score applicant that applied. What's the significance? Stanford doesn't care about score. If I were on the panel, I might vote to ding every single one just to make a statement: NO SCORE IS AN AUTOMATIC ADMIT.

If you retake, what message will you be sending admissions committees? You got a 750 first time around, 98% percentile. Meaning that you beat out all but 2% of the entire population ever to take the GMAT ("ever to take" works in theory). The AdCom will see your 750 first time take and then a retake that, if you improve is somewhere between 760 and 800. The 800 of course places you in a group of perfectionist, which would be reinforced by looking at your testing history and the adcoms will see First Attemp: 750, Second Attempt: 800. Schools don't want someone that is perfect, they want people that will be good classmates and strive for perfection while realizing that perfection is rarely achieved. There is always a ROI. You might write a 98% perfect paper and it takes you 6 hours to write it. Then to improve that paper from 98% perfect to 100% perfect takes you another 20 hours. Honestly, is this extra 20 hours worth the 2%? What was the return on your 20 hour investment? 0.1% per hour?

It's your decision, but my advice is to not ever take the GMAT again (as long as you apply within 5 years) because you will be sending the wrong message to the b-school adcoms. That message is that you are more interested in perfection that utility. Schools need someone that can someday go manage a company, not just take tests to perfection. No one gets 100% correct in a business environemnt for which you're being prepared during b-school.
Manager
Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 246
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2009, 18:10
2
Unless other areas in your app are lacking greatly, you should go out and celebrate!
Intern
Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Posts: 38
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2009, 19:53
1
Could you share your excellent verbal?
Intern
Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 46
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2009, 21:47
great score and a good split 48|46, which is more important than a percentile split. personally I don't think you have anything to worry about.

congrats!
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 19043
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2009, 23:14
Take a look at this post: 2009-profiles-w-admit-dings-results-no-discussion-62945.html
This will give you an idea of the applicant caliber for the schools you mentioned.

Based on the info you provided - you fit right in.

About retake. How long did you prep?
If less than a month then maybe. If longer, then I would not do it - improving will be tough at that level and the ROI is not really there to go from 750 to 770 and spend a month of your life studying and worrying.
_________________
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 19043
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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15 Aug 2009, 23:19
Also - take a look here: the-pants-pooping-applicant-thread-for-78477.html#p617871
_________________
Intern
Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Schools: HBS, Stanford, Kellogg
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2009, 18:04
Thanks so much, jolt and bb! I studied (inconsistently) for about a month. I got the Manhattan GMAT books from a friend - they were wonderfully helpful!

vnbui - I wish I had a good strategy to share, but I spent most of my time prepping for quant (go figure). The only real prep that I did for verbal was taking and reviewing my practice tests. I have heard that the MGMAT sentence correction book is invaluable though - one of my friends jumped from 39 to 45 V using that!
Director
Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Posts: 853
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2009, 19:46
When did Quant 48 became a bad score? While it might not be in the 90th percentile, it is not a bad score. You are above 80th percentile in both sections and have a total score of 750 in the 98th percentile. If I were you, I would not retake the test.
Director
Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 889
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.3
WE: Project Management (Aerospace and Defense)
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2009, 20:10
Q48 is a very safe quant score. I would only advise a retake if you were previously hitting 50 or 51 on practice tests.
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 19043
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2009, 20:19
Avernusaur wrote:
Q48 is a very safe quant score. I would only advise a retake if you were previously hitting 50 or 51 on practice tests.

Just as a bit of background, Avernusaur improved from 700 to 770. His experience is quite impressive, but we have a number of other stories of people actually scoring lower after months of work - would probably stay put.
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Manager
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 130
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2009, 05:31
jallenmorris wrote:
Retake from a 750? Are you insane?

Consider this: Last year Stanford dinged every single perfect score applicant that applied. What's the significance? Stanford doesn't care about score. If I were on the panel, I might vote to ding every single one just to make a statement: NO SCORE IS AN AUTOMATIC ADMIT.

If you retake, what message will you be sending admissions committees? You got a 750 first time around, 98% percentile. Meaning that you beat out all but 2% of the entire population ever to take the GMAT ("ever to take" works in theory). The AdCom will see your 750 first time take and then a retake that, if you improve is somewhere between 760 and 800. The 800 of course places you in a group of perfectionist, which would be reinforced by looking at your testing history and the adcoms will see First Attemp: 750, Second Attempt: 800. Schools don't want someone that is perfect, they want people that will be good classmates and strive for perfection while realizing that perfection is rarely achieved. There is always a ROI. You might write a 98% perfect paper and it takes you 6 hours to write it. Then to improve that paper from 98% perfect to 100% perfect takes you another 20 hours. Honestly, is this extra 20 hours worth the 2%? What was the return on your 20 hour investment? 0.1% per hour?

It's your decision, but my advice is to not ever take the GMAT again (as long as you apply within 5 years) because you will be sending the wrong message to the b-school adcoms. That message is that you are more interested in perfection that utility. Schools need someone that can someday go manage a company, not just take tests to perfection. No one gets 100% correct in a business environemnt for which you're being prepared during b-school.

Agreed...why not apply the motivation to writing awesome essays, etc?
Intern
Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 39
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2009, 12:16
You studied inconsistenly for a month and scored a 750! Incredible. May i ask what is your academic and professional backgound? Something prepared you to be adpet at the GMAT.
Intern
Joined: 15 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Schools: HBS, Stanford, Kellogg
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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18 Aug 2009, 15:24
Thanks for the advice, everyone! I must admit I haven't looked extensively into the weighting of the different components that go into b-school admissions. All of your feedback has been extremely helpful, and I will take your suggestion to direct my energy elsewhere. I won't be applying for at least another year or two but I'll use the extra time to research schools, and brush up on my interviewing and essay writing skills.

rbriscoe - As for my background, I just graduated from college with a degree in economics. I've done internships in investment banking and consulting which I supposed helped with my critical thinking skills. My quant skills were definitely rusty, but I used the MGMAT guides, which were fantastic. I read a few of the quant books cover to cover and did many of the practice problems. I highly, highly recommend those to anyone prepping for the GMAT!
Intern
Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 5
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2009, 00:01
you have a good score!
I think you should be focusing on apps now .
Intern
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 21
Schools: Yale SOM Class of 2013
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2009, 00:36
Hey, I think you've got a great score as is, and just like the guys above mentioned, trying to beat the 98th percentile is tough. I have a similar problem actually, and would love everyone's input on it - I scored 730 (96th), but with 48V(99th) and only 42Q(63rd) - and given an average (Bish) mix of grades in quant-related courses at school (Crimson), I was advised by Linda A to re-take the GMAT. Yet most other places I've looked at say that re-taking the GMAT with 700+ score is not a good idea - what should i do? I'm aiming for HWS, Tuck and SOM btw...
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 19043
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2009, 00:54
kzslacker wrote:
Hey, I think you've got a great score as is, and just like the guys above mentioned, trying to beat the 98th percentile is tough. I have a similar problem actually, and would love everyone's input on it - I scored 730 (96th), but with 48V(99th) and only 42Q(63rd) - and given an average (Bish) mix of grades in quant-related courses at school (Crimson), I was advised by Linda A to re-take the GMAT. Yet most other places I've looked at say that re-taking the GMAT with 700+ score is not a good idea - what should i do? I'm aiming for HWS, Tuck and SOM btw...

Hi! Welcome to GMAT Club.

Linda knows what she is talking about. However, how "easy" or "good" are you at math? is that going to be an uphill battle?
If you don't hate GMAT yet, sure but don't invest more than 30 days into it (minimum "cooldown" time after taking the gmat).
_________________
Intern
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
Posts: 21
Schools: Yale SOM Class of 2013
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2009, 01:15
hi bb, you're right - i saw your ultimate thread and followed a few links from there. i'm not that good at math, and i'm still concerned that re-taking the gmat is not a good investment of my time at this point. im currently thinking of trying to address this perceived 'quant' weakness in my optional essay, countering it with my passing of CFA I last December and a couple of "A"s from Sloan received as an undergrad (in accounting and finance nonetheless). plus of course strongly suggesting my recommenders to focus on my quant skills. i highly value linda's input, but i think this strategy could actually work, at least for SOM and Tuck if not for HWS. what do you think of such a strategy/would you re-take the GMAT if you were me?
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 19043
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2009, 08:36
kzslacker wrote:
hi bb, you're right - i saw your ultimate thread and followed a few links from there. i'm not that good at math, and i'm still concerned that re-taking the gmat is not a good investment of my time at this point. im currently thinking of trying to address this perceived 'quant' weakness in my optional essay, countering it with my passing of CFA I last December and a couple of "A"s from Sloan received as an undergrad (in accounting and finance nonetheless). plus of course strongly suggesting my recommenders to focus on my quant skills. i highly value linda's input, but i think this strategy could actually work, at least for SOM and Tuck if not for HWS. what do you think of such a strategy/would you re-take the GMAT if you were me?

Probably not. My story is a bit different, as I am better at Math (though fairly balanced 92% in Q and 96% in verbal), so to me this would equate taking the GMAT due to low verbal and that's a risk I am not sure I want to take. Also, as you have CFA - that's a pretty strong Quant asset to have.
The part that I would, however, hate is the uneasiness it would give me and constant need to be concerned and all that good stuff brewing at the back of my mind.

However, with R1 deadlines coming up in just a month, you need to move asap.
If you are not applying to your dream schools in R2, I would first of all start on the apps, and then maybe touch 10-20 hours of math using one of the good old math books (gmat math books) and take the test again (but not send the reports to schools) Then if that's a better score - blast it to all of the schools you have not applied to yet and if not, you are not losing anything since that score is going nowhere, and even though everyone says only the highest score counts, I prefer this approach.

Anyone is welcome to criticize it
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Manager
Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 85
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2009, 11:35
kzslacker wrote:
Hey, I think you've got a great score as is, and just like the guys above mentioned, trying to beat the 98th percentile is tough. I have a similar problem actually, and would love everyone's input on it - I scored 730 (96th), but with 48V(99th) and only 42Q(63rd) - and given an average (Bish) mix of grades in quant-related courses at school (Crimson), I was advised by Linda A to re-take the GMAT. Yet most other places I've looked at say that re-taking the GMAT with 700+ score is not a good idea - what should i do? I'm aiming for HWS, Tuck and SOM btw...

I think your situation is different than the original poster in that you have a disproportionate Verbal to Quant score in terms of percentile. If you can demonstrate through other areas of your application (school, cfa, work, etc) that you are solid quant-wise then I wouldnt' sweat it.

Ideally what you want is an 80+/80+ percentile split (it's the %, not the actual number that matters despite what one of the posters above said). The overall score is less relevant.
Re: 750 but low quant - retake?   [#permalink] 02 Sep 2009, 11:35

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