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New post 29 Jun 2018, 05:18
Hi everyone

In need of some advice re GMAT. Firstly - I am not good at standardized testing and not particularly familiar with it. I have a 640 right now (8 IR, 42 Q, 36 V).

I don't particularly want to retake the test, though I would be grateful for any thoughts, particularly on how this might be viewed by INSEAD and Judge (my top two choices). In terms of my profile more broadly, I am a female British lawyer, with (as of today) just over 6 years experience at both magic circle and top tier USA firms. I have to date been seconded to several key clients, a top investment bank and two asset management funds amongst them. I have a first class degree from a Russell group university, and demonstrable leadership experience across deal management and pro bono work (all of which have multi-jurisdictional elements). I am actively involved as a volunteer counsellor with a leading UK charity. I have a keen interest in the arts, and studied as a teenager at one of the top vocational performing art schools. I like to hike and have enjoyed some amazing climbs around the world.

I guess the point I'm making is, my GMAT isn't high, but offset against my other (academic) achievements, how likely is it that this will be a blocking item / red flag? How necessary is it in your view to achieve a higher GMAT with this profile, and is there any way I can demonstrate quant ability in another way? My job is very technical, although not particularly 'quant' based (despite working primarily with secondary debt market participants). My reluctance to retake the test is based primarily on being very tight for time as a result of work, and I'm unsure whether I could feasibly dedicate more time to GMAT in the short term.

I'm looking to apply round 1 for September 2019 intake.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts.
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 18:37
Hi Darcey914,

You're ultimately asking Admissions questions, so you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

If you do choose to continue studying, then we should discuss your work up to this point and how to best utilize the time that you have.

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New post 29 Jun 2018, 19:09
I hate to say it but my advice would be to try to get your GMAT up if you can. Since you are a non-traditional applicant they are going to be looking to your GMAT for evidence that you are up for the rigors of b-school. The fact that your work doesn't lend itself to doing a lot of quant is another reason why it makes sense to retake it. It sounds like you've got strong work experience, but it's not typical business work experience so the adcom will look to the GMAT more than they might for someone with a more traditional business background. In general you want to try to hit a school's average score. If you are below it, it's not the end of the world but it means they will be placing more weight on the other aspects of your application & as a non-traditional applicant it's tougher to show them the evidence that they are looking for.

That said, the good news is that with some practice you really can get your GMAT up. Even a 680 would be a lot more competitive. Hang in there & see if you can carve out some time to do some additional prep!
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New post 29 Jun 2018, 21:27
Darcey914 wrote:
Hi everyone

In need of some advice re GMAT. Firstly - I am not good at standardized testing and not particularly familiar with it. I have a 640 right now (8 IR, 42 Q, 36 V).

I don't particularly want to retake the test, though I would be grateful for any thoughts, particularly on how this might be viewed by INSEAD and Judge (my top two choices). In terms of my profile more broadly, I am a female British lawyer, with (as of today) just over 6 years experience at both magic circle and top tier USA firms. I have to date been seconded to several key clients, a top investment bank and two asset management funds amongst them. I have a first class degree from a Russell group university, and demonstrable leadership experience across deal management and pro bono work (all of which have multi-jurisdictional elements). I am actively involved as a volunteer counsellor with a leading UK charity. I have a keen interest in the arts, and studied as a teenager at one of the top vocational performing art schools. I like to hike and have enjoyed some amazing climbs around the world.

I guess the point I'm making is, my GMAT isn't high, but offset against my other (academic) achievements, how likely is it that this will be a blocking item / red flag? How necessary is it in your view to achieve a higher GMAT with this profile, and is there any way I can demonstrate quant ability in another way? My job is very technical, although not particularly 'quant' based (despite working primarily with secondary debt market participants). My reluctance to retake the test is based primarily on being very tight for time as a result of work, and I'm unsure whether I could feasibly dedicate more time to GMAT in the short term.

I'm looking to apply round 1 for September 2019 intake.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts.


Hi Darcey914,

Thanks for writing in.

In all honesty, the GMAT score is under the average at the schools you are considering and we would strongly recommend a re-take. While you have a fine professional experience, in a differentiated realm, and with strong leadership exposure, the GMAT becomes crucial to establish your ability to adjust to the rigorous academic requirements that an MBA program throws at one :-) Even a 40 point jump would immensely boost your chances and we suggest you give it another shot. The essays have their own value but the GMAT is very crucial as well.

All the best!
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Re: Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 17:58
Darcey914 wrote:
Hi everyone

In need of some advice re GMAT. Firstly - I am not good at standardized testing and not particularly familiar with it. I have a 640 right now (8 IR, 42 Q, 36 V).

I don't particularly want to retake the test, though I would be grateful for any thoughts, particularly on how this might be viewed by INSEAD and Judge (my top two choices). In terms of my profile more broadly, I am a female British lawyer, with (as of today) just over 6 years experience at both magic circle and top tier USA firms. I have to date been seconded to several key clients, a top investment bank and two asset management funds amongst them. I have a first class degree from a Russell group university, and demonstrable leadership experience across deal management and pro bono work (all of which have multi-jurisdictional elements). I am actively involved as a volunteer counsellor with a leading UK charity. I have a keen interest in the arts, and studied as a teenager at one of the top vocational performing art schools. I like to hike and have enjoyed some amazing climbs around the world.

I guess the point I'm making is, my GMAT isn't high, but offset against my other (academic) achievements, how likely is it that this will be a blocking item / red flag? How necessary is it in your view to achieve a higher GMAT with this profile, and is there any way I can demonstrate quant ability in another way? My job is very technical, although not particularly 'quant' based (despite working primarily with secondary debt market participants). My reluctance to retake the test is based primarily on being very tight for time as a result of work, and I'm unsure whether I could feasibly dedicate more time to GMAT in the short term.

I'm looking to apply round 1 for September 2019 intake.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts.


Regarding your GMAT, I agree with JonAmissionado and ABatExpertsGlobal; you should work on increasing your GMAT score. With that said, are you going to retake your GMAT? If so, would you like some advice on how to prep for your next exam?
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New post 05 Jul 2018, 02:00
Top Contributor
Darcey914 wrote:
Hi everyone

In need of some advice re GMAT. Firstly - I am not good at standardized testing and not particularly familiar with it. I have a 640 right now (8 IR, 42 Q, 36 V).

I don't particularly want to retake the test, though I would be grateful for any thoughts, particularly on how this might be viewed by INSEAD and Judge (my top two choices). In terms of my profile more broadly, I am a female British lawyer, with (as of today) just over 6 years experience at both magic circle and top tier USA firms. I have to date been seconded to several key clients, a top investment bank and two asset management funds amongst them. I have a first class degree from a Russell group university, and demonstrable leadership experience across deal management and pro bono work (all of which have multi-jurisdictional elements). I am actively involved as a volunteer counsellor with a leading UK charity. I have a keen interest in the arts, and studied as a teenager at one of the top vocational performing art schools. I like to hike and have enjoyed some amazing climbs around the world.

I guess the point I'm making is, my GMAT isn't high, but offset against my other (academic) achievements, how likely is it that this will be a blocking item / red flag? How necessary is it in your view to achieve a higher GMAT with this profile, and is there any way I can demonstrate quant ability in another way? My job is very technical, although not particularly 'quant' based (despite working primarily with secondary debt market participants). My reluctance to retake the test is based primarily on being very tight for time as a result of work, and I'm unsure whether I could feasibly dedicate more time to GMAT in the short term.

I'm looking to apply round 1 for September 2019 intake.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts.


Hi Darcey914,

INSEAD's GMAT range is pretty wide (620-780), but your score is still closer to the lower end of that spectrum. While your background in law, and your well-rounded profile with accomplishments in other areas will be definite positives, a GMAT of 640 will still stand out as a bit low. INSEAD states clearly that it would prefer its applicants to have scores at or above the 70-75th percentile on both sections, and unfortunately your Quant score will fall below that mark.

Hope this helps. Feel free to come back with more queries as needed.
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Re: Advice &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jul 2018, 02:00
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