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GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs

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GMAT 1: 680 Q50 V31
GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 18 Jun 2018, 19:57
Hi All,

I just took my first GMAT and got a 680 (Q50/V31). I would really love some guidance and advice on whether to pursue a 700+ and which schools to apply to. Not trying to be lazy and ask for information, but I have looked through almost all relevant posts regarding Ms Finance program, and I found that the chances of getting into a certain programs pretty depends on one's individual profile.

My profile:
Boston University Questrom School of Business 2017
Dual Concentration: Finance and Accounting (151 credits total, normally 124 to graduate)
GPA: 3.62 (Magna Cum Laude, top 15%)
Worked as an accountant for a tech startup for the past year. (total various internships+full-time work: 18 months)

Q1: Retake GMAT?
-The highest I have scored on any CAT is 710 (twice on GMATPrep). I scored 680 multiple times on MGMAT, and really felt that GMATPrep is relatively easier, especially Quant.
-I have searched through the internet and the forums on "Is 680 GMAT a good score?" and I know probably plenty of people had asked this question before since 680 to 700 seems possible, but sometimes the magic 700 number is so hard to reach.
-I do feel like I can do a little better on Verbal (2nd section) but not too much since I know whichever order I take the test in, the second section will get less energy than the first, and I would rather have more energy focused on my strength: Quant. (I've tested the test order with multiple CATs.)

Q2: School?
-While my work experience is not a strong suit, the one thing I would highlight is Magna Cum Laude (15%) from BU. I have figured that MS Finance programs (more academic) do not value work experience that strongly compared to MBAs.
-I am in doubt with Business School's application page where most of the top 10 Ms Finance programs class profiles indicates the average GMAT is 700. I do know that some college admissions offices tend to exaggerate SAT scores by 10-50 points to attract better students (by manipulating their data or whatever). I'm wondering if that's the same for Ms Finance Programs, where the average GMAT isn't that high. (consider my reasoning: 700 is 89%, meaning only 1 out of 10 students gets 700+, and I would assume most people who take the GMAT is applying for MBAs instead of MSs, so where are these non-MBA-applying-700+students coming from???)
-My target schools are:
USC MS Finance
Princeton U
Johns Hopkins (not sure if it's a legit program or just attracting internationals with the JH reputation) :?
MIT (to be honest, I know it's probably not possible since it's THE top program) :cry:
Washington U St. Louis
-Schools to consider:
Villanova
Georgetown
Texas Vanderbilt
UK LSE
UK King's College
UK Imperial College
UK Leeds

Sorry for the long posts and thank you GMATClub for everything (truly helps a ton with question explanations). I would love to get some advice from you all! Thank, again!

Originally posted by simon84378437 on 18 Jun 2018, 13:23.
Last edited by simon84378437 on 18 Jun 2018, 19:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2018, 19:33
1
simon84378437 wrote:
Hi All,

I just took my first GMAT and got a 680 (Q50/V31). I would really love some guidance and advice on whether to pursue a 700+ and which schools to apply to. Not trying to be lazy and ask for information, but I have looked through almost all relevant posts regarding Ms Finance program, and I found that the chances of getting into a certain programs pretty depends on one's individual profile.

My profile:
Boston University Questrom School of Business 2017
Dual Concentration: Finance and Accounting (151 credits total, normally 124 to graduate)
GPA: 3.62 (Magna Cum Laude, top 15%)
Worked as an accountant for a tech startup for the past year. (total various internships+full-time work: 18 months)

Q1: Retake GMAT?
-The highest I have scored on any CAT is 710 (twice on GMATPrep). I scored 680 multiple times on MGMAT, and really felt that GMATPrep is relatively easier, especially Quant.
-I have searched through the internet and the forums on "Is 680 GMAT a good score?" and I know probably plenty of people had asked this question before since 680 to 700 seems possible, but sometimes the magic 700 number is so hard to reach.
-I do feel like I can do a little better on Verbal (2nd section) but not too much since I know whichever order I take the test in, the second section will get less energy than the first, and I would rather have more energy focused on my strength: Quant. (I've tested the test order with multiple CATs.)

Q2: School?
-While my strong suits are in my work experience, the one thing I would highlight is Magna Cum Laude (15%) from BU. I have figured that MS Finance programs (more academic) do not value work experience that strongly compared to MBAs.
-I am in doubt with Business School's application page where most of the top 10 Ms Finance programs class profiles indicates the average GMAT is 700. I do know that some college admissions offices tend to exaggerate SAT scores by 10-50 points to attract better students (by manipulating their data or whatever). I'm wondering if that's the same for Ms Finance Programs, where the average GMAT isn't that high. (consider my reasoning: 700 is 89%, meaning only 1 out of 10 students gets 700+, and I would assume most people who take the GMAT is applying for MBAs instead of MSs, so where are these non-MBA-applying-700+students coming from???)
-My target schools are:
USC MS Finance
Princeton U
Johns Hopkins (not sure if it's a legit program or just attracting internationals with the JH reputation) :?
MIT (to be honest, I know it's probably not possible since it's THE top program) :cry:
Washington U St. Louis
-Schools to consider:
Villanova
Georgetown
Texas Vanderbilt
UK LSE
UK King's College
UK Imperial College
UK Leeds

Sorry for the long posts and thank you GMATClub for everything (truly helps a ton with question explanations). I would love to get some advice from you all! Thank, again!

Hi Simon,

If you are way skewed from your target programs average GMAT scores, then i think a GMAT is beneficial. (Think 30 points).
I'd also reconsider a retake if you have your eyes on the top programs exclusively. When the competition is high, you want to ensure everything is top class in your profile.
You've not mentioned your WExp. But that is one of the most important factors in admissions. Outstanding achievements and impact can help make the cut, even with a lower GMAT score.


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Re: GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 19:59
1
BU, 3.6 GPA, about two years WE at matriculation, 680 GMAT.

-My target schools are:
USC MS Finance - High Probability
Princeton U - NO
Johns Hopkins (not sure if it's a legit program or just attracting internationals with the JH reputation) :? - IN
MIT (to be honest, I know it's probably not possible since it's THE top program) :cry: - Higher GMAT required
Washington U St. Louis - IN
-Schools to consider:
Villanova - IN
Georgetown - Most likely IN
Texas - Prefer Liberal Arts students
Vanderbilt - IN
UK LSE
UK King's College
UK Imperial College
UK Leeds


UK schools - most likely IN at all of them. Might need a higher GMAT for LSE.


The US schools are going to care about BU (good UG), your GMAT (3.6 is the average or above for most of the schools you are looking at) and your work experience (higher than the 1 year average most schools have).

Assuming you are domestic, you should be in a very good position. US MSF programs care about placements and qualified domestic students. All the average stats you see are skewed by much higher international scores, which the schools demand to accept them into their programs as international students have a much harder time finding employment. I would bet that the average scores for domestic students are about 10-20 GMAT points lower and probably 0.2 points on the GPA scale.

If you have work experience and good scores (which you do), you are golden.
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Re: GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2018, 08:43
MSFHQ

Thank you for the detailed evaluation! Truly appreciated! I have a few follow-up questions if you don't mind.

1. (Sadly?) I'm an international student. But I tried to make the point that I'm different from some of the international students applying to masters that I did go to a good undergraduate (BU) and graduated top 15%. And the fact that I hold a full-time job in the US after graduating, proving that I'm employable, at least in US standard? (my point being, if the same student has the exact qualification as me, but did not go to a US undergrad, I should be above him since from a work placement standpoint, I'll be more employable?!)

2.
Quote:
(3.6 is the average or above for most of the schools you are looking at)

I realized that 3.6 isn't a "great" gpa, but do schools take into account the fact that BU has a widely-known grade inflation situation? 3.6GPA gets me into Magna Cum Laude top 15%, and I know in some schools, you need a 3.8 to get to top 15%. In my graduating class, 3.3 gets into Cum Laude top 30%, and 3.1 is the average for the entire class.

3. Do UK schools have good MSF reputation? Particularly, Imperial College? (the one I'm most interested in, and plus I think LSE and LBS might be a reach for me) Can you weigh in more on UK's programs?

4. I've researched this question SO many times: is 680 a good gmat score? I know it's 85 percentile, meaning that I'm top 15% of all test takers/applicants. If my target schools are NOT MIT, Princeton, LBS, or LSE, will you say I should take the gmat again to try to reach 700? (I've read somewhere that a 20 points increase might not mean a lot to admissions if they see both of my scores, but I'm just wondering.)

Much appreciated!
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Re: GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2018, 09:26
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Being international slightly hurts your odds, but I still think you have a good profile. See below for updated odds.

You should be fine for most of the schools. Some will ding you for being international, some wont care. What might help you is the fact that less international kids are applying to US schools right now.

UK schools are very good, but mainly for working in the UK or if you are Indian (UK schools have more cachet in India than Vanderbilt would). Imperial, LSE, LBS, all are great programs.

A 680 is a good GMAT. A 720 or higher is a great GMAT. Some places might ding you or waitlist you. All depends. It definitely isn't a bag GMAT, especially for US MSF programs.

-My target schools are:
USC MS Finance - High Probability - now medium
Princeton U - NO - still no
Johns Hopkins (not sure if it's a legit program or just attracting internationals with the JH reputation) :? - IN - still in
MIT (to be honest, I know it's probably not possible since it's THE top program) :cry: - Higher GMAT required - same advice
Washington U St. Louis - IN - I still think you'd get in
-Schools to consider:
Villanova - IN - no change
Georgetown - Most likely IN - no change
Texas - Prefer Liberal Arts students - no change
Vanderbilt - IN - I still think you'd be accepted, but a tiny reduction in odds. Going to BU and doing so well, including having a job will mean a lot.
UK LSE
UK King's College
UK Imperial College
UK Leeds
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Re: GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2018, 09:37
MSFHQ

Thanks for the insight! I'll definitely update as I go along. But overall, msfhq website has provided great information for me when selecting schools. Kudos to that!
Re: GMAT 680 (Q50/V31) for Ms Finance Programs &nbs [#permalink] 06 Jul 2018, 09:37
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