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# IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected

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Intern
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Location: United States (NY)
Concentration: Healthcare, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.89
WE: Science (Health Care)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2014, 17:41
Hello! I haven't posted much but decided to come out of hiding and start contributing here.

I just took the GMAT, this time after studying as much as I could for a month, and got 730 [Q. 49 (81%), V. 41 (93%)] and 6 [67%] on IR.

My first GMAT attempt was a wakeup moment. I had always been good at math / math-related courses (at least at US undergrad / grad institutions) and got the perfect score on GRE Quant many years ago. I realized after my first GMAT attempt, however, that I had underestimated the trickiness of GMAT Quant. I also ran out of time in the Quant section since I double-checked all my answers before moving on to the next. In retrospect, that was a very stupid move on my part. So, if anybody else here feels confident about math, I'd recommend that you STILL study, primarily for tricks so that you can answer all questions without spending too much time on each. That would've saved me \$250.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon the GMAT section of this community this time and studied with Manhattan GMAT's Advanced Quant and Number Properties books as those two seemed to be highly recommended by people here. So, many thanks to all contributing members here! I also took the free GMATPrep and Veritas Prep exams in the 10 days leading up to the exam date to get the timing right. I got 720 (10 days prior) and 740 (3 days before the exam) on the GMATPrep exams, and 720 on Vertias' (about a week before the exam). The actual score came out to be 730. So, I think those practice tests are pretty accurate.

Except.... the IR section. I got a 6 / 67 percentile on the actual exam.

I had got an 8 on my first GMAT attempt. I'd also finished the IR section in 20 to 22 minutes and got 8s on the three practice exams. As a biomedical research scientist, I daily read graphs and extrapolate logical connections by synthesizing information from different sources. Full disclosure - I actually LOVED doing this section during the practice exams like I could do this type of puzzles all day. Of all things that could have gone wrong in the abusive four-hour-long exam, the 67 percentile score in IR was the last thing I'd expected....

I feel that there was more text to read this time. I also read one of the text heavy questions three times during the exam. Maybe, I am just a slow reader; English is my second language afterall. Maybe, I wasted too much time trying to understand terms related to stocks or the stock market that I knew nothing about. Whatever it was, I ran out of time.

If anybody can answer..... I know that the IR section is not as important as the quant or verb section. But how low is *too low* for most competitive MBA programs such as Columbia, Wharton, MIT, Yale just to name a few, assuming that the rest of my application is pretty average (meaning nice in some ways but not strong in other ways)? I am not asking if it's absolutely impossible for me to get into those schools with the IR score. I bet President Obama would get into Harvard with 650 and IR of 4. I want to make sure that schools won't use my IR score to "justify" rejecting me after they spot a weakness in another area of my application when that weakness alone does not make them feel comfortable ruling Denied.

And how bad is this score if I am interested in going into life science (biotech /pharma) consulting? I heard that BCG was considering to use the IR score.... Should I retake the test and at least get a 7? I believe that I can sustain if not improve my math score, but I might be lucky with verbal this time. I was getting between 88-92 on the practice tests, and I don't think it's easy to improve my English in a short period of time.

Last edited by NoriNYC on 03 Jun 2014, 21:03, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2014, 18:07
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I think a 6 is fine. I'm not entirely certain that schools will place too much emphasis on IRs just yet... but doesn't hurt to ask individual adcom of various schools about it. Even if they do emphasize IR, 6 isn't bad. It's a 6/8! I wouldn't bother retaking the GMAT if I scored a 5 on my AWA, despite the fact that's a 60%.

If BCG does decide to use IR scores, you can also retake the GMAT after the fact - there seem to be people who retake the GMAT after getting into bschool to increase their chances of MBB.
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Concentration: Healthcare, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
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Re: IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected [#permalink]

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03 Jun 2014, 19:42
farful wrote:
I think a 6 is fine. I'm not entirely certain that schools will place too much emphasis on IRs just yet... but doesn't hurt to ask individual adcom of various schools about it. Even if they do emphasize IR, 6 isn't bad. It's a 6/8! I wouldn't bother retaking the GMAT if I scored a 5 on my AWA, despite the fact that's a 60%.

If BCG does decide to use IR scores, you can also retake the GMAT after the fact - there seem to be people who retake the GMAT after getting into bschool to increase their chances of MBB.

Thanks, Farful, for the excellent suggestions!

I will ask schools first. Why should I waste my time and money if they don't care anyway, when I can be using that time to work on my applications? That makes sense. I wasn't aware that some people retake the test while in school or after they get in. I guess I am overly concerned because people of my background must be "expected" to be good at this just like engineers are at math.
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Re: IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected [#permalink]

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06 Jun 2014, 09:02
For your purposes, I would say you're fine. I would not get concerned until 4 or 5ish. 6 is still good. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
Intern
Joined: 15 Aug 2013
Posts: 8
Location: United States (NY)
Concentration: Healthcare, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.89
WE: Science (Health Care)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2014, 16:56
GMATPill wrote:
For your purposes, I would say you're fine. I would not get concerned until 4 or 5ish. 6 is still good. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Thank you for your input, GMATPill.
Re: IR Score Significantly Lower Than I Expected   [#permalink] 09 Jun 2014, 16:56
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