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# My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake?

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My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 07:17
Ok,...yikes....i just got my score card back. I got a 3/6 on the AWA,...thats 6th percentile. My verbal is 44, or 97th percentile. I'm also generally a very good writer so my essays should be good. I only spent 10 mins on the essays, but they were each 1 paragraph, I felt they were well constructed and analytical but I was so concerned about the quant that i didn't want to burn myself out.

My question is,...how much will this hurt? I got a 660 overall and had planned to keep that score and already in the middle of applications.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 07:27
Depending on what your target schools are, you'd probably want to consider retaking a 660 anyways. If you got a 97th percentile verbal score and a 660 overall, I'm guessing your math score was pretty bad. So I'd say you have multiple reasons besides the AWA score (which is probably the least significant reason) to retake.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 07:37
ebonn101 wrote:
Depending on what your target schools are, you'd probably want to consider retaking a 660 anyways. If you got a 97th percentile verbal score and a 660 overall, I'm guessing your math score was pretty bad. So I'd say you have multiple reasons besides the AWA score (which is probably the least significant reason) to retake.

Ok thanks. But right now I'm concerned about the potential impact of the AWA. Will it be prohibitive if I stick with this current score? For various reasons i plan on submitting my apps in 3-4 weeks so i'm leaning against retaking.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 07:48
Your situation is somewhat unique. Overall, the AWA score doesn't mean much. But the assumption here is that your score is above the 4.0 mark.

Your AWA score of 3.0 is quite low and it will create obstacles for you during the admissions process. But it also depends on which program you want. An MBA from a top ten school will be highly unlikely, though there's still hope for a decent state school. Perhaps you could inform us of the schools that interest you.

The bigger concern, though, might be your quant score. You didn't mention the number, but I suspect that this will be an issue as well. This has already been mentioned, so I won't focus on this topic for now. But it's still something to think about. What was your quant score, by the way?
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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 07:58
Wow,..this is depressing. Not sure how I can come up with the energy to start studying again after I already mentally resigned myself to keeping this score and already started working on applications.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 10:14
Judging by your reaction, I will assume that you included some top schools on your list. If that is so, then I strongly recommend a retake. Your verbal is solid (but don't take this as an invitation to relax!), so most of your energy needs to be for the math and the AWA. Unless you have something extraordinary elsewhere in your application to compensate for the current score, then a retake is mandatory if you're aiming for the top schools.

While we don't know your situation fully, our responses shouldn't be interpreted as the end of the world. Right now, the best thing to do is take a week or two off from anything related to the GMAT and clear your mind. Focus on other parts of the application process for now (essays, recommendation letters, etc.). You'll know what to do soon enough.
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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 10:30
Yes your score will hurt because it will raise doubts on your writing ability, and yes I would retake it if I were in your situation.

BUT if you have already decided not to retake, then you should add an addendum to your applications explaining to schools why your AWA is so low and why you mistakenly thought that writing 1 paragraph was enough.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 10:34
bmillan01 wrote:
Judging by your reaction, I will assume that you included some top schools on your list. If that is so, then I strongly recommend a retake. Your verbal is solid (but don't take this as an invitation to relax!), so most of your energy needs to be for the math and the AWA. Unless you have something extraordinary elsewhere in your application to compensate for the current score, then a retake is mandatory if you're aiming for the top schools.

While we don't know your situation fully, our responses shouldn't be interpreted as the end of the world. Right now, the best thing to do is take a week or two off from anything related to the GMAT and clear your mind. Focus on other parts of the application process for now (essays, recommendation letters, etc.). You'll know what to do soon enough.

I'm filling out a Consortium application,...which is due 11/15/2011,..so unfortunately I have to retake around beginning of Nov. So i think i probably need to start studying immediately.

And to fill you in on the rest of my profile,...yes,...I did horribly in quant (37 -46 percentile). I'm also a minority candidate, thus the consortium app.

The schools I was shooting for were Darden,...and as a reach,..Tuck.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 10:36
shanghaizzle wrote:
Yes your score will hurt because it will raise doubts on your writing ability, and yes I would retake it if I were in your situation.

BUT if you have already decided not to retake, then you should add an addendum to your applications explaining to schools why your AWA is so low and why you mistakenly thought that writing 1 paragraph was enough.

Lets be clear on one thing,...I've been told by many people that my writing is outstanding and my essays in particular are strong. The first drafts of a couple of my essays have gotten strong positive reviews,....between what I anticipate will be strong essays and a 97 percentile Verbal...I would think they would have sufficient data to feel confident about my communication skills. But oh well.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 10:44
mooze wrote:
shanghaizzle wrote:
Yes your score will hurt because it will raise doubts on your writing ability, and yes I would retake it if I were in your situation.

BUT if you have already decided not to retake, then you should add an addendum to your applications explaining to schools why your AWA is so low and why you mistakenly thought that writing 1 paragraph was enough.

Lets be clear on one thing,...I've been told by many people that my writing is outstanding and my essays in particular are strong. The first drafts of a couple of my essays have gotten strong positive reviews,....between what I anticipate will be strong essays and a 97 percentile Verbal...I would think they would have sufficient data to feel confident about my communication skills. But oh well.

Sure you can mitigate the doubts about your writing ability with your excellent verbal score, great essays, and a strong interview.

But obviously retaking, and thus eliminating a potential weakness on your application, will make it stronger.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 11:08
shanghaizzle wrote:
mooze wrote:
shanghaizzle wrote:
Yes your score will hurt because it will raise doubts on your writing ability, and yes I would retake it if I were in your situation.

BUT if you have already decided not to retake, then you should add an addendum to your applications explaining to schools why your AWA is so low and why you mistakenly thought that writing 1 paragraph was enough.

Lets be clear on one thing,...I've been told by many people that my writing is outstanding and my essays in particular are strong. The first drafts of a couple of my essays have gotten strong positive reviews,....between what I anticipate will be strong essays and a 97 percentile Verbal...I would think they would have sufficient data to feel confident about my communication skills. But oh well.

Sure you can mitigate the doubts about your writing ability with your excellent verbal score, great essays, and a strong interview.

But obviously retaking, and thus eliminating a potential weakness on your application, will make it stronger.

But if i'm putting my apps in mid Nov,,..and i'm taking the test early Nov,....that will also eat away at the time I spend polishing essays and other parts of the application. SO it becomes a game of what helps more,...bump in the AWA score,..or even better essays. This is assuming i don't improve my quant score.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 11:54
I'm not an adcom, so take this with a grain of salt, but I don't think your AWA will keep you out of schools that you are otherwise qualified for. But if you're a borderline candidate, then your AWA may prompt a school to select a similar candidate who does not have any red flags in his application over you.

Retaking may show schools that rather than rely on excuses, you're willing to take the time and effort to the mistakes which you yourself has caused.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 11:56
If your score is in the range for your target schools, use the optional essay to explain the AWA score of 3. The AWA score validates your essays (if someone scores a 3 and has stellar essays, the adcom might take your app as possibly not written by you).
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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 13:01
I'm currently at the bottom end of the ranges. Dartmouth is a school i would love to go to. Admittedly a reach,...but their 80% range is 660-740. So i'm right around the 10th percentile for their gmats. I'm also a minority candidate, good work experience. And again,..i'm submitting apps mid-Nov at the very latest. And I can't take the test until Oct 30th. So all in all, its a tight window for studying, wrtiing essays. etc etc.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2011, 14:07
mooze wrote:
I'm currently at the bottom end of the ranges. Dartmouth is a school i would love to go to. Admittedly a reach,...but their 80% range is 660-740. So i'm right around the 10th percentile for their gmats. I'm also a minority candidate, good work experience. And again,..i'm submitting apps mid-Nov at the very latest. And I can't take the test until Oct 30th. So all in all, its a tight window for studying, wrtiing essays. etc etc.

Quote:
Tuck does not have a minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement — admitted students have a range of GMAT scores. But if you do not score well on any part of the GMAT, we encourage you to take the exam again in an effort to improve your score. Please refer to instructions for applicants for more information.

As mohater explained, you can explain your low AWA score using the optional essay and probably be OK, but raising your quant score to a more competitive level for Tuck is much more important.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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06 Oct 2011, 19:30
Do you have any sort of quant background? Because you are also going to have to convince the adcom that you can handle the quantitative coursework, and the 46th percentile in math doesn't help your case.

I'm no expert but my opinion is that you should retake, especially since you are shooting for some top schools. If your GMAT score was more balanced between Q and V then maybe I would say skip it and just explain the AWA in an essay, but since your math score is quite low in addition to the AWA you'll probably have to retake if you want a shot at dartmouth.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2011, 08:17
I have an undergrad degree in finance. My grades however weren't great....3.1 GPA. I did do very well in some of the complicated classes. Got an A in Advanced Corporate Finance, got a A- in Ops Management,..which was quant heavy. Got a B in Managerial Economics,...which was widely viewed as the hardest class in the undergraduate business school,..extremely quant heavy. But then again,...I really messed up in some basic classes. I got a C+ in Intro to finance,....which is really basic math. Looking back at it,..i'm kicking myself for screwing up the easy classes because thats where i messed up. Got a C in astronomy for God's sake. That class should have been an easy A.

Well,...anyway,..i've decided to retake the GMAT anyway. But I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong,....my percentile started off at 44% and stayed like that,..when I figured out it was DS that was pulling me down I concentrated on that and pulled it up to 68%. On the GMAT I went right back to square 1, 46%. I feel like all my studying has been a waste. I haven't picked up a single Verbal book and got a 97%, all my time I've spent on quant and nothing to show for it.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2011, 08:39
mooze wrote:
I have an undergrad degree in finance. My grades however weren't great....3.1 GPA. I did do very well in some of the complicated classes. Got an A in Advanced Corporate Finance, got a A- in Ops Management,..which was quant heavy. Got a B in Managerial Economics,...which was widely viewed as the hardest class in the undergraduate business school,..extremely quant heavy. But then again,...I really messed up in some basic classes. I got a C+ in Intro to finance,....which is really basic math. Looking back at it,..i'm kicking myself for screwing up the easy classes because thats where i messed up. Got a C in astronomy for God's sake. That class should have been an easy A.

Well,...anyway,..i've decided to retake the GMAT anyway. But I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong,....my percentile started off at 44% and stayed like that,..when I figured out it was DS that was pulling me down I concentrated on that and pulled it up to 68%. On the GMAT I went right back to square 1, 46%. I feel like all my studying has been a waste. I haven't picked up a single Verbal book and got a 97%, all my time I've spent on quant and nothing to show for it.

Yeah I hear you. I've been studying for almost 4 months, nothing but Quant. My verbal scores have always been around 44-45. My worst was 41 (first test), best was 47.

In Quant, I started out at the 44th percentile too. What materials have you been using to study? I'd recommend sticking with foundational stuff for now. I know when I was at that point I was trying to study more advanced material, and I thought I kinda understood it, but then I would screw up on basic things like order of operations and basic number properties. And if that is happening then you never see more advanced problems anyway. Not saying this is what the problem is for you, but that was how it was for me.

For the AWA, check out this thread. It has some very good advice and templates to follow that make it pretty easy to write up the essays. how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html

Anyway, good luck with the retake, It's going to suck trying to balance your apps and studying, but if it puts you over the top it will be worth it. Even if you don't do any better on the math it at least shows the adcoms that you didn't settle with just taking it once. My test is tomorrow, wish me luck.

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake? [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2011, 08:52
rjdunn03 wrote:
mooze wrote:
I have an undergrad degree in finance. My grades however weren't great....3.1 GPA. I did do very well in some of the complicated classes. Got an A in Advanced Corporate Finance, got a A- in Ops Management,..which was quant heavy. Got a B in Managerial Economics,...which was widely viewed as the hardest class in the undergraduate business school,..extremely quant heavy. But then again,...I really messed up in some basic classes. I got a C+ in Intro to finance,....which is really basic math. Looking back at it,..i'm kicking myself for screwing up the easy classes because thats where i messed up. Got a C in astronomy for God's sake. That class should have been an easy A.

Well,...anyway,..i've decided to retake the GMAT anyway. But I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong,....my percentile started off at 44% and stayed like that,..when I figured out it was DS that was pulling me down I concentrated on that and pulled it up to 68%. On the GMAT I went right back to square 1, 46%. I feel like all my studying has been a waste. I haven't picked up a single Verbal book and got a 97%, all my time I've spent on quant and nothing to show for it.

Yeah I hear you. I've been studying for almost 4 months, nothing but Quant. My verbal scores have always been around 44-45. My worst was 41 (first test), best was 47.

In Quant, I started out at the 44th percentile too. What materials have you been using to study? I'd recommend sticking with foundational stuff for now. I know when I was at that point I was trying to study more advanced material, and I thought I kinda understood it, but then I would screw up on basic things like order of operations and basic number properties. And if that is happening then you never see more advanced problems anyway. Not saying this is what the problem is for you, but that was how it was for me.

For the AWA, check out this thread. It has some very good advice and templates to follow that make it pretty easy to write up the essays. how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html

Anyway, good luck with the retake, It's going to suck trying to balance your apps and studying, but if it puts you over the top it will be worth it. Even if you don't do any better on the math it at least shows the adcoms that you didn't settle with just taking it once. My test is tomorrow, wish me luck.

Good luck buddy. Ace it!

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Re: My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake?   [#permalink] 07 Oct 2011, 08:52
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# My AWA score was a 3,..should I retake?

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