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Profile Eval for French b-schools (GMAT/Quant too low?) [#permalink]
26 Aug 2013, 07:40
So I completed the GMAT for the first time five weeks ago - 660 was my final score. I was initially happy with it, but over time I realised the score imbalance was possibly a problem.
To wit: 39Q (46%), 41V(93%), 5.5 AWA and 6 IR. A rather poor Quant score, I'm sure all would agree. First time, I think I let my nerves get the best of me, and I was rushing at the end.
I aim to get my applications out to the following schools within the next month or two:
(Please Note: I am applying to their MSc Management or Master's in Management programs, NOT MBA).
- ESSEC - HEC Paris - EM Lyon - ESCP Paris - HEC Montreal
(I'm also considering an MBA application to Rotman in Toronto and INSEAD in France, as I was advised that with 2+ yrs work exp, I am eligible technically. Not sure how my chances are there, especially with such a lopsided GMAT).
With my GMAT of 660, I have a GPA a hair under 3.0/4.0 from my undergraduate degree in Management/Communications from the University of Toronto. Rough first years (due to personal issues), but substantial improvement in last two years.
I have 2+ years worth of work experience:
- 16 months as a junior systems analyst in a consulting firm for Microsoft ERP business software - 5 months in the IT department of a local distributor/retailer for 5 months - several summer internships, including 2 month-long stints in a Hungarian factory (worked on the plant floor and in the sales/marketing offices).
I am bilingual, English is my first language with French my second, and I also have French citizenship. I'll be 24 in December, and it's two years since I graduated from University of Toronto. I live currently in the Caribbean.
What are my chances of admission or obtaining at least an interview with any of these schools? Should I retake the GMAT, or focus on my applications now?
Thank you for your consideration and any advice would be greatly appreciated?
Fair warning - I'm about to say something you might not like. If your GMAT score was what it is and you had an average GPA, I would say go ahead and apply. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. a <3.0 GPA coupled with a 46th percentile in Quant and a 650 overall isn't exactly a beacon for managing academic rigor.
Generally, we steer away from using percentile splits because, as you know, they move around and in quant especially they aren't exactly indicative. I mean, a 7Xth percentile with a 49 doesn't paint the story accurately. However, a quant score lower than 40 and a 46th percentile will raise some flags.
If you found your nerves frayed and yourself rushing at the end, it tells me a little time management and strategy development would do a lot for you when you retake the GMAT.
I think you should retake the GMAT - I don't care too much if your total score goes up (obviously, I want it to!) but I'm more concerned about the quant. There's nothing you can do about your GPA at this point but you can definitely improve your GMAT.
Postpone the apps for the time being and aim for a later round. You're going to get a far better shot applying with an improved GMAT than you would just by applying R1.
I hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions!
1) So the benefits in earlier rounds is that there are more spots open, there is more scholarship money available, and there's a little less to compare you to. Between R1 and R2, the difference is small. However, try to avoid R3 or R4. At the point you're going against a similar high number of applicants with significantly fewer spots available.
2) As for a quant score, try for somewhere in the lower 40s. That's both a realistic expectation and it gets rid of the stigma that a 3X carries. If you can get higher, go for it! But if you got a 42 or 43, that would help.
Re: Profile Eval for French b-schools (GMAT/Quant too low?) [#permalink]
27 Aug 2013, 16:23
Okay, thanks for the advice! Makes sense about the rounds; considering R2 application then. I don't know if you are in the know as to whether applications to MSc Management programs are less, shall we say, stringent than MBA ones? I'd imagine there is some difference between ESSEC MSc and INSEAD MBA...
Also, I was getting the impression I'd have to hit high 40s (46+) in Quant, especially since my profile is sadly not strongly indicative of either a quant background or quant skills, barring a handful of finance courses here and there... I guess it depends? Still, aiming for high 40s is hardly a bad idea, of course... What's your opinion, assuming you wish to comment further?