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Intern
Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 22
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20 Nov 2007, 00:43
Hi All!

I've been a big fan of gmatclub for a couple of months now, but never really took the leap to post on the forum.

I decided I was interested in Business School around last february. I want to go to a top 5 business school. (wharton, stanford, harvard, columbia, yale, etc). Although I'm relatively young, I think I have pretty good work experience and a 3.8 gpa from a respected university (not ivy but close).

Regretably and on a whim without much study or effort I signed up for a gmat test and landed a date march 1st. I took the test and scored a 610, 38 quant, 37 verbal.

I realized this wasn't the score for me, but began a new project at work and put the gmat and business on hold for another year. Come late summer, i studied again for an october 11th date, scoring a 690 (47 quant and 39 verbal)

I was really happy with the improvement, but it just absolutely killed me knowing I was close to one verbal or quant point away from that legendary 700 score we all aspire to.

So I decided to take the test again one month later, this time working on verbal and studying my brains out. I had hoped this would be my final attempt as I put all my effort into it. Come nov 12th, I scored a 680, 39 quant and 44 verbal! I was absolutely crushed, I blew it on my strongest front and gained ground on my weakest front.

now I'm faced with a decision, do I move on with my 690, approach the next part of my application (and life for that matter) calling it a day with the gmat, or do I go one more time, a FOURTH time, hopefully balancing out and scoring a 700+ on my gmat?

It has been a tough few days, at this point I simply don't know what to do. I run all these horrible questions through my head, for example: "Will a top b-school be less willing to accept me because I may bring down their avg gmat? or on the other hand will a school notice my high gpa and disregard my gmat sccore. Or will a school discredit a high score after taking the gmat 4 times? And last but not least, what if I don't score above 690 after my 4th time, demonstrating a plateau in comprehension , what does that say about my potential academic success.

What do you guys think? Do I take the test again for a 4th time or should I move on.

I really appreciate any response or thoughts, I find that this forum is the only place with people who understand what it means and requires to pursue this sort of dream. thanks again.
Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5221
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20 Nov 2007, 01:28
Depends on your time frame. If you are applying for fall 08' admissions, then bag that 690 and move on. If you have the luxury of waiting another year, I envision you potentially breaking into the low to mid 700s on your next attempt in early 08.

boggin wrote:
Hi All!

I've been a big fan of gmatclub for a couple of months now, but never really took the leap to post on the forum.

I decided I was interested in Business School around last february. I want to go to a top 5 business school. (wharton, stanford, harvard, columbia, yale, etc). Although I'm relatively young, I think I have pretty good work experience and a 3.8 gpa from a respected university (not ivy but close).

Regretably and on a whim without much study or effort I signed up for a gmat test and landed a date march 1st. I took the test and scored a 610, 38 quant, 37 verbal.

I realized this wasn't the score for me, but began a new project at work and put the gmat and business on hold for another year. Come late summer, i studied again for an october 11th date, scoring a 690 (47 quant and 39 verbal)

I was really happy with the improvement, but it just absolutely killed me knowing I was close to one verbal or quant point away from that legendary 700 score we all aspire to.

So I decided to take the test again one month later, this time working on verbal and studying my brains out. I had hoped this would be my final attempt as I put all my effort into it. Come nov 12th, I scored a 680, 39 quant and 44 verbal! I was absolutely crushed, I blew it on my strongest front and gained ground on my weakest front.

now I'm faced with a decision, do I move on with my 690, approach the next part of my application (and life for that matter) calling it a day with the gmat, or do I go one more time, a FOURTH time, hopefully balancing out and scoring a 700+ on my gmat?

It has been a tough few days, at this point I simply don't know what to do. I run all these horrible questions through my head, for example: "Will a top b-school be less willing to accept me because I may bring down their avg gmat? or on the other hand will a school notice my high gpa and disregard my gmat sccore. Or will a school discredit a high score after taking the gmat 4 times? And last but not least, what if I don't score above 690 after my 4th time, demonstrating a plateau in comprehension , what does that say about my potential academic success.

What do you guys think? Do I take the test again for a 4th time or should I move on.

I really appreciate any response or thoughts, I find that this forum is the only place with people who understand what it means and requires to pursue this sort of dream. thanks again.
Manager
Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 200
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Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 0

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20 Nov 2007, 06:17
In general I think the younger the applicant is the higher the GMAT should be. If you want to apply as a young applicant then I suggest you take the test again for 700+. But if you wait a few years and accumulate great work experience, 690 should be sufficient. This I assume that you are from a normal, not hyper-competitive, applicant pool.
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 65
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30 Nov 2007, 19:46
A 690 is a very competitive score and you need to move on. The magical 700 is so highly touted as the key, but really, it's not. A GMAT score can't get you in. Write brilliant essays and get excellent recs; those will matter far more.

I would also strongly encourage you to apply outside the top 5. Please please PLEASE don't choose your potential schools based on the ranking. It soooooo does not matter. You need to find a school that #1) has academic programs, and specifically, courses, that fit your goals, and #2) fits you personally (some schools are really competitive and chilly, like Chicago, and others emphasize teamwork, like Darden).

Research them carefully: how strong are they in recruiting in your concentration and industry? How's their alumni network? What kinds of internships do students get, and with what companies? Visit the schools (most important thing you'll do). Are staff and students friendly? Are they happy to be there? Are the professors genuinely excited to share their knowledge and encourage students to do the same, or are they full of themselves? Is the campus in a setting you like? etc.

There are a lot of things to consider when you choose schools, so please look beyond rankings. And if you're really bothered by the GMAT score, prep for it but don't retake unless you're nailing the score you want in practice. You can always apply with your 690, submit that score to the schools, then retake and choose whether to submit after you get your score.
GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Posts: 4318
Location: Back in Chicago, IL
Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010
Followers: 89

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30 Nov 2007, 21:14
Honestly, a 690 is competitive at all schools and considered a really good score at basically every school outside the top 10. However, if you have your heart set on an M7 you are below the mean and median. Work experience and a tough degree with a good gpa from a competitive school can help to overcome a slightly below average GMAT.

Of course its better to have a higher GMAT, ideally 30+ points higher than the average since thats out of the variable range of the test. However, it is doable with a score that is slightly below...it just will take more work.

I didn't see how old you are, just that you are young. I am a strong advocate of waiting at least 3 or 4 years to apply. Younger than that and you are held to a much higher standard or need to becoming out of an industry where they do 2 or 3 year rotations or something along those lines. Most schools are not very reapplicant friendly, yes people get in but its tough (especially if its the very next year). If you are sub 25 another year and another go at the GMAT assuming you prep well and are getting 700+ on practice tests, might be the best thing for you.

You can build up work experience and try to improve your score. Also it is late in the year to apply now. If you are just going to be starting at the top 10 schools its going to be a battle to get solid applications together. As rounds go on it gets tougher. R1 is easiest, R2 is easier, and R3 well forget it...nearly impossible at a top school.

If your heart is set on making a run at it, best of luck. It is definitely possible but you execution will be key. This is a process where you want to maximize your chances and minimize your risks, so think it through without rushing out applications to an M7 school in a month.
30 Nov 2007, 21:14
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