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Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE?

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Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 09:31
So I studied pretty hard for the GMAT and ended up scoring a little worse than I was scoring in practice tests with a 550 final score. I found the GMAT quant material extremely challenging where i was consistently scoring in the 20-30% percentile range while my verbal scores were hovering around 65-75% percentile. Unfortunately however, on the official GMAT my verbal was in the 55% percentile.

Anyways, I'm not looking to go to B-school for another two or three years so I absolutely have time to re-tool myself. I'm currently working on some side projects right now, but want to either start re-studying to re-take the GMAT a second time or transition to studying for the GRE.

What do you guys suggest I do? My target schools would be Stanford/Harvard/UCLA. I know some people might suggest me to stick with the GMAT since I'm familiar with the test now, but I'm afraid I'm not going to improve my quant score above 40% because I'm so weak in that area.
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Re: Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 09:52
Actually, in your case I would say yes, try out the GRE.

In my opinion the GRE is easier in both Verbal AND Quant, but it is generally at least considered to be easier in quant. If quant is your main problem, then you might benefit from switching to that test. The problem is however that GRE is generally better for non traditional candidates- people who are coming off rigorous work in the sciences, people who worked in NGOs/NPOs, people who spent their time as entrepreneurs... people who are on traditional tracks such as finance, engineering, consulting, or any kind of business work are generally expected to take the GMAT, because it is the industry 'standard'. If you don't it will raise eyebrows during your application.

I will say that if you're that bad at GMAT quant, you probably will only do a little better in the GRE- the style of the questions are different, but the material covered is exactly the same. What was your major? You should consider a math refresher class before embarking on more test prep, in my opinion.
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New post 02 Aug 2018, 10:28
yamato wrote:
Actually, in your case I would say yes, try out the GRE.

In my opinion the GRE is easier in both Verbal AND Quant, but it is generally at least considered to be easier in quant. If quant is your main problem, then you might benefit from switching to that test. The problem is however that GRE is generally better for non traditional candidates- people who are coming off rigorous work in the sciences, people who worked in NGOs/NPOs, people who spent their time as entrepreneurs... people who are on traditional tracks such as finance, engineering, consulting, or any kind of business work are generally expected to take the GMAT, because it is the industry 'standard'. If you don't it will raise eyebrows during your application.

I will say that if you're that bad at GMAT quant, you probably will only do a little better in the GRE- the style of the questions are different, but the material covered is exactly the same. What was your major? You should consider a math refresher class before embarking on more test prep, in my opinion.


My major was in real estate finance and I work in the industry. So day to day I'm doing quant-type of work and it's my competency. But I'm a student who was never good with algebra/geometry/calculus during my school days. In college I REALLY struggled with calc. I'd like to get my MBA to either a) pursue a more entrepreneurial education in the technology space or b) refine myself in REPE.
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Re: Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 22:34
surfingpirate wrote:
My major was in real estate finance and I work in the industry. So day to day I'm doing quant-type of work and it's my competency. But I'm a student who was never good with algebra/geometry/calculus during my school days. In college I REALLY struggled with calc. I'd like to get my MBA to either a) pursue a more entrepreneurial education in the technology space or b) refine myself in REPE.
I agree with yamato. You should work on some of the basic quant concepts before you start preparing again for the GMAT (or the GRE). There are plenty of great resources that you can use, so there is no need to restrict yourself to GMAT/GRE material just yet.
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Re: Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE?  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2018, 18:01
Many people do better on their second try at the GMAT. If you were scoring higher on your practice tests, you can probably get up to at least that level if you took it again. Of course, you'll need to score much higher to get into Stanford-level schools! Your scoring on the quant section indicates that you may not have the basics down yet. That could be good news--I've seen many students make significant gains once they amassed the necessary background knowledge. The "Algebra I" and "Geometry" missions in KhanAcademy can help you get up to speed with these skills. Then, try more official content and see if you start getting better. You could also benefit from thinking carefully about what types of questions you can figure out, and which ones you really don't know. Skipping the latter category can save time for the questions you do know how to answer.

I would say the GRE Quant is easier, especially if you find DS difficult. The calculator is also helpful, of course, and the ability to go back to past questions can make is easier psychologically. You do need strong vocabulary for the Verbal section, though. I've had students struggle because they would have no idea what half of the words meant, and it's difficult to build vocabulary in a short amount of time. You might take one of the free practice tests from ETS and see how you do.

Best of luck!
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Re: Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE?  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2018, 08:26
Hi surfingpirate,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help.
Before providing specific adivive, I’d like to learn some more about your situation with the GMAT. I have some questions:

1) How many practice GMAT tests did you take? Please list the dates on which you’ve taken any practice GMATs, the total scores, and the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Also, please tell me where these tests came from (ex: mba.com).

2) Please describe how you studied. How many hours a day did you study and for how many months?

3) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?

4) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?

5) How many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?

6) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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Re: Scored a 550 GMAT after ~3 months of studying. Should I try the GRE? &nbs [#permalink] 04 Aug 2018, 08:26
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