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Should I Retake the GMAT, 750 with Low Quant (47/47)? + My Study Story

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Should I Retake the GMAT, 750 with Low Quant (47/47)? + My Study Story  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2019, 15:12
Hi everyone! First, let me say that I found the GMATClub community very valuable while studying for the GMAT and I really appreciate all of the awesome people who answer questions on this forum.

I took the GMAT for the first time last week and scored a 750. While I am okay with this score (I was aiming for something in the 750-780 range), I am somewhat concerned about my quant/verbal split. I received a 47 in quant and a 47 in verbal, which means that I am only in the 61st percentile for quant, but the 99th percentile for verbal. My IR score was an 8 (92nd percentile).

I am wondering if I should be concerned about my low quant score/if this would warrant a retake? Would the low quant score throw up any red flags about my math abilities for the folks in admissions at M7 schools? I do have somewhat of a quantitative background from undergrad education, though certainly not extensive or advanced (supply chain, information systems, data analytics were my majors/minors), so not sure if this would help prove my quantitative abilities.

Let me explain my situation and provide my profile for some context. I am currently a college senior and I plan to apply to MBA programs about 2.5 years post-graduation. My target schools are Northwestern, Harvard, MIT, and Wharton. If I am unsuccessful in applying to these M7 schools, then I will likely seek a program in the top 10-30 range with the goal of earning a large (near-full-ride) scholarship.

For context, I am a white male from a middle-class background. It is my understanding that a 750 GMAT is currently on the lower side of what makes a white male applicant a realistic candidate for an M7 school, which is why I am a little concerned about my overall score and particularly concerned about my quant.

The 47 quant score that I received on test day was certainly lower than I expected, but not significantly so. I took 3 GMAT Official Prep practice tests in the back-half of my study period. My scores are below:

GMAT Official Prep Test 2: 740 (Q48, V44)
GMAT Official Prep Test 3: 760 (Q49, V47)
GMAT Official Prep Test 4: 780 (Q50, V49)

Based on these results and my general improvement trend during my study time, I expected a quant score of either 48 or 49 on test day. A 47 wasn't that far below my expectations, but I definitely think I could do a just a little bit better on a second test (I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before my test). My verbal score was exactly where I expected it to be. Again, my main question is: would it be worth it for me to re-take the test for the possibility of improving to a 760-770 with a quant score of 47-49 or is this overkill/a waste of time and money?

My profile is below for further evaluation and my GMAT prep/study plan is also below if anyone is interested.


My Profile


GMAT Score: 750 (Q47, V47, IR8) as discussed above

Undergrad Education: 4.0 GPA with a double major in Supply Chain and Information Systems (minor in BUS Analytics) at a solid but not top public school (think approx. 100 on US News rankings, top 50 public) with a solid business school (ranked 25-50). I see this as a weakness in my profile due to the non-elite undergrad brand.

Work Experience: Will be working in a supply chain rotational program at a low-brand-power Fortune 200 manufacturer. I made the decision to do this very purposefully, as I believe that this company will offer me much more responsibility, exposure, and a more true business/ops background than I would get in a more prestigious industry like consulting. I plan to highlight this choice and how it impacted my growth in my application essays.

Extracurriculars: In college, I was the president of a student-run consulting firm and I helped lead a student-run venture capital fund. I plan to get involved as a volunteer at an incubator or venture fund in the area where I will be working full-time after graduation. I may also volunteer as a high school baseball coach.

Career Goals: Still undecided on whether I will continue in supply chain post-MBA or move towards a general management path. My end-goal is to be in the C-suite at a F100 and I really want to get some solid management experience to help prepare me for that, which is why I'd like to attend a top b-school.

Ultimately, I see the main weaknesses of my profile as my undergrad and employer brands, but please correct me if I am wrong.


My Study Plan/Tips


I am just posting this in case anyone finds it helpful for their own studying purposes. Since I am currently in school and had some free time over my winter break, I thought it would be pretty easy/straightforward to study for the GMAT. My first mistake was that I underestimated the prep time needed to be a successful GMAT test-taker. Without doing much research or any studying, I signed up for a GMAT test date that was only 3 weeks away. I do not recommend doing this, as it can induce unneeded stress if you underestimate the difficultly of the test.

I started by taking a GMAT Official Prep practice test and scored a 720 (Q46, V42). I then began studying for the quant and verbal sections individually.

For quant practice, I purchased official GMAT practice questions for $30 and used Magoosh's free GMAT quant practice questions, sorted by category (these were VERY helpful). I used periodic practice tests to gauge my progress and determine which quant areas merited most of my attention. I found GMATClub very helpful when stumped on an official practice question that I just couldn't quite figure out.

For verbal practice, I reviewed common GMAT idioms and did a quick course refresher on grammar rules using the free GMAT advice section of The Economist. I also used the purchased practice questions for additional verbal practice.

I studied for about three weeks in total, but I devoted significant study time (4-5 hours) to every day in this time period since I was on winter break. My main takeaways were that I underestimated the effort needed to study for the test and that I probably devoted too much time to taking practice tests and not enough time to focusing in on my weak areas (particularly in quant, where a little bit of studying/learning how to attack problems can go a long way). I would recommend to anyone studying to carefully consider what you think you will need to do to feel prepared for the exam. In my case, I found that I did not need to "waste" money on more expensive official prep materials like the OG, so I just focused on getting free or very cheap practice materials online. These are readily available, so do not feel like you need to pay for practice materials (although I did drop $30 on some official practice questions and $50 on two additional practice tests to boost my confidence on test day). Hope this helps all of you pre-test folks out there!

Thank you in advance for your help and please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer!
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Re: Should I Retake the GMAT, 750 with Low Quant (47/47)? + My Study Story  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2019, 08:05
1
tdk92 wrote:
Hi everyone! First, let me say that I found the GMATClub community very valuable while studying for the GMAT and I really appreciate all of the awesome people who answer questions on this forum.

I took the GMAT for the first time last week and scored a 750. While I am okay with this score (I was aiming for something in the 750-780 range), I am somewhat concerned about my quant/verbal split. I received a 47 in quant and a 47 in verbal, which means that I am only in the 61st percentile for quant, but the 99th percentile for verbal. My IR score was an 8 (92nd percentile).

I am wondering if I should be concerned about my low quant score/if this would warrant a retake? Would the low quant score throw up any red flags about my math abilities for the folks in admissions at M7 schools? I do have somewhat of a quantitative background from undergrad education, though certainly not extensive or advanced (supply chain, information systems, data analytics were my majors/minors), so not sure if this would help prove my quantitative abilities.

Let me explain my situation and provide my profile for some context. I am currently a college senior and I plan to apply to MBA programs about 2.5 years post-graduation. My target schools are Northwestern, Harvard, MIT, and Wharton. If I am unsuccessful in applying to these M7 schools, then I will likely seek a program in the top 10-30 range with the goal of earning a large (near-full-ride) scholarship.

For context, I am a white male from a middle-class background. It is my understanding that a 750 GMAT is currently on the lower side of what makes a white male applicant a realistic candidate for an M7 school, which is why I am a little concerned about my overall score and particularly concerned about my quant.

The 47 quant score that I received on test day was certainly lower than I expected, but not significantly so. I took 3 GMAT Official Prep practice tests in the back-half of my study period. My scores are below:

GMAT Official Prep Test 2: 740 (Q48, V44)
GMAT Official Prep Test 3: 760 (Q49, V47)
GMAT Official Prep Test 4: 780 (Q50, V49)

Based on these results and my general improvement trend during my study time, I expected a quant score of either 48 or 49 on test day. A 47 wasn't that far below my expectations, but I definitely think I could do a just a little bit better on a second test (I only got about 4 hours of sleep the night before my test). My verbal score was exactly where I expected it to be. Again, my main question is: would it be worth it for me to re-take the test for the possibility of improving to a 760-770 with a quant score of 47-49 or is this overkill/a waste of time and money?

My profile is below for further evaluation and my GMAT prep/study plan is also below if anyone is interested.


My Profile


GMAT Score: 750 (Q47, V47, IR8) as discussed above

Undergrad Education: 4.0 GPA with a double major in Supply Chain and Information Systems (minor in BUS Analytics) at a solid but not top public school (think approx. 100 on US News rankings, top 50 public) with a solid business school (ranked 25-50). I see this as a weakness in my profile due to the non-elite undergrad brand.

Work Experience: Will be working in a supply chain rotational program at a low-brand-power Fortune 200 manufacturer. I made the decision to do this very purposefully, as I believe that this company will offer me much more responsibility, exposure, and a more true business/ops background than I would get in a more prestigious industry like consulting. I plan to highlight this choice and how it impacted my growth in my application essays.

Extracurriculars: In college, I was the president of a student-run consulting firm and I helped lead a student-run venture capital fund. I plan to get involved as a volunteer at an incubator or venture fund in the area where I will be working full-time after graduation. I may also volunteer as a high school baseball coach.

Career Goals: Still undecided on whether I will continue in supply chain post-MBA or move towards a general management path. My end-goal is to be in the C-suite at a F100 and I really want to get some solid management experience to help prepare me for that, which is why I'd like to attend a top b-school.

Ultimately, I see the main weaknesses of my profile as my undergrad and employer brands, but please correct me if I am wrong.


My Study Plan/Tips


I am just posting this in case anyone finds it helpful for their own studying purposes. Since I am currently in school and had some free time over my winter break, I thought it would be pretty easy/straightforward to study for the GMAT. My first mistake was that I underestimated the prep time needed to be a successful GMAT test-taker. Without doing much research or any studying, I signed up for a GMAT test date that was only 3 weeks away. I do not recommend doing this, as it can induce unneeded stress if you underestimate the difficultly of the test.

I started by taking a GMAT Official Prep practice test and scored a 720 (Q46, V42). I then began studying for the quant and verbal sections individually.

For quant practice, I purchased official GMAT practice questions for $30 and used Magoosh's free GMAT quant practice questions, sorted by category (these were VERY helpful). I used periodic practice tests to gauge my progress and determine which quant areas merited most of my attention. I found GMATClub very helpful when stumped on an official practice question that I just couldn't quite figure out.

For verbal practice, I reviewed common GMAT idioms and did a quick course refresher on grammar rules using the free GMAT advice section of The Economist. I also used the purchased practice questions for additional verbal practice.

I studied for about three weeks in total, but I devoted significant study time (4-5 hours) to every day in this time period since I was on winter break. My main takeaways were that I underestimated the effort needed to study for the test and that I probably devoted too much time to taking practice tests and not enough time to focusing in on my weak areas (particularly in quant, where a little bit of studying/learning how to attack problems can go a long way). I would recommend to anyone studying to carefully consider what you think you will need to do to feel prepared for the exam. In my case, I found that I did not need to "waste" money on more expensive official prep materials like the OG, so I just focused on getting free or very cheap practice materials online. These are readily available, so do not feel like you need to pay for practice materials (although I did drop $30 on some official practice questions and $50 on two additional practice tests to boost my confidence on test day). Hope this helps all of you pre-test folks out there!

Thank you in advance for your help and please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer!



Hello tdk92

First of all 750 is awesome score. :clap:

To put things in perspective, average at your target schools is around 730.

Beware that GMAT score alone will not put you in those schools, or reject you, for instance if you had score lower than their average of previously admitted students, which is not even the case here.

How you come up with 750 being on a lower side ?? :shocked

Being white male or whatever.

You don't need to have brand undergraduate school in order to get accepted at M7.

I agree with your choice of future working experience, and reasoning behind it, that is going to play well toward your goals.

Extracurricular activities are commendable.

From perspective of your career goals and MBA specialization, I dont see quant to be that critically important. :idea:


Now, if I understood you correctly you have like 2.5 years after graduation before you will apply to MBA program.

Although, IMO you really dont need better GMAT score, if you really feel like boosting your quant score a little bit will make you happy and since you have time you may retake it.

If you decide so, just make sure you did studied enough this time before you retake it, otherwise you are wasting time and money.


Here is why I know you don't need it :) :

Average at Northeastern is 732, Range is 590-790

Median at Harvard is 730, Range is 610-800

Now pay extra attention, Quantitative GMAT Range at Harvard is 35–51.

Average at MIT Sloan is 728, Range is 700-760.

Mean at Wharton is 732.


Even more good news for you is fact that you should beware that in all those figures are included people who will pursue for instance quant specializations such as Finance at MBA studies, not Supply Chain/General Management like you.


I will rely on your Critical Reasoning, that you happened to score very well, to conclude from my research and insights the same I already stated in intro. ;) :cool:
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Re: Should I Retake the GMAT, 750 with Low Quant (47/47)? + My Study Story  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2019, 10:26
Thank you very much for the reply, billionaire!

Does anyone else have additional thoughts or perhaps examples of students with similar profiles who were successful in applying to the schools I listed (Northwestern, Harvard, Wharton, MIT)? Also, can anyone comment on possible scholarship opportunities with a profile like mine?
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Re: Should I Retake the GMAT, 750 with Low Quant (47/47)? + My Study Story  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2019, 05:37
tdk92 wrote:
Thank you very much for the reply, billionaire!

Does anyone else have additional thoughts or perhaps examples of students with similar profiles who were successful in applying to the schools I listed (Northwestern, Harvard, Wharton, MIT)? Also, can anyone comment on possible scholarship opportunities with a profile like mine?


I'll jump in with my two cents!

Once you get over a certain hurdle in the GMAT, additional points don't make much of a difference. Is a 780 really different than an 800? Extrapolating further, is a 750 really that different than a 780? Both scores are in the high 90th percentile and above the average for white male applicants at most M7 schools. That being said, if taking it again and scoring higher will give you peace of mind, then go ahead and do it! What I don't recommend is taking it 5 times to try and move from a 750 to a 780. That would set off a red flag.

You have exceptional academic achievements thus far - focus on moving up quickly at your firm and going above and beyond what is expected of you. Business school is about impact and leadership, and providing concrete examples of your effectiveness and creativity will go a long way in helping you craft great essays and giving a strong interview.

You will likely see scholarship money from schools in the 12-25 range, but I wouldn't base a decision like this on which school gives you the most money. Focus on getting into the best school possible instead of which school offers you the best aid package, since the short-term and long-term benefits of a stronger network and brand will be much more valuable and provide unique opportunities.

Hope this helps and please let us know if you have any more questions!

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Re: Should I Retake the GMAT, 750 with Low Quant (47/47)? + My Study Story   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2019, 05:37
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