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Sufficient quantitative ability

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Current Student
Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 260

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0

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29 Jan 2007, 16:22
Hi,

I keep getting waitlisted. I'm wondering if what's holding me back (among other things) is that I haven't "demonstrated sufficient quantitative ability".

Here are the quant aspects of my application:

- GMAT quant: 48 (86%)
- College: Calculus I (B+), Stats (B+)
- earned a CFA, which has sections in Quant (mostly stats), Derivatives, Financial Statement Analysis, and Debt and Equity Valuation. Not sure if those last three categories are really considered "quant", but they did involve a lot of numbers and calculations.
- For work, I value various financial assets, but the calcs are pretty easy (only +, -, *, and /). (It's finding the information that's the tough part.) No hypothesis testing or anything like that.

And that's it. So if this sufficient for the more quantitatively-based MBA programs? Would I be drastically helped by taking a Calc II or advanced Stats course?

Thanks! I really appreciate all your input.

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Intern
Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 37

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29 Jan 2007, 16:33
naturallight wrote:
Hi,

I keep getting waitlisted. I'm wondering if what's holding me back (among other things) is that I haven't "demonstrated sufficient quantitative ability".

Here are the quant aspects of my application:

- GMAT quant: 48 (86%)
- College: Calculus I (B+), Stats (B+)
- earned a CFA, which has sections in Quant (mostly stats), Derivatives, Financial Statement Analysis, and Debt and Equity Valuation. Not sure if those last three categories are really considered "quant", but they did involve a lot of numbers and calculations.
- For work, I value various financial assets, but the calcs are pretty easy (only +, -, *, and /). (It's finding the information that's the tough part.) No hypothesis testing or anything like that.

And that's it. So if this sufficient for the more quantitatively-based MBA programs? Would I be drastically helped by taking a Calc II or advanced Stats course?

Thanks! I really appreciate all your input.

You picked the one area it probably isn't based on your profile. Try Essays, or worse, recommenders (you never know) ? Its all a crap shoot from here on out anyway.

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Director
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 727

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29 Jan 2007, 16:35
My profile relative to coursework is fairly similar to yours... where we diverge is your quant score... thats a good q score man. You're fine. For a program of financial engineering you would indeed need calc II, III, diff-eq, linear alegebra... For B-school, nah.

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Director
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 958

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29 Jan 2007, 19:20
If I were part of an admissions committee I would totally zero in on the verbal section of the GMAT. The fact that it's called "verbal" makes people forget that it's really more like a general intelligence section. I think they should call the sections "quantitative" and "intelligence." I mean if I'm hiring a manager, do I want someone with 99%tile quant skills but then they're incapable of absorbing a complicated legal contract or they have no critical reasoning skills? I'd rather hire someone who did great on the verbal section (someone who can absorb and interpret information, someone who with reasoning skills, someone who is articulate) and did horrible on the quant section. I mean are Bill Gates and Bob Kraft running regression analyses every day? No, but they are attending press conferences where they have to communicate, they're using their reasoning skills to evaluate strategies, etc...

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VP
Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 1016

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29 Jan 2007, 19:50
Sure verbal is important, but how would you account for international students who have considerable less exposure to American English ? BTW, Bill Gates also doesn't have to worry about making sure that his speech has no dangling modifiers. Some 20K a year secretary will take care of it. The verbal and quantitative section complement each other. Moreover, Bill Gates is only able to giving speeches today because 20 years ago he poked his head in to some pretty nasty math stuff - computer algorithms. This is the reason why schools looks for a good balance. Wharton recommends a greater than 80/80 split.

johnnyx9 wrote:
If I were part of an admissions committee I would totally zero in on the verbal section of the GMAT. The fact that it's called "verbal" makes people forget that it's really more like a general intelligence section. I think they should call the sections "quantitative" and "intelligence." I mean if I'm hiring a manager, do I want someone with 99%tile quant skills but then they're incapable of absorbing a complicated legal contract or they have no critical reasoning skills? I'd rather hire someone who did great on the verbal section (someone who can absorb and interpret information, someone who with reasoning skills, someone who is articulate) and did horrible on the quant section. I mean are Bill Gates and Bob Kraft running regression analyses every day? No, but they are attending press conferences where they have to communicate, they're using their reasoning skills to evaluate strategies, etc...

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SVP
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Posts: 1855

Kudos [?]: 210 [0], given: 2

Schools: The Duke MBA, Class of 2009

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29 Jan 2007, 19:56
nl -

If your Q isn't good enough, I am completely screwed.

I doubt it's that, man. Can you talk with someone from the adcoms and see what feedback you get? Though given the subjective (aka crapshoot) nature of this process, i wouldn't be surprised if you hear comments like these from the various schools:

1. Not enough passion
2. Too competitive and driven
3. Not clear enough on reason for needing MBA
4. Too focused on business; not enough well-roundedness.

Obviously, I don't know you, and I just made these up, but I do understand that you can show the same set of essays to several adcoms and get completely different evaluations.

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VP
Joined: 20 Sep 2005
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29 Jan 2007, 19:57
I would look at other things in my application. No sane adcom member will ever doubt your quantitative ability. You are right up there...

naturallight wrote:
Hi,

I keep getting waitlisted. I'm wondering if what's holding me back (among other things) is that I haven't "demonstrated sufficient quantitative ability".

Here are the quant aspects of my application:

- GMAT quant: 48 (86%)
- College: Calculus I (B+), Stats (B+)
- earned a CFA, which has sections in Quant (mostly stats), Derivatives, Financial Statement Analysis, and Debt and Equity Valuation. Not sure if those last three categories are really considered "quant", but they did involve a lot of numbers and calculations.
- For work, I value various financial assets, but the calcs are pretty easy (only +, -, *, and /). (It's finding the information that's the tough part.) No hypothesis testing or anything like that.

And that's it. So if this sufficient for the more quantitatively-based MBA programs? Would I be drastically helped by taking a Calc II or advanced Stats course?

Thanks! I really appreciate all your input.

Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 0

SVP
Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 2302

Kudos [?]: 483 [0], given: 0

Schools: Darden

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29 Jan 2007, 20:32
I would agree. It doesn't look like your Q score is the problem.

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Manager
Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 210

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29 Jan 2007, 21:06
You want a horrible quant / verbal balance?..how about my GMAT score...

35 quant!...38 verbal... 600 total...yes..the very classic 45% / 86% --> math / verbal split...=)

Needless to say...I've spent a good portion on optional essays...

Its funny..I'm applying to Georgia Tech, which apparently is a quant heavy curriculum. Subsequently I enrolled in a statistics course at my local university to 'prep' for B-school...but after talking to a current student, it seems the 'quant' heavy curiculum is over-stated at b-schools, meaning, the quantitive material is not difficult. Has anyone heard this? Though it is obvious that a low quant score can definately keep you out of a school

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Manager
Joined: 13 Sep 2006
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29 Jan 2007, 21:25
On a side note...(sorry to hijack the thread)

Does anyone have a reccomendation on how to inform ad-coms of my progress in a current course? I'm enrolled in a relatively easy freshman statistics course at a big university, but I did manage to get the highest grade out of approximately 120 students...yeah!

My issues is I don't want it to come across like..."Look Mommie!!..look!..I got a 100 on my first test..can you place it on the fridge!"...

For some reason I feel like the ad-coms wouldn't care too much, they would just be more interested in my final grade in April..plust I'm sure they have a lot to deal w/ right now... Thoughts?

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Current Student
Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 260

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0

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29 Jan 2007, 21:45
Thanks for all the responses. I really appreciate it. I know I have some other deficiencies, but I guess I was hoping that one of them would be quant, because it would have been pretty easy to enroll in a course and call it good.

Back to the drawing board...

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Director
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 958

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30 Jan 2007, 07:35
Lhotesface,

I would account for international students the same way ad-coms account for them now, by keeping in mind that people whose native language is not English are probably getting scores that reflect the challenge they face. If a Portuguese person has an 80th percentile in the verbal, that's really impressive to me, I would put them on level with an English speaker's score in the 95th percentile.

I wasn't really talking about Bill Gates' past jobs or positions, I'm talking about his current position as CEO. The way I see it there are two paths to the top: You can be a manager, or you can follow an "analytical" path. In other words you can be someone who is great at delegating and managing people, or someone who likes to get their hands dirty and micromanage and earn promotions based on their actual output as opposed to the output of their group. Looking around the organizations that I've worked for, the majority of successful people are the ones that are good at delegating and communicating, they have a high emotional intelligence, in other words they understand people's motivations and they understand the politics of their work environment. Then there are the "guru-types," people with nicknames like "Rain-man" who can perform amazing quantitative work, but they exist in their own esoteric little world and are incapable of bringing people into it. Nonetheless they do well and are promoted. But at the end of the day, I think these quant skill are much less important than the soft skills that might be measured in the "verbal" section of the GMAT.

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Manager
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 202

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30 Jan 2007, 08:02
Portuguese 90 percentile here on verbal...
Probably should be proud then
lol

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Senior Manager
Joined: 03 Jul 2006
Posts: 480

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 0

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30 Jan 2007, 08:17
johnnyx9 wrote:
I wasn't really talking about Bill Gates' past jobs or positions, I'm talking about his current position as CEO. The way I see it there are two paths to the top: You can be a manager, or you can follow an "analytical" path. In other words you can be someone who is great at delegating and managing people, or someone who likes to get their hands dirty and micromanage and earn promotions based on their actual output as opposed to the output of their group. Looking around the organizations that I've worked for, the majority of successful people are the ones that are good at delegating and communicating, they have a high emotional intelligence, in other words they understand people's motivations and they understand the politics of their work environment. Then there are the "guru-types," people with nicknames like "Rain-man" who can perform amazing quantitative work, but they exist in their own esoteric little world and are incapable of bringing people into it. Nonetheless they do well and are promoted. But at the end of the day, I think these quant skill are much less important than the soft skills that might be measured in the "verbal" section of the GMAT.

I understand what you're saying here, but I don't think the verbal section is an accurate indicator of a person's soft or "people" skills. Rather, it evaluates an applicant's grasp on the English language in a written form. I think true people skills are conveyed with body language, eye contact, emotions, and tone of voice, rather than grammatical correctness in a document.

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Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 348

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30 Jan 2007, 08:43
I believe Q is viewed as slightly more important then V becasue:

One the one hand, you would want people that can assess a situation, absorb the information and define a problem using logic and reasoning.

On the other hand, you need to be able to solve the problem you just defined.

The GMAT tests the part on assesing and reasoning with RC and CR. Of course the solving piece is tested with DS and PS. I find SC of the Verbal section the only REAL outlier. Unfortunately, its also the largest component of the Verbal section, and therefore the scores are skewed when balancing Q and V.

The SC component, although one of the easiest to improve upon, is also one of the least important in my opinion, especially considering that many int'l applicants take the TOEFL for speaking/writing fluency.

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Director
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30 Jan 2007, 10:23
I agree sentence correction should really not be weighted very much.

Antapple, that's amazing, really. On a sidenote, I visited Portugal last fall and it's the most beautiful country with very mellow, friendly people, wonder why it's not more of a tourist destination?

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Manager
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30 Jan 2007, 10:51
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Thank you (for both my score and the country/people).
It is a tourist destination, but we have more europeans though.
It is an amazing place to live, that you can be sure of, I only want to leave for an mba to be able to have a career progression that isn't available for me right now back here and of course to get some more money... Otherwise, I wouldn't change this place to live and specially if there are kids involved (when I get to that point, I'll return I'm sure).

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30 Jan 2007, 10:51
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