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Wait Listed: Need some advice

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Intern
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Joined: 07 Nov 2016
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Johnson '19 (WL)
GMAT 1: 650 Q43 V37
Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 09:26
I got wait listed at the Carlson SOM (Minneapolis, MN) and asked the associate director of the adcom what their apprehensions were. 1) Undergrad GPA 2) GMAT 3) not as important, but possible long gap in work history from quitting my job (OCT16) to matriculation this fall (AUG17).

Me on paper: 25 years old, 2.8 undergrad GPA, 640 GMAT (38V/41Q/5.5AWA/5IR), 2.5 years work experience in finance, Officer in Army National Guard, 3 out of 6 years completed on my military contract, have received recognition and awards both in civilian job and military job for performance and leadership.

A quick narrative about myself: Went to a well known private catholic school in MN for undergrad and went through the U of M's Army ROTC program. My intent was to get selected for active duty and have a career in the military. Because of this, I spent almost all of my undergrad focusing my time/effort/focus on the ROTC program and neglected my undergrad GPA. My reasoning was that I'd be better suited to lead troops if I focused on the Army versus macro economics, theology, etc. The weighted selection criteria the Army uses in their decision to place you Active Duty vs Reserve/National Guard changed my senior year from lowish emphasis on academics and higher emphasis on actual Army stuff, to heavily favor undergrad GPA versus actual "warrior tasks". I was ranked very highly in the warrior tasks, but GPA was really weak, and suddenly I found myself needing to find a civilian job. My GPA isn't a reflection of my intellect, but a reflection of a calculated decision I made based on my desired military career goals (Although I probably could have focused on both, but that's 3 years ago and I can't change it).

I found finance, loved it. Worked as a personal financial planner for 2 years - found investment banking last October and knew I where I wanted to make my "career". Quit my job, devoted all of my time to MBA pursuit. Being 2.5 years out of school and with app deadlines rapidly approaching, I took about a month (Oct-Nov) of devoted time to self study for the GMAT. Raised initial practice score of 550 (31V/34Q/5IR) to a 640 (38V/41Q/5IR) in 17 days of studying around 7-8 hrs. I took another month (Nov-Dec) to complete all my essays (I applied to 9 schools, Carlson and the rest all top 10 schools - I knew it was a prayer). I got invited to interview late in Jan at Carlson, and did very well (36 out of 42, biggest ding was lower-than-average work experience), then I received notification I had been wait listed about a week ago. Carlson really values their service members which helps a lot, but apparently my GMAT is about 40 points below their average, and my GPA is on the cusp of acceptable to competitive. The associate director of the adcom at Carlson recommended I retake the GMAT; they won't review the wait listed folks until late April so I have another month of study time.

What I would appreciate feedback on: What would give me the most ROI for this month? Are 1 on 1 tutoring sessions worth it? Would I be better served self-studying solely quant for the next month? Note: I've always been good at the English language, I got my 38V/5.5AWA score with about 3 total hours of studying.

Thank you so much in advance, I apologize for writing a novel.
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Joined: 25 Jul 2015
Posts: 111
Location: Thailand
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Marketing
GMAT 1: 550 Q37 V28
GMAT 2: 660 Q47 V34
GMAT 3: 650 Q44 V35
GMAT 4: 680 Q49 V32
GMAT 5: 740 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.33
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Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 09:54
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Focus on your math and brush your verbal so you stop making mistakes in order to break V40. For Math, it'll be worth while to get a tutor who can help you fix your basics, it took me a month ish to get from Q37 to Q47 from tutoring. However if money is an issue, I suggest you go through mgmat from start to finish, ensuring you know how to tackle questions in an effective manner. During the time, you should also complete 1-2 OG + quant reviews. Good luck!


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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 07 Nov 2016
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Johnson '19 (WL)
GMAT 1: 650 Q43 V37
Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 10:34
Mimster - Thanks for the insight. Money isn't an issue for this, I'd gladly shell out $ if that led to me getting an MBA from Carlson.

I got the OG sort of late in my month of studying, so I still have a LOT left in there I can work on. During your month of tutoring, how often were you seeing the tutor? I basically have nothing going on right now except devoting all of my time to getting off the wait list.
Manager
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Joined: 25 Jul 2015
Posts: 111
Location: Thailand
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Marketing
GMAT 1: 550 Q37 V28
GMAT 2: 660 Q47 V34
GMAT 3: 650 Q44 V35
GMAT 4: 680 Q49 V32
GMAT 5: 740 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.33
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Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 20:58
meeh1872 wrote:
Mimster - Thanks for the insight. Money isn't an issue for this, I'd gladly shell out $ if that led to me getting an MBA from Carlson.

I got the OG sort of late in my month of studying, so I still have a LOT left in there I can work on. During your month of tutoring, how often were you seeing the tutor? I basically have nothing going on right now except devoting all of my time to getting off the wait list.


I see. I was in a similar situation! I met with my tutor twice a week and on the rest of the week I focused solely on solving quant problems from MGMAT with topic related OG questions. The problem with my quant was my basics and approach to simple questions. Focus on improving your techniques and foundation! :)


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My GMAT Journey From 550 - 740

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My MBA Blog

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Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2017, 22:23
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Hi meeh1872,

While the Associate Director might not have explicitly stated it, the Q41 is likely the 'issue' with your GMAT Score. Many Business Schools consider the Quant Scaled Score to be a relative indicator of how well an applicant might be able to handle the 'academic side' of the Program - and for Finance Programs (or applicants with a Finance background) a lower Quant Score might be viewed as a 'red flag.' Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

With a Q41, you would have made a number of little mistakes throughout the section and missed out on lots of 'strategy-based' points, so you have a couple of things that you would need to work on to push that score to a much higher level. With a month of proper study - and an emphasis on making the necessary changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Quant section, you could potentially make some big gains in that section.

1) Have you scheduled your next Test Date yet (and if so, then when is it?)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 07 Nov 2016
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
Schools: Johnson '19 (WL)
GMAT 1: 650 Q43 V37
Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 08:14
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi meeh1872,

While the Associate Director might not have explicitly stated it, the Q41 is likely the 'issue' with your GMAT Score. Many Business Schools consider the Quant Scaled Score to be a relative indicator of how well an applicant might be able to handle the 'academic side' of the Program - and for Finance Programs (or applicants with a Finance background) a lower Quant Score might be viewed as a 'red flag.' Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

With a Q41, you would have made a number of little mistakes throughout the section and missed out on lots of 'strategy-based' points, so you have a couple of things that you would need to work on to push that score to a much higher level. With a month of proper study - and an emphasis on making the necessary changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Quant section, you could potentially make some big gains in that section.

1) Have you scheduled your next Test Date yet (and if so, then when is it?)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


I've been heavily lurking, never posting, on GMATClub for several months and feel honored that I have THE Rich helping me out with this. Thanks!

No I haven't scheduled the exam yet. I'm thinking about scheduling it on 3/31, that way there is enough time for the official score to get to the school before they start reviewing waitlisters AND I'll have plenty of time to focus solely on raising my quant. Also, I completely agree with you on me making a lot of little mistakes. Being a management major and aside from one finite math class freshmen year, I haven't touched this kind of math in 7 years. Throughout highschool I was in all of the honors classes and took AP Calc and Calc 2, but if you don't use it - you definitely will lose it.

Do you have any specific strategy or advice on how I should go about diagnosing/treating my quant weakness?

And Mimster - thanks for the advice on the tutor. I read (and bookmarked) your glorious climb to a 740. Will definitely keep referring to that.
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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
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Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 10:25
Hi meeh1872,

On a fundamental level, most of the math that you'll have to do while working through the Quant section is fairly low-level (Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry) - although you will need to know all of the commonly tested rules/formulas (and when to apply them). By extension, higher-level math skills aren't really required; that section of the GMAT is testing your 'critical thinking' skills - NOT your math skills. This is all meant to say that you probably have all of the 'math ability' that you need to score higher, but you're 'responding' to that section of the Test in a way that is limiting your score.

A March 31st Test Date absolutely gives you enough time to earn a much higher score in the Quant section. Based on everything that you've described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Quant Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in under a month, so that would fit your timeframe perfectly. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Re: Wait Listed: Need some advice   [#permalink] 22 Feb 2017, 10:25
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