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# Which schools DON'T accept your highest GMAT score?

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Senior Manager
Affiliations: CFA
Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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25 Apr 2010, 09:02
I'm considering a retake of the GMAT, but want to make sure that schools will be accepting my highest score if I were to retake. I'm pretty sure just about every school accepts the highest score only, as long as it isn't your 15th time taking it. Which schools, however, do not accept only your highest GMAT score?

Also, are there any schools which perhaps look particularly favorably or unfavorably on retakers? Any insight is a big help!
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25 Apr 2010, 09:26
in the same board like you... have not heard of any school

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25 Apr 2010, 09:52
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I recall seeing someone on admissions411 that claimed to have taken the test 7 or 8 times I believe, and ended up cracking the top 10. Who knows if it's true, but this isn't med school or even law school for that matter

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25 Apr 2010, 09:54
was he a member of GC. do you remember the post ? difficult though to find out

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27 Apr 2010, 01:41
If your first score is much lower than your second then only your 2nd score will be considered. But if there's not much of a difference.. e.g. 700 and 660 then an average is taken. Don't think of giving it multiple times as it does not reflect well and will reduce your chances for the best B-schools. Two times should be your limit as you can always explain the first one going bad for various reasons. My advice is based on speaking with a few interviewers for top B-schools.

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27 Apr 2010, 06:29
The average thing might make sense when adcoms are discussing candidates and weighing us all against each other. But you can rest assured that when it comes to quoting their statistics for the major published rankings and for their websites, they are going to happily take your highest score. Some top 10 schools have even asked admitted students who they think have better ability than their current GMAT score to retake it before matriculation (with the implication being they want better stats for their incoming classes).

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Senior Manager
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Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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Location: United States (NY)
Schools: Columbia - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 710 Q45 V43
GMAT 2: 760 Q49 V45

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27 Apr 2010, 07:09
Cearly the schools are concerned with their published numbers -- they want to not only have the best and brightest, but to have a standard metric for communicating that fact to the public (ie, the avg GMAT score). So what is a great way to try and boost up your average score? Tell applicants that you'll take their highest score no questions asked. If you're just going to average my score, what incentive do I have to retake -- after all, if I do worse on the retake, I'd have to perform better on yet another retake just to get my average score back to where I started, so why retake and take that risk? Further, if I want to retake and boost my score, I would have to do significantly better than my original score -- if I score 690 and want to retake to get a higher score, I'd have to score in the upper 700s just to get a low/mid-700 score. That just seems like a crazy exercise to me!

So overall I'd be stunned if a school would actually average them (or at least tell us they would, even if they secretly take it into considering during deliberations -- but most schools have you self-report your score which they then verify if you're admitted, so they may not even see anything other than what you tell them, that is your highest score).

The sheer futility of retaking if your scores are averaged is what made me curious whether any specific schools actually did average GMAT scores or some other policy of not taking the highest. So far nobody has been able to list any?
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27 Apr 2010, 15:10
My post was more in lieu of the previous statement that someone took the GMAT 7 times and still cracked the top 10. Not a good way to do it. Sure they will accept your highest score but if you prep for it again and again and only improve your score by 20-30 points each time they definitely average it. This is a well known fact. Hence, It truly is futile to give it again and again as you said. The 'best and the brightest' that they are looking for tend to do it in no more than 2 goes.

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27 Apr 2010, 15:53
GillAS777 wrote:
My post was more in lieu of the previous statement that someone took the GMAT 7 times and still cracked the top 10. Not a good way to do it. Sure they will accept your highest score but if you prep for it again and again and only improve your score by 20-30 points each time they definitely average it. This is a well known fact. Hence, It truly is futile to give it again and again as you said. The 'best and the brightest' that they are looking for tend to do it in no more than 2 goes.

I think people are getting a little too theoretical. If you look at the application there are some applications that have Self-report just ask for your most recent and highest GMAT and do not require the official scores. In those instances they will not know how many times you took it.
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27 Apr 2010, 21:36
coakleym wrote:
The average thing might make sense when adcoms are discussing candidates and weighing us all against each other. But you can rest assured that when it comes to quoting their statistics for the major published rankings and for their websites, they are going to happily take your highest score. Some top 10 schools have even asked admitted students who they think have better ability than their current GMAT score to retake it before matriculation (with the implication being they want better stats for their incoming classes).

I think people tend to retake the GMAT while at school because many consulting firms ask for it during recruiting. Certain firms won't consider people whose scores are below 700, and simply put, GMAT score is one data point that firms can use to sort people. I do agree with you that for ranking purposes, the school absolutely will use the top score. I don't know that it holds true for admissions purposes, and I'm almost certain that if someone retakes the test while at school, it's strictly for recruiting purposes and not to pad a school's stats.

Getting back to the original post. I don't know of any schools that won't consider your best score, but I think it's a bad idea to take the test more than 3 times. If you scored 600 twice, and then scored 730 your 3rd time, I'm not sure what you'd read into that. I would think the 3rd time is a fluke. Yes, I'd rather have the 730 on the application but it's hard for an adcom to not think about the 2 600s when evaluating your application. Just my .02.
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Current Student
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28 Apr 2010, 07:50
LetsGoMets wrote:
coakleym wrote:
The average thing might make sense when adcoms are discussing candidates and weighing us all against each other. But you can rest assured that when it comes to quoting their statistics for the major published rankings and for their websites, they are going to happily take your highest score. Some top 10 schools have even asked admitted students who they think have better ability than their current GMAT score to retake it before matriculation (with the implication being they want better stats for their incoming classes).

I think people tend to retake the GMAT while at school because many consulting firms ask for it during recruiting. Certain firms won't consider people whose scores are below 700, and simply put, GMAT score is one data point that firms can use to sort people. I do agree with you that for ranking purposes, the school absolutely will use the top score. I don't know that it holds true for admissions purposes, and I'm almost certain that if someone retakes the test while at school, it's strictly for recruiting purposes and not to pad a school's stats.

Totally agreed. If you search the Columbia thread this year (nevermind, link: calling-all-2010-cbs-applicants-merged-78610.html?view-post=710096#p710096), you will see a GMATClub member that was accepted to Columbia GSB and asked to re-take the test. The school made it clear that he/she would be admitted regardless of the result of the GMAT. I suppose it's possible that the individual really wanted to get into a hyper-competitive field and Columbia was merely looking out for that person's future best interests. It's true that when you ask 1 out of 1000 accepted students or however many out of 1000 you're not going to move the average too much but this GMATClub member does sit in the bottom decile for GMAT at Columbia. So there should be some small range-shifting advantage for the GSB, at the very least, regardless of their motivation, especially if they're asking a large enough number, say the bottom 50-100 admitted students to re-take if possible.

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Re: Which schools DON'T accept your highest GMAT score?   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2010, 07:50
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# Which schools DON'T accept your highest GMAT score?

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