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Why is verbal weighted more heavily? Should I retake?

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New post 29 Sep 2011, 07:13
Hi folks - been lurking here for a while, thank you to everyone who shares their advice and expertise on this forum. It's a great community.

I just took the GMAT and got 99th percentile verbal (46) and 66th percentile quant (44). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the total score was a 94th percentile (720)! But... it doesn't seem fair, shouldn't my percentile score be closer to the average of the two?

So two questions - why does it seem my verbal had so much more weight than by quant, and second, how much of a red flag is it to have such a radical difference in scores between the two sections? My target schools all have a GMAT average of 710-720, so the total score is good enough, but I am afraid my dismal quant score will disqualify me.

Thanks!
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New post 29 Sep 2011, 08:29
You do not average your two scores to determine your overall percentage. Think about if you scored 90% in verbal and math. This means you are better than 90% of everyone in verbal and 90% of everyone in math. But, assuming no correlation between the 2 sections, this means of the 10% who are better than you in verbal, only 1% is also better in math. The correlation would not be 0 but also would not be one, it would be somewhere in the middle, if you are good at one section you are probably better than average at the other, but usually not the same exact ability.

If you do 50% V/50% Q, you will be 50 % overall. If you do better than 50% in each section, your overall will be higher than your average. If you do worst than 50% in each, your overall will be less than your average.

Second question, from my research it seems top schools put a check mark next to gmat if you score in their range. You should def have that check mark. However, if you are looking to go into the fields of finance after school, especially I banking, a high qaunt score (48+) is something they look for.
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New post 29 Sep 2011, 10:48
It's not weighed. You have to understand how percentiles work.

More test takers score higher in quant, thus scoring higher in verbal boosts, you more, but that only gets you so far. Had you scored a 42 or below in quant, you would likely be below the 700 mark.

You can see some solid data here on why your score came out that way:

http://www.gmac.com/gmac/researchandtre ... search.htm

(run the app and see where people score).
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New post 29 Sep 2011, 12:30
brd529 wrote:
So two questions - why does it seem my verbal had so much more weight than by quant, and second, how much of a red flag is it to have such a radical difference in scores between the two sections? My target schools all have a GMAT average of 710-720, so the total score is good enough, but I am afraid my dismal quant score will disqualify me.

Thanks!


I think it depends. Did you take many math courses in undergrad? And if so, did you do well in those classes?

If your overall profile shows quantitative proficiency (through undergrad classes or your work experience) I don't think that split will be much of a deal breaker. My opinion is that the 80/80 split thing is not a sticking point at most schools (except for maybe Haas) as long as your overall score is around the average.
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New post 30 Sep 2011, 05:10
Thanks for the explanation and links. I love the interactive tool, I see now that the curve is a lot tougher on the Quant side as well.

As far as my own situation: I did OK in quantitative classes in undergrad. Did math up to linear algebra, took major-track physics courses, 300 level computer science. Averaged about 3.3 for my quant courses. No planning on going into finance!
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Re: Why is verbal weighted more heavily? Should I retake?   [#permalink] 30 Sep 2011, 05:10
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