• Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep

Looking for advice - torn between a retake or moving forward

This topic has 2 expert replies and 0 member replies
ryoga1523 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
25 Jul 2016
Posted:
1 messages

Looking for advice - torn between a retake or moving forward

Post Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:35 pm
Hey all, first time poster (but long time reader!). I figured I'd give this place a shot to see what advice I can get.

I need to give you all some background for all of this to make sense. I'm a career changer. I started off working in Biotechnology because that was what I focused on in undergrad (graduated in 2008). The field was interesting at the time, but after some reflection I realized that my heart wasn't in it. I started off in drug manufacturing, then moved on to actual preclinical research. Things did not end well, and I was let go back in 2015. During undergrad at UC Davis, I completed a business minor that was taught by professors of their Graduate School of Management. This was a way for me to have something to fall back on in case the sciences didn't work out for me, and I'm glad that 23-year-old me had that foresight. Ultimately, enjoying my business coursework is what planted the seeds of my new goal of getting into business school. My overall GPA is somewhat murky: I was a junior college transfer student, and I'm not sure how b-schools will look at my transcripts. I am guessing that my cumulative college GPA is somewhere between 2.74 and 3.32 (my GPA's from UCD and Sacramento City College, respectively).

Fast-forward to the present. I've taken the gmat once and got a 570. Standardized tests were never my strong suit, and while I've thought of taking it again to try for a higher score, life is happening. I'm barely keeping my head above water financially, working full-time at a running store. I've been looking for jobs to help me transition into Marketing (my desired MBA focus), but haven't had much luck. Despite tailoring my resume to show transferable skills, not many people have wanted to take a chance on someone without any formal experience. I'm still getting recruiters calling me for the sciences, though (and I don't bother responding to the e-mails or calls anymore). I've been dreaming about breaking into the running industry at a high level upon finishing a Marketing MBA, and I want to send out the strongest application I can given my circumstances.

I guess it all boils down to this: I'm living check-to-check, don't see many prospects for immediate job opportunities (and I have been trying this last year), and don't feel like I can give the GMAT the time it deserves to bump my score up since I consistently worry about bills. I've found a few programs that sound interesting and that I think I'm competitive for (based on my test score and my GPA). My parents have offered to help out a little bit, and I will be having some further discussions with them, but ultimately - I feel like I need a change. If any of you were in my shoes, would you buck up and try the test one more time, or would you start submitting applications?

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Margaret Strother Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
01 May 2015
Posted:
259 messages
Followed by:
5 members
Upvotes:
44
Most Active Expert
Post Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:20 am
I agree -- definitely retake!
However, you haven't told us which programs you're considering. That's also something to bear in mind: look at the incoming class profile for the schools on your list. If your GMAT score is at or above the median, you're competitive for that school. But if it's in the "80% range", that doesn't really tell you much. There's always someone bringing down that GMAT curve, and it could be someone with an "in" for personal reasons. So if the schools you are targeting have a median or average GMAT that's around, say, 650 -- that means you need to have around a 650 to be on their radar. So you'd definitely want to take it again, especially with a low-ish GPA as well.

Of course, MBA admissions is a holistic process, and you will bring other attractive assets beyond your 'numbers' -- but a GMAT is an easy thing to fix, so why not give it your best shot? Some people retake it four or five times, until they know they're bringing their strongest material to the table. Persistence is a virtue in MBA-land.

Good luck!
Margaret Strother

_________________
Margaret Strother
Senior Consultant
Stacy Blackman Consulting

Learn more about me

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

GMAT/MBA Expert

Jon@Admissionado Elite Legendary Member
Joined
01 Apr 2011
Posted:
3112 messages
Followed by:
329 members
Upvotes:
589
Post Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:40 am
ryoga1523 wrote:
Hey all, first time poster (but long time reader!). I figured I'd give this place a shot to see what advice I can get.

I need to give you all some background for all of this to make sense. I'm a career changer. I started off working in Biotechnology because that was what I focused on in undergrad (graduated in 2008). The field was interesting at the time, but after some reflection I realized that my heart wasn't in it. I started off in drug manufacturing, then moved on to actual preclinical research. Things did not end well, and I was let go back in 2015. During undergrad at UC Davis, I completed a business minor that was taught by professors of their Graduate School of Management. This was a way for me to have something to fall back on in case the sciences didn't work out for me, and I'm glad that 23-year-old me had that foresight. Ultimately, enjoying my business coursework is what planted the seeds of my new goal of getting into business school. My overall GPA is somewhat murky: I was a junior college transfer student, and I'm not sure how b-schools will look at my transcripts. I am guessing that my cumulative college GPA is somewhere between 2.74 and 3.32 (my GPA's from UCD and Sacramento City College, respectively).

Fast-forward to the present. I've taken the gmat once and got a 570. Standardized tests were never my strong suit, and while I've thought of taking it again to try for a higher score, life is happening. I'm barely keeping my head above water financially, working full-time at a running store. I've been looking for jobs to help me transition into Marketing (my desired MBA focus), but haven't had much luck. Despite tailoring my resume to show transferable skills, not many people have wanted to take a chance on someone without any formal experience. I'm still getting recruiters calling me for the sciences, though (and I don't bother responding to the e-mails or calls anymore). I've been dreaming about breaking into the running industry at a high level upon finishing a Marketing MBA, and I want to send out the strongest application I can given my circumstances.

I guess it all boils down to this: I'm living check-to-check, don't see many prospects for immediate job opportunities (and I have been trying this last year), and don't feel like I can give the GMAT the time it deserves to bump my score up since I consistently worry about bills. I've found a few programs that sound interesting and that I think I'm competitive for (based on my test score and my GPA). My parents have offered to help out a little bit, and I will be having some further discussions with them, but ultimately - I feel like I need a change. If any of you were in my shoes, would you buck up and try the test one more time, or would you start submitting applications?
I have a very easy answer for you actually. Retake the GMAT.

Don't think about it emotionally, think about it as an investment. It's very simple. A higher GMAT = a better school. A higher GMAT = more opportunities. A higher GMAT = scholarship opportunities. You can do it, even living check t check. The hard thing about the GMAT is that to get a 740 you need to study for six months, an hour or three every day. Most people don't want to do that. I understand. But do it anyhow.

The trick is to trick yourself. Keep your LT goal in sight. Because the GMAT is the solution for your current problem of living check to check (or one possible solution anyhow). So buckle down, nose to the grindstone, and give it your best after 3 months studying.

It'll be torture. But it'll be worth it.

_________________
Jon Frank
Harvard MBA, 2005
Founder and CEO, Admissionado

Check out our packages: http://bit.ly/1SyngNR
Read our success stories: http://bit.ly/1qohrfA

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

Best Conversation Starters

1 Roland2rule 175 topics
2 lheiannie07 110 topics
3 ardz24 56 topics
4 LUANDATO 52 topics
5 swerve 49 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

157 posts
2 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

126 posts
3 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

113 posts
4 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

EMPOWERgmat

106 posts
5 image description Jeff@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

79 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts