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Can't beat the GMAT... yet?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 1 member reply
estellewho Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
01 May 2017
1 messages

Can't beat the GMAT... yet?

Post Mon May 01, 2017 8:44 pm
Hi folks,

i just took the gmat exam today, fourth attempt. It was bad, and I desperately need some advice please.

Female, 28, Asian,
undergrad in Canada,
1.5 yrs work experience in banking industry (back office)
Took Academic IELTS 7-8yrs ago without studying at all, scored 6.5 overall and didn't bother to retake as it was enough for my college admission.

4 attempts:
470->480 (2 attempts, didn't study at all, what a fool....)
580 (20 days-ish of study)
600 (13 days of study, 20 days after the previous attempt)

Rotman, Queens(Smith school), Schulich, McMaster(Co-op)

600 (Q49, V23, IR4).... I was aiming for 650-680, but somehow ran out of time and didn't get to answer the last 6 questions in the verbal section. I was in total shock seeing that score so I cancelled it.

1. 600, 59 percentile. Is it really that bad?...
2. Should I reinstate my score and maybe just try to apply first? What's my chance?
3. Since there is a new policy that one can only take gmat 5 time in the most recent 12mths.. Should I try again 16-20 days later (I'll be extremely focused and determined if yes)?

To be honest, I'm starting to doubt my IQ at this point... I've always been a confident person, but GMAT really slapped me on the face hard..

So, PLEASE, dear friends, any advice?

Thank you in advance!

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99Colleges: MBA Admission Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
31 Jul 2012
212 messages
Followed by:
4 members
Post Wed May 17, 2017 10:52 pm
Hi estellewho,

600 is low. GMAT score being a component of most MBA rankings, schools would be wary to consider an applicant with a score much lower than their median score unless the applicant brings something exceptional to the table usually in the form of professional experience.

In my opinion, you should take the fifth shot. Imagine your lung-busting effort on essays etc. not getting a chance to work because of the low GMAT score.

Anil, MBA (Wharton)| MBA Admissions Consultant
Consulting| Contact at anil@99colleges.com for your queries on MBA Admissions
And if you couldn’t make it earlier, get a free ding analysis

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Post Wed May 03, 2017 10:24 am
First of all, GMAT scores and intelligence are not the same thing! The GMAT only measures a very narrow/particular kind of intelligence.

You didn't tell us exactly when you took these exams, but my guess is that you're taking them too soon. My very broad rule of thumb: it's unreasonable to expect score gains of more than 10 points per week. So when you got a 580 and took the test again less than 3 weeks later, a 20 point increase is pretty decent. If you take it again in another 16 days, a 620 would indicate good steady progress.

As to whether to reinstate your score and apply now... that really depends on the schools. What are the average GMAT scores for those schools? If a 600 is well below the average, do you think the other aspects of your resume put you ahead of other candidates? Call the admissions departments and ask - they'll often be candid with you.

If you decide to take the GMAT again, here is some advice:

- don't sign up to take the test until you see a 650 on a practice test. That way you can go in on test day confident that you can hit your minimum target score.

- you didn't mention how you were studying. It's likely that you haven't been studying effectively, especially if you ran our of time on the verbal section. Use this forum and the Manhattan Prep blog for general study advice: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/
Do not just focus on memorizing content or doing problems! Locking down timing & strategy are equally important.

- ignore percentiles. They are misleading. Schools just want the GMAT score to help tell them if you can handle the coursework. https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2016/02/11/heres-why-you-may-be-misinterpreting-your-gmat-score/

- the other aspects of your application are more important than your GMAT. Make sure you're working on your essays and resume - and getting solid recommendations - while you're studying.


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
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