I just took the GMAT and unfortunately got a tweener score- 690. Not low enough to be really depressed, just high enough to make a retake less than a foregone conclusion. The really distressing part is my quant score- 66% percentile versus a 95% percentile in verbal. I’m a CFA charterholder with pretty good undergrad grades, 5 years of work experience, been promoted early, some extracurriculars, and work at a fund in buy side research. I feel like it only makes economic sense to shoot for a top five/ten program but I’m worried that my low quant score and borderline GMAT score could be a bit of a roadblock in a competitive year. Thoughts?

Study eighth grade math?

Nice. Joey- you were actually my inspiration for the 8th grade math title. I believe you were commenting on the GMAT in a prior post and made a comment along the lines of “a test proving you are good at 8th grade math.”

I do say that. It’s really obnoxious to guys like you. Sorry.

Anyway, you tried the obvious things like Gmatclub, getting a book, going to Kaplan, etc. ?

how did you get past Level 1 and 2? you lucky puppy…

I’m more curious if people have heard of the admissions committee scrutinizing the breakdown between verbal and quant versus looking at the overall score. Look, it’s not that I’m entirely inept at math and I’m sure I could improve my quant score with some focused refreshment on number properties, geometry, etc. I took the GMAT without much too much study, I’m just trying to assess my best course of action from here. I just don’t remember too much of my 8th grade math and am concerned that it’s contradictory to the rest of my candidacy.

690 is good. With grades and the right alma mater you should be a shoe in for top 25. Maybe even top 10 depending on how well you sell yourself. You get that quant score up a teeny bit and your in the 700 club. I’m shooting for 700. I need it. I have average grades (3.0), went to a state school, and will be applying with only one year of experience, but will have two by the time Fall 09 comes around.

math is ez, just do more probs and poof. Verbal, on the other hand, is enigmatic

Perhaps seek employment as a random number generator (with the eighth grade math problems as the seed)? J/K. The math on the GMAT/GRE, etc. seems to be amenable to coachable test-taking strategies/tactics, brute force practice, and rote memorization to a certain extent…it’s not like they are asking you to be creative/insightful to prove theorems. My opinion, practice as much as you can until you can do them in your sleep…this is something you can definitely improve on. Good luck!

As for the test, practice practice practice. Kaplan’s math workbook is pretty good. I think there are some tough math sections floating around as well. And be sure to do the real problems in the official purple book. I think it is the kind of math that you can get better at with a lot of practice. As for the application, be sure to show your quant skills in other areas. Note the math classes you took in college, your math at work, etc. The b-school coursework is relatively quantitative. It’s not like you’re doing proofs, but nearly every case will require some quant analysis to produce a defensible answer. They will want to make sure you can keep up.

I had a similar situation when I took the GMAT. I didn’t study at all since I had high GPA and good work experience and I wasn’t even sure if I was going to go to grad school or not. Math has always been my strong suit and I was never really bad at english, but not really great at it either (high Bs, low As). I got my scores and I was 90% in english and like 50% in math…WTF!? I really didn’t remember how do find the volume of a cylinder or other s*it they asked for which has no relevance to business. I took about 30 days to actually study, re-took it, and did fine. I really think the GMAT is irrelevant to what you actually do in an MBA program.

I’m in the same boat, and I can give you some solid advice. I scored a 690 in the fall. I scored in the 97th percentile in verbal, and 61st in math. This was after taking a cheap practice course and doing a lot of practice questions for 6-8 weeks. My main problem with the math is that I was basically a hoodlum in high school, and never went to class, so there’s a large gap in my math education. After I got my first score, I spent a month working with a math tutor. I focused purely on math, and ignored verbal. I experienced a large increase in math – up to the 72nd percentile. The problem was that the verbal dropped down to the 93rd percentile, leaving me, again, with a 690. So, the lesson is that you can make significant progress in math. Hire a tutor to shore up some holes in your basic knowledge, and do practice questions for 6 weeks to hone your skills. You can (as I did) make big progress. The positive for you is that you got your 690 with minimal preparation – it took me some work. That’s probably why I dropped on verbal when I spent all my time on math and ignored verbal. You will be more likely to keep you 95 in verbal, and if you bring the math up to 70%, you will hit 700+. I will tell you to do 2 things I didn’t: don’t pinch pennies and take more time. I took my prep course with kids who were just trying to break 600, so the course was below my level. I also didn’t spend enough time with the math tutor. 8 weeks would have been better.

Another thing to keep in mind: most of the top schools have a median GMAT of 700-710. So a 690 is >= 30%-40% of the students. A 690 alone will not guarantee acceptance, but it’s good enough that it won’t hold you back.

joemontana Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Another thing to keep in mind: most of the top > schools have a median GMAT of 700-710. So a 690 is > >= 30%-40% of the students. A 690 alone will not > guarantee acceptance, but it’s good enough that it > won’t hold you back. I agree with that. With your background, a 690 shouldn’t hurt you. You can also speak to your quant skills in your essays by writing about your job and CFA studies. A good friend of mine just got into Columbia with a 700 (early decision), and his background was less noteworthy than yours from what I can tell.

So if you suck up the GMAT’s math section but then trump up your math skills, does that really help? “I would like to return to graduate school in business as I find quantum mechanics not sufficiently challenging. I am a little disappointed with my score on the eighth grade math part of the GMATs, but I am certain that my math background will suffice for business school”. Huh?

JoeyDVivre Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I do say that. It’s really obnoxious to guys like > you. Sorry. I took this to mean that you understand that the GMAT math section may not be representative of some people’s actual math abilities, with this guy being a good example. I’d imagine that the admissions counsel might also understand this and not view the GMAT quant as the be all end all indicator of someone’s abilities. My point is, with a 690 and essays detailing his CFA studies and work responsibilities (among other things), the admissions counsel might not see his GMAT quant score as a sign that this guy is mathematically disabled.

If you passed CFA level 1 and 2, then you should have the ability to do fairly well on the GMAT math section. Like others are saying, get the Official Guide and supplement with a study guide, like Kaplan, if necessary. Take some time to get comfortable with the type of problems that are being asked, and then try again. As someone who just went through the admissions process, I can tell you that a low GMAT score can keep you out, but a high score will not necessarily get you in. Adcoms definitely look at the whole package: essays, recs, interview, work experience, etc… Good Luck

I take the cake. 97V, 48M.

Danteshek Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I take the cake. > > 97V, 48M. Nice.