SBC Scoop: How One Client Approached a Low GMAT

This week’s client, Jamie, was phenomenal in many ways.  Very strong work experience, a long history of international interest and exposures, stellar extra-curriculars.  Jamie was the type of person who belonged at a school like Harvard; she would absolutely thrive and excel in that environment.

Jamie had had her sights set on Harvard for several years.  Unfortunately, she could not get her GMAT score to cooperate.  Her highest GMAT score was a 600, and to make matters worse, her Quantitative percentile hovered around 40, which was about half of the target score.    Had we seen clients admitted with very low GMAT scores?  Absolutely.  However, this year, we had a new tool to play with and we decided to use it.

We understood that schools were willing to take risks on very strong clients who happened to have a low GMAT score.  However, a big hesitation was often the rankings.  Because the GRE was not yet reported out for rankings, we felt that even if Jamie received an equally low score on the GRE, she should submit her application with the GRE rather than the GMAT score.  Jamie took the GRE, and her overall performance was actually lower.  However, interestingly, this time her score was balanced toward a stronger performance in the quant section.  This was yet another argument for submitting GRE instead of GMAT.

The strategy felt a bit risky – the GRE was new and her score was still very low.  Despite this, we decided to submit a GRE score because:
1)  we felt that a low GRE (vs. GMAT) would at least eliminate concerns around reporting to rankings
2)  her GRE was overall lower but boasted a much higher quant score

This approach proved to be right when she was admitted to Harvard, and did not even need to worry about the three back up schools she had added to her list.  Congrats from us to “Jamie”!  Well deserved.

To read more SBC Case Studies, click HERE.

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7 Responses to SBC Scoop: How One Client Approached a Low GMAT

  1. Komal Saini says:

    Wow, amazing! I scored only 500(Q44, V16) and 540 (Q48, V17) on GMAT. Do I have a chance to get admitted to Babson college? I really want to get into Babson college.

  2. Komal Saini says:

    The thing wrong with me is that I can’t take GRE as remembering word lists for GRE is really painful, I tried but I don’t think I can do that remembering work. I can take GMAT one last time and will take your services for application..

  3. Komal,
    Retake the GMAT and then let’s discuss over the phone. Have you identified what your issue is with the GMAT? Do you have test anxiety, etc… If you would like some test prep advice, let me know.

  4. Komal Saini says:

    Thank you Stacy for the reply.

    I think on the 1st attempt I was bit nervous but on the second attempt I was normal but don’t know what went wrong. May be I made more mistakes on Reading Comprehension section particularly.

    What score would you think be sufficient for Babson keeping in mind that I will have 4 years of work exp. at the time of applying? Also, I have good extra curricular activities (writer for few magazines, newspapers, state level chess competition organizer) and volunteering record (helping tsunami affected persons, promoting women rights and volunteering outside India for one month – was in Budapest to work with Roma/Gypsy people).

    Suppose even on my last attempt (3rd attempt) I didn’t do well, what would be my chances for Babson?

  5. sandeep says:

    Hi Stacy,
    Although i am one of the candidates who had prepared for GRE in 2005 but my Goals changed and i dropped the idea to take GRE.I was good at learning words and Quant was forte..But still i have decided not to take the GRE and take GMAT instead coz i feel that GMAT is one of the standardized test for Management since the Beginning and therefore its right to prepare for GMAT instead of giving additional question answer to adcom that why GRE and Why not GMAT..??

  6. Kedar says:

    GRE – I heard that most schools were still asking to submit GMAT anyways, after taking GRE, since it is not a good measurement for quantitive ability – as much as GMAT is?

    Dont know, if that is the case for engineering background, financial experienced students.

    Esp with IVY ls.

    Thanks in advance, Ms Blackman & forum community !

  7. Adolfo Aguirre says:

    I took the GMAT twice and both I got about 500. Should I consider taking the GRE? My target schools are UCLA and USC.

    I would appreciate any information.

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