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GMAT anyone?

Old 10-06-05, 05:35 PM
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GMAT anyone?

I'm taking the GMAT tomorrow morning. I'm a senior in college right now, and from the looks of the Princeton Review book, I could have done this test as a senior in high school . . . the test is basically the SAT without a calculator.

Anyone taken the test before? Is it harder than the SAT? Any tips?

Last edited by Mittman; 10-06-05 at 05:45 PM.
Old 10-06-05, 05:41 PM
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Spend the most time on the first few questions. That's where the majority of your score comes from.

If you get the first few right, the test will give you harder questions, which is a good thing.
Old 10-06-05, 05:55 PM
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Edit: Sorry, I was thinking of the GRE.

It's slightly harder than the SAT, but the same type of questions.

I'd study verbal more than anything. But I'm an engineer so the math part was easy.

It's just tiring to take it more than anything. I took it before the essay part so I don't know how that works.

Last edited by asabase; 10-06-05 at 06:12 PM.
Old 10-06-05, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
I'm taking the GMAT tomorrow morning. I'm a senior in college right now, and from the looks of the Princeton Review book, I could have done this test as a senior in high school . . . the test is basically the SAT without a calculator.

Anyone taken the test before? Is it harder than the SAT? Any tips?
are you planning on going to b-school directly after college?

i think b-schools prefer people with at least a couple years working experience.
Old 10-06-05, 06:11 PM
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I took the GMAT last January and found the test easier than the practice tests in my Princeton Review book, which was good. However, as others have stated, spend more time on the questions earlier on, cause they determine how hard or easy the next question is going to be. Also, as someone else alluded to above, all the schools that I applied REQUIRED 2 years of full-time work before even applying.
Old 10-06-05, 06:37 PM
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If you're going to Top 25, you need experience, regardless of your GMAT.

I did not find the GMAT more difficult than the SAT, with the exception of the grammar questions.
Old 10-06-05, 06:46 PM
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Three of the schools I am applying to are Top 25, but they accept a very small number of kids straight out of college. I have worked the past 2 years as the Office Manager of an optical health care practice. I am crossing my fingers that I can spin that into my "work experience". Regardless, the worst that can happen is I don't get in, in that case I'll just keep applying each semester.

Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to pay attention to the first few questions.
Old 10-06-05, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
Three of the schools I am applying to are Top 25, but they accept a very small number of kids straight out of college. I have worked the past 2 years as the Office Manager of an optical health care practice. I am crossing my fingers that I can spin that into my "work experience". Regardless, the worst that can happen is I don't get in, in that case I'll just keep applying each semester.

Thanks for the tips, I'll be sure to pay attention to the first few questions.
For a top 25 school you will also need to show very strong leadership potential, grades, and extracurriculars since you're applying direct out of college (albeit with some work experience).

I would recommend waiting a couple years and building your credentials if you don't get in on the first try, if you are aiming for a top school.

The essay portion isn't considered too important, as long as you don't bomb it.

Here are a few more tips for the test:

http://www.admissionsconsultants.com/gmat/tips.asp
Old 10-06-05, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
Three of the schools I am applying to are Top 25, but they accept a very small number of kids straight out of college. I have worked the past 2 years as the Office Manager of an optical health care practice. I am crossing my fingers that I can spin that into my "work experience".
I'm in admissions of my school (top 15 school). We only count experience starting AFTER college graduation. We require 2 years. I didn't see anyone admitted this year with less than 3 years of experience.

Honestly, I think you'd do yourself a great disservice by getting an MBA without any experience. However, I strongly suggest you go ahead and take the GMAT now. The test is good for 5 years after you take it, and your testing skills will be at their sharpest now while you're still in school.
Old 10-06-05, 10:28 PM
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I guess I want to get it right away so I actually do get it. If I start working for too long, going back to school will be tough. At the end of the day, I don't see how 3 years of work in an entry level position, answering phone calls and getting coffee, will give me more knowledge than 2 years of running a small business. Why should it matter that I did that while I was still in school, the fact that I could do both should be a plus if anything. Basically the MBA is just going to serve as another piece of paper, just like the undergrad degree, that will get me a higher salary eventually. So the sooner I can get it, the better IMO. Everyone that I know that has done grad school has told me as much . . . get it as early as possible.

Thanks for all the help fellas . . . hopefully things will run smoothly tomorrow.

Last edited by Mittman; 10-06-05 at 10:31 PM.
Old 10-06-05, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MrR0boto
I'm in admissions of my school (top 15 school). We only count experience starting AFTER college graduation. We require 2 years. I didn't see anyone admitted this year with less than 3 years of experience.
Most Top 20 schools require a minimum of 3 years, most prefer 4. They want to see you build not only general business experience, but also networking, and leadership experience. I looked at some MBA programs when I was going on 3 years out, and that was what I found out. I was primed for a top 10 school, but decided to ditch biz and do other stuff. (Networking got me not only great recommendations, but pretty much wrote my ticket to most of the top biz schools) I'd STRONGLY suggest taking the GMAT now and go work for another 2-3 years.

-p
Old 10-07-05, 02:04 PM
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how did it go?
Old 10-07-05, 04:22 PM
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I have the option of waiving my 2 years of experience and going straight into the MBA program here. What I am unsure of is what kind of use would a MBA be for an engineer. I mean, would this be useful in I wanted to start/run a business, or would it look good for leadership?

I am leaning towards getting a job after graduation, then hoping my employer will pay for a masters in engineering instead of a MBA.
Old 10-07-05, 05:40 PM
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So-so. 610 total. 73rd percentile.

The clock ran out on my last math question, even though I pressed "Confirm" with 1 second left. I don't know if it accepted that last one or not, if not hopefully that didn't lower my math score too much. I got a 40 on the math, 34 on the verbal. But somehow, my lower verbal score was in an even higher percentile. I guess most people do much worse on that section.

I thought it went about as well as it could have, I felt confident with most of the test. I'll decide later if I want to re-take it to try and up the score closer to 700.

Again, thanks for the help.
Old 10-07-05, 10:58 PM
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damn, you can get into a LOT of schools with a 610.
Old 10-08-05, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
damn, you can get into a LOT of schools with a 610.
Really? I guess I have basically been looking at top 30 schools, even ones like University of Maryland which is low on the list, and they all seem to be 680 averages. Maybe it's not as bad as I thought.
Old 10-08-05, 08:26 AM
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I took the GMAT cold and got a 630 (I've always done really well with standardized exams). Most of the better business schools won't look at anyone under a 600 so a 610 is nothing to sneeze at at all! Good job dude. And I agree with whoever says you should get some work experience behind you before you begin business school. I'm in an Executive MBA program right now (typing this from the classroom now) and the minimum work experience required is 8-10 years. It makes a WORLD of difference because you can leverage knowledge off of everyone's practical business knowledge. Groin, and
Old 10-08-05, 08:46 AM
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If you work for 2-3 years, you can get into Chicago (which is top 2 or 3 depending on where you look) pretty easy. Depending on what type of work you do.
Old 10-08-05, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
So-so. 610 total. 73rd percentile.

The clock ran out on my last math question, even though I pressed "Confirm" with 1 second left. I don't know if it accepted that last one or not, if not hopefully that didn't lower my math score too much. I got a 40 on the math, 34 on the verbal. But somehow, my lower verbal score was in an even higher percentile. I guess most people do much worse on that section.

I thought it went about as well as it could have, I felt confident with most of the test. I'll decide later if I want to re-take it to try and up the score closer to 700.

Again, thanks for the help.
From everything I've heard, you're not going to improve your score much even if you study harder. It's just one of those things...

But, if you do want to study more, I suggest a series of books. My method was to start off with the Princeton Review Book to work on techniques and familiarize myself with the test and took 2 of the 4 practice CATs. Then I moved on to take half of the Official GMAT review book. After that, I switched over to the Kaplan Review Book, which has a really nice CD, and finished the book followed by half of the practice tests (2 of the 4). After that, I decided on the test techniques that I liked best (a mix of Kaplan, Princeton Review, and my own), then finished the other half of the Official GMAT review, with a practice CAT in here or there. In the end, I got the GMAT 800 book from Kaplan and studied those problems, where are designed to simulate the "hardest bin" of GMAT questions. It took me about 4 months of studying on weekends, but I did well. On the actual GMAT, I scored over 100 points higher than my pre-studying PowerPrep scores (btw, those seem to be the most accurate).

I will echo what everyone else said ... it's all about experience. You're experience during school won't cut it -- go out in the real world, get 3-5 years of experience, and then go look at a top business school. You'll especially need this considering your score. When the scores are reported, they'll see all of them, not just your best. The top 25 really want a GMAT score of 650+ before they'll even look at you. If you're going in with no work experience, I'd guess that you'll need to be in the 750+ range to compensate.

Scores remain on your "record" for 5 years, by the way.
Old 10-08-05, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
Anyone taken the test before? Is it harder than the SAT?
Three more things:

1) Yes it is harder than the SATs. While none of the math questions are hard, some of them take 5 minutes to solve. The problem is that you have about 2 minutes per question, and if you get several of the 5 minute questions, you'll quickly run out of time (which is sounds like you did). Despite what everyone says, I answered the first (easy) questions fast to get to the later (harder) questions with more time.

2) A 680 average at MD is probably their PhD average. Most PhD programs average around 700, while most top MBA programs average around 650.

3) If you get a job first, they will usually pay for an MBA at night.
Old 10-08-05, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
Really? I guess I have basically been looking at top 30 schools, even ones like University of Maryland which is low on the list, and they all seem to be 680 averages. Maybe it's not as bad as I thought.
I went to Maryland for my MBA right after my undergrad (also at UMD) - I scored a 720 or 740, I think. My roommate at the time, who scored a 630, did not get in (he had 2 years of experience). That was for the school year starting in 98, so I don't know if standards have changed or not.
Old 10-08-05, 02:17 PM
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http://www.princetonreview.com/mba/r...1011129&LTID=2

University of Maryland, College Park
Robert H. Smith School of Business

Statistics
School Type: Public
Enrollment: 1,336
Average Age: 29
Average Work Exp.(month): 68
Average GMAT: 629
GMAT Range (25-75%): 570-670
Average UGrad GPA: 3.28

From USNews and World Report: Ranked 27
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/gra...rank_brief.php

From Forbes: Ranked 29
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/95/Rank_2.html

You know, I'll also mention here that many people expect that if they get the "right" degree, they'll graduate and earn a 6-figure salary and a corner office right out of school. The truth is that you're not going to graduate with an MBA and immediately become a VP. If you go to a top 10 school at meet the right people, maybe, but below that, you're just not going to get that kinda bump.

MBA schools are great for two kinds of people: 1) the middle managers/non-managers who have experience and want to get the bump to a (higher) management position and 2) the people who want to make the jump from their current career path to a low-level business position. Coming right out of school, my guess is that you're in the second group.

There's nothing wrong with a BS to immediate MBA jump, just realize that you'll be competing in the market with people from better schools and more experience. You'll do yourself a world of good waiting a few years before applying (it'll allow you to get into a better school and graduate with a better resume, relative to now).
Old 10-13-05, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mittman
But somehow, my lower verbal score was in an even higher percentile. I guess most people do much worse on that section.
I think that there must be a LOT of foreigners who take the test and do quite well in Math, but the language barrier might be responsible for very poor verbal scores.

I got my writing section score back a few weeks ago. how much does that count for? I got a 5.5.
Old 10-13-05, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RoyalTea
I think that there must be a LOT of foreigners who take the test and do quite well in Math, but the language barrier might be responsible for very poor verbal scores.

I got my writing section score back a few weeks ago. how much does that count for? I got a 5.5.
I believe that a similar imbalance between verbal and math scores exists on the SAT as well.

The value of the writing score will vary from school to school. At the school I went too, they basically said they didn't even look at the writing score. I remember being tempted to leave that section blank, but I figured that it might look bad to do so.

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