Ask Kate: 700 with 40 Verbal and 44 Quant

Should You Retake The GMAT After A 700 Score?



I just took the GMAT for the first time and received a 700 but not with a particularly balanced score (Q 40, V 44). I was a Business and Psychology major in college with a 3.55 GPA overall and good grades in several math-based classes for both majors but should I consider re-taking to improve my Quant score for application to a top 10 program?

700Hi Whitney, As lovely as the 700 is, I would retake – unless you’ve taken 2-3 times already. To keep your verbal up, read, read, read. Your score indicates a solid grasp of the verbal concepts. Great! The best way to bolster is (even) more critical reading. As you hit articles ask yourself about the author’s argument, how would you strengthen, weaken, what are the assumptions, etc. I’m partial to the New Yorker, NYT/WSJ/FT op-ed pages. This is helpful at your level and less directly helpful to those below 42 on verbal (for the rest of you reading!!).

For QUANT . . . well, lucky you, I’m about to finish bundling Math I,II,III. If you’re super sweet and convincing, I might be willing to send you an advanced draft. I’m not making them publicly available – just for my students. But, compelling stories win the day. :)

The best thing for you to do is have a GMAT expert watch you respond to quant questions. Your timing may be off, but an expert can show you why it’s off (you mess up XYZ when doing PQR, etc.). Or perhaps it’s a foundational gap. An impartial, well trained observer can help you understand the challenges and next steps. I am not the low cost leader, but I do single triage sessions online and face to face. In a single session you can get a clear sign of what isn’t working for you and a path for how to fix. If you can’t swing me, the next tier down is ManhattanGMAT and they’re all over the place now. You can probably find a local instructor who is reasonably competent in most major metro areas in the US and a few overseas. The tier below that won’t be worth your time. You’ve already outscored the Kaplan teacher requirement…. (680)


P.S. Part of the recommendation to retake is based on a low GPA in what some will term “soft” majors. You want to show more math chops if possible.

Leave a Comment