Ask Kate: Does Low Quant on GMAT equal Rejection?

How to know if you need to improve your quant on the GMAT.




I just took the GMAT for the first time and got a score of 730(Q47, V44). While I am happy with my overall score, I am somewhat concerned my quant score might not be good enough since it’s below the 80 percentile mark(the exact percentile is 70). Should I consider taking the test again? Or in other words – Will bschools reject my application purely on the basis of a low quant score?


high scoreHi Nimit, Congrats on the 730! Nice work. The 47 is fine. I wouldn’t sweat a retake unless you have time to kill – and if you have time to kill, your app has bigger problems than the 47….

Time to work on the app or build your profile (if you are applying after this year).

IF, and I do mean IF, you decide to retake, do not forget to run through verbal at least once a week. Stay sharp. On quant you’ll want to concentrate on the simple subjects. Yes, I mean number theory. A 47 usually indicates enough mechanical skill to be sufficient for GMAT purposes so honing your cranking skills won’t net you much score-wise. You’ll want to tackle the number line (a personal fav!), divisibility and primes, constraints and boundaries – those kinds of subjects. You really don’t need to spend the time on minor subjects (probability, combinations, geometry, etc.) as those aren’t likely to move the needle for you. So perhaps you’re working through a mixture problem . . . you can set it up as a weighted average, you can put it on a continuum, you can chart it, etc. There are a bunch of ways to do most of the problems. You want to knit this stuff together to the point that you see the 3 main problem types: mechanical, boundaries, and number theory. Get clear about executing simple parts of complex problems more efficiently. The GMAT is all about logical processing. Keep that in mind if you decide to retake.

But if you’re trying to make round 2 . . . crank on the apps. The GMAT is done. Nice check mark.

Let us know what happens!


P.S. Until last year quant 47 was 78th percentile. A flood of quant heavy scores have rolled in within the past 2 years (cheating and more people prepping). On the plus side, those who only have top quant scores fail to gain admission because top tier bschools look at the whole package.


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