Ask Kate: Engineer with Low Quant on GMAT Score

If your quant on the GMAT was low, you probably need to retake.

 

 

Hi Kate,

I recently took the GMAT for the first time, and I scored a 710 – 6.0 AWA, 7.0 IR, 41Q, 46V. Strangely, I actually have a quantitative background, as I am a former engineer who now works in finance. My undergrad degree is in electrical engineering, and I recently earned my CFA charter. Unfortunately, I took an engineer’s mindset into the GMAT, which was not good, as I focused too much on calculation and ended up running short on time. I am aiming at top 10 programs (HBS, Stanford, Booth, possibly Columbia, Wharton, Haas, and Tuck). My question is whether or not I should retake the test. I have had a couple of people tell me that my time would be better spent putting together the rest of my application, but I would love to get your opinion. Given my background, will my lower quant score be an issue?

Thank you for your feedback!

Matt

EngineerHi Matt, as a first time test taker you did fall into some traps. It happens and won’t be held against you with a decent second test. You should need very little re-work to get your GMAT score across the 760 threshold. If you were my student I would have you cranking on the essays for apps and spending a few hours on GMAT quant each week. If you focus on the right stuff, you may be able to get the quant from 41 to 48 in 4 weeks. That would put you in 760-770 territory.

There’s no way I’d let an engineer with “quant” background apply with a 41 on quant and only one test under his belt. No way. It looks foolish – as though you did not understand the instructions on quant. The total GMAT result isn’t really the problem, just the foolishness that led to a low quant.

Retake.

-Kate

P.S. If you want to come “in” (online or NYC) for an evaluation that can point out exactly where to spend your quant time, reach out to my asst: hi@prepwise.com. We can fast track you so you can get that second take knocked out at your 31 day mark.

 

 

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