Ask Kate: GMAT Score of 710 with Very Low IR

A low IR doesn’t put top schools out of reach.




I’m a prospective applicant with a 710 (49Q 38V) but my IR score is really bad (2 / 8). I am a reapplicant at my top choice – I was waitlisted after applying in the third round last year with a 660 GMAT. The admissions officer gave me two pieces of advice – 1) apply in Round 1 this year and 2) Get a 700+ on the GMAT.

I’m planning on applying in Round 1 to this school within the next few weeks. But Is the IR score a real cause for concern? I’m a former investment banking analyst with, what I believe to be, above average analytical skills as shown in my 3.9 GPA and 49Q score.


Thanks for your input, Kate.

Could you comment on how seriously they are looking at the IR section currently? Does it hold much weight if an applicant has shown that they can handle the quantitative rigor of an MBA curriculum in other areas like coursework and on other parts of the GMAT?

2 IRHey Derek,
That’s certainly not ideal, but your GMAT is safe (IR is a separate test), GPA is good, and you are (obviously!!) applying round 1. You didn’t mention which school, but at most, with the notable exceptions HBS and Columbia, that gives you until approximately October 1 and your time at this point is MUCH better spent on creating riveting, authentic essays and making sure your letters of recommendation are specific and compelling. You got waitlisted with a 660 in round 3. There must be something to love about you. If the MBA admissions officer was willing to share points 1 and 2, and you’ve covered them, you’re in decent shape. Good work!

**HBS already submitted round 1 and Columbia “round 1″ should also have been submitted by now though technically you have a little time. Columbia has been accepting apps for several weeks and is already interviewing candidates. If you’re applying to Columbia, get your app in!


I don’t want to say it isn’t considered . . . but I’m not seeing any pressure created by the IR section alone. If your app points to other reasons to ding you, it might be the icing on the cake.



GMAT Score of 710 with Very Low IR

Ask Kate: Good Overall GMAT Score with Low IR

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