I know you’ve answered a lot of similar questions, but I have yet to see a score makeup quite like mine. I just scored a 740 on the GMAT, first shot at it, which I was thrilled about. But then my breakdown is really odd. IR 7 (82nd percentile), Quant only 42 (45th percentile), Verbal 51 (99th), and I think I did well enough on the AWA. I spent the last month and a half studying only quant, I didn’t pay any attention at all to verbal, so I was kind of shocked by the score breakdown. My quant hadn’t changed from my practice exams, but my verbal had jumped up. Is that going to kill me, even with the high composite score?
I don’t have much of a quant background; I was a history major with an international business minor, 3.46 GPA (low, mainly due to some health problems during my first two years. My last several semesters and my business classes were all in the 3.8 range). I’m a female international student from Portugal (dual American citizenship), have a lot of travel experience, significant international service experience, and speak English, Portuguese, and Spanish fluently. I’ve been working for the last couple of years in a family holding company on several startup projects, including some that are economically significant for the country. I also started a nontraditional school last year for a group of American families here in Portugal.
My long-term goal is to create schools or an education model that disrupts the current education system, first in the US and, eventually, in Portugal and other countries. To do that, I’m absolutely set on Stanford. I need the management and strategy and entrepreneurial expertise that would come from a top MBA program, but in addition, Stanford offers a dual MA/MBA in education. Stanford is the top school for innovation in education, and that combination would be an out-of-this-world catalyst for a career in disruptive education. I know that Stanford has the lowest acceptance rates, and my chances really are so slim of even landing an interview, but it is absolutely what I am shooting for. Call me crazy, I know.
Round 2 applications are due in a few weeks. I decided rather recently to pursue this course, so I did not have much time to prepare for the GMAT, let alone leave time for multiple attempts, but I could get one more in right before or even on the deadline (perks of the European time zone). I have a lot of work to do for applications, so ideally I would just be done with the GMAT, but if my current quant score is going to knock me out, I’d try to squeeze it in. Do you think that’s necessary? I suppose I could even postpone my application and try to really nail the quant, but third round feels like a death sentence to me.
Do you have any advice? Sobering words to lower my head out of the clouds?
I very much appreciate your time and consideration.
First, big congrats on the 740. Kudos, really. That will help. Your quant is scary low for gsb, BUT I would still apply. Make your application out of this world. Have your letters of recommendation allude to specific examples of you demonstrating competence in business analytics, statistical analysis or other quant-y areas. Make sure there are specific examples (that don’t seem forced). They just want to make sure you’re not going to slow the class down – it’s less about you being a stellar statistician.
You will need to write the extra essay on GPA and low Quant. Do explain extenuating circumstances yr 1,2. Do point out areas of strong quant performance. Avoid talking about lack of time to prepare, etc.
If you get dinged this year, you know what you need to do for round 1 next year.
In your case, I would not wait for Round 3. It sounds like you may be strong enough based on where you are now. But you’re going to have to sell it. Dedicate your time to that.
Good luck! Let me know when you get the interview!
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