Should I retake a 730 (Q49, V40) for HBS / GSB?

Prepwise AnswersCategory: GMATShould I retake a 730 (Q49, V40) for HBS / GSB?
aspiringb asked 3 weeks ago

Hi Kate!
I am wondering if I should retake my GMAT, where I’ve only taken it once and got 730 (Q49, V40).  I have 3.6 GPA in Biology from undergrad and have worked 4 years at a management consulting firm, and currently am in the tech industry.  My target schools are HBS and GSB – do you think I should retake my GMAT?
Thanks so much,
Aspiringly anxious

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1 Answers
Kate McKeon Staff answered 3 weeks ago

Excellent question. In short, no. I think you should move to the essay writing/rec gathering stage.
That said, here are your considerations:

  1. Your GPA is fine, but it’s not “great” given the rampant grade inflation of the past 20 years. Getting your GMAT over 760 wipes out any possible concerns here. When you have time for overkill . . . but really, your time may be better spent elsewhere. Getting from 730 to 760+ may be a 5 week endeavor when guided carefully or 10 weeks of frustration and wasted time. If you do move forward with a retake, PLEASE get very professional help. You need a needle-laser surgeon not a scalpel and certainly not a chainsaw. DO NOT waste your time in a public class. Public classes are chainsaws. Most tutors are scalpels. Find a tutor who gets you, gets where you’re going, and really gets the GMAT. 
  2. How much thought have you REALLY given to why MBA, why now, why this school? You’re in a field full of ppl heading back, and it’s the ultimate water cooler conversation topic. You can’t help but be subconsciously influenced by that. Is this really coming from inside you or is it at least partly externally driven – be honest with yourself. Is it okay if you get dinged at both and don’t go to a program? Or do you “need” to get in somewhere because you have to move on? This is less about a backup plan and more about how you see the MBA fitting into your overall plan.
  3. How clear are your potential recommendation writers on why you, why mba, why this school? Not only should you be clear, but also your letter writers need to be clear. If you can’t share your statement of purpose in 6-12seconds, you are not clear. Go back to step 2.

Also, good work! It’s nice to have a very safe score on the board. There’s nothing to “worry” about with respect to your current stats. While you can do better, you should celebrate the victory so far. Congratulations!