February, March, and April are crucial months for business school applicants. Round 3 is the last chance to wow the admissions committee. So how can you improve your chances of getting into a top business school with less than a 700 on the GMAT? Here are my recommendations:
Option 1: Retake the GMAT.
You can retake the GMAT once every 31 calendar days. If you took the GMAT on February 15th and weren't satisfied with your score, you can retake it on March 16th. That's just enough time to submit it to a few schools in Round 2 or start preparing Round 3 applications.
According to the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), you are statistically unlikely to increase your GMAT score simply by retaking the test. The secret to increasing your score? You must study differently. Refer to our post for How to Use Practice Tests (the Correct Way) for more help. If you didn't work with a tutor before you took the GMAT, email APPLY ME to discuss how we can improve your preparation and increase your score.
Option 2: Strengthen the other parts of your application.
Admissions committees evaluate business school candidates based on a number of factors, only one of which is the GMAT. "Telling your story" well in your application essays and making sure you are a good "fit" for the school (your goals are compatible with the school's offerings) are just as important as scoring over a 700 on the GMAT. This recent discussion on BusinessWeek says it better than I ever could.
Option 3: Take the GRE.
This is only the second year that many business schools are accepting GRE scores instead of GMAT scores.
Pros: Since this is the second year, little historical data from business schools is available. So, business schools have not really decided how GRE scores match or should be considered in relation to GMAT scores. In addition, the GRE CBT is often a shorter test with math and verbal questions that are not as complicated as GMAT questions. For example, rather than using the really confusing GMAT data sufficiency questions, the GRE uses data analysis questions that require you to decide which of the two quantities is greater or if they are equal.
Cons: GRE verbal is heavily vocabulary based. The analogy, antonym, and sentence completion questions all test vocabulary, which is difficult to build quickly. Moreover, after weeks preparing for the GMAT, you will have to switch modes and prepare for the GRE. Fortunately, APPLY ME has a program designed specifically to build on GMAT skills and apply them to the GRE, rather than starting your study over. Several students have taken the GRE route and found it to be less frustrating that GMAT preparation.
No matter what option you choose, APPLY ME can help you prepare for business school and achieve your educational goals!