With a 680, Should I Retake the GMAT?

Posted By SWatts on Jun 1, 2014 | 0 comments

From The Staff of MBA Admit.com
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With a 680, Should I Retake the GMAT?

Taking the GMAT is no simple feat. Many candidates study through hard and long regimens for the GMAT. They go into the exam hoping for a score in the 700s and are disappointed when they learn that their score is in the 600s instead. When the score is in the high-600s, candidates struggle with a question about whether to re-take the exam. What is the expert advice?

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. The ideal answer depends on who the candidate is (gender, age, citizenship, ethnicity, industry, etc.) and how strong the candidate’s overall record is (GPA, undergraduate institution, alternative transcript, professional successes, community leadership, etc.). Giving accurate general advice about this can be difficult, but here are some guidelines about how you can think about this:

A score of 680 is certainly nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, a score of 680 can keep many candidates within shooting range of top schools like Harvard and Wharton. Instead, think about what the impact would be if your GMAT score goes lower. If you receive a higher GMAT score, your application will get a wonderful boost! But, if your second GMAT score is less than 680, admissions committees may feel that the first higher score was a fluke and that the second score is a better reflection of your abilities. This may be especially true if you have a lower-than-ideal GPA: the second lower GMAT score may be interpreted as providing “evidence” that your lower-than-ideal GPA was an accurate indicator of your abilities and potential. You will then potentially have two weak spots in your application.

This means that re-taking the GMAT with a 680 already in hand can be risky. If you decide to re-take it, make sure you have taken a prep course that has helped you understand how to test well on the GMAT – a sort of security that your next score will be higher. Make sure to also take full mock tests and project your score, and re-test after you are consistently scoring in a higher range that you find acceptable.

Also, keep in mind that some schools ask only for your highest score – not all GMAT scores recorded – which could factor heavily in your decision to re-take the GMAT.

For many top schools, 680 is a solid score for matriculating students. Additionally, if you decide not to re-test and to keep the 680 as your highest score, you can continue to establish your strong skills and potential through references to your strong professional performance in the application essays and recommendations.


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