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'What is a decent GMAT score?'

Last updated on: February 21, 2013 10:03 IST

'What is a decent GMAT score?'

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In an online chat with readers on February 20, Ashish N of EducationAisle addressed queries on how to prepare for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and offered advice on how to choose a good international b-school.

For those who missed the chat, here's the unedited transcript:


Ashish says, Greetings everyone!! This is Ashish and I am happy to take your GMAT related questions today.

arnav asked, please share some tips to crack quant

Ashish answers, at 2013-02-20 15:00:48
Arnav, unfortunately GMAT is not an exam that can be aced thru "tips and tricks". One has to be realistic about the outcome if one is not putting in sufficient efforts. Having said that, focused efforts and dogged determination are the keys. Not sure if all these qualify to be "tips"..but that really is as far as I can go with your question. 300-400 hours of effort, and you should be there!!
jack asked, how much work experience and score is needed for a person with average academic record to get entry into executive programs in IIMs?

Ashish answers,
Different IIMs seem to have different preference vis-a-vis experience. For example, IIMA has an average work experience of around 10 years; At IIMB, it is around 7 years. The best way to know would be to visit the websites of respective IIMs, where this data for the "current class" would be mentioned. Please do note that some IIMs have a "minimum experience" criterion as well
gmat asked, hi, how to get a good score in gmat?

Ashish answers,
Have already answered earlier; focused studies and determination hold the key.
Arushi asked, What are the 'must haves' in an impressive MBA application other than good GMAT score and academic records?

Ashish answers,
Zero. No must haves. Arushi, there is no such thing as a "perfect application". "Parts" add up to the "whole"....while attributes such as philanthropy and social work are often harped upon, believe me less than 50% of the class even at Ivy-league colleges would have it on their resume. So, extracurriculars, leadership ability (better if demonstrated)...work experience..all add up.
aniruddh asked, what type of a score should i be targeting to get into NUS and INSEAD(singapore). Also are there good scholarship programmes for the same??

Ashish answers,
Aniruddh, for any decent B-schools across the globe, a 700+ score is the minimum one should target. The reverse is also true by the way..with a 700+ score, you have a decent chance at "any" school. As for scholarships, all schools offer scholarships to applicants who the b-schools would definitely like to see on their rolls. So, scholarships are obviously a function of how "desirable" you are to a school:)
gumnaam asked, Aashish, what is a good score to get admission into any of top 20 US B-schools ? (assume work-ex and other reqmts are met)

Ashish answers,
Just answered it...700+ is the minimum; having said that, a higher score never hurts!!
rashi asked, Can you please provide some good books/reference material to start with?

Ashish answers,
For Maths, generally maths books (ICSE/CBSE) till class 10th are sufficient. However, few concepts such as Counting (Permutations, combinations & Probability) and co-ordinate geometry demand a more rigorous study. Also, for both Quant and Verbal, material from any of the well known names in GMAT (Princeton, Kaplan, Manhattan) is sufficient. There would be significant overlap in the material for all these companies (after all, no one can claim a copyright on Nouns, Pronouns and Tenses). What is most important is not the material itself, but what you gain from the material. In Quant, Data Sufficiency proves to be challenging for most people. For extra practice, I have found the DS forum of the website www.beatthegmat.com to be quite good.
aniruddh asked, so to say for a scholarship ,the "desirable" quotient boils down to good extracurricular + good acads + decent work-ex ??

Ashish answers,
Oh all that AND A GREAT GMAT Score!!
Ame asked, Amrendra here : Have 7 years of experience in sales with Schneider . Can score well with Gmat . But problem with second part verbal .Specific guidance required for verbal .Right now following only official guide to GMAT . Also share good practices to score well in verbal .

Ashish answers,
Yeah..that's often a challenge..actually OG is really just a compilation of questions. So, one cannot really "build" concepts thru OG; OG is a great source of practice material. For Critical reasoning, You can search on the net to find some lessons on elementary formal logic; for Sentence correction, you MUST know basic grammar; else there is no redemption:)
Ame asked, Continuing the same I want to study in india few institution ( ISB,IIMB,A ) .What should be good score to get into these college . As per my info it is 720

Ashish answers,
Sure that is a realistic target!
Ame asked, Continuing the same I want to study in india few institution ( ISB,IIMB,A ) .What should be good score to get into these college . As per my info it is 720

Ashish answers,
Sure that is a realistic target!
Anil asked, What is a decent score, to apply for a university abroad?

Ashish answers,
700+ at a minimum; higher that that does not hurt!!
Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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nomade asked,
what is a good score to get admission into any of top 20 US B-schools ? (assume work-ex and other reqmts are met)

Ashish answers,
700+ at a minimum; the higher, the better.
gumnaam asked, How good is ISB? My gmat score is 680. If I get ISB and some good US bschool, whicg one shd I go for? (omitting the cost factor)

Ashish answers,
Really depends on your motivation; if your preference is to make a career abroad, then a good US bschool would be a better bet (not that there are "no" overseas placements at ISB); experience-wise, faculty-wise and in all other aspects, I would think ISB stands second to none.
nomade asked, For a score of 650 what options do we have? Are these institues good enough to join and invest huge amount?

Ashish answers,
Frankly you have a very modest target, if you have 650 in mind. Best would be to download a GMATPrep test from mba.com. Perhaps you are already at 650!! Though I think you must not restrict yourself to this target, even before starting the prep.
Arpit asked, I am having a work ex of one yr. and m looking to work for one more yr. & i look to admision in Rotman, university of toronto. my gmat score is 720. is my score and work ex good enough to get me admission over there ?

Ashish answers,
Arpit, please refer to Rotman's website for details on the average work experience for the current batch at Rotman. My feeling is that your experience even after another year, would be on the lower side.
Siddharth asked, Recently there has been a change in the GMAT exam pattern, how must an applicants strategy change to counter these changed & ensure good performance.

Ashish answers,
To be more specific, a new section "Integrated reasoning" has been introduced. Right now our recommendation is to just be comfortable with the question in "Integrated reasoning" provided in OG13.
sk asked, What are the similarities/dissimilarities with CAT exam?

Ashish answers,
Similarities: Both exams should be regarded as equally tough (YES!! CAT is not tougher than GMAT or vice versa) and be given due respect. The best way to give due respect is to dedicate the time and effort they each deserve. On the course front...perhaps some bit of overlap on the quant side..very little on the verbal side, except for Reading comprehension...though Reading comprehension passages on GMAT are slightly smaller..this does not make them any easier though..
Anil asked, In order to get a score of 700+, how much amount of time in required to be spent on studying? For how many years this score is normally valid?

Ashish answers,
Around 300-400 hours in total. The score is valid for 5 years, but B-schools generally prefer that your score is not more than 3 years old.
Deepak asked, How much do the universities stress on the importance of the new IR section ?

Ashish answers,
Not much currently, but this may change in the next one year. The percentile breakups for IR have been revealed for the first time. Please refer to: http://www.gmac.com/why-gmac/gmac-news/gmnews/2012/july-2012/initial-integrated-reasoning-percentiles-released.aspx
sk asked, How often is the top score of 800 achieved and what is the incremental frequency in the range of 700 to 800 (i.e. percentile breakup.)

Ashish answers,
This question is of an academic interest...but it is very infrequent...
ARVIND asked, Hi Ashish....what are the chances of placement after MBA from a good school...I assume there would not be any campus placements in any B school.

Ashish answers,
Chances are very decent, though there are things like macro-economic situations which are beyond us, and can play spoilsport. By the way, in India, B-schools do conduct campus placements.
naveen asked, I belong to power sector with over 8 years of experience in public & private organisations. Do I have an edge over IT professionals while getting admission??

Ashish answers,
When you start preparing for GMAT, these kind of thoughts should not even come to your mind. Just focus on GMAT for now. All other things are for the application stage. If you feel you are at a comparatively advantageous position, the least it would do is that you would be complacent in your GMAT prep. Don't do that please.
Deepak asked, Also, would the number of times tested matter in terms of selection criteria for schools?

Ashish answers,
Generally b-schools consider only the best attempt, but few b-schools, especially in US, do have a "weighted average" criterion. If you have any specific b-school in mind, it is best to visit their website for their policy w.r.t. re-GMAT test takers.
sanket asked, If we take a look at MBA from salary point of view, what will be return on investment considering you are quitting your current job. Please give an example considering average b school case in india and in US.

Ashish answers,
This actually can be figured out..at least approximately, since all B-schools do publish salary data..but it is difficult to extrapolate that to what those b-school graduates earn in the long run. By the way, when you are considering "investment", the opportunity cost of not working for those 1 or 2 years should also be considered, apart from the tuition and living expenses during your MBA education.
dfmhjskdhf asked, What are the placement chances of PG program in Private Equity from LSE considering their are no on-campus placemens.

Ashish answers,
For all such very specific questions, it is best to directly get in touch with the school (thru the contact mail id mentioned on their website). Ask the school to get you in touch with an alum who is working in PE. That would give you an accurate picture. All good b-schools do this "facilitation" thing. LSE should be no different. Other option is to search for blogs of students from LSE and then get in touch with them.
guest asked, I am having 15 years of experience and have done my previous MBA in 1998. I am preparing for GMAT and aspiring for NUS and INSEAD. Please have some tips for preparing GMAT? what score should i target for ?

Ashish answers,
A previous MBA is generally not looked at negatively by any b-school. However, you have to demonstrate what you hope to get out of this second MBA, that your first MBA did not give you in these 15 years. Since 15 years is a long time outside of academics, a 700+ score would be a good statement to the b-schools that you do have academic ability
munnu asked, Can we opt GMAT after 10+2

Ashish answers,
Even if you could, I would not recommend it..in fact, for most cases it is not even recommended immediately after graduation. One must have few years work-ex, because that is what b-schools prefer.
jump asked, any idea on scores needed for LSE?

Ashish answers,
All such data is displayed transparently on each school's website.
rahulsharma asked, Hi Mr. Ashish....I wish to appear for a 1 year pg program which which most b-schools offer and ISB is my first priority. Please let me know what score is sufficient to get into 1year pg prog in ISB

Ashish answers,
I did mention this..no score is "too sufficient"; nevertheless a 700+ gives you a decent shot.
salil asked, Hi Ashish,I have a Masters in Public Health and was wondering whether that would be a hindrance in my pursuit of a good B school since it is not a "job ready " degree?

Ashish answers,
You have a valid concern Salil. It would be best to get in touch with individual schools to see how they feel about it. You are correct that "job readiness" would be something that schools would look at...but then, who knows your skills can be leveraged to some "readily available" jobs..
VK asked, Hello..I have 7 years of Work Experiance - Indian IT Male...i am planning to take up GMAT for an executive MBA in one of the IIM's....what is the chance of a profile change after MBA...i am not interested to continue in IT..please advice

Ashish answers,
Not very great chances. If you emerge among the toppers, you might be able to go into management consulting. However, if you wish to go into a completely different field such as Finance etc., I would think you should be a bit realistic.
Shaaz asked, Hi Ashish, Is it okay to pursue to an Executive MBA program from Booth or a regular MBA

Ashish answers,
If Executive MBA is full time, it should be equally good; generally the industry acceptance of part time programs is not great.
rahulsharma asked, I am presently doing a job so will not be able to dedicate much time daily towards the prep...is studying 3 hours daily is sufficient if I am eyeing for 2015.??

Ashish answers,
Oh yes...2-3 hours per day for 3-4 months such be sufficient Rahul.
Albert asked, I have taken up few mock tests and I found that I am completely week on DI. Ashish - I would like to know how would I tackle that? And also I wanted to know the importance of essays in GMAT.

Ashish answers,
DI should not be too much of a concern for the next few months at least..don't bother too much, as long as you are scoring well on other sections. Essays might not be "phenomenally important", but then why take a chance? Give your best in that half an hour of essay writing.
Mugdha asked, how much period is sufficient to prepare for GMAT ?

Ashish answers,
2-3 hours per day for 3-4 months is generally sufficient. YMMV.
XYZ asked, How much time does one need to allot for GMAT preparation for admission into ISB? When do the admissions of ISB take place? Ideally when should I give my GMAT? I have not even made an application.

Ashish answers,
Generally you can work backwards from the application deadline. So, if application deadline is (say) October 15th, you should ideally get done by September 15th, so that you can get sufficient time for application.
Shaaz asked, For Executive MBA from booth, the university says they give the same MBA degree and not some other Exe or Part time degree. Is it alright then.

Ashish answers,
same Degree would matter only if the industry also deems it the same. Please see the placement statistics and if it is similar/better, go for it.
pavan asked, HOW is the new GMAT coaching by The Economist?

Ashish answers,
Am not sure...hope you know that it was I think, Master GMAT.
pavan asked, Three to four hundred hours is the time for preparation -spread over how many days?

Ashish answers,
around 3-4 months
Hari asked, If a person has not greatacademic record like 10 and 12th ,would good score in GMAT suffice for entering schools like ISB IIMs

Ashish answers,
Well, since GMAT is an indicator of academic ability, a great GMAT score would basically signal that you are not intrinsically weak in academics. And so, it would at least to some extent, undo the damage.
rahulsharma asked, thanks ashish just to add...ISB asks for a essay in their selection process....does having a good vocab will do or General awareness is also essential for the same??

Ashish answers,
Actually they ask for 3 essays generally..it is equivalent to a SoP (Statement of purpose). The intent is definitely not to test your vocab. Clarity of thought and lucidity of ideas is the key.
Ashish says, Thanks friends. This is all we had time for today. It was nice interacting with all of you. Good bye for now and good luck with your GMAT Prep. Let us Checkmate GMAT!!




Tags: MBA , GMAT , ISB , LSE , Rotman

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