Low GMAT score. Big goals. What do I do?


ascp789

Hi,

I'm in quite a pickle at the moment, and it would mean a great deal to me if anyone could share their thoughts with me. So, my plan was to apply for round 2, but with such a low GMAT score (last mock - 450) I wouldn't be eligible to apply to any of the top or even decent programs anywhere around the world. So I thought I'd push my applications to rounds 3/4, and that would give me some more time to work on my GMAT. However I've been talking to some people around, trying to get more advice on this matter, and everyone I've reached out to so far has told me that I wouldn't be able to bring up the score to the expected range of 700 with the time I have remaining. Now, what makes everything worse is that I cannot delay my MBA plans any further and have to apply for 2022 no matter what. So I have been considering schools that don't compulsorily require GMAT/GRE scores, like FSFM, Grenoble but would these schools be good choices? Would an MBA degree from schools that don't require GMAT help in the job market? I've heard from working professionals that recruiters prefer candidates with test scores or those that have studied in schools that ask for test scores.
I recently spoke to an alum from FSFM who was also an international student while at the school, and he told me the school is more of a posh work park and lacks a good learning system. He told me the school doesn't exude the learning/collaborative nature of schools like LBS, HEC and also that FSFM's students have a lackadaisical attitude towards Indian students. I need to learn German/French which is daunting, but I don't have a better choice. IE, I believe would be the best option for someone who is looking for substituted test options, and I want to apply to IE and take the IEGAT, but I keep thinking for someone who manages to score only 450 and below on the GMAT, would I be able to crack the entrance exam of a dream school like IE? I'm not sure if I could ace the FSFM entrance test so IE seems to be too farfetched to me.
ESADE is a great school and seems to be the kind of place I would like to be in. It is also another school that I believe has a substituted test option, but again if I can't do well on the GMAT, I can't imagine I'd do well on ESADE's test either.

To give you a little bit of background about myself; I completed my undergraduate degree (majored in Finance & Accountancy) in 2017 with a CGPA of 8.7, after which I've worked for around 4 years so far. My first role was in a small-scale consulting firm as a consultant and my second and current job is as a strategy associate at a rice production company.

I don't hold firm and specific knowledge about MBA and everything related, and I know there's a lot that I should be knowing that I am unaware of. Please give me youse opinions, anything at all would probably make a huge difference for me at this point.

Hi,

I'm in quite a pickle at the moment, and it would mean a great deal to me if anyone could share their thoughts with me. So, my plan was to apply for round 2, but with such a low GMAT score (last mock - 450) I wouldn't be eligible to apply to any of the top or even decent programs anywhere around the world. So I thought I'd push my applications to rounds 3/4, and that would give me some more time to work on my GMAT. However I've been talking to some people around, trying to get more advice on this matter, and everyone I've reached out to so far has told me that I wouldn't be able to bring up the score to the expected range of 700 with the time I have remaining. Now, what makes everything worse is that I cannot delay my MBA plans any further and have to apply for 2022 no matter what. So I have been considering schools that don't compulsorily require GMAT/GRE scores, like FSFM, Grenoble but would these schools be good choices? Would an MBA degree from schools that don't require GMAT help in the job market? I've heard from working professionals that recruiters prefer candidates with test scores or those that have studied in schools that ask for test scores.
I recently spoke to an alum from FSFM who was also an international student while at the school, and he told me the school is more of a posh work park and lacks a good learning system. He told me the school doesn't exude the learning/collaborative nature of schools like LBS, HEC and also that FSFM's students have a lackadaisical attitude towards Indian students. I need to learn German/French which is daunting, but I don't have a better choice. IE, I believe would be the best option for someone who is looking for substituted test options, and I want to apply to IE and take the IEGAT, but I keep thinking for someone who manages to score only 450 and below on the GMAT, would I be able to crack the entrance exam of a dream school like IE? I'm not sure if I could ace the FSFM entrance test so IE seems to be too farfetched to me.
ESADE is a great school and seems to be the kind of place I would like to be in. It is also another school that I believe has a substituted test option, but again if I can't do well on the GMAT, I can't imagine I'd do well on ESADE's test either.

To give you a little bit of background about myself; I completed my undergraduate degree (majored in Finance & Accountancy) in 2017 with a CGPA of 8.7, after which I've worked for around 4 years so far. My first role was in a small-scale consulting firm as a consultant and my second and current job is as a strategy associate at a rice production company.

I don't hold firm and specific knowledge about MBA and everything related, and I know there's a lot that I should be knowing that I am unaware of. Please give me youse opinions, anything at all would probably make a huge difference for me at this point.
quote
Duncan

You have a complex situation and display little really firm knowledge of any of the options in front of you. Slow down and think about career goals, which language you want to work in, then focus on building language skills before you move. 

I recommend you look for a career aptitude test like CareerLeader. Given your work experience, more career focus will help you. If you are focussed on one business function an MSc from a better school will help you more than an MBA from a worse school. That means, for example:

- If you want to work in marketing, why not take an MSc in marketing? You'll be able to get into a better school.

- Looking at some marketing jobs on LinkedIn, where in marketing would you like to be? In digital, analytics, communications etc? Maybe look at one or two of these light blue wedges at https://www.cim.co.uk/membership/professional-marketing-competencies/


Do you have any other European language skills? If not, would you like to focus on Ireland and the UK, or on learning a foreign language first? Read my post on learning the local language, because language is more important than GMAT.

You are right that there is a preference for schools that require test scores, for obvious reasons. In a nutshell, there's a big difference between a school asking for 450 and 575 or 600. You are limiting yourself if you think that the only options at over 700. Read my posts on GMAT tiers and the best MBAs for placements.

[Edited by Duncan on Feb 13, 2022]

<div>You have a complex situation and display little really firm knowledge of any of the options in front of you. Slow down and think about career goals, which language you want to work in, then focus on building language skills before you move.&nbsp;</div><div><br><br></div><div>I recommend you look for a career aptitude test like CareerLeader. Given your work experience, more career focus will help you. If you are focussed on one business function an MSc from a better school will help you more than an MBA from a worse school. That means, for example:</div><br><br>- If you want to work in marketing, why not take an MSc in marketing? You'll be able to get into a better school.<br><br><div>- Looking at some marketing jobs on LinkedIn, where in marketing would you like to be? In digital, analytics, communications etc? Maybe look at one or two of these light blue wedges at https://www.cim.co.uk/membership/professional-marketing-competencies/</div><div><br></div><br><br><div>Do you have any other European language skills? If not, would you like to focus on Ireland and the UK, or on learning a foreign language first? Read my post on learning the local language, because language is more important than GMAT.</div><div><br><br><div>You are right that there is a preference for schools that require test scores, for obvious reasons. In a nutshell, there's a big difference between a school asking for 450 and 575 or 600. You are limiting yourself if you think that the only options at over 700. Read my posts on GMAT tiers and the best MBAs for placements.</div><div><br><br>
</div></div>
quote
mba hipste...

I mean, I suppose a 450 --> 700+ score improvement is possible, but relatively unlikely.

Have you taken multiple practice tests? It may just be that you had a bad day. 

The 'quick' way to score improvement is generally to target your weaknesses. Is there a particular section that gave you the most trouble? If so, focus on that.

The good thing is that with some effort and practice, it's usually easier to improve a lower score substantially than it is to significantly improve a higher score.

If self-guided prep is not easy for you, you might also want to hire a coach. 

I mean, I suppose a 450 --&gt; 700+ score improvement is possible, but relatively unlikely.<br><br>Have you taken multiple practice tests? It may just be that you had a bad day.&nbsp;<br><br>The 'quick' way to score improvement is generally to target your weaknesses. Is there a particular section that gave you the most trouble? If so, focus on that.<br><br>The good thing is that with some effort and practice, it's usually easier to improve a lower score substantially than it is to significantly improve a higher score.<br><br>If self-guided prep is not easy for you, you might also want to hire a coach.&nbsp;
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