Low GMAT : is it worth applying or retaking


Hello,
I am hoping that Duncan or someone with experience can help out and reply to this post.
I took the GMAT for the first time and scored 550 (lower than hoped/ anticipated) due to the conditions at the testing center (at least partly). I wrote to GMAC and do not know yet if I will be allowed to retake in less than 16 days.
Here is my dilemma: Should I cancel my scores? (deadline for doing so is less than 24 hrs away). If I do cancel the scores, I will not be able to apply to HBS for this year and will have to apply for the following year (if I actually want to apply to HBS). All other schools I am interested in, have Round 3 so I can retake the GMAT and apply.
My overall profile: BS in Genetics (GPA: 3.7); MS in Genetics; Ph.D. in Cell Biology; working experience (post Ph.D.): 9 yrs academic and 3+ industry.
My main question: Is it hurting me more to have a low GMAT score in my record? What is the cost-benefit ratio for applying with a low score? Please help !!
Hello,
I am hoping that Duncan or someone with experience can help out and reply to this post.
I took the GMAT for the first time and scored 550 (lower than hoped/ anticipated) due to the conditions at the testing center (at least partly). I wrote to GMAC and do not know yet if I will be allowed to retake in less than 16 days.
Here is my dilemma: Should I cancel my scores? (deadline for doing so is less than 24 hrs away). If I do cancel the scores, I will not be able to apply to HBS for this year and will have to apply for the following year (if I actually want to apply to HBS). All other schools I am interested in, have Round 3 so I can retake the GMAT and apply.
My overall profile: BS in Genetics (GPA: 3.7); MS in Genetics; Ph.D. in Cell Biology; working experience (post Ph.D.): 9 yrs academic and 3+ industry.
My main question: Is it hurting me more to have a low GMAT score in my record? What is the cost-benefit ratio for applying with a low score? Please help !!
quote
Duncan
Obviously this depends on so much, and primarily the opportunity cost of a year's delay. Other things being equal, you are applying so late to HBS that you are perhaps not well prepared in other ways.
Obviously this depends on so much, and primarily the opportunity cost of a year's delay. Other things being equal, you are applying so late to HBS that you are perhaps not well prepared in other ways.
quote
Duncan
The odds of admission are lower in every round. Your profile is unusual, but you might not have a track record that is easily understood as one of leading others to managerial success. If you are a highly desirable candidate then Harvard would look at a 550 and could ask for a retake.
The odds of admission are lower in every round. Your profile is unusual, but you might not have a track record that is easily understood as one of leading others to managerial success. If you are a highly desirable candidate then Harvard would look at a 550 and could ask for a retake.
quote
Duncan
Personally, I have never recommended that someone cancel their scores. Retakes are easy enough. Certainly it doesn't spotlight you as a strong test-taker, but if you are the sort of person schools would actively seek out on behalf of their strategic corporate partners, the delay is not needed.
Personally, I have never recommended that someone cancel their scores. Retakes are easy enough. Certainly it doesn't spotlight you as a strong test-taker, but if you are the sort of person schools would actively seek out on behalf of their strategic corporate partners, the delay is not needed.
quote
Thank you sooo much for providing me with your valuable input!!! I certainly need it! I do not know whether I would be someone that corporate partners would highly favor. I do think I have an unusual profile as compared to other full-time MBA applicants as you pointed out. Thank you very much!!! I guess I can try and apply... I have been accepted to Hult (without the GMAT which was waived) but I was hoping to try my luck with a couple of top schools.

Personally, I have never recommended that someone cancel their scores. Retakes are easy enough. Certainly it doesn't spotlight you as a strong test-taker, but if you are the sort of person schools would actively seek out on behalf of their strategic corporate partners, the delay is not needed.
Thank you sooo much for providing me with your valuable input!!! I certainly need it! I do not know whether I would be someone that corporate partners would highly favor. I do think I have an unusual profile as compared to other full-time MBA applicants as you pointed out. Thank you very much!!! I guess I can try and apply... I have been accepted to Hult (without the GMAT which was waived) but I was hoping to try my luck with a couple of top schools.

[quote]Personally, I have never recommended that someone cancel their scores. Retakes are easy enough. Certainly it doesn't spotlight you as a strong test-taker, but if you are the sort of person schools would actively seek out on behalf of their strategic corporate partners, the delay is not needed. [/quote]
quote
Duncan
I never heard of anyone not being offer a seat by Hult.
I never heard of anyone not being offer a seat by Hult.
quote
so you are saying this being accepted at H is not a marker of anything? so then would you apply to HBS and keep the bad score?

I never heard of anyone not being offer a seat by Hult.
so you are saying this being accepted at H is not a marker of anything? so then would you apply to HBS and keep the bad score?

[quote]I never heard of anyone not being offer a seat by Hult.[/quote]
quote
Duncan
Yes.

I don't understand why Harvard is your focus or if you are a strong candidate in other ways. Buy the GMAT score wont make a big impact either way.
Yes.

I don't understand why Harvard is your focus or if you are a strong candidate in other ways. Buy the GMAT score wont make a big impact either way.
quote
Ayon
I have never heard anyone speak about Harvard and Hult in the same breath. I would suggest to apply to MIT, Tuck. Your profile might be interesting to them
I have never heard anyone speak about Harvard and Hult in the same breath. I would suggest to apply to MIT, Tuck. Your profile might be interesting to them
quote
mba hipste...
I suggest that you look closely at your GMAT score and try to figure out why it was so low. Was it just a fluke? Have you done better in practice tests? If so, then yes, it is worth re-taking and applying in Round 3+.

However, if you don't think you can outscore the 550, then I think HBS is a very long shot.
I suggest that you look closely at your GMAT score and try to figure out why it was so low. Was it just a fluke? Have you done better in practice tests? If so, then yes, it is worth re-taking and applying in Round 3+.

However, if you don't think you can outscore the 550, then I think HBS is a very long shot.
quote

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