"I got a 720, should I retake my GMAT? "
Such posts are all too common across forums and if you look closely, a good majority of these are from Indian candidates.
This short post goes out particularly to all the Indian Applicants out there. While others are most welcome to read this as well, I intend to discuss this key issue which is very peculiar with Indian candidates.
Indians are obsessed with numbers. No wonder that as per GMAC statistics it is estimated that Indian candidates are more than twice as likely to retake the GMAT compared to their American counterparts! The blame has to go to the Indian education system which is too numbers centric, and convinces us that it alone makes or breaks everything for us. Please understand, your GMAT score is important. However, it is only one part of your overall application. A school evaluates your overall candidacy and your GMAT is just a part of it. And there is usually no cut-off!
You should consider your application as a bucket with different weights on it. One of these weights is your GMAT. The other weights are your work profile & achievements, quality of your essays, extra-curriculars, interview performance etc. You have to ensure the highest overall weight. Just working on your GMAT to improve from, say, 720 to 740 will not add much of an additional weight. That weight will have to come from other factors – your application, essays, recommendations.
Quality of your application can add a lot of additional weight and that requires your attention. Indian candidates are not natural at writing great applications. And that again is attributed to the fact that usually Indian candidates have little experience of such an exercise during their academic/professional years. However, rather than spending more time on this, they tend to rush through this part. This, in a lot of cases, seriously undermines the quality of the application.
In summary, here is what you need to do. Target a range when you prepare for your GMAT and if you have come close to that, keep it and move on to the next challenge – your application. Yes, you could have done better but retaking is probably not worth it. Take your applications seriously and do a great job at it – that will serve you better.
Please feel free to write your comments / questions / disagreements if any. I will be happy to engage.
Note: Next article will be around adding personality in your application (again a weak point for Indian Candidates in particular!). Stay posted.
About Anshul Gupta
Anshul is an MBA Application & Interview consultant with more than 5 years of experience. He has helped candidates get into top B-Schools in the US, Europe, & Asia-Pacific region. An ISB Hyderabad Alumnus himself, he has been part of their admissions team and has evaluated application for his alma mater.
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