I got a low GMAT/GRE score, now what?
Even If you got a low GRE or GMAT score, don't panic just yet. Read on to see how you can better your profile!
This is one of the most common problems with aspiring graduate and MBA students all over the world. However, contrary to common perception, the GMAT and the GRE are not the defining aspects of your profile, and need not weigh down your application. Read on to find out how you can still get into your dream university with your scores. Let us begin at the basics, and go step by step.
What is The GMAT?
The Graduate Management Admission Test is a Computer-Adaptive standardized test in mathematics and the English language for measuring aptitude to succeed academically in graduate business studies. Business schools commonly use the test as one of many selection criteria for admission into graduate business administration programs (e.g. MBA, Master of Accountancy, etc.) principally in the United States, but also in other English-speaking countries like the UK.
What is the GRE?
The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a commercially-run standardized test that is an admission requirement for many graduate schools in the United States and in other English-speaking countries. Created and administered by Educational Testing Service (or ETS), the exam measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study
What is the TOEFL?
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL) evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. It sometimes is an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking colleges and universities.
Which exam have you taken? - GMAT or GRE
The GMAT or The GRE?
OK. So my GRE or GMAT score is low. What's the first step?
Step 1 to better a profile with a low GRE/GMAT score:
Firstly, decide whether your current GRE/GMAT score is acceptable or too low. You may then decide whether you need to take the test again. Although there is no such thing as a 'cut-off' score you can still reasonably estimate your chances at a particular university with your score. If you have a stellar academic record with glowing recommendations and a well-composed personal statement, you can get through to a good university even with a really poor GMAT/GRE score. For example, there was one international student who got admitted to a graduate program in Columbia with a GRE score of 1060, because he could cover it up in other areas. You may choose to contact a graduate adviser at the university and 'pre-check' if you still have a reasonable chance of being admitted.
If you are an international student, you may also want to know that a good TOEFL score can offset a poor verbal score. GMAT/GRE scores are also program dependent; especially in case of GRE scores. An applicant to an MS program in a field related to engineering need not worry if his verbal score is, say 350; but a student who wants a graduate degree in English Literature will find it most difficult to get admitted to a good graduate program, with the same verbal score.Try to keep in mind your program requirements before you make a decision about giving the test again.
Step One was easy! What's next?
Step 2 to better a profile with a low GRE/GMAT score:
Secondly, You need a kick-ass personal statement and great letters of recommendation. If you decide to apply with a 'low' GMAT/GRE score, DON'T try to make excuses in either your recommendations or your personal statement. Never tell the admissions committee that you 'deserved' a better score. They've heard it all before, and it only gives them the impression that you can't get the job done, so you're looking for excuses. You cannot blame 'pressure' for failing to perform; GMAT/GRE are designed to be challenging and to see how well a student can perform under pressure.
If you had a personal problem or medical condition that affected you, try to get in touch with someone from the admissions committee who will be sympathetic to your cause. If you really wish to mention it in your personal statement, say 'personal problem' but leave out any other details.
I'm done with the second step. What's the third and last step?
Step 3 to better a profile with a low GRE/GMAT score:
Thirdly, if you have time, make up for your 'low' scores. If you can get straight A's in all the courses relevant to graduate program that you wish to pursue, then it will further your cause to no end. Remember - good grades in relevant courses can mask a low GMAT/GRE score, but even the best GMAT/GRE scores cannot completely mask a poor academic record! As mentioned before, also make sure that your recommendations highlight your strengths and expertise in the fields related to your graduate program.
Any last words?
Final Advice to better a profile with a low GRE/GMAT score:
Parting words: Don't be under the impression that taking the test twice is a handicap. In many cases the admissions committee considers it as an effort by the student to improve, which gives a very positive vibe about the student.
In a nutshell, low GMAT/GRE scores need not stop you from pursuing the course of your choice in the college of your choice.Don't be unduly bothered about it. Best of Luck!
Appreciation from Squidoo
Some products i've chosen for you (on amazon): - Check these out , they may help you do better in future!
I have handpicked these products, they are the among the ones I used on my way to a score of 1450(800 Q + 650 V) on my GRE and 115 on my TOEFL. If you're looking to give the test for the first time, at least Barron's GRE is a must-have book for you.
More Books and Cds
Above I've listed Books and CDs that are my favorites, but you may find some other preparation material equally useful. Search here to see if you can find something that appeals to you.
You may find these Free preparational materials useful:
Free preparation material for you. If you can come across any website that offers quality free material please let me know and i'll include it here!
- FREE GRE Test Preparation material.
ETS provides this material themselves, it is free of cost and available to everyone!
- FREE TOEFL Test Preparation material.
ETS provides this material themselves, it is free of cost and available to everyone! The sample questions are sufficient to sail through the TOEFL.
- FREE GMAT Test Preparation material.
MBA.com (They are the official GMAT website) provides this material themselves, it is free of cost and available to everyone!
Ready to begin with your preparation? Or just want some last-minute tips? I would love to hear what you have to say. Please leave your feedback about my lens!