GMAT: quant much more important than verbal?

TheLastCall's picture
Rank: Baboon | 136

I've heard mixed things about this from people. Really curious to know what others think. So as everyone knows, it's the overall gmat score that factor into b-school rankings, and schools care about it rightfully so. At the same time, I've heard that schools (especially the more quant ones such as wharton, booth, sloan, columbia, stern, yale) scrutinize the quant score much more than verbal and that a low quant is a dealbreaker even if the overall score is solid, say 730+. I'm in a situation where i'm consistently getting 99% in verbal but only in the 70's for quant; hence my score is in the 740-750 range, which by itself is respectable. Nonetheless, i'm worried that a sub-48 quant (78%) could kill my app at some of the programs i'm interested in.

Comments (31)

Sep 25, 2012

No. They'll just cite that as an excuse if they otherwise don't like you enough to admit you. The 80/80 rule is outdated; it replaced the 40/40 (raw score) rule because that one got outdated too. They just haven't figured out a new moniker yet. If you get a 740 and clear 45 on the quant, trust me, not a single school will take issue with your GMAT.

Sep 25, 2012
jtbbdxbnycmad:

No. They'll just cite that as an excuse if they otherwise don't like you enough to admit you. The 80/80 rule is outdated; it replaced the 40/40 (raw score) rule because that one got outdated too. They just haven't figured out a new moniker yet. If you get a 740 and clear 45 on the quant, trust me, not a single school will take issue with your GMAT.

Thanks. I hope you're correct on this but want to push back a bit on this point. I personally talked to admissions officers at wharton and sloan during my visits, and they HIGHLY recommended that applicants break 80% on BOTH sections. Were they just bullshitting me, or are wharton and sloan the exceptions to your statement because they are so quant heavy? I would imagine that a sub-48 quant score might indicate to top schools that you can't handle the rigor of the first-year courseload. Correct me if I'm off base on any of these points.

Sep 27, 2012
TheLastCall:

Thanks. I hope you're correct on this but want to push back a bit on this point. I personally talked to admissions officers at wharton and sloan during my visits, and they HIGHLY recommended that applicants break 80% on BOTH sections. Were they just bullshitting me, or are wharton and sloan the exceptions to your statement because they are so quant heavy? I would imagine that a sub-48 quant score might indicate to top schools that you can't handle the rigor of the first-year courseload. Correct me if I'm off base on any of these points.

It is always a good idea to take the admissions officers at their word. They are the ones reading the applications, and they are the ones educating you on what to look for.

I don't agree that just the "quant heavy" schools care about the split. All the top schools do.

Having said all of that, there are some mitigating factors, mostly if you have a great GPA and have A's in STEM courses.

Betsy Massar
Come see me at my Q&A thread
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/b-school-qa-... Ask away!

Sep 25, 2012

That's what they say; 80/80 is the public rule. In reality they'll ding thousands of applicants who beat 80/80 and admit hundreds of applicants who got below a 49 on quant. Wharton and Sloan love big GMATs period, the 80/80 is just something they figured out how to say a few years ago and has since evolved beyond their control.

Sep 25, 2012
jtbbdxbnycmad:

That's what they say; 80/80 is the public rule. In reality they'll ding thousands of applicants who beat 80/80 and admit hundreds of applicants who got below a 49 on quant. Wharton and Sloan love big GMATs period, the 80/80 is just something they figured out how to say a few years ago and has since evolved beyond their control.

Seems like a somewhat arbitrary rule given that 80% gmat quant is a lot harder due to the ridiculous "china/india" curve. Perhaps i'm just bitter that i'm having a tough time on quant, with the test a few weeks away.

True that wharton/sloan love 750+ GMAT. I think sloan has the most formulaic admissions process, probably followed by columbia, which is also a gmat whore.

In any case, thanks for your input. I sincerely hope you're right. It will really suck if i get a 46 quant/49 verbal/750 overall score but get dinged because i did not clear the "holy" 80% threshold.

Sep 28, 2012
TheLastCall:
jtbbdxbnycmad:

That's what they say; 80/80 is the public rule. In reality they'll ding thousands of applicants who beat 80/80 and admit hundreds of applicants who got below a 49 on quant. Wharton and Sloan love big GMATs period, the 80/80 is just something they figured out how to say a few years ago and has since evolved beyond their control.

Seems like a somewhat arbitrary rule given that 80% gmat quant is a lot harder due to the ridiculous "china/india" curve. Perhaps i'm just bitter that i'm having a tough time on quant, with the test a few weeks away.

True that wharton/sloan love 750+ GMAT. I think sloan has the most formulaic admissions process, probably followed by columbia, which is also a gmat whore.

In any case, thanks for your input. I sincerely hope you're right. It will really suck if i get a 46 quant/49 verbal/750 overall score but get dinged because i did not clear the "holy" 80% threshold.

Not to keep harping on the same point, but do admissions officers take into account the fact that the 80% threshold consistently gets harder and harder to reach? Does it depend on your demographic, or do they just lump everyone into the same category (eg. is a white female compared to an asian male)?

Sep 26, 2012

The only way to clear 80th percentile quant right now is to get a 49 or higher, correct? That would yield 83rd percentile.

If that's the case, the 80th percentile quant "threshold" is getting ridiculous.

Proboscis

Sep 26, 2012
Proboscis:

The only way to clear 80th percentile quant right now is to get a 49 or higher, correct? That would yield 83rd percentile.

If that's the case, the 80th percentile quant "threshold" is getting ridiculous.

That's correct. And the quant questions have gotten tougher in the last few years. I know people who did math/econ at ivy undergrad and still have a tough time getting 48/49 on gmat quant.

Sep 26, 2012

Bump

Sep 26, 2012

Just curious what it means when people say MIT and Wharton have the most formulaic applications. What does that mean?

I got a 750, does that put me in the "special pile" for each school?

Jul 2, 2013

no way, verbal is much more important than quant -- definitely much more sensitive to your overall score. 2 point improvement on verbal raw score changes your overall score much more than 2 raw score point improvement in quant

Jul 2, 2013
stanfordstud:

no way, verbal is much more important than quant -- definitely much more sensitive to your overall score. 2 point improvement on verbal raw score changes your overall score much more than 2 raw score point improvement in quant

lol... not true... where are you getting this from?

this is a pretty accurate score chart

http://www.mbagambit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/GMAT-Score-Translation-Table.gif

Its easier to raise your verbal %... but 2 extra points on verbal should have the same effect on your total score as 2 points on quant.

Now, people tend to have more room to grow in verbal, especially international students, so time spent on verbal may increase your overall score more quickly than time spent on quant.

Jul 2, 2013

question...not trying to hijack the thread.

i took the GMAT twice and got at 730 both times, but with different splits. The first one was V:92%/Q76% and the second was V:90%/Q:82% - because the 2nd one i got the 80/80 thing, is it worth resending to the schools i sent it to the first time?

Jul 3, 2013

Quant is the hardest to prep for. Good luck. I would start with MGMAT books.

    • 1
Jul 3, 2013
dinho:

question...not trying to hijack the thread.

i took the GMAT twice and got at 730 both times, but with different splits. The first one was V:92%/Q76% and the second was V:90%/Q:82% - because the 2nd one i got the 80/80 thing, is it worth resending to the schools i sent it to the first time?

Sure, why not?

I think schools will view the second score as marginally better. Also, some schools (like Tuck) will consider your highest score in quant or verbal from separate tests. If anything it atleast shows your solid 730 wasn't a fluke.

Jul 3, 2013
highwyre237:
dinho:

question...not trying to hijack the thread.

i took the GMAT twice and got at 730 both times, but with different splits. The first one was V:92%/Q76% and the second was V:90%/Q:82% - because the 2nd one i got the 80/80 thing, is it worth resending to the schools i sent it to the first time?

Sure, why not?

I think schools will view the second score as marginally better. Also, some schools (like Tuck) will consider your highest score in quant or verbal from separate tests. If anything it atleast shows your solid 730 wasn't a fluke.

cool, thanks for the advice, i'll do that

Dec 4, 2014

Would it be okay to report the higher of two scores from two separate exams?

Dec 4, 2014

If you mean that you got a higher verbal on one test and higher quant on the other, and want to report those two scores, then no, I don't think that will be okay.

Dec 4, 2014

@jalif - tuck allows you to do that, i don't think any of the other top schools do

Dec 4, 2014

I mean what was your AWA score and can you speak and write English at a business fluency level? The verbal kind of reflects this, but not in all cases.

Dec 4, 2014

Thank you for answering!
My AWA was 4.5 and my overall IELTS 7, but I will attend an exchange semester starting from january, and I'll improve my English of course. I hope schools will take it into account, in the meanwhile I'll keep my finger crossed!

Dec 4, 2014

The standard line one hears from MBA admissions committee is that they are looking for a balance score, meaning they would much rather prefer someone with an 80th percentile in quant and verbal, as opposed to someone with 99th percentile quant and a 60th percentile verbal. I think in your case because it is a quant heavy program, they might be willing to relax their standards for the verbal score, considering that you are a non-native speaker. One thing you can do is to contact the admissions folks at the schools you are applying, often they are very open about giving you feedback.

Cheers,
Dabral

Dec 4, 2014

It is true indeed that some schools are willing to forgive you a bad score in verbal if your quant score is exceptionally high (which is your case) so I wouldn't worry too much. A balanced score would have been better but you should be fine with a quant score like that. Also, 670 is not amazing but its far from terrible.

Best Response
Dec 4, 2014

Few points to keep in mind:

  • Manhattan GMAT Quant is harder than the real test. Give yourself an extra 3-4 points vs. what you can expect from GMAT Prep
  • 99th percentile for Verbal is 45+. Is this feasible for you? To hit 700 with that, you would need a 41Q (see link below). This is a poor strategy. Top schools want to see at least some sort of balance / indication that you have quant ability, and a 41Q isn't going to cut it. My view is the lowest you should be getting in quant is 45Q. Therefore,
  • Here is what you should be aiming for: 45Q / 41V = 700

Keep in mind you say you are applying for MiM or MiF programs, all of which expect you to understand math. Make sure you are going into this with open eyes. Depending on which programs (e.g., Top 5, M7, or Top 15-20) and your profile, you may need way more than 700 to be competitive.

Magoosh GMAT Percentile Tables

Dec 4, 2014
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