Falls Short of GMAT Goal, But The 700 Is A Big Improvement

I played classical saxophone for about 8 years between middle school and my first year of college. I also had the privilege of taking private lessons from Mr. Collins, who was hands down the best in my state at the time. His students consistently auditioned well enough to dominate all-county and all-state wind ensembles. Looking back on that time I wish I would have worked a little harder.

My instructor always told me that I had a lot of talent that I was not working hard enough to tap into. And though I never stuck with the saxophone well enough or long enough to see Julliard or become a recording professional, there is one thing that I developed well during that time: the discipline to sit in one place and practice at something for hours–day in and day out.

Mr. Collins was known among his students for an axiom that he beat into our heads week after week: “Practice does NOT make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect.



As Mr. Collins’ axiom (well actually it’s not his. As an I adult I have come to find out that it is a commonly used phrase) relates to the GMAT exam that I took today, I did NOT practice perfectly; which is undoubtedly why I failed to make my 730/740 goal or 750/760 stretch goal.

My unmet goal notwithstanding, I am sitting in front of my laptop with a 12pc of garlic parmesan Buffalo Wild Wings, a video game controller in my hand and a bottle of malbec breathing in the corner of my eye. I shall down at least half of it by midnight. Why? Because I am beyond relieved to have officially made the ranks of the GMAT 700 club–even if by only a hair. My test verdict? 700 (47Q,40V – 90th percentile overall).


A few folks who were paying attention may have noticed that my first GMAT post started with “ACT 2″. Well, there was a reason for that. You see, while ACT 3 didn’t exactly win me a Tony, it at least got me an invite to the ceremony,  ACT 1 was just downright embarrassing. Not only was it off Broadway, but it was a Venice Beach freak show, right between that guy playing electric guitar in a turban with roller blades on(don’t believe me? I dare you to click it) and the henna tattoo stand.

It all started last November when a good friend of mine from high school (Colgate undergrad, Columbia GSB ’08) mentioned the MLT program to me and recommended that I apply. Apparently it was supposed to prepare you to maximize your chances of admission at top 10 or 25 business schools. Shorty after that, I found out that a friend of mine from undergrad (the same age as me) had just finished the program and was in her first semester at Kellogg as a part of their class of ’13.

Little did I know it, but I was about to learn a hard lesson about applying in Round 3. By the time that I even found out what this organization was, it was only about a week and a half until the R3 deadline. Within that time frame, I had to submit an app (which is a replica of an MBA admissions app), secure recommenders and take either a GMAT or practice GMAT exam.

I didn’t have time to get a GMAT spot by the deadline so I opted for a practice GMAT and scored a 650 without much study. I got dinged by MLT, most likely because of my age (the ding letter stated that they typically preferred candidates with <8 years of work experience); however, I felt pretty good that I had gotten a 650 on the practice test with minimal studying.

If I had gotten in (which, in hindsight would have been more of a time commitment than I would have been able to make) I would have needed an official GMAT score of 500 by the end of February. I was really trying to hold out to get my results before I plunked down my $250 and risked putting a less-than-stellar score on my GMAT report.

Needless to say, I was more than irritated at the fact that by the time MLT bothered to let R3 applicants know what was going on I had already scheduled a GMAT just so that I wouldn’t come up short on that requirement had I been chosen. The result? A dismal 590 (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit while reliving that).

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