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Thread: Finance PhD GMAT Quant Cutoff in T100

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    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Finance PhD GMAT Quant Cutoff in T100

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    Hello, I thought that I would post this question here, as I feel the question would have the greatest probability of being answered in this forum. I have been preparing to apply to a Finance PhD program for probably 7 years now. After getting my MBA (state school) and working as a portfolio accountant for about a year, I became a high school math teacher and for the past 6-7 years have taken math courses during the summers at various universities. I have taken cal 1-3 (A,A,B) , linear algebra (B) , ordinary dif eq (C - I know this isnt so good), intro to partial dif eq (B), intro to math proofs (A), intro to real analysis (A), intro to (calculus based) probability (A), mathematical statistics (A), PhD level Microecomic Theory I (T100 state school. We covered optimization, Kuhn - Tucker conditions, equilibrium etc. - We used the Varian grad text) (A), and I have worked on a project as a research assistant for a finance professor (T150 State School).

    At this point, I feel like my profile is mostly pretty decent, and I am just preparing for the GMAT at this point. So far in my prep, I am getting pretty close to the 700 mark. My two most recent practice tests (MGMT CAT and GMAT Prep) gave me 690 (Q47 V 38) I realize that 700 is usually a cutoff score, but I also know that in finance there is often a pretty high quant cut-off. I see myself having a difficult time getting my quant up to Q50-51, but I feel that Q48-49 is attainable/realistic. My question to anyone who feels confident answering is as follows : will a 700 GMAT with Q48-49 get me desk rejected at a T100 program? My research interests are aligned to empirical corporate finance/corporate governance, but I am also open to behavioral finance (although I know it is rare to find professors who specialize in behavioral finance outside T30). I plan on applying to about 26 programs in the Top 100 including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, LSU, Tennessee etc. Also any additional input aside from GMAT Quant would be greatly welcomed.

    Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
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    Re: Finance PhD GMAT Quant Cutoff in T100

    I'm not in Finance, but I can write a few things about GMAT.

    First, I don't think scores from practice tests are reliable. I never got a score from a pratice test that was close to my actual scores. Even the one I did on the day before the actual test was really wrong. For some people actual scores are higher, for other people they are lower, for other people they are right. So, I don't think you should make big plans before you know the actual score.

    Second, I think someone with your background should be able to get 50/51. I guess you know all the Math that is needed, then it's just a matter of using a good strategy.

    Third, I often recommend people to take both the GMAT and GRE. Some people do better at GMAT, some people do better at GRE, but it's hard to know. You can take both, and use the one that makes you look better.

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    Re: Finance PhD GMAT Quant Cutoff in T100

    I second BrazilianPhD that if you are comfortable with both GRE and GMAT and have "enough" time, you can try both. I use myself as an example, the highest score I got in the GMAT mock test is 730 with 50 Q. However, I only got 650 in the real test due to low verbal score (I don't remember but it's very low). Of course, I will not pass the first cut in almost every Ph.D. finance programs with 650 GMAT. I changed to GRE and got 56th percentile Verbal and 92nd percentile Quant, which is much better than my GMAT score. The result was I got rejected by only T30 schools. The fact is more people take GMAT than GRE to apply for a Ph.D. in business, thus you have to compete with applicants who have a very high GMAT score (I would say most of them get 700+). Secondly, universities are still not familiar with GRE so they will use percentile as the cut-off criteria. Some will use a convertible GMAT-GRE table from ETS as a cut-off tool, but not too many.

    As my previous Professor, who serves in the admission committee of the T20 finance program, says the usual rule is 95th percentile in Quant for T30 and 90th percentile for the rest. Verbal will have less weight as long as you pass 50th percentile.

    Last advice, apply widely, you never know who will give you an acceptance.

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