This is what we wrote to a BSer in a recent Comprehensive Profile Review, when examining how their standardized test score stacks up against the competition and what they might expect if applying with that score to the top schools:
Premium content starts here…
Premium content ends. Not yet a blahg member? Buy access to all the snark here!
What we can offer is a detailed assessment of the actual realities that you personally will be facing, looking at the sum total of all elements of your profile, through that Comprehensive Profile Review thingie we offer. If you’re interested.
The main impact that you can gain from that type of outside analysis is confirmation that you’re targeting schools that should be in range for you, or advice to readjust targets in order to maximize outcomes. Or, if your GMAT (or GRE) really is low, then we can offer candid feedback on that and what the implications might be.
Schools don’t make the admit/deny decisions on the basis of GMAT or GRE alone. It’s one of many datapoints. It’s an important one, and you need to know how your score actually will be interpreted by the adcoms at your select schools. But once you’ve decided on your GMAT (or GRE) strategy, as long as you did so with good inputs into your process, then let it be. Focusing on the essays may have greater payoff for some candidates.
If you do think you could do better on the GMAT, then totally do it! Right now is your time. If you’re done with the GMAT, either out of frustration or because you’re good in that department, then congrats on getting through one big hurdle in this process, and we can’t wait to hear how the rest of them go for you!