A low quant score on the GMAT (at the lower end of the school’s 80% range) is never good news, but it doesn’t equal immediate rejection. As I’ve mentioned in the past, no single score is scrutinized independently, but rather your entire profile is examined as a unified package.
Interpret your scores as an adcom member would: Is the rest of your profile stellar? Do you have solid grades in quant-related courses? Is it possible that you’re just not great at standardized tests? Is your score perhaps not so low for people in your demographic group? Are you applying to schools where the average GMAT score is not far off from your lower-than-you-would’ve-wished score?
The following three tips are good strategic practices that you should utilize if you find yourself with a low quant score:
1. First, you MUST improve your quantitative abilities or demonstrate that you have them in some other way. In b-school and in the business world at large, knowing how to crunch numbers is essential. You’ll need to act quickly to show you are equipped for a spot in their next b-school class. Enroll in a calculus, statistics and/or accounting class at your local community college ASAP. (Make sure you have the prerequisite skills; you will need to earn an A! If you have time, also take additional quant-oriented courses, like finance or economics.
2. Next, in your resume and essays, highlight quantitative aspects of your work to further demonstrate your quant proficiency. Use vivid details, examples, and anecdotes that will prove to the adcoms that your low quant score was a fluke, and that it’s clear to you and those who work with you that there are no quant problems here.
3. Finally, ask your recommenders to highlight your quantitative achievements as well. Having a respected third party vouch for your skill will help you immensely.