Even a snappy 720 may be worth a retake

You’ve been doing great on practice tests with some scores in the high 700s flirting with the 99th percentile. Yes, the GMAT is still feeling a bit stressful and there are some area for improvement but: things are looking good.

Test day comes and…


It’s a stellar score. Most of reddit GMAT would be tripping over themselves to hit even a 700 and here you are hovering 20 points above that.

But, let’s face it. It’s lower than the average of your latest practice tests, it’s lower than the median at your top schools, your quant percentile is in the dumps, and it doesn’t quite sparkle like a 760.

I’m not here to say that all 720s are retakes. I got a 720 on my first official GMAT and I didn’t retake except for much later when I started tutoring full time and creating the Atlantic curriculum. Heck, a 690 could be just the ticket for you. But, given that you’ve hit a 720 and there does appear to be room for improvement, it is worth giving a retake (or multiple) some serious thought.

You’re probably tired of studying. You may not know where to begin on the retake plan. Those missed happy hours may be starting to weigh on you. Pull it together! You will be done with the GMAT forever in a few short months. Let’s give this moment your best shot. If it looks like there’s still meaningful room to improve then why not? There could be some good reasons why not. But do ask yourself the question.

A 720 probably won’t close any doors and may even open some. You can get into any MBA program on the planet with that score. You can earn scholarships with that score. But you know what’s better? 730. 740. 750. 760. Improving your score just makes all of the positive things more likely.

Again, maybe a retake isn’t right for you. Maybe you really need to focus on the rest of your application which at this point, given the great GMAT score, may have more importance. But, be honest with yourself. Because if you do have the time and bandwidth to put a little more effort into a GMAT retake you may put yourself in a more competitive position and, especially in an edge case, tip the scales in your favor. You also have that satisfying feeling that you did everything you could to open up the best opportunities possible.

You’ve put in a stellar effort so far. Finish strong!

There are a few things that may help with the retake:

  1. Get a solid timing strategy in place. This can really reduce score volatility.
  2. Even if you are GREAT at verbal try to get even better. This is something that we always push for in tutoring and can make a massive difference. A good way to do this is to use LSAT questions for verbal studying.
  3. If quant dropped on test day then consider doing a quant “super intensive” to help get performing better under pressure.

You may not need additional support but if you would like our take on your situation then you can also reach out with your GMAT history and we can suggest a tutoring plan for you to think about.

Feel free to comment with any questions!