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Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48?

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Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2012, 08:35
Hi there,

I'm thinking about applying to Oxford / Said's Master in Financial Economics programme. I actually have a decent math background - my regular studies pretty much being focused on quantitative finance, an excellent grade in my Bachelor's degree, great academic references that underline very solid quantitative abilities - however, I pretty much screwed up my GMAT. I only managed to score 690 with a quant score of 48.

Anyway, with Oxford having an average score of 730 and probably some crazy average score in the quant section, I'm not really sure whether there's any point in trying to apply for the programme.

What do all of you think, does it make sense to apply with 690 / quant 48? Would I have a realistic chance to be admitted to the programme?
I think it's an awesome degree, but I do have a few other quite decent offers already and I'm not sure preparing the Oxford application would be worth the huge effort and fees with an far-below-average GMAT like that..

Thanks and cheers
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2012, 15:56
A girl from my school got into this program last year with a GMAT of 700, so I guess you are not in such a bad position. I am sure your GMAT is not enough of a factor to disqualify you from an interview, and once you go to interview, it all depends on you.
Can share what offers do you have ;)
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 01 Jun 2012, 10:45
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Ivan91 wrote:
A girl from my school got into this program last year with a GMAT of 700, so I guess you are not in such a bad position. I am sure your GMAT is not enough of a factor to disqualify you from an interview, and once you go to interview, it all depends on you.
Can share what offers do you have ;)


Sure. Sorry for the late reply, but I know this kind of information can be handy for others, too: In the end, I only applied to Warwick, LSE (both Master in Finance) and St. Gallen (Master in Banking & Finance). I got offers for all of those 3 programmes.

So just as a little motivation for others, seems like its indeed posisble to get some decent offers without a top-notch GMAT overall or GMAT quant score. I was especially surprised about LSE's Master in Finance offer as I thought my GMAT would be a killer there, (and I applied horribly late to the programme, too) but obviously it worked out quite well :)
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 12:17
JeeMat wrote:
Ivan91 wrote:
A girl from my school got into this program last year with a GMAT of 700, so I guess you are not in such a bad position. I am sure your GMAT is not enough of a factor to disqualify you from an interview, and once you go to interview, it all depends on you.
Can share what offers do you have ;)


Sure. Sorry for the late reply, but I know this kind of information can be handy for others, too: In the end, I only applied to Warwick, LSE (both Master in Finance) and St. Gallen (Master in Banking & Finance). I got offers for all of those 3 programmes.

So just as a little motivation for others, seems like its indeed posisble to get some decent offers without a top-notch GMAT overall or GMAT quant score. I was especially surprised about LSE's Master in Finance offer as I thought my GMAT would be a killer there, (and I applied horribly late to the programme, too) but obviously it worked out quite well :)

Thanks for sharing..do u think this score can be a deal breaker for LBS MiF?
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2012, 07:19
rni wrote:
JeeMat wrote:
Ivan91 wrote:
A girl from my school got into this program last year with a GMAT of 700, so I guess you are not in such a bad position. I am sure your GMAT is not enough of a factor to disqualify you from an interview, and once you go to interview, it all depends on you.
Can share what offers do you have ;)


Sure. Sorry for the late reply, but I know this kind of information can be handy for others, too: In the end, I only applied to Warwick, LSE (both Master in Finance) and St. Gallen (Master in Banking & Finance). I got offers for all of those 3 programmes.

So just as a little motivation for others, seems like its indeed posisble to get some decent offers without a top-notch GMAT overall or GMAT quant score. I was especially surprised about LSE's Master in Finance offer as I thought my GMAT would be a killer there, (and I applied horribly late to the programme, too) but obviously it worked out quite well :)

Thanks for sharing..do u think this score can be a deal breaker for LBS MiF?


Well, the one thing I've learned is that it's always worth trying. Personally, I expected the GMAT to be much more important than it actually is. Sure, if you're 100 points below average you'll have a hard time, but my experience was that +- 50 points compared to the class average aren't necessarily a dealbreaker if the rest of your CV / story is alright.

I could imagine this especially applies to LBS as they seem to have such a strong focus on professional experience. I suppose that with a background from some major investment bank, consulting company or whatever, GMAT shouldn't be too big an issue.

I know a friend of mine is going to LBS for a MiF - not entirely sure about that, but I think his GMAT is below 700, too. And he's from a good, solid company, but not from what you'd usually count as "Tier 1" in the industry.

LBS also offers to evaluate your CV free of charge and tell you whether they think your application would have a serious chance to succeed. If you're unsure about an application, it's a good idea to use this service first.
As for my GMAT, even though I didn't apply for LBS in the end, I had them evaluate my CV (including GMAT score) too and they did encourage me to apply.

So long story short: Yes, I think it should definitely be possible to get in with a GMAT in that region.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2012, 07:23
thanks for the detailed reply...so u going to LSE?
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2012, 15:10
rni wrote:
thanks for the detailed reply...so u going to LSE?


Yes, that's right. It's horribly expensive, but then again so is Warwick. St.Gallen would be a lot cheaper, but it takes a year or so longer and is not as renowned internationally - so LSE it is.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 00:41
JeeMat wrote:
Ivan91 wrote:
A girl from my school got into this program last year with a GMAT of 700, so I guess you are not in such a bad position. I am sure your GMAT is not enough of a factor to disqualify you from an interview, and once you go to interview, it all depends on you.
Can share what offers do you have ;)


Sure. Sorry for the late reply, but I know this kind of information can be handy for others, too: In the end, I only applied to Warwick, LSE (both Master in Finance) and St. Gallen (Master in Banking & Finance). I got offers for all of those 3 programmes.

So just as a little motivation for others, seems like its indeed posisble to get some decent offers without a top-notch GMAT overall or GMAT quant score. I was especially surprised about LSE's Master in Finance offer as I thought my GMAT would be a killer there, (and I applied horribly late to the programme, too) but obviously it worked out quite well :)



Could you share your GPA and undergrad major? I'm doing an Accountancy bachelor in Australia, but my GPA is only 3.1 (due to intensive law and taxation courses :( ). I'm working towards MSc in Finance at Exeter, Warwick and LSE next year, but I'm not sure it is possible for me.

My profile is:
GPA: 3.1
Major: Accountancy
Internship at Big4 Asia
Plan to take GMAT in September (my first ever attempt is 630 without prior preparation)

Thanks a lot.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 10:41
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becky38 wrote:
Could you share your GPA and undergrad major? I'm doing an Accountancy bachelor in Australia, but my GPA is only 3.1 (due to intensive law and taxation courses :( ). I'm working towards MSc in Finance at Exeter, Warwick and LSE next year, but I'm not sure it is possible for me.

My profile is:
GPA: 3.1
Major: Accountancy
Internship at Big4 Asia
Plan to take GMAT in September (my first ever attempt is 630 without prior preparation)

Thanks a lot.


Cool, good luck with your applications :) I used to study in Australia for a while, too - amazingly beautiful country!!

I majored in business admin. Can't really tell any GPA since we have different grading scales in my country and there is no direct conversion that I'd be aware of. My grade was quite alright, though, it was within the top 1% of all students (by the way, I'd always mention your standing in your class as long as you're within the best 20% or so. Especially in courses in which people generally don't get extremely high overall GPAs, this can be a nice way to put your grade in perspective)

Not quite sure how important the undergrad grade actually is for those universities. I could imagine Warwick will pay some attention to it as they don't require a GMAT.

As for LSE, as I didn't have my degree yet when applying, they made their offer conditional on reaching a certain grade upon graduation. This minimum grade was 2.2 - but I'm not sure on which scale, they didn't mention. I suppose on a scale from 1 (best) to 6 (worst), not sure though. In any case, I'm not aware of any grading scale on which 2.2 would be a terribly high grade. That could indicate that the undergrad grade isn't too important for an application. Then again, I did mention my actual average grade in my CV / application , so that could have been a supporting factor for the application in spite of the lowish minimum grade they ask for.

Don't compare yourself to others too much, though - you're always going to find people with better GPAs, GMAT scores or whatever. Man I was so sure that LSE would reject my application, too. But one tends to forget other important factors - e.g. even if you get a GPA that is below their average, your internships, your personal statement (and the personal statement really does seem to be very important!), GMAT or whatever could easily open up the doors for you. I don't think you can ever compare two applicants just by the grade of their GMAT, bachelor degrees or whatever.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2012, 11:25
JeeMat wrote:
becky38 wrote:
Could you share your GPA and undergrad major? I'm doing an Accountancy bachelor in Australia, but my GPA is only 3.1 (due to intensive law and taxation courses :( ). I'm working towards MSc in Finance at Exeter, Warwick and LSE next year, but I'm not sure it is possible for me.

My profile is:
GPA: 3.1
Major: Accountancy
Internship at Big4 Asia
Plan to take GMAT in September (my first ever attempt is 630 without prior preparation)

Thanks a lot.


Cool, good luck with your applications :) I used to study in Australia for a while, too - amazingly beautiful country!!

I majored in business admin. Can't really tell any GPA since we have different grading scales in my country and there is no direct conversion that I'd be aware of. My grade was quite alright, though, it was within the top 1% of all students (by the way, I'd always mention your standing in your class as long as you're within the best 20% or so. Especially in courses in which people generally don't get extremely high overall GPAs, this can be a nice way to put your grade in perspective)

Not quite sure how important the undergrad grade actually is for those universities. I could imagine Warwick will pay some attention to it as they don't require a GMAT.

As for LSE, as I didn't have my degree yet when applying, they made their offer conditional on reaching a certain grade upon graduation. This minimum grade was 2.2 - but I'm not sure on which scale, they didn't mention. I suppose on a scale from 1 (best) to 6 (worst), not sure though. In any case, I'm not aware of any grading scale on which 2.2 would be a terribly high grade. That could indicate that the undergrad grade isn't too important for an application. Then again, I did mention my actual average grade in my CV / application , so that could have been a supporting factor for the application in spite of the lowish minimum grade they ask for.

Don't compare yourself to others too much, though - you're always going to find people with better GPAs, GMAT scores or whatever. Man I was so sure that LSE would reject my application, too. But one tends to forget other important factors - e.g. even if you get a GPA that is below their average, your internships, your personal statement (and the personal statement really does seem to be very important!), GMAT or whatever could easily open up the doors for you. I don't think you can ever compare two applicants just by the grade of their GMAT, bachelor degrees or whatever.


Thanks a lot for the inspiration. Actually because I saw LSE's minimum requirement for undergrad GPA is 3.5 but I'm not quite sure which grading system they're talking about (US and Aus use the same 1-4 scale, but some say that they are different!). So I'm quite discouraged then. Anyway, I'm intending to boost my GMAT and also take CFA Level 1 to make up for my GPA. Hope it will work :) Thanks again for all useful advice. Enjoy your time at LSE. Hope we can see next year :-D
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2012, 08:26
Between LSE and Oxford, what did you decide on LSE ? Oxford`s brand seems more prestigious ;) Although, if u think about it, it doesnt really matter if the average Joe knows Oxford more, LSE is amazing place for studying finance. However, what really set LSE above Oxford ?
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2012, 05:17
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Ivan91 wrote:
Between LSE and Oxford, what did you decide on LSE ? Oxford`s brand seems more prestigious ;) Although, if u think about it, it doesnt really matter if the average Joe knows Oxford more, LSE is amazing place for studying finance. However, what really set LSE above Oxford ?


" what really set LSE above Oxford ?" - Honest answer: Nothing.

I think they're both excellent programmes. In some particular areas, Oxford will trump LSE while in others, LSE may be a little stronger. But honestly, when looking for a job, the only thing your university really does for you is to help you get an invitation the the interviews, and both LSE as well as Oxford should be comparably helpful in that respect.

Anyway, from the top of my head, here's some differences I could think of. Please do keep in mind, I haven't started studying at LSE yet, so all of those points are just based on what you read and hear.

Pro Oxford
- Better reputation in general. "Regular people" who're not working in finance etc. will definitely be aware of Oxford, but many have never heard the name LSE before. As you mentioned, though, it's pretty irrelevant when looking for a job as all the companies that graduates usually want to apply to will definitely be very aware of LSE, too.
- Man has their institute at Oxford (Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance) and from talking to one of their fund managers, I know they did this mainly to recruit from Oxford grads. So there's some sweet job opportunities right there if you're looking to go into the funds business :)

Neutral
- Oxford seems to be a lot more quantitative. Good if you're looking for a quant job (see Man institute above), neutral or maybe slightly negative if you're looking for other types of jobs.
- Oxford's Master seems to more theoretical than LSE's - could be great if you want to stay in academics or bad if you're looking for a more practical job
- London vs. Oxford. Personal preference where you'd rather want to live.

Con oxford
- I think LSE's career service has stronger connections to big financial / London based companies, so job placement should be a little easier at LSE (even though I also heard that recently, around half of the finance course at LSE didn't even get a full time position after their Master but rather some internships, so who knows...)
- Tuition + college fees at oxford are a few thousand pounds higher than at LSE. Then again, living expenses in London are probably quite a bit higher than in Oxford.
- I believe acceptance rate as LSE is lower than in Oxford. This could indicate LSE's Master is, for whatever reason, slightly "better" as there seems to be higher relative demand. I don't even trust that argument myself, though.


If you do have offers for both, count yourself lucky as I don't think you could possibly made a bad decision there.
Personally, as I don't really have a strong preference in one way or the other, I just didn't see the point in investing a lot more time (and some money) into an Oxford application. Also, I have a scholarship for LSE and transfering that to Oxford could have been a problem, too. A lot of trouble for what I perceived to be no real benefit. So it's been more of a laziness decision rather than some "I think programme A kicks programme B's butt"-kind-of-decision for me ;)
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 07:52
Great post, thanks for the input. I hope I will have the same choice :)
btw, one thing I would like to comment is the acceptance rate at LSE. They say their incoming class consists of around 70 people out of ~1400 applications.
I somehow don`t think this is quite realistic. Even Harvard and Stanford don`t have such low admission rates for their MBA programs. And when taking into consideration that after a Ms Finance you are pretty much competing with undergraduates for analyst position because you don`t have any [ or substantial] experience , the program is not really suitable and kind of pointless for students who already have undergraduate degrees from top schools
which means they probably won`t apply. Another point is that the fees are like 10 times the ones for bachelor degrees . Anyway, just my 2 cents. I am not saying its not competitive, I am only sharing my view that those admission rates are abnormally low.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2012, 11:44
JeeMat wrote:
Ivan91 wrote:
Between LSE and Oxford, what did you decide on LSE ? Oxford`s brand seems more prestigious ;) Although, if u think about it, it doesnt really matter if the average Joe knows Oxford more, LSE is amazing place for studying finance. However, what really set LSE above Oxford ?


" what really set LSE above Oxford ?" - Honest answer: Nothing.

I think they're both excellent programmes. In some particular areas, Oxford will trump LSE while in others, LSE may be a little stronger. But honestly, when looking for a job, the only thing your university really does for you is to help you get an invitation the the interviews, and both LSE as well as Oxford should be comparably helpful in that respect.

Anyway, from the top of my head, here's some differences I could think of. Please do keep in mind, I haven't started studying at LSE yet, so all of those points are just based on what you read and hear.

Pro Oxford
- Better reputation in general. "Regular people" who're not working in finance etc. will definitely be aware of Oxford, but many have never heard the name LSE before. As you mentioned, though, it's pretty irrelevant when looking for a job as all the companies that graduates usually want to apply to will definitely be very aware of LSE, too.
- Man has their institute at Oxford (Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance) and from talking to one of their fund managers, I know they did this mainly to recruit from Oxford grads. So there's some sweet job opportunities right there if you're looking to go into the funds business :)

Neutral
- Oxford seems to be a lot more quantitative. Good if you're looking for a quant job (see Man institute above), neutral or maybe slightly negative if you're looking for other types of jobs.
- Oxford's Master seems to more theoretical than LSE's - could be great if you want to stay in academics or bad if you're looking for a more practical job
- London vs. Oxford. Personal preference where you'd rather want to live.

Con oxford
- I think LSE's career service has stronger connections to big financial / London based companies, so job placement should be a little easier at LSE (even though I also heard that recently, around half of the finance course at LSE didn't even get a full time position after their Master but rather some internships, so who knows...)
- Tuition + college fees at oxford are a few thousand pounds higher than at LSE. Then again, living expenses in London are probably quite a bit higher than in Oxford.
- I believe acceptance rate as LSE is lower than in Oxford. This could indicate LSE's Master is, for whatever reason, slightly "better" as there seems to be higher relative demand. I don't even trust that argument myself, though.


If you do have offers for both, count yourself lucky as I don't think you could possibly made a bad decision there.
Personally, as I don't really have a strong preference in one way or the other, I just didn't see the point in investing a lot more time (and some money) into an Oxford application. Also, I have a scholarship for LSE and transfering that to Oxford could have been a problem, too. A lot of trouble for what I perceived to be no real benefit. So it's been more of a laziness decision rather than some "I think programme A kicks programme B's butt"-kind-of-decision for me ;)


I know this thread has been inactive for a couple of months, but I was wondering about your scholarship at LSE. Did you lodge a separate application for the scholarship and roughly what percentage of the tuition fees does it cover? Was it merit based or need based? LSE is a very expensive school and any form of scholarship/financial aid would be of great help. Planning to apply to both LSE and Oxford for fall 2013...but the lack of funding is putting me off.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 14:53
tridevi wrote:
I know this thread has been inactive for a couple of months, but I was wondering about your scholarship at LSE. Did you lodge a separate application for the scholarship and roughly what percentage of the tuition fees does it cover? Was it merit based or need based? LSE is a very expensive school and any form of scholarship/financial aid would be of great help. Planning to apply to both LSE and Oxford for fall 2013...but the lack of funding is putting me off.


My scholarship doesn't come from LSE directly but rather from an institution in my home country. As I had to state an explicit university when applyting for that particular scholarship, it did end up being tied to studying at LSE, even though LSE itself is in no way connected to the actual scholarship.

When I got my LSE offer, their very own financial support applications were already closed, so I couldn't apply for their support at all. So the main tip being, apply to the programme as early as you can and lodge your financial support application as soon as possible, too. It's a separate process, I believe you can usually already start financial support application somewhen between submitting your application and before receving your application result.

No clue if they are merit or need based, though. IF they are need based, I see little chance for MSc Finance applications to receive support - the programme is one of (or even the) most expensive MSc degrees at LSE, most likely because they assume candidates will make a decent salary after graduation. Even if that may not necessarily be the case in today's job market anymore, following that logic, finance students would probably be quite at the bottom of a need-based list. But again, those are only assumptions and I'm not even sure if they're need based at all, so obviously do give it a shot in any case.

And yes, the programme is massively expensive. My cost estimations for tuition, rent, food and public transport during the programme is approx. 42,000 GBP, and that is actually a quite conservative calculation. Not to mention you may want to go out on weekends, buy something every once in a while (clothes, books for your courses) etc., which would increase this estimate quite a bit further.
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Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48? [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2012, 00:23
JeeMat wrote:
tridevi wrote:
I know this thread has been inactive for a couple of months, but I was wondering about your scholarship at LSE. Did you lodge a separate application for the scholarship and roughly what percentage of the tuition fees does it cover? Was it merit based or need based? LSE is a very expensive school and any form of scholarship/financial aid would be of great help. Planning to apply to both LSE and Oxford for fall 2013...but the lack of funding is putting me off.


My scholarship doesn't come from LSE directly but rather from an institution in my home country. As I had to state an explicit university when applyting for that particular scholarship, it did end up being tied to studying at LSE, even though LSE itself is in no way connected to the actual scholarship.

When I got my LSE offer, their very own financial support applications were already closed, so I couldn't apply for their support at all. So the main tip being, apply to the programme as early as you can and lodge your financial support application as soon as possible, too. It's a separate process, I believe you can usually already start financial support application somewhen between submitting your application and before receving your application result.

No clue if they are merit or need based, though. IF they are need based, I see little chance for MSc Finance applications to receive support - the programme is one of (or even the) most expensive MSc degrees at LSE, most likely because they assume candidates will make a decent salary after graduation. Even if that may not necessarily be the case in today's job market anymore, following that logic, finance students would probably be quite at the bottom of a need-based list. But again, those are only assumptions and I'm not even sure if they're need based at all, so obviously do give it a shot in any case.

And yes, the programme is massively expensive. My cost estimations for tuition, rent, food and public transport during the programme is approx. 42,000 GBP, and that is actually a quite conservative calculation. Not to mention you may want to go out on weekends, buy something every once in a while (clothes, books for your courses) etc., which would increase this estimate quite a bit further.


Thanks for your reply - it's quite helpful. Turns out all scholarships and graduate support schemes (up to 10 grand) are in deed need based. There are very few full tuition waivers available and they stated explicit preferences for people from certain regions - unfortunately my country isn't listed.
Re: Oxford fin. economics - possible with Gmat 690 / quant 48?   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2012, 00:23
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