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Paul, should I use my optional essay to....

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Paul, should I use my optional essay to.... [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2007, 19:15
Hello Paul,

Do you think that it would be wise to explain my social-economic background in the optional essay. I have not done this anywhere else in the essays (applying to top ten school). I was brought up in the most deprived area in my country (in western Europe) and attended one of the worst school as a teenager (bottom 1% nationally). I still made it to graduating as a medical doctor.

I also want to explain my below avarage GMAT score 620, and say something to the extent that I don't mind retaking it.

Can I talk about these two areas in the optional essay. Or should I move explaining my deprived background to the first essay about short term goals, where it may make more impact at the beginning. And should I bother explaining my GMAT.

All help is appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: Paul, should I use my optional essay to.... [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2007, 20:14
GMAT? wrote:
Hello Paul,

Do you think that it would be wise to explain my social-economic background in the optional essay. I have not done this anywhere else in the essays (applying to top ten school). I was brought up in the most deprived area in my country (in western Europe) and attended one of the worst school as a teenager (bottom 1% nationally). I still made it to graduating as a medical doctor.

I also want to explain my below avarage GMAT score 620, and say something to the extent that I don't mind retaking it.

Can I talk about these two areas in the optional essay. Or should I move explaining my deprived background to the first essay about short term goals, where it may make more impact at the beginning. And should I bother explaining my GMAT.

All help is appreciated.

Thanks


GMAT?

I don't see how your socioeconomic story works in the goals essay. It sounds like a story worth telling and assuming none of the required essay topics is a good place for it, then the optional essay might be a good place. I would not detract from it by talking about the GMAT in the optional essay as well. If all you want to say about the GMAT is that you're willing to take it over, then just take it or schedule it and tell them in an addendum (separate sheet) when you took/are taking it. There are few reasons for a low GMAT that carry any weight. One is that you never do well on standardized tests but still do quite well academically. But you have to have evidence, in the form of previous standardized tests, to back that up. If you can make that argument, then do it in an addendum and keep it real short.

Good luck,
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thanks [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2007, 05:30
thanks
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Re: thanks [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2007, 14:49
GMAT? wrote:
thanks


You're welcome.
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One more question... [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2007, 16:22
Paul, do I need to explain my low gmat of 620 in the optional essay. I'm applying to the ten top schools... verbal is above 80 percentile, but maths about 60 percentile.

I'm not planning to retake it unless the school asks. Should I just leave it alone or will adcom think I'm ignorant if I dont explain it.

Also what types of strategies do people use to explain a poor maths score. I'm a medical doctor, and have great essays and Letters of recomendation.

thanks
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Re: One more question... [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2007, 14:57
GMAT? wrote:
Paul, do I need to explain my low gmat of 620 in the optional essay. I'm applying to the ten top schools... verbal is above 80 percentile, but maths about 60 percentile.

I'm not planning to retake it unless the school asks. Should I just leave it alone or will adcom think I'm ignorant if I dont explain it.

Also what types of strategies do people use to explain a poor maths score. I'm a medical doctor, and have great essays and Letters of recomendation.

thanks


GMAT?

If you are applying to the top 10 schools with a 620 GMAT then you had better be African American, Hispanic American, or Native American, otherwise your odds of admission are almost nonexistent. The only reason to discuss GMAT score in an optional essay is if you are one of those people for whom standardized test scores are nonpredictive. That is, you did poorly on the SAT or ACT test, but were your high school class valedictorian. You need a previous standardized test score to make this argument.

I don't know of any effective strategies for explaining away a poor quant score. One thing you could do in your optional essay is to provide evidence of how strong your quant skills are, such as A's in quant classes or heavy quant work in your job. You can also have your recommenders stress your quant strengths in their letters.

Good luck,
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2007, 05:01
one more question please,

the day that i sat my gmat, the weather was extremeley poor and a tree had fallen down on the road of the test centre and so i had top take a major re-route. should i mention this as a contributing factor for the low gmat. even though i made it to the test centre on time.....i has stressed by it

thanks...

i want to mention it in the optional essay but think that the admissions committee may laugh.

what do you think

thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2007, 05:20
to add i have a news paper article to prove that it did really happen.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2007, 15:40
GMAT? wrote:
one more question please,

the day that i sat my gmat, the weather was extremeley poor and a tree had fallen down on the road of the test centre and so i had top take a major re-route. should i mention this as a contributing factor for the low gmat. even though i made it to the test centre on time.....i has stressed by it

thanks...

i want to mention it in the optional essay but think that the admissions committee may laugh.

what do you think

thanks


GMAT?

Mentioning the tree won't help you very much since you could have canceled your score after taking the test if you felt the tree had affected your performance. It's a not a strong reason IMO.

Good luck,
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