Joined: 30 Aug 2010
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Profile evaluation - MSc @ LSE [#permalink]
24 Oct 2010, 13:02
I originally posted this under the MSF forum, but realized that this forum probably was a better place for it.
I don't know if you guys know anything about the MSc-schools out there, but I'll give it a shot anyway.
I am currently in the midst of my MSc application and in desperate need for some guidance/information. I am applying to LSE, SSE (Stockholm School of Economics), possibly Oxbridge (depends on my GMAT, I need to retake TOEFL to increase the score by 2 points). Increasing the TOEFL score will be no problem if it becomes necessary.
I am from Norway, where I also study at the moment. The school I attend, although not very well recognized internationally, is one of the best in Norway in terms of Bachelor degrees in Economics.
0 Work exp, 21 years, will graduate in May 11. (lol) => MSc
We don't operate with the distinction/honor system in Norway (e.g. Top 5 % of class and so on), but I am fairly confident I am in the top 5 % of my class, if not the best student in it. Throughout my coursework, I have earned 11 A's and one D (in strategic management, which my school, as the only one in the world, includes as a first year undergrad course). Although I probably could get an A, or at least a B, in that course, I didn't bother. Anyway, I believe it is pretty tough to get straight A's in Norway (4 out of 265 got an A in marketing to take an example), so I am doing pretty good relatively speaking. Subsequently, I am getting pretty good references from professors.
However, I studied abroad in Australia last semester. In Australia, me and my mates didn't really do much school and this, obviously, affected my/our grades. I ended up with about 71 % average (100 % being the max score). The schoolwork in Australia was easier, but my effort was absent. This didn't really bother me, because my school only lists these grades as either approved or failed on my diploma.
The problem arises when I have to show these grades to LSE, which no doubt will request them. I am worried that my laziness in Australia will "destroy" my application, since these grades (along with my little "D") will drag my GPA down a lot. I have heard people talk about how you can explain this in your essays by telling stories about how you enjoyed life and traveled etc, but I don't know if I am able/allowed to do so in the MSc essay.
GMAT-wise, I am aiming for a 750+, which may be a stretch at the moment.. My current level is around 710-720 judging by the MGMAT CATs, but I hope I can improve this a bit.
If you are still reading this, thank you for your inhuman patience. Now for the questions.
- What score do you think I should be aiming for to give myself a chance to get in?
- If I score in the low 700's, what do you think my chances of acceptance are?
- Are my grades too poor?
- I still have one year worth of coursework to be done. How will this affect my application? I am aiming to Ace most of my courses.
- How on earth is the essay supposed be written? This is a new concept to me, and I haven't seen a concrete question in the application form nor on the website. (It's a personal statement essay)
This post turned out to be far longer than I expected. I just want to say that this site has been a tremendous help during GMAT preparations, and that some of the people on this forum are gifts from God to GMAT-takers. I know my score will be 50-100 points better than it would be if I hadn't come across this forum.
If anybody bothers to answer, I will be utterly grateful.