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Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA

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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 16:31
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I hope to be one of the success stories with a 660..... but I don't think it's going to happen :x

After browsing this board and looking at some friends, I'm pretty sure I overestimated my chances. Guess I'll be taking the gmat again for the 7th time and applying next year. That is, if I can manage to stay employed. Oh boy. Credit crunchtastic!

Good luck to you guys!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 18:51
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I know someone who's WL at Booth it that helps... probably reading this right now!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2008, 09:51
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Guys, dont be dissappointed with a low GMAT/GPA. The stats on these forums are lil skewed in anycase. All u need to do is to check the 80 percentile ranges from top business schools and u ll know what I am talking about.

having said that, pay a lot of attention to your essays and come up with a clear career vision. Also, train your recommenders so that u have a very coherent story to present to adcom. Also, broaden your school choices and apply in a diversified mix.

Best of luck!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2008, 21:21
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I've said it many times, and received negative comments many many times, but I'll say it again. People admitted with GMAT scores more than 20-30 points below the median for a given school are either underrepresented minorities or have some other easily identifiable unique factors that support their candidacy. People without such factors and not from such underrepresented groups can rely on little more than pure luck if their scores are more than 30 points below the average.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools with Low GMAT Score [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2009, 13:28
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Also, for what its worth, while you might be able to get into a top school with AA, you certainly can't get a job with it.

If you don't have a 3.5+, you're still out of luck. Actually I know there is a lot of frustration amongst minorities that firms go to places like Howard, Morehouse and Spelman to recruit minorities with 3.8s etc., but don't take Ivy League/Stanford/Duke/MIT minorities with 3.0-3.3s as the quality of some of the HBCU's is only slightly above top prep schools.

It doesn't make sense to me.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2010, 11:40
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i've edited the thread title to reflect low GPAs as well. here is an admit success story from drsatisfaction - GPA of 1.9, and admitted to oxford and insead.

my-road-to-oxford-sbs-and-insead-89413.html
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2010, 11:58
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shadowsjc wrote:
i've edited the thread title to reflect low GPAs as well. here is an admit success story from drsatisfaction - GPA of 1.9, and admitted to oxford and insead.

my-road-to-oxford-sbs-and-insead-89413.html


thanks man. wasn't sure where to put it but this is a good thread.

also, to clarify a bit on my profile:

Asian
25, 26 by matriculation
GPA 1.9 - admitted into school at 15 on a full scholarship though, and completely screwed off afterwards
GMAT - 760
WE - 6 yrs by matriculation, with 1.5 in a pretty senior leadership role. i manage all financial related issues on my company's business with 2 major Fortune 50 companies (think software maker and chocolate maker) and have a team of about 50 that all matrix into me for finance. this is worth easily $10+ million and i increased the profitability of the businesses significantly.

reading some of the earlier success stories, i must say, the essays are key. the reason i think i got into oxford was the fact that the 2nd essay is 2000 words and i went on a limb to really write a compelling case for myself as an outlier and distinguish my application from others. for INSEAD, i focused on the achievements i had at work. i'm not talking about winning awards or whatever. i'm talking about hard bottom line results that can't be argued with and the experiences i have managing people at a fairly young age.

also, references - i believe i got very strong references from my VP. i never got a chance to see what he wrote, but i have a great relationship with him and believe he really pushed for me in the references.

so overall my argument was - talent is not an issue with me. it's always been drive. i was 15 and i butchered my undergrad GPA. i've moved on, i've grown in life, and i can handle the work now. of course, some programs bought it and took me in, others didn't.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 17:25
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GMAT: 610 (low quant)
GPA: 3.3
Nationality: USA
Age: (at matriculation): 28
Gender: M
Work Experience: Six years, consulting
Extra-curricular Activities/Community Services: Strong area for me, many unique experiences

Business Schools (Applied in R2): Wharton, Columbia, Chicago

Though my job is pretty quant heavy, I just could not crack the quant section of the GMAT. I demonstrated my quant ability through essays and asked my recommenders to focus on my quant skills.

Honestly, at the point in my career, going to a lower ranked school (ie, one where my GMAT "fits") is just not worth it for me. Though I have reasonable expectations for this process, I am going to be intrigued to see how much GMAT actually comes into play.

I have extensively networked at each of the three schools I have applied, and hope that the hustle factor, along with my essays/work experiences, will allow adcoms to wave me in.

Question: Though my best individual GMAT is a 610, if you combine my best verbal with my best quant (from consecutive GMAT takes) my score is roughly a 680. Any chance an adcom would take this into consideration.

Best of luck everyone...will report back when I have some news to report.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 18:38
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I dont have much to report yet as im still waiting on decisions, but I was admitted to Duke with a 3.1 from a "party school". I think you can have a low GPA, or low GMAT, but if you have both you better be a URM or have some type of crazy story. Thats the vibe I have gotten.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2010, 15:00
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Just received an interview invite from Booth today
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2010, 20:07
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Thanks sapphireka! I had a good email exchange with my interviewer today and will report back about how it goes.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2010, 16:17
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Hello. I hope this gives others with low GMAT scores some hope. My first time I took the GMAT, I had a devastating score of 520. Keep the faith!

GMAT: 630 (Q:44, V:33, AWA:4.5)
University attended: Large state-school
Major(s): Business
GPA / Honours: 3.4
Nationality: American (Hispanic)
Age: (at matriculation): 30
Gender: M
Work Experience: No. of Years / Industry / Role: ~6 years; HR Recruiting, Overseas work in tourism.
Extra-curricular Activities: Lots of international/domestic volunteer work
Community Services: Board member of major minority organization

Business Schools (Admitted):
CGSM: Emory
CGSM: Wash U
Vanderbilt

Pending:
CGSM: Virginia

Business Schools (Applied but Dinged):
CGSM: Texas
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 19:43
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I'd like to echo the words of a wise friend

"Don't worry about the past, focus on what you CAN change."
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2010, 12:09
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aa5786 wrote:
Had a chat with a staff member at Wharton recently and discussed my 50 percentile quant score. Before I could jump into my standard explanation, she looked at my resume and said......"your work experience and undergrad econ major are all the examples I need of your quant ability, don't worry about it."

Guys - Don't let these +700'ers psych you out if you have other components of your background which can speak to ability.



thanks for the information. I had/have a similar issue. I have an undergrad in finance and econ, worked as an i-banking analyst for 2 years and i am currently a financial model anlayst for a big 4 transaction advisory practice. Despite my background, I have struggled with the quant section of the GMAt.

I got a 640 the first time i took the test: 49 percentile quant. Retook the test a week after submitting my last app on jan 15th. My new score was much better: 700, altho the quant was still fairly poor= 67 percentile. I was sure that Booth would ding me considering its analytical bent and because I sent the new score to the school as an update to my app, 3 weeks after the round 2 deadline. Miraculously, I received an interview invite a couple of weeks back and just had my interview this past saturday (which I think went fairly well).

So I am curious how you setup this appointment to discuss ur app. So you met with an adcom member in person and discussed different parts of ur app at length? was he/she willing to discuss the other strenghts and weaknesses? do you know if other schools (e.g. Booth and Kellogg) are receptive to this kind of discussion?

Altho I havent made an appointment with the add office, most of the questions that I've asked have gotten fairly standard responses and got the impression that they would/could not comment on the specifics of my application.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2010, 19:52
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WoW! Congrats man. I am also in a same boat you were before but my transcript is all messed up. once I got 2.51 and then it's been low :(. Your post did boost me and I am trying to take some courses like Calculus,Statistics and Accounting. Problem is we don't have community colleges but Linda from Accepted.com suggested online course so will try that and also have to ace GMAT. I am aiming Haas, Ross, and UCLA or Cornell so do pray for me guys. And best of luck with your future ahead.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2010, 07:35
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GoBruins wrote:
ARIEL, You're NEXT to POST!!


Sorry guys, been MIA lately. Just came back to civilization from Vermont. Ok, here's my story: 1.9 GPA here (yeap you got that right) and just got into Ross, waiting to hear from UNC and Cornell next week and INSEAD in May. Will report back when I do. Already interviewed at UNC and expecting good news there. Cornell is a big wild card at this point.

What I think made a difference in my case:

- I went to a well-known and rigorous program in Canada (GPAs from non-US schools have no bearing on their GPA averages and therefore rankings - so if you're in a similar situation, you just have to prove to them that you can handle the course work and are interesting enough to contribute meaningfully to the community. If you went to school in the US, there's still plenty of things you can do to strengthen your candidacy)

- I took quant and accounting courses at well-known universities last summer and got A-s in all of them

- I have a very fast career progression and my job is such that it leaves little doubt about my quantitative abilities

- I have good reasons for my sub-par performance in UG and explained those in the optional essay. That story also meshed well with the rest of my application and the qualities that came through in all the stories in the rest of my essays

- I was able to present a coherent application and build a brand, which jived with everything they saw on paper: course work, career progression, international experience, etc. I cannot emphasize this enough - imagine you're trying to introduce yourself to somebody and they don't know anything about you besides a few data points that can be construed in various ways. Come up with 3-4 strengths that you believe define you (ideally those will be aligned with the school's philosophy and you have some tangible experience to lend cred). In ALL your essays, make sure you pick stories that send that consistent message. At the same time, take care to present yourself as a versatile individual through varied experiences (which again, show that you possess those qualities you're trying to communicate to them, albeit in different environments)

- my interview went really well

- demographics - sadly, I believe this played a major role. I'm a Caucasian female, originally from Eastern Europe, have lived in different counties and have varied experiences. I possess a fairly unique work experience and post-MBA goals (yes IB post-grad is not the most popular choice among women). So I think all that contributed a lot as well.

I remember starting a thread on this very same topic a while back before I even started working on apps and I've come a long way since. It hasn't been easy but I, among others, am proof that a low GPA can absolutely be overcome. Just hit me up on PM if there's anything I can do to help anyone who is in the same situation as I was. I'll be happy to share what I have learned and hope that my experience can be of help to someone. Best of luck! :)
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 07:40
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Happy to report that this morning I got an interview invite for Cornell and I also got into UNC. I only applied to 3 schools in the US, and here's the tally so far:

1) Ross - got in
2) UNC - got in
3) Cornell - int invite

My GPA is exactly 1.87, so low GPA friends - do not despair!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 23:27
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Just an update after finding out about schools - Got into Chicago Booth and NYU Stern with a low GPA (2.85 unweighted, 3.01 weighted), an average GMAT (730), and average work experiences (less than 4 years). So, there is hope!

I feel like adcoms know there is very little you can do about your undergrad record - you just have to focus on things you CAN have an impact on, like your GMAT score and your work experience, and demonstrate that you have plans for the future. I didn't fill in the optional essay in the application to explain my poor grades, but during my interviews, I openly acknowledged my sub-par undergrad performance and didn't try to excuse my lack of focus. Instead, I just noted that in retrospect, I should have studied more in school, but I've learned from my mistakes and can only move forward.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2010, 11:06
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I'm applying this fall to a number of schools and am in the process of choosing which ones to pursue. I've included my information below:

GMAT: 670 (lower quant than I expected)
University attended: Large state school
Major(s): Econ w/ Business Minor (took extra Accounting courses as electives)
GPA / Honors: 3.79 (graduated with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa)
Age: 26
Demographic / Gender: American Male
Work Experience: 3.5 years currently (4.5 years when I matriculate) in commercial real estate group of top 3 financial institution in US (analyst for 2.5 years > 6 month training program for associates > associate / relationship manager)
Extra-curricular Activities: Many including playing guitar in a band I started, skiing, other outdoor activities, etc.
Community Services: board of directors for city chapter of a well-known national charity organization (also on finance committee), young leader committee member for commercial real estate organization (also on membership committee)

Last year I applied to MIT Sloan as a reach and was dinged. This year, I'm contemplating the following schools:

Darden
UT-McCombs
HBS (reach)
Wharton (reach)
MIT (reach)
UNC
Tuck (reach)

Does anyone have suggestions for me in selecting which schools to pursue given my profile? Feel free to suggest ones that aren't on my list.

I realize I need to pick schools that are a "fit" for me, but that's a given. I'm thinking about adding Kellogg to the list and possibly Stanford, which would both be reaches.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2010, 16:59
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Via wrote:
Hey Guys/Gals,

I have a low undergrad GPA (2.99) and a low GMAT (650/44Q/35V/5.5AWA).

All in all, I applied to 8 schools (Kellogg, Tuck, Yale, Darden, McDonough, Kelley, Owen, Olin) and I was accepted to all of them. I also received significant scholarships (half tuition or full tuition) from 4 of them (Yale, Darden, Owen, McDonough).

My success, I believe, was a product of my research efforts and application strategy. Using my research on the GMAT Club and several other sources, I realized that I had several attributes that were appealing to admissions committees and I worked hard to highlight every one of them.

My approach:

Two and a half years ago, I realized that I wanted to attend graduate school. Specifically, I wanted to attend a competitive b-school program but I realized that my undergrad GPA was low. Therefore, I took graduate level classes within an MA in leadership and management program. I only took four classes within a year and a half period but I received a 3.75 GPA. I was able to highlight this GPA on my application to counter my undergrad GPA. Although I only took four classes, I argued that I earned good grades despite working full time as a general manager, dealing with several life changing events, and volunteering/etc...

About a year ago this month, I started researching b-schools in depth. I was addicted to the GMAT CLUB, BW Forums, the GMAC website to see GMAT statistics, books ("How to get into top B-school", and 15 b-school websites. I also attended MBA Fairs and discovered groups like The Consortium. Basically, I was a research-a-holic last year.

Using me research, I decided to apply to the 8 schools I listed above. Given my low GPA and GMAT, I didn't know where I'd lie on the competitive ladder among b-school applicants. Therefore, I decided to apply to 1 top-5 school, 1 top-10, 2 top-15, and a couple of other programs that lied in the 15-35 range according to US News and BW rankings.

I then developed a very specific essay strategy that highlighted any and every attribute that I thought gave me a competitive advantage. My goal was to show that I was a success story, that I could succeed in any rigorous academic program, and that I would contribute to any b-school as a student and alum.

In my opinion, my positive attributes include: I'm a first generation hispanic/ I'm the first member of my family to pursue a graduate degree/ I'm in the Army and have deployed twice/ While I was at my undergrad institution- I was heavily involved in my student government as an elected officer/ I served as a tutor, Div 1 athlete, and as an elected and appointed club leader throughout my time in college / I continue to serve as a Class Officer for my undergrad alumni organization/ I earned a 3.75 GPA in graduate level courses despite losing two family members and working full time as a general manager. As a general manager, I received formal ratings that eventually placed me in the top 2% of my peer group. There were a couple of other small data points I added to my essays but you get the point.

When I was writing my essays, I tried to answer the unique questions of each b-school while inserting these attributes to develop a unique story of enduring success. After endless revisions to my b-school essays, I submitted all of my applications by Round 2 for each school. I applied to 5 schools through the Consortium and 3 schools independently.

Some other things that I believe helped me:

I visited every school to which I applied and I highlighted that fact during my interviews. I searched for "key" terms each admissions committee was likely looking for. In my opinion, some of these include: Olin: Research driven thinking/Kelley: family, community, involvement / Kellogg: collaboration, Look at their 4 pillars ie. Intellectual Depth, Diversity of thought.../ Tuck: loyalty, community, friendship, advantage of a b-school education in a rural setting (ie. less distractions, community, focus, etc.)/ Darden: Case Method, working on a team to solve cases, interactive classroom environment.

Every school has a unique community and academic experience that they want to sustain. Figure out what that is and show how you could contribute to it.

Many of you have pointed out that, unless you are an underrepresented minority, female, or have unique work experience, you may not be able to overcome a low GPA or GMAT. Overall, that may be true. However, there are no absolutes in this world. I think everyone has positive attributes that can make them look very competitive despite poor stats. I could have easily applied to less prestigious schools and have saved a lot of time & money in dropping my Kellogg, Tuck, Darden, and Yale applications. Also, had I failed to highlight my strengths to the admissions committee, I could have experienced multiple rejections that some applicants with very high GPAs and GMATs have experienced. In the end, it never hurts to fight for your candidacy and apply to the b-school programs you love.

Furthermore, I believe that, even as a minority, I still overcame major weaknesses in my application. I am certain that over 80% of the minority applicant pool at Kellogg had better stats than I did. It is rare to have both a low GPA AND low GMAT and get into a top 5 program.

Now that my application journey is over, I hope that this post will help some of you. I feel indebted to all of you who have contributed to GMAT Club and have educated me for the last couple of years.

Good luck on your applications!

-Via


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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA   [#permalink] 22 Jun 2010, 16:59
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1 Experts publish their posts in the topic Profile Evaluation w/ low gpa and decent gmat for ms? CC2HBS 3 14 Apr 2010, 04:23
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Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA

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