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

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Intern
Joined: 13 Jan 2010
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2010, 10:03
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.

How did you initiate this conversation and what is your standard explanation? Looks like you and I are in similar situations.

Thanks!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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31 Jan 2010, 19:56
Well put aa5786.

I hope there are adcom's who look beyond numbers.

aa5786 wrote:
JoeKaneForHeisman wrote:
How did you initiate this conversation and what is your standard explanation? Looks like you and I are in similar situations.

Thanks!

I was on campus and made an appointment to discuss my application.

As for the explanation, is pretty simple...I took the GMAT a bunch of times and was not able to crack it. Everyone has weaknesses and GMAT math happens to be one of mine. With that said, I have a pretty quant heavy job, such as projects x, y, z and am confident I can meet the quant rigors of the program...but if there is any additional classes/tests that the admin committee would like me to take, I am happy to do so.

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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2010, 02:50
not sure if my GMAT counts as "Low" and not sure if Darden counts as "Top B-School" but...

GMAT: 660 on application, 40/40. i've retaken it for round 2 to 730, but as far as darden was concerned, i was at 660.
School: Darden, R1.
BG: MNC employee then Entrepreneur.
Age at Matric: 29.
Nationality: Filipino.

i should note that last year, with my 660, I got dinged for my 3 schools: HBS (no interview), Wharton (no interview) and Kellogg (w/interview)...
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2010, 06:31
My gmat score was below 600, however many people encourage me to apply anyway because of my profile.

Female (latin america)
27 years old
4 years of work experience (3 years leading teams)
3 years of volunteer experience
Undergrad studies: the best and largest university of my country (business degree)

I applied to (2nd round):

Boston University (submitted)
Boston College (submitted)
Babson College (submitted)
George Washington University (submitted)
University of Illinois (submitted)

All of these business school have an average gmat score slightly above 600. According to a study of manhattan gmat, south america gmat takers obtain a score considerably lower than american, european and indian takers. In addition, woman average score (average 500) is also lower than men.

Do you think I have chances???
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2010, 08:18
aa5786 wrote:
JoeKaneForHeisman wrote:
How did you initiate this conversation and what is your standard explanation? Looks like you and I are in similar situations.

Thanks!

I was on campus and made an appointment to discuss my application.

As for the explanation, is pretty simple...I took the GMAT a bunch of times and was not able to crack it. Everyone has weaknesses and GMAT math happens to be one of mine. With that said, I have a pretty quant heavy job, such as projects x, y, z and am confident I can meet the quant rigors of the program...but if there is any additional classes/tests that the admin committee would like me to take, I am happy to do so.

Interesting. So you just made an appointment to point out some aspects of your application? That's a pretty good idea.

My situation is fairly similar to yours. I work in project finance but also couldn't conquer the math for some reason. I addressed in optional essays but your approach seems more proactive.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2010, 08:13
pochcc wrote:
not sure if my GMAT counts as "Low" and not sure if Darden counts as "Top B-School" but...

GMAT: 660 on application, 40/40. i've retaken it for round 2 to 730, but as far as darden was concerned, i was at 660.
School: Darden, R1.
BG: MNC employee then Entrepreneur.
Age at Matric: 29.
Nationality: Filipino.

i should note that last year, with my 660, I got dinged for my 3 schools: HBS (no interview), Wharton (no interview) and Kellogg (w/interview)...

I'd consider Darden a top.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2010, 08:35
How do they factor athletics into the low GPA equation? IF you had a low GPA but were also playing football do they take that into consideration?
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2010, 09:42
dcdevil wrote:
How do they factor athletics into the low GPA equation? IF you had a low GPA but were also playing football do they take that into consideration?

I'm guessing athletics figure below full-time work, and even heavy part-time work, as excuses for a low GPA, but certainly above drunken stupor. If you were a captain of a team, or levered that into a leading position in a work team (something that shows leadership) it can probably help build your profile.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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07 Feb 2010, 09:46
carayae wrote:
My gmat score was below 600, however many people encourage me to apply anyway because of my profile.

Female (latin america)
27 years old
4 years of work experience (3 years leading teams)
3 years of volunteer experience
Undergrad studies: the best and largest university of my country (business degree)

I applied to (2nd round):

Boston University (submitted)
Boston College (submitted)
Babson College (submitted)
George Washington University (submitted)
University of Illinois (submitted)

All of these business school have an average gmat score slightly above 600. According to a study of manhattan gmat, south america gmat takers obtain a score considerably lower than american, european and indian takers. In addition, woman average score (average 500) is also lower than men.

Do you think I have chances???

I think you have a chance at all three Boston schools if your work experience is strong. Don't know anything about the others.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2010, 10:35
TheDream wrote:
Hey everyone ! I've had my eye on this thread for a while now, but was waiting to post until I was actually admitted somewhere. Well, now that that dream has come true, here we go:

GMAT: 680
GPA: Not too sure. Went to a Canadian university that didn't use the GPA system, but if I were to go by what some of the online calculators tell me, its somewhere between a 2.0 and 3.0
Education: B.Eng from a top Canadian university
Current age: 28
Work Experience: 1 year in a Bus. Analyst role at a major bank, 4 years as an engineer/strategist at a major telecoms company

I was dumbstruck when I was my GMAT score. I spent many weeks agonizing and debating over whether to retake it or not. I never ended up doing it though, because the majority of advice I got indicated that I should spend more time focusing on my essays. And boy, did I ever focus. Putting modesty aside for a second, I never though that I could be capable of producing such good written work ! So if you take anything away from this post, let it be: FOCUS ON YOUR ESSAYS !

I applied to three schools in R1: Kellogg, London Business School, and Darden. I didn't get in at the first two, but did get in to Darden, which Im very happy with. I was selected for an interview at LBS, but felt that the interview was actually my downfall. I dont think I spent enough time knowing my story, and it didnt help that the interview was the week I got back from a 3 week Spanish vacation .... but those are the breaks !

About a year ago, I was a nervous wreck because I thought I didnt have a chance without a 700+/3.5 to back me up. Im happy to report otherwise, and would love to answer any questions.

Cheers, and good luck !

Congrats, TheDream! I'm pleased that your story refutes theories on "if you don't have 700+ on your GMAT, don't even think of applying to schools". I'm sure you'll have a great time at Darden; good luck!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2010, 12:52
Hi Guys-
Reading your messages really helps with my roller-coasting self-esteem. I'm currently applying to Cornell, Vanderbilt, MIT, and Wharton. They are pretty top schools and I know I am shooting high, but I figured I give it a try. There's always next year if this round doesn't work out- right?

Here's my profile, please let me know what you think(please be somewhat nice):
age: 28
School: earned a Ph.D in the sciences from a top school with many published research journals and international experiences and recognitions
female
asian american
2 years of work experience
GPA: 3.4
Gmat:600 ( I didn't really study for it due to my 16 hours a day work schedule (I know, just another excuse) and regretted it)

I want to go into science management and need an MBA(strong business foundation)

I am applying for the last round and have submitted my applications early for those rounds. I am very nervous! Should I start looking for an alternative (nonMBA) option while I wait study for the GMAT and reapply next year? Soooo nervous. This process is so mentally draining.
Thank you
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2010, 12:54
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.

YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! THANK YOU!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2010, 15:43
3.4 GPA across three schools (long but interesting story)
680 GMAT

In at Duke, interviewed at UNC. Probably dinged at Columbia/Stern/HBS.

I have a pretty crazy life story, though, and some great ECs, so those probably helped. Good luck to all!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2010, 22:19
highsandlow wrote:
Hi Guys-
Reading your messages really helps with my roller-coasting self-esteem. I'm currently applying to Cornell, Vanderbilt, MIT, and Wharton. They are pretty top schools and I know I am shooting high, but I figured I give it a try. There's always next year if this round doesn't work out- right?

Here's my profile, please let me know what you think(please be somewhat nice):
age: 28
School: earned a Ph.D in the sciences from a top school with many published research journals and international experiences and recognitions
female
asian american
2 years of work experience
GPA: 3.4
Gmat:600 ( I didn't really study for it due to my 16 hours a day work schedule (I know, just another excuse) and regretted it)

I want to go into science management and need an MBA(strong business foundation)

I am applying for the last round and have submitted my applications early for those rounds. I am very nervous! Should I start looking for an alternative (nonMBA) option while I wait study for the GMAT and reapply next year? Soooo nervous. This process is so mentally draining.
Thank you

I think 3.4 and a PhD are very impressive. How was your verbal score? I think given your science background, the admissions committee might be more willing to overlook a low gmat quant score because you probably took many quantitative courses. The verbal on the other hand might come into play more.

I had a friend who applied to vandy with a similar gpa and a 600 gmat. He got waitlisted there, but accepted to emory (where he currently goes). In short, it's do-able. I do think MIT and Wharton are likely unrealistic, but I certainly haven't figured out this process, and if anything I learned that GMAT score alone won't get you into the top schools.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2010, 21:09
GoBruins wrote:
In the craziness of the last couple of days, I haven't had time to post. But I am taking time from my vacation in Boston so that I can post my experience with application with a GPA. My hopes is that this gives people with Low GPA some hope, since I think hope was really what the strength to do this not once, but twice.

First off I will first say, I have a 2.109 GPA. So anyone with above that probably is in ALOT Better shape than I was. Another thing is that I have no trend up or down. It peaked my 3rd year to a wowing 2.4 and I have 2 more A's than F. I'm being very candid because whoever is looking at this post, I want you to know that if someone can get Waitlist at a top 3 school and accepted at a top tier school (Ross) than you can too.

Background of what I did to mitigate, I took my GMAT's seriously and scored a balanced 760. Then I made sure I moved up in my career, I took opportunity in leadership such as taking on side projects. Took classes, (I actually did a MS however I would not recommend it because it's more intense than I feel needed to prove academic proficiency). And lastly I made sure my essays reflected who I was.

I think the most important thing I did was that I didn't give up and that I made sure I aimed for schools I wanted to go to. Basicly I took that attitude as, They are gonna like me for everything else, or reject me because they couldn't get over my grades. Either way I was not gonna be the person holding myself back. I think for all the low GPA and low GMAT people that is the most important thing. Don't limit yourself, be realistic yet shoot for the stars.

As for Results:

First year: With 3 classes toward my masters
Ding w/o INT: Chicago, Columbia (Columbia was my first school, and I realized I just submit crap since one of my reason for attending columbia is I liked the cohort system, Lame)
Ding After INT: Ross (bad Interview)
Waitlist + Summer Waitlist: Kellogg

Second Attempt:
Ding: Kellogg (mistake interviewing with Adcom, did bad, worst part was that it was optional)
Admit: Ross (Pretty decent Phone Interview, No Visit, pretty sure it was good enough for a Yes vote)
Waiting: UCLA PT, INSEAD JAN 2011

PS another word of advice, don't apply your favorite school first. Each one of my essays was better than the last. Also reading the essay topics before you apply is good, since Kellogg and ross's essay topics were also better places for my stories since Ross as a "time you struggled in life" and Kellogg as like 3 essays about "why you are special"

BTW, I HATE WRITING, so hopefully this post gives some people hope. ARIEL, You're NEXT to POST!!

Aptly said. Great post
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2010, 20:35

wow man, wow!

Congrats! you deserved it!
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2010, 21:01
AtifS wrote:
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.

There are several online extention course that you can try. I belive both UCLA and Berkeley has something. But not sure.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2010, 09:36
ariel wrote:
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!

Congrats ariel! I believe you initially were planning on applying for Class of 2011 with 3 years of WE at matriculation but it looks like you ended up pushing back to Class of 2012 with 4 years WE?

Do you think this had a big or small impact on your awesome application results?
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2010, 10:38
coakleym wrote:
ariel wrote:
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!

Congrats ariel! I believe you initially were planning on applying for Class of 2011 with 3 years of WE at matriculation but it looks like you ended up pushing back to Class of 2012 with 4 years WE?

Do you think this had a big or small impact on your awesome application results?

Thanks, coakleym! IMO WE has to be looked at in the context of the application as a whole. I believe that in my case it did make a difference, and it probably does so more often for borderline cases than others.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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25 Mar 2010, 23:01
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Hi guys,

Thought I'd share my story as well.

F/640 GMAT (67% quant)/89% GPA/Asian

I really thought it was a stretch for me to aim for these schools given my low GMAT and not spectacular GPA. The one thing I had going for me was my work experience. I have 5 years work experience in an MNC with excellent career progression (4 promotions to date) and strong international experience. I focused my essays on the quantitative contributions I made to my company to highlight my quant aptitude. I also asked my recommenders to focus on my analytical abilities.

Contrary to many people's advice, I wrote in the optional essay section of the applications. I explained that my work experience and achievements were better measures of my quantitative abilities.

I was honestly surprised with my Darden admit. Their 2011 class stats show an 80% range of 680-750. What were the odds of me getting in with my 640? Certainly better than I expected

So for those with low GMATs, I think it's really true when they say that GMAT is only one piece of the puzzle. Good luck
Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2010, 23:01

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