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What are my chances for getting into top programs?

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What are my chances for getting into top programs? [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2004, 19:11
Hi,

I wonder if you can give me some feedback regarding my chances to get into the following schools: Harvard, Wharton, Chicago, INSEAD, Kellogg and MIT. I just took the GMAT for the first time a few months ago (45Q, 44V, 710) and I'm considering taking the test again since my Q score seems a little low to me.

Male/26 from Honduras, Central America(which I think might help me since there aren't many from my country in the top schools). Attended school at the University of Washington, graduated with an Economics and Political Science degree(actually made the national honor society for Economics) with an overall 3.4GPA(3.65 if you exclude my freshman yr) and 3.65 in both majors. I have been working as a senior business analyst in the IT department for a major wireless carrier here in the US during the last 4 years and I interned for a major construction company in Honduras during my last 2 summers in college. Volunteer for the Red Cross for the last year( I have volunteered for other things here and there as well).

I'm worried about my Q score because my 45 translates into a 78% percentile and I've read that schools want your score in the 80th percentile. I had a rough freshman year, ending up with a 2.7GPA, including 2.0 in both Calculus 1 and 2 and a 2.5 in intro to microeconomics and in intro to macro. The reason for these grades was the fact that school was not my priority, had a hard time getting to class(I was young and immature). Since I received 3.8 and above for all of my advance econ courses(during my last 2 years of school) including the math intensive courses, I'm hoping that the schools can see that my lower GPA in these math classes was not the result of not being able to cut it. My lower grades in these calculus classes are in fact my biggest worry. Should I be worried about this? If so, is there anything I can do offset these low grades?

I know I'm giving you very basic info but based on the little info I have given you, do you think I have a chance to get into any of the schools mentioned above. Should I take the GMAT again to improve my GMAT score? Based on the schools mentioned above, are all of them stretch schools for me? Thanks!
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2004, 20:15
You shouldn't be overly concerned about the grades you received in your freshman year, given the strong turnaround you made in your later years. The admissions committee will definitely place more weight on the improvement, which is a testament to your increase in maturity.

With regard to the GMAT, your score is decent -- if you're planning on applying this year, I wouldn't spend any more time on it. Schools certainly won't reject you simply because you had a 710 with a 78% on the Q. They will ding you based on your failure to convince them that you are a strong candidate, that is in totality.

The schools you mentioned are tough to get into, as I'm sure you're well aware, but based on the limited information you provided you have a shot.

The main question you have to ask is why do I want to go to these schools and how will I differentiate myself from other applicants.
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