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Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword?

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Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 10:32
I took a look to the online application form from LBS, and there's a question that says "Do you feel that your academic performance so far gives an accurate indication of your potential for success at London Business School? If so, why? If not, why not?".

The first thought was 'great, I have an explicit blank to talk about my GPA', but soon I began to think of the interpretations that AdComs could make up, for instance:

1) Suppose that in your university courses there were quite workships based on teamwork, and that you did those with your colleagues, who didn't care too much of their grades (not everyone wants to do an MBA). Usually, despite your extra effort, the grades weren't as high as they could have been, because your colleagues didn't helped much and always waited till the last week to start working.

When I try to be in the head of the AdCom, I can see this from two opposite points of view,
1) Seems that the candidate had to do a big effort in order to compensate the lack of motivation of their colleagues.
2) Seems that the candidate lacks of leadership, since he couldn't motivate his colleagues to do a better job.
and so on..

It is just an example, but what's your opinion? Is it better to try to expain or is it better to be quiet so you don't make it worse?

*BTW, my gpa is 3.1, I know an application depends on the whole thing, but do you think is enough for LBS, so not to be waitlisted at first glance? (Thanks!)
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Re: Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 11:17
Did you really take that many workshop classes? It seems to me in your explanation of your undergrad performance, you are simply shifting blame onto your classmates. I think a better approach would be to take responsibility for your GPA and point to your recent achievements (work, community service, alternate transcript) as more indicative of your maturity and academic motivation.

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Re: Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 14:59
Hi swbluedevil, thanks for your answer.

Actually, that has nothing to do with my performance, it's just an example of how your gpa may not be accurate, as there are many others (work, personal situation, motivation, ...).

In my particular case, I didn't care too much for my grades until I suddenly discovered the MiM (in 3rd course) and now I feel I could've done better. Moreover, since it's a MSc expressly for recent graduates the gpa is probably more important.

Nevertheless I agree with you, I'll try to do my best in the GMAT and write stunning essays.
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Re: Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 19:44
If you try to write all your essays based on how it might be perceived from the adcom's perspective, you are not gonna write an essay that truly reflects your candidacy for the school.

If you have a legitimate reason why your GPA is not as high as you would like to be, you should address it. But after writing your essay that addresses your GPA, and you realize that there's more blame than accountability on your part, then you should rethink the strategy.
(I am not saying that this is the case for you. Just giving you an example)


Don't try to come up with answers that would look "good" or "ideal" in the eyes of the adcom. Just be honest and give your point of view on the topic. After all, "fit" is very important later on. If an applicant ends up portraying him or herself as a person with personality/trait "A" that fits with a certain school, and the applicant is accepted....and then later on, that same applicant ends up with hundreds of new classmates with personality/trait "A" when he or she is in fact personality/trait "B", next 2 years are going to be very tough for the applicant and for the classmates.

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Re: Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 20:17
I think even if your GPA is less than perfect, you should not bring it up in a negative way. Always be positive. Tell them yes you will be ready to take on the challenges of the course work. Don't make it sound like you have so many excuses. Demonstrate you can excel. :)

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New post 25 Jul 2009, 21:43
Ahh, my bad. That's the impression I got since you mentioned it in your post.

Either way, I think it's best to take full responsibility for your GPA. If there truly were extenuating circumstances (i.e. illness, family issues, working substantial hours to finance education) than those are certainly worth mentioning.

Have you built an alternate transcript? Showing adcoms that you're academically motivated now is a lot better than simply telling them.

saruba wrote:
Hi swbluedevil, thanks for your answer.

Actually, that has nothing to do with my performance, it's just an example of how your gpa may not be accurate, as there are many others (work, personal situation, motivation, ...).

In my particular case, I didn't care too much for my grades until I suddenly discovered the MiM (in 3rd course) and now I feel I could've done better. Moreover, since it's a MSc expressly for recent graduates the gpa is probably more important.

Nevertheless I agree with you, I'll try to do my best in the GMAT and write stunning essays.

Kudos [?]: 27 [0], given: 3

Re: Justifying your low GPA, a double-edged sword?   [#permalink] 25 Jul 2009, 21:43
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