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"Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?

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"Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2017, 17:54
Hi all -

Looking for some perspective on how to handle a transcript issue as we come up on R2 deadlines....

For my final semester in undergrad, I have a "NR" (Not Recorded) mark for an Honors Thesis (1 credit course).
The short story is that I fell behind on the research, panicked a bit, and did not complete the thesis. A couple of questions:

1. I'm wondering if I should use the optional essay to address this as it is a bit different from a standard "W" (Withdrawal) since I never officially requested to withdraw from the course. The general wisdom for a situation like this seems to be to explain how you had a pattern of improvement of the next few terms, but as this was my final term, I'm not really able to use that narrative. Is it sufficient to chalk it up to immaturity and just say that it is not representative of my academic work, given the rest of my transcript? Should I explain why I didn't formally withdraw (W) from the course? I'm also wondering if it's worth it to address it all, since the rest of my transcript is very strong (3.85 GPA in a STEM field) - and the rest of my grades that term were very strong as well.

2. How bad does this look, in terms of chances for an M7? (Assuming the rest of my profile is competitive) Am I freaking out over nothing or is this going to hurt my chances?

Any guidance here would be very helpful! Thanks!
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Re: "Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2017, 21:23
raininthecup wrote:
Hi all -

Looking for some perspective on how to handle a transcript issue as we come up on R2 deadlines....

For my final semester in undergrad, I have a "NR" (Not Recorded) mark for an Honors Thesis (1 credit course).
The short story is that I fell behind on the research, panicked a bit, and did not complete the thesis. A couple of questions:

1. I'm wondering if I should use the optional essay to address this as it is a bit different from a standard "W" (Withdrawal) since I never officially requested to withdraw from the course. The general wisdom for a situation like this seems to be to explain how you had a pattern of improvement of the next few terms, but as this was my final term, I'm not really able to use that narrative. Is it sufficient to chalk it up to immaturity and just say that it is not representative of my academic work, given the rest of my transcript? Should I explain why I didn't formally withdraw (W) from the course? I'm also wondering if it's worth it to address it all, since the rest of my transcript is very strong (3.85 GPA in a STEM field) - and the rest of my grades that term were very strong as well.

2. How bad does this look, in terms of chances for an M7? (Assuming the rest of my profile is competitive) Am I freaking out over nothing or is this going to hurt my chances?

Any guidance here would be very helpful! Thanks!


1. Regardless of how you shape your "optional" essay, the AdCom looks at the increased work as a) Defensive (nearly always true) b) Sign of Immaturity
2. Letting out that you "panicked" in an academic course, is NOT a good sign, unless the rest of your profile can show a positive learning and result out of this; It is very possible, but also rare to be able to do that well.
3. A few ways possible out of this , but a long defensive essay, that also looks defensive is not the one.
4. Don't know how much is it "visible", but your GPA is otherwise strong. How does the rest of your story look?
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Re: "Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2017, 22:03
Hey TheIvyLeagueEdge - thanks for the feedback.

Totally agree that presenting it as "panic" is the wrong way to go - I was thinking I'd address it in a short statement like "My transcript shows NR for [course name]. I did not properly prioritize the research for this thesis with other academic & extracurricular obligations and therefore did not complete the thesis. This is not representative of my ability to handle academic rigor as demonstrated by the entirety of my academic record ." (Exact wording to be worked out)

To your point about it potentially coming off as defensive or immature - this is why I'm interested in getting perspective on whether to address it at all.
I'd like to be upfront about it if it'll cause AdComs pause (don't want to assume that AdComs will just slide right past it when reviewing my transcript), but agree that it might be difficult to execute this without coming off poorly.

In terms of the rest of my story - 750 GMAT (49Q/44V), UG degree from US public ivy in STEM, 5 yrs WE at leading CPG firm in consumer insights & product development, leading several multimillion dollar product initiatives to market, taking on responsibilities of colleagues 2 levels senior to me. Standard ECs (lead recruiting team for my alma mater, lead corporate new hire trainings, running group pace coach). ST goal to move to MBB focusing in CPG.
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Re: "Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 02:09
raininthecup wrote:
Hey TheIvyLeagueEdge - thanks for the feedback.

Totally agree that presenting it as "panic" is the wrong way to go - I was thinking I'd address it in a short statement like "My transcript shows NR for [course name]. I did not properly prioritize the research for this thesis with other academic & extracurricular obligations and therefore did not complete the thesis. This is not representative of my ability to handle academic rigor as demonstrated by the entirety of my academic record ." (Exact wording to be worked out)

To your point about it potentially coming off as defensive or immature - this is why I'm interested in getting perspective on whether to address it at all.
I'd like to be upfront about it if it'll cause AdComs pause (don't want to assume that AdComs will just slide right past it when reviewing my transcript), but agree that it might be difficult to execute this without coming off poorly.

In terms of the rest of my story - 750 GMAT (49Q/44V), UG degree from US public ivy in STEM, 5 yrs WE at leading CPG firm in consumer insights & product development, leading several multimillion dollar product initiatives to market, taking on responsibilities of colleagues 2 levels senior to me. Standard ECs (lead recruiting team for my alma mater, lead corporate new hire trainings, running group pace coach). ST goal to move to MBB focusing in CPG.


Then you have read too much of the online stuff, and are now getting worked up on on your negatives (your gaps) instead of your positives.
That's quite a decent profile. With good work and Story telling, you could even be a good case for a few M7s. Some consulting help may also get you some Fin Aid.
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Re: "Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 14:12
TheIvyLeagueEdge - yes, I am realizing that I have read too much online and am overthinking things. :)


Would your suggestion then be to not address it?


Thanks again.
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"Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 20:51
raininthecup wrote:
TheIvyLeagueEdge - yes, I am realizing that I have read too much online and am overthinking things. :)


Would your suggestion then be to not address it?


Thanks again.


Address it in the Optional essay, and devote no more space to it than is necessary. Avoid defensive stands, yet don't skin yourself. Stress upon your Resilience and your Learnings.
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Re: "Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 05:00
I don't think I would address it at all. Because reality doesn't really look any better than their worst assumption. Let's just leave it alone and hope they potentially think it's a health crisis. When I was a professor at Cal State a student told me something interesting... that as the leader of the class when I paid attention to something, I was saying that it was important. And I think that applies here. Focus them on the positive.

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Re: "Not Recorded" grade on transcript - how to address? &nbs [#permalink] 26 Dec 2017, 05:00
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