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

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Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Economics
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
WE: Project Management (Real Estate)
Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2014, 21:53
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I'm not sure how I just found this thread. I would have devoured it last year when I was applying.

University: University of Southern California
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering
GPA: 2.88
GMAT: 770 (99%), Q:50 (93%), V:44 (97%), AWA:4.5 (37%)
Nationality: US, Caucasian
Age: 29
Gender: M
Work Experience: 7 years in construction project engineering/project management. Promotions approx. every 2 years.
Extracurricular Activities: Honestly, pretty limited. The only significant one was advisor and alumni president for my fraternity.
Community Services: Participant/volunteer in a few runs, build days, etc

Application Results:
R3 - Fuqua - Dinged without interview
R3 - Ross - Accepted
R3 - Booth - Matriculated after being waitlisted
R3 - Kellogg - Withdrew from WL upon acceptance from Booth

What do you think is your biggest advantage?
My GPA was terrible, I applied in R3, and I certainly didn't have anything to offer in terms of demographic diversity. My GMAT obviously helped a ton and having significant work experience help distance me from my grades. Beyond that, my essays were solid and I very deliberately addressed my shortcomings. My recos were fantastic. I took a risk for my 2nd reco by having a classmate from an executive education program I completed write about my contributions in an academic setting.

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

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New post 04 Jun 2014, 23:22
I've taken the GMAT 4 times, and the highest score that I managed was a 660. It went up each time, and across attempts my best quant was a 48 and best verbal was a 37. I'm still going to go ahead and apply to a variety of top schools this year since I think I have a decent profile.

One suggestion for people with low GMAT concerns - take a look at www.mbamath.com; doing their online graded course might show a little bit of determination (and ability?) to get through the first year curriculum at most business schools

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Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: 3.1
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2014, 12:10
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Program: MBA
Area of interest in MBA: General Management, Strategy
GMAT: 760 Q48 V48
GPA: University of Michigan, Engineering, 3.1 (ok ok, 3.06)
Work experience(WE): ~5 years at matriculation, Manufacturing
Nationality: US, White
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Extra-curriculars/community: Heavy involvement (including chair of board) in local chapter of professional society.

Schools applied to:

Ross, Round 1, Accepted
Kellogg, Round 1, Accepted and Matriculating
Booth, Round 1, Waitlisted with interview
Tepper, Round 1, Accepted (with $$$)
Fuqua, Round 1, Accepted (with $)

I used the optional essay in each app to briefly explain the grading curve in my technical classes. I also said that while I wish my GPA had been higher, that I was proud to have graduated from a competitive program in four years while showing improvement and working part time. I used 118 words, which I think was enough to show that I recognized the weakness, but not so much that I irritated the adcom with another lengthy essay.

For someone with a similar situation (high GMAT, low GPA), just know that you can get into a really good school.

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Concentration: Operations, General Management
Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2014, 08:57
I have yet to take the GMAT, but how did everybody overcome their low GPA? I could make excuses and say I had several full time jobs or that I was thousands of miles from my family as a 17 year old, but I know I only have myself to blame for the underwhelming performance and others have also had demanding jobs and distance from their family as undergraduates and did well. I've since earned an AA degree, and will be finishing up my MS in sports management in the Spring both with impressive GPAs (3.5 and 4.0). Will this help make up for my low UGPA?

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

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New post 27 Jul 2014, 09:06
pellantn wrote:
...how did everybody overcome their low GPA?


I'm pretty sure most people have already answered this in their posts. That's the primary purpose of the thread. Scroll back a ways for ideas.

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GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2014, 12:33
GMAT: 710(Q:47, V:41, AWA:6, IR: 8)
University attended: Top Tier University of California
Major(s): Biology
GPA / Honours: 2.96
Nationality: Asian American
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Work Experience: No. of Years / Industry / Role
Extra-curricular Activities: minimal
Community Services: minimal

Business Schools (Admitted): Johnson, Tepper, WL'd at Kellogg
Business Schools (Applied but Dinged): CBS, Ross

I felt that my GPA was a major hurdle for a very long time. These are the things that probably helped overcome the GPA.

-700+ GMAT (I personally think this helped the least. At most, it kept me from being disqualified outright)
-Steady work progression: I've been fortunate at my company. I've seen a promotion every year for 5 years at the same organization
-Not a banker/consultant: I work in pharma (oncology), and I believe this made my application stand out a bit
-Essays/Resume: I worked with Drew from Veritas Prep on my essays and resume. It was expensive, but there's no doubt in my mind that this helped my essays. I'm a good writer on my own, but the VP team really works to make your application an accurate and complete picture of your experiences and intentions
-Additional coursework: I retook calculus II at a community college and received an A. This was one course I struggled with in college.

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Location: United States
Concentration: Finance
GMAT Date: 09-13-2014
GPA: 3.23
Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2014, 17:49
Hi guys, I'm finding some of these posts to be really inspiring.

I just took the GMAT for the 3rd time and I topped out at 640 (Q44, V34), even tho my practice tests were Q46, V36 :(

I'm really not sure what to do, if I should even apply or not this year. I already applied to Columbia and got denied. I wanted to apply to Wharton, HBS and NYU in R2.

My profile:
Undergrad major: engineering, GPA 3.2
Masters major: engineering, GPA 3.5
2 years WE in a leadership rotational program at a well known company
Born in Tokyo, Asian American
Lots of extracurriculars, leadership experience and volunteer work

Is it worth applying this year???

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

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 06:58
mari0o24 wrote:
Hi guys, I'm finding some of these posts to be really inspiring.

I just took the GMAT for the 3rd time and I topped out at 640 (Q44, V34), even tho my practice tests were Q46, V36 :(

I'm really not sure what to do, if I should even apply or not this year. I already applied to Columbia and got denied. I wanted to apply to Wharton, HBS and NYU in R2.

My profile:
Undergrad major: engineering, GPA 3.2
Masters major: engineering, GPA 3.5
2 years WE in a leadership rotational program at a well known company
Born in Tokyo, Asian American
Lots of extracurriculars, leadership experience and volunteer work

Is it worth applying this year???


I think you really, really, really, need to bring that GMAT up. The other statistics look solid, but frankly since you are from an overrepresented majority (Asian American Male) that is known for its high GMATs, it puts you at a significant disadvantage. It would also help because you are also on the young side.

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 10:52
Does it help that I'm actually a girl and not a guy :) haha sorry, maybe I should have specified that earlier.

Do you think I could apply and take the test again and then submit my new score after I submit my apps?

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 12:24
mari0o24 wrote:
Does it help that I'm actually a girl and not a guy :) haha sorry, maybe I should have specified that earlier.

Do you think I could apply and take the test again and then submit my new score after I submit my apps?


It does help! But that 640 is still low. It's below the 20 percentile for NYU (680 is 20th percentile), which means its almost definitely even lower for Harvard. The lowest GMAT that Wharton accepted last year was 620; 80% of its students scored 710 - 750... You would need something relatively special in the other parts of your profile to compensate for this.

Last edited by EnigmaD on 23 Dec 2014, 13:42, edited 1 time in total.

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 13:10
I think I might re-take, I've been getting a 680 in my practice test but it's not translating when I sit for the real thing. Just gotta keep practicing!

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

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New post 23 Dec 2014, 13:32
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Thought it was time to post my profile here.

Profile
UG GPA: 2.475 Mechanical Engineering (Ivy non-HYP)
Grad GPA: 3.33
WE: 78 months at matriculation (3 different companies 5 different positions most recently in a Project Manager role)
GMAT: 730 49Q 40V 6IR 6AWA (first and only take)
EC's: 4 years of coaching children on the weekends and 2 years of mentoring high school students
Minority: Asian American Male

More of my story can be found in the link in my signature. :gl to all of you still trying! There is hope!
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My Application experience: Low GPA Success!

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Had a gmat score of 490 last year after taking it twice! I applied to wharton anyways and got invited to an interview.. Don't worry.. I did not get accepted. But the fact that I got the interview says something! I am convince that a score over 550 is enough if your background is unique and interesting! We shall see ;)

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New post 25 Dec 2014, 17:52
Vmtp wrote:
Had a gmat score of 490 last year after taking it twice! I applied to wharton anyways and got invited to an interview.. Don't worry.. I did not get accepted. But the fact that I got the interview says something! I am convince that a score over 550 is enough if your background is unique and interesting! We shall see ;)

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This may be true, but it better be REAL unique and interesting. Dominique Foxworth got into HBS with 570 GMAT... but he also led the NFL Player's Union in groundbreaking negotiations with the NFL.

Meanwhile, the lowest GMAT of an accepted person at Wharton last year was 620.

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New post 25 Dec 2014, 18:16
While the GMAT is farely easy for some people, it is more challenging for others. I believe that it depends on the person and the education background. A former professional tennis player might have a harder time scoring a Q47 than an academivally drilled finance major.. That does not mean that the tennis player doesn't posess skills and experiences that are extremely intersting to top tier schools and top employers. The schools are aware of that! A great gmat score is important if academics have been your primary focus growing up... If you have other important skills, the universities will appreciate and respect that!

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

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New post 16 Sep 2015, 10:10
hideyoshi wrote:
GoBruins wrote:
This is gonna be my 2cents, I would not apply to columbia and apply to either kellogg or booth. The reason I say that is, having applied ED to CBS it might be more difficult since there application does not stress EC's very much. Also since Kellogg you will get at least an interview. Chicago is also a little more generious on grades in my opinion if you can show depth and intellence.

CBS tends to be more stereotypical in admissions.


Pretty much if I was you (I was you, but didn't have the I must leave this year)

I would suggest
R1
Yale
Kellogg (or Booth)
Duke (or Ross)
CMU (or GT)

R2
Ross (or Duke)
darden
UNC



What does applying ED to a school mean? I am really ignorant of the lingo here on forum. Thanks


Applying "ED" means early decision. Columbia has a binding early decision round where the decisions are rolling and you can get accepted as early as August. A few schools have this and some schools (like Tuck) have non-binding early rounds. You'll need to look at each school in particular to see what their admissions rounds and process looks like.
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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2015, 05:31
Vmtp wrote:
While the GMAT is farely easy for some people, it is more challenging for others. I believe that it depends on the person and the education background. A former professional tennis player might have a harder time scoring a Q47 than an academivally drilled finance major.. That does not mean that the tennis player doesn't posess skills and experiences that are extremely intersting to top tier schools and top employers. The schools are aware of that! A great gmat score is important if academics have been your primary focus growing up... If you have other important skills, the universities will appreciate and respect that!

Posted from my mobile device


I agree with what you're saying, but at the same time, business schools are also easier for some people, and harder for others. GMAT is a uniform way to measure the likelihood one will be successful in the academic portion of the business program. If someone gets a score that is The person might still have a great business career (as many people will say Jobs and Gates never even obtained their undergrads), but will probably not do very well in a top tier business school.


Another thing is....GMAT is not hard. The quantitative portion tests the test takers on nothing harder than high school level concepts. And I would say, for someone who puts in some effort in reading and using the English language, just a little refreshing on the SC part, the person should be able to score a 35+ on verbal. Using your tennis player example here, who says tennis players cannot do math?

I mean, does it sound fair to you if this tennis player (or tennis star) goes to the adcom and say, "Look, I am a great tennis star, but I refused to learn the fundamentals in math because I didn't care enough. However, you guys should still admit me because you should judge me based on non-business school related criteria. Why? because I'm a tennis star."?

GMAT isn't everything, I think we can all agree on that. Nevertheless, it DOES predict the academic capability to a large extent, and if there is this rule, either abide to it or change it. Business school isn't for everyone.

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

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New post 22 Jan 2017, 02:17
Hello Everyone,

It’s really encouraging to find so many success stories of people who made their career steer clear of all obstacles with low GMAT & GPA. Someone in the forum has rightly said that we are human being and not just “numbers” and so our fate cannot be just decided with a low GMAT or GPA. The good news is that the Ad Coms of most of the premiere (Top-ish) B-Schools realize this very fact and consider the admission application holistically i.e. consider all the factors viz. your profile, education, background, work experience, extra-curricular activities, community service, recommendations / references, English proficiency etc. along with your GMAT scores.

Three years back, I was in your shoes. Even after thorough preparation, I got a discouraging 570 in GMAT, though my quant scores were decent however verbal score was a complete mess. I tried enough to improve upon my verbal scores; however I met with little success every time. In the end, I decided to move ahead with whatever I had in my hand.

Well, a little about me at the time of application – I had about two years of technical experience in project management wherein I had managed few contracts and gained experience in robust man management. I am basically an engineer by degree with 60.6% in undergraduates (which I am sure is not impressive).
I talked with my three supervisors / seniors at work and they agreed to be my professional recommendation providers (admission committees place critical importance on your recommendations). To cover my low GMAT and GPA, I thought to get some score on IELTS and luckily I got a score of 7/9 in the very first attempt.

I did an extensive research of the B-Schools world-wide for about 3-4 weeks. While selecting the school, I placed utmost importance on the post-MBA job prospects. As such, North America was a natural choice like everyone does have. However, since the immigration policy of US is mostly uncertain (i.e. stay in US after completion of such an expensive degree program – problems with H1B working visa for immigrants- “and now screwed up all the more”), I decided to turn towards Canada.

On exploring the possibilities, I found the country loaded with great MBA programs. The very encouraging fact for me was the low tuition fees of the MBA program with great scholarship opportunities even for the most reputed B-Schools (FT Rankings Top 100). The Post Graduate work permit program offered by the Canadian Govt. was yet another cherry on the cake. In addition to it, the stable economy, high paying jobs, work-life balance, jobs availability, cost of living, presence of huge Indians community, connectivity with India terrain, permanent residency, citizenship options etc. were some of the many factors for selecting Canada over any other country.

After earmarking the B-Schools, I started off struggling with my application. I never imagined that preparing the admission application would be so challenging and demanding. I literally went blank when I started off with preparing my Statement of Purpose (SOP). Further, when I asked my recommenders to provide me the recommendation for the 5 B-Schools to which I had applied – they in turn asked to suggest the important points that they should cover while writing a strong recommendation for me.

By this time, I knew that it would be absolutely not possible for me to complete my admission applications along with my grueling work hours so I started to consult various MBA Consulting firms in India and abroad, however I was stunned after learning about their sky-rocketing consulting rates. Even for a short discussion over phone, Consulting firms were asking several thousand bucks forget about their huge demands for assistance in application (few started their bid with Rs. 1,25,000 per B-School just for the sake of providing advices and reviews). To look out for economical means, I was searching frantically in community forums when some member mentioned about Jugaadugar. Upon enquiry, I came to know that Jugaadugar can help me throughout the application journey and even draft SOPs, recommendations, reviewing and resetting CV, English test waiver appl., help in getting scholarship, interview preparation etc. on my behalf and further help me around in filing visa application, medical test, and provide assistance (free of cost) w.r.t. accommodation, currency exchange, and what not if I am proceeding to Canada for MBA. (I think they have some Canadian affiliation or government funding).

They helped someone with a profile like me to get admission offers (with modest scholarships) from reputed B-Schools such as Sauder School of Business (UBC), Schulich School of Business, McMaster, and Simon Fraser University. After considering the tuition cost and post-study prospects I had joined UBC and successfully completed the 16 month program in Jan’15.

Ah….so it has been a long read, so to cut it short now…I would suggest all readers not to lose hope on account of your low GMAT or low GPA scores. Stand confident. Make your application strong in all ways possible. Pour down all your efforts. Show the admission committees what they want to see.
Success will be yours!!

Best of Luck :-D

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

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New post 22 Jan 2017, 02:18
Hello Everyone,

It’s really encouraging to find so many success stories of people who made their career steer clear of all obstacles with low GMAT & GPA. Someone in the forum has rightly said that we are human being and not just “numbers” and so our fate cannot be just decided with a low GMAT or GPA. The good news is that the Ad Coms of most of the premiere (Top-ish) B-Schools realize this very fact and consider the admission application holistically i.e. consider all the factors viz. your profile, education, background, work experience, extra-curricular activities, community service, recommendations / references, English proficiency etc. along with your GMAT scores.

Three years back, I was in your shoes. Even after thorough preparation, I got a discouraging 570 in GMAT, though my quant scores were decent however verbal score was a complete mess. I tried enough to improve upon my verbal scores; however I met with little success every time. In the end, I decided to move ahead with whatever I had in my hand.

Well, a little about me at the time of application – I had about two years of technical experience in project management wherein I had managed few contracts and gained experience in robust man management. I am basically an engineer by degree with 60.6% in undergraduates (which I am sure is not impressive).
I talked with my three supervisors / seniors at work and they agreed to be my professional recommendation providers (admission committees place critical importance on your recommendations). To cover my low GMAT and GPA, I thought to get some score on IELTS and luckily I got a score of 7/9 in the very first attempt.

I did an extensive research of the B-Schools world-wide for about 3-4 weeks. While selecting the school, I placed utmost importance on the post-MBA job prospects. As such, North America was a natural choice like everyone does have. However, since the immigration policy of US is mostly uncertain (i.e. stay in US after completion of such an expensive degree program – problems with H1B working visa for immigrants- “and now screwed up all the more”), I decided to turn towards Canada.

On exploring the possibilities, I found the country loaded with great MBA programs. The very encouraging fact for me was the low tuition fees of the MBA program with great scholarship opportunities even for the most reputed B-Schools (FT Rankings Top 100). The Post Graduate work permit program offered by the Canadian Govt. was yet another cherry on the cake. In addition to it, the stable economy, high paying jobs, work-life balance, jobs availability, cost of living, presence of huge Indians community, connectivity with India terrain, permanent residency, citizenship options etc. were some of the many factors for selecting Canada over any other country.

After earmarking the B-Schools, I started off struggling with my application. I never imagined that preparing the admission application would be so challenging and demanding. I literally went blank when I started off with preparing my Statement of Purpose (SOP). Further, when I asked my recommenders to provide me the recommendation for the 5 B-Schools to which I had applied – they in turn asked to suggest the important points that they should cover while writing a strong recommendation for me.

By this time, I knew that it would be absolutely not possible for me to complete my admission applications along with my grueling work hours so I started to consult various MBA Consulting firms in India and abroad, however I was stunned after learning about their sky-rocketing consulting rates. Even for a short discussion over phone, Consulting firms were asking several thousand bucks forget about their huge demands for assistance in application (few started their bid with Rs. 1,25,000 per B-School just for the sake of providing advices and reviews). To look out for economical means, I was searching frantically in community forums when some member mentioned about Jugaadugar. Upon enquiry, I came to know that Jugaadugar can help me throughout the application journey and even draft SOPs, recommendations, reviewing and resetting CV, English test waiver appl., help in getting scholarship, interview preparation etc. on my behalf and further help me around in filing visa application, medical test, and provide assistance (free of cost) w.r.t. accommodation, currency exchange, and what not if I am proceeding to Canada for MBA. (I think they have some Canadian affiliation or government funding).

They helped someone with a profile like me to get admission offers (with modest scholarships) from reputed B-Schools such as Sauder School of Business (UBC), Schulich School of Business, McMaster, and Simon Fraser University. After considering the tuition cost and post-study prospects I had joined UBC and successfully completed the 16 month program in Jan’15.

Ah….so it has been a long read, so to cut it short now…I would suggest all readers not to lose hope on account of your low GMAT or low GPA scores. Stand confident. Make your application strong in all ways possible. Pour down all your efforts. Show the admission committees what they want to see.
Success will be yours!!

Best of Luck :-D

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Re: Profiles - Admitted to Top B-Schools w/ Low GMAT or Low GPA   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2017, 02:18

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