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Relevance of Undergraduate GPA

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Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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Relevance of Undergraduate GPA [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2008, 10:47

I am a 28 year old Indian Male planning to start two year full time MBA in Fall 2009. My career goal is Investment management.

I am a Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University (it is a three year Under graduation program). Indian universities don't follow GPA system. My score in the Under graduation is as follows Year 1- 61%, Year 2- 56% and Year 3- 69%. Percentage above 60 is regarded as first class under the Indian system. I am not sure how this is to be converted into an equivalent GPA under the American system.

I am also a Chartered Accountant (Chartered accountancy is similar to the American CPA but involves more academic rigor than a CPA). The Chartered Accountancy program is a distance learning course. It requires completion of 2 examinations - intermediate and final and three years of practical training. It is accepted as equivalent to a Masters degree for a Doctoral Program by over 75 universities in India as well as various Institutes of Management in India.

I have also passed all the three levels CFA program (CFA institute, USA). My GMAT score is 720 & Toefl Score is 113. I have over 5 years of experience in financial services (Though not actually in investment management). I believe that average undergraduate GPA of most of the top 30 MBA programs is above 3.00. My query is

1. What would my undergraduate GPA be as the American system

2. In case my GPA is below average, will a strong concentration in finance (due to two professional qualifications) & good GMAT score make up for the same (as I completed undergraduation 7 years back and the CA & CFA qualification are more recent additions to my profile)

3. I am planning to undertake additional courses in the coming months(preferable short 3-6 month courses) these would essentially be distance learning programs. will this be of any help in improving my academic record

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Re: Relevance of Undergraduate GPA [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2008, 21:01

Business schools generally have people on staff who know the Indian grading system and make the appropriate conversions. I do think they would appreciate it if you would also translate the grading system and your grades for them in your optional essay. If you really want to convince them you could pay an organization like to do the conversion for you. If your GPA is as good as you say it is, the schools will not need any further convincing.

If your GPA is average or worse, then, yes, the following can help to mitigate that negative: a strong GMAT score (say, 720 or higher), evidence of good performance in quant courses, matriculating at a selective or rigorous university, a difficult undergraduate major.

Taking additional "pre-MBA" or quant-related courses, and doing well in them, can also help to offset a mediocre GPA, but not IMO as much as the four factors I listed in the previous paragraph.

Hope this helps,


Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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Kudos [?]: 583 [0], given: 74

Re: Relevance of Undergraduate GPA   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2008, 21:01
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