Look at your scores in the context of a bigger picture.

A low GMAT/GRE score or a low GPA is not necessarily an MBA deal breaker. No university is going to admit or dismiss a candidate based solely on onesemester’s poor GPA or a low verbal GMAT/GRE score without also reflecting on other numbers as well as the rest of the non-quantitative parts of the applicant’sprofile.

Average numbers vary according to school, as well as numbers within your demographic group. You should examine each of these aspects and weigh the strengths and weaknesses in your application before you can really start to worry. And if your stats are worth worrying about, then it’s time we get to work and address

these concerns!

How Low Can You Go? It Depends

Certain numbers will be significant hurdles. Say, for instance, you have a GPA of 2.9 and your top choice MBA program’s GPA average is 3.5. In this case, your chances ofacceptance have just taken a major hit. If, on the other hand, that same applicant applies to a b-school with a GPA average of 3.2, then he or she may have a chance of acceptance, provided, the rest of the application is solid, or better yet, above average.

Here’s another “it depends” situation: Overrepresented demographics – Indian engineers or investment bankers from overrepresented ethnicities – will have a

harder time getting into a top MBA program than a corporate finance executive from an underrepresented background with the same stats. In such a case, a GMAT/GREscore in the lower part of the school’s 80% range and a GPA of 3.3 may be just too low for one person and just high enough for another.

Your Score + Yourself = A Balancing Act

You need to examine the details of your scores and reflect on them in the context of a bigger picture. Ask yourself these questions:

• Is one score low, but balanced out by other higher numbers? Can you provide other evidence of academic ability?

• Did your overall GPA improve as you matured through the college experience?

• Do you have flawlessly-written, compelling essays that prove your strong writing and communication skills despite a somewhat lower-than-average GMAT/GRE verbal score?

• Do you offer specific examples and anecdotes in your essays that highlight your quantitative skills, even though your GMAT/GRE quant scores weren’t as high as

you’d like?

• Do your recommenders vouch for your abilities—especially ones that the numbers don’t reveal?

• Have you chosen schools that will view your scores as competitive?

• Have you taken additional college courses in an attempt to boost your quant or verbal capabilities?

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• Have you written the optional essay to further boost your competitive edge?

You need to assess and interpret how you’ll be perceived with such scores andnumbers, and then develop an application strategy to address those issues.

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2. 3 Tips for Handling a Low GMAT/GRE Verbal Score

Highlight your solid communication skills.
Recently I talked about overcoming the challenge of a low GMAT/GRE quant score.Today we’ll discuss how to handle a less-than-perfect verbal GMAT/GRE score (in the

bottom of the 80% range or lower for your target programs).

With such a strong emphasis on teamwork and communication in b-school (and for the rest of your life as a successful businessperson), it’s no wonder that stellar written

and spoken verbal skills are essential for MBA students.

Here are 3 things you can do if you’re worried that your low verbal score may interfere with your chances of acceptance:

1. Demonstrate the power of the written word

Youmustconstructexpressive,flawlessly writtenessays. Maybe you couldn’tproveyour verbal abilities with your test performance, but now’s your final opportunity to put your best verbal foot forward. Be sure to include examples and

anecdotes that highlight your solid communication skills, so that you don’t just havewell-written essays, but that the content speaks to your verbal strengths as well.

2. Boost your verbal skills resume

You can enroll in additional writing and/or communications courses at a local college(and earn A’s). This option is particularly important if you’ve received low grades inyour college English courses in addition to scoring poorly on the GMAT/GRE. Publicspeaking clubs, debate teams, and other activities, roles, or events for which you’vestepped up and proven your strong communication skills are all noteworthy items

worth focusing on.

3. Reason with your recommenders

You can ask your recommenders to comment positively on your written and verbal communication skills.

Don’t run for the hills just yet! A low verbal GMAT/GRE score won’t banish you from b-school if you take strategic steps to build a rock-solid application, despite those pesky low numbers.

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3. 3 Tips for Handling a Low GMAT/GRE Quant Score

A low quant score on the GMAT/GRE (at the lower end of the school’s 80% range) is never good news, but it doesn’t equal immediate rejection. As I’ve mentioned in thepast, no single score is scrutinized independently, but rather your entire profile is examined as a unified package.

WWAS (What Would University Say)?

Interpret your scores as an university member would and ask yourself these questions:

• Is the rest of your profile stellar?
• Do you have solid grades in quant-related courses?
• Is it possible that you’re just not great at standardized tests?

• Is your score perhaps not so low for people in your demographic group?

• Are you applying to schools where the average GMAT/GRE score is not far off from your lower-than-you-would’ve-wished score?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you have a chance!

3 Steps to Despite-Low-Quant-GMAT/GRE Success
The following 3 tips will help you overcome the odds and present a strong case of

acceptance to a top b-school, despite your lower-than-desired quant stats.

1. Do more. Do better.

You MUST improve your quantitative abilities or demonstrate that you have them in some other way. In b-school and in the business world at large, knowing how to crunch numbers is essential. You’ll need to act quickly to show you are equipped for a spot in their next b-school class. Enroll in a calculus, statistics, and/or accounting class at your local community college ASAP. Make sure you have the prerequisite skills; you will need to earn an A! If you have time, also take additional quant-oriented

courses, like finance or economics.

2. Highlight your quant abilities

In your resume and essays, highlight quantitative aspects of your work to further demonstrate your quant proficiency. Use vivid details, examples, and anecdotes that will prove to the universities that your low quant score was a fluke, and that it’s clear to you and those who work with you that there are no quant problems here.

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3. Let your recommenders get the job done

Ask your recommenders to highlight your quantitative achievements as well. Having a respected third-party vouch for your skill will help you immensely.

Remember, your scores don’t exist in a vacuum. With the right moves, you canovercome this weakness and still present a super strong MBA application.

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4. Dealing with a Low GPA

 

Just prove that you have the ability to excel in your target MBA programs.
Explaining a low GPA can be difficult and it requires you to examine your GPA’s trend.

3 Scenarios

Scenario A – 3.0 GPA, upward trend

You goofed off for your first few semesters and didn’t weigh the consequences. Youfailed some classes and started out with an embarrassingly low GPA not because of lack of ability, but because of immaturity. Mid-sophomore year you wised up and continuously hit above the 3.8 mark for the rest of your undergraduate career.

Scenario B – 3.0 GPA, downward trend

Your college experience started out with a motivated streak of genius – three solid 4.0 semesters in a row. But then…things took a turn towards apathy and laziness and your grades began to suffer significantly.

Scenario C – 3.0 GPA, static

You work hard, but not too hard. You take some classes seriously, and some not so much. You never really cared about school or grades to really put the effort in. A few

years out of school and a life-changing career move have motivated you to new heights and you want to apply to b-school. But now you need to deal with a less-than- impressive record.

Interpreting Our Scenarios

The student in Scenario A doesn’t really have too much to worry about (unless he’sapplying to a top MBA program for which a 3.0 GPA is a significant hurdle). Many students early in their college careers have a couple of bad semesters because of immaturity. Your grades went up, proving your capabilities and your increased maturity.

Scenario B’s student is in a bit more of a bind. She’s proved her abilities by acingthose first few semesters, but why the dramatic downturn? Did things get too difficult for her? Does she have trouble performing under pressure? Or does she just not care about improving and perfecting her academic capabilities?

The problem of mediocrity looms over Scenario C’s student. This student will need to prove his skill level if he wants to be considered for a spot in the next MBA class.

Recovery Plans

Student A doesn’t need to prove ability as much as motivation and seriousness,which he may have already proven with his last few years of work. He may want to ask one of his recommenders to vouch for his maturity and steadfastness. A high GMAT/GRE/GRE score will help.

Student B will need to enroll in some college courses to prove her verbal and/or quantitative abilities (especially if her test scores weren’t so great). She’ll want tomake sure her essays express her newfound motivation as well as her keen writing

abilities. Her essays should include clear anecdotes that illustrate how she’s maturedsince her last few semesters and how her skills should be judged based on recent work experience, rather than past college experience.

Student C is in a similar boat as Student B. He’ll want to retake some of his math and English courses and he’ll want to get solid A’s this time. B’s and C’s just won’t cut it if he wants to prove he’s b-school material. Strong essays and letters ofrecommendation will also boost Student C’s chances of acceptance.

Understanding Your Unique Scenario

Of course many of you will not be like Students A, B, or C. Your grade dive may have resulted from illness or family crisis or circumstances beyond your control. Or perhaps steady, mediocre grades resulted from your working 20-30 hours per week to support yourself through school. There are many other scenarios too. The key is to prove that today you have the ability to excel in your target MBA programs and that the circumstances that contributed to the poor marks in college no longer affect you.

Moral of the story: A single low number can be explained or put in a less damaging context with hard work and a solid application strategy.

Overall Chill Man. You Are Not Dead Yet. You Still Tremendous Possibility To Shine As A Star. So Find Your Eternal Strengths And Explore It To The Admission Committee. Remember You Have To Show What You Have And Only Then They Will Believe It. If You Are Passionate About Your Goals, It Is Very Certain That Today Or Tomorrow, You Will Reach Your Final Destination. No one Can Stop You Achieving That Dream.

Stay Motivated, Pray Regularly (Pray For Me Too), Stay Focused, Don’t Lose Your Sight From The Big Picture. Remember It’s Your Dream, So Have To FightRelentlessly To Achieve And Accomplish Your Dream. Best Wishes For All Of You.

Regards,
S M Mahamudul Islam Munna

 

Reference: NextTop USA