• PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Target Test Prep
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Veritas Prep
  • Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Varsity Tutors
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Kaplan Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    Economist Test Prep

Am I competitive enough for these schools?

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies
humblescarabee Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
30 Apr 2008
12 messages

Am I competitive enough for these schools?

Post Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:20 pm
Good Morning.

I am a 31 years old black guy born and raised in Guadeloupe FWI.

So far, I have taken the GMAT twice and my best score was 650 (70% quantitative, 86% verbal, 80% overall). I scored 109 over 120 for the TOEFL.
I have 2 great letters of recommendation from my former and current bosses. I also have 6 years of professionnal experience in Telecom industry and, particularly, 2 years of experience as a manager.
I ranked 98 over 262 when I was student in Euromed Management School (top 15 business schools in France). I guess my GPA is not that good so.
Unfortunately, I was not really involved in many extracurricular activities apart from representing my university for the recruitment of prospective students, training of the basketball team during 1 year, teaching maths to primary schools students and learning Chinese and Spanish.
I'm a good writer, so I can write good essays. For example, I can explain why my GPA was low since I was fully employed when I was a student in order to pay for my studies. I can explain how I sttrugled to achieve my carreer so far.

Do you think I can be competitive for schools like these one?
- Berkeley (YES/NO)
- Columbia (YES/NO)
- Yale (YES/NO)
- Stern (YES/NO)
- Emory (YES/NO)
- Marshall (YES/NO)

Graduation from a MBA in the US is like a dream for me. I would really appreciate your honest answer.

Best regards.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!


Graham MBA Admissions Consultant
18 Sep 2008
270 messages
Followed by:
17 members
Test Date:
August 1998
Target GMAT Score:
GMAT Score:
Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:31 am
Dear Humblescarabee,

Thanks for your post!

While it sounds like you have a very unique background (very few applicants to b-school come out of Guadeloupe), your candidacy for the top schools in the US presents several liabilities:

1) Your academic profile will fall well below the average at top-15 programs like UCLA, Berkeley, Yale, Stern and Columbia. While a 650 on the GMAT is not the end of the world, it is nearly 50 points below the average score at many of your target schools. I worry that when this score is coupled with your undergraduate marks, the top programs will have concerns about your ability to handle the rigorous academics in b-school. While schools like Emory, Marshall and HEC may be more within your reach, your academic profile will still fall below their averages.

2) Your age (31) makes you a bit of an outlier at the top programs (average age of a first year student is usually closer to twenty-eight). While this isn't the end of the world, there are some strategies that older applicants need to keep in mind when applying.

3) While it sounds like you have some solid telecom experience (and accompanying rec letters) I am curious to know if you have more than 6 years of experience (if you are 31, I would have expected more like 8 or 9 years of total experience).

4) Your XCs sound like a bit of a liability as well, since it's unclear how you've been spending your time outside of work since you graduated from university. Keep in mind that the top schools place a fair amount of emphasis on admitting well-rounded, involved students who can contribute to campus life.

Overall, given the information you've provided, my sense is that a number of the schools on your list are going to be 'reaches' - based on your academic profile alone. While Emory, HEC and Marshall will present slightly better odds, I'd say there's no real guarantee there either.

Have you considered working with a tutor or taking a GMAT prep course to boost your score? This would be the best way to counter your lower GPA...

If you are interested in a more in-depth assessment, please feel free to send your resume to info@clearadmit.com and sign up for a free initial chat with one of our counselors.

Best of luck,


Graham Richmond
Clear Admit, LLC
215 568 2590

Stay Informed with Clear Admit!
Read our Blog for daily MBA admissions tips and updates.
Follow us on Twitter for breaking b-school news.
Download our Publications on MBA programs and admissions strategy.
Visit our MBA Admissions Wiki to read and share application insights.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag

Best Conversation Starters

1 Roland2rule 174 topics
2 lheiannie07 110 topics
3 ardz24 64 topics
4 LUANDATO 56 topics
5 swerve 46 topics
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

Most Active Experts

1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

150 posts
2 image description Jeff@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

145 posts
3 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...


116 posts
4 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

103 posts
5 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

98 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts