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Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is below 720

This topic has 114 expert replies and 223 member replies
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Gil@Aringo Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
03 Feb 2012
Posted:
1 messages
Followed by:
1 members

Ask Aringo - if your GMAT is below 720

Post Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:28 am
Aringo helps MBA candidates prepare applications (essays, CV, recommendations) for the world's top MBA programs. We specialize in countering low GMAT scores.

Aringo's roots were planted when our founder, Gil Levi, was accepted at Harvard, Wharton and INSEAD with a GMAT score of 650.

Gil received a full, merit-based scholarship at Wharton upon admission and later became a member of the Wharton Admission Committee. He formed Aringo's methodology on the basis of the essay-writing tools that he originally developed as an applicant.

Any questions out there about the admission process?
Brian Walby, a senior consultant at Aringo, Will be happy to help!

Regards,
The Aringo.com Team

Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
supermario Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Feb 2012
Posted:
17 messages
Thanked:
2 times
Post Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:47 pm
Hey Aringo,

I have a GMAT related question, would love your input.
I’m considering retaking my GMAT score (700), but I need to apply in the third round in April to some 2nd tier schools.
- How much do you think improving my GMAT would improve my admission chances? is it better to invest my time in preparing a strong application and essays?
- Is it possible to update the school with my new score after the application is already submitted?

Many thanks in advance!

supermario

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:09 am
Quote:
Hey Aringo,

I have a GMAT related question, would love your input.
I’m considering retaking my GMAT score (700), but I need to apply in the third round in April to some 2nd tier schools.
- How much do you think improving my GMAT would improve my admission chances? is it better to invest my time in preparing a strong application and essays?
- Is it possible to update the school with my new score after the application is already submitted?

Many thanks in advance!

supermario
supermario,

Thank you for your questions.

Regarding retaking the GMAT with a current score of 700 to apply in the 3rd round to 2nd tier schools vs. investing in a strong application, this is an interesting situation. Let's think through some of the intangibles first, just so you can understand my perspective: My assumption is that you were unfortunately not accepted into programs that you applied towards already in Rounds 1 and 2, or that you are perhaps on the waitlist for at least one program and you would like to guarantee that you have a solidified MBA option for the fall. The admission committees at (in your words) "2nd tier" schools will have seen this situation many times before as it relates to candidates in the 3rd round, and, like top programs, their classes are typically quite full by the time it gets to the 3rd round. As such, even with a 2nd tier school, the chances of admission are typically quite lower than that in 1st or 2nd round. In our experience, 3rd round chances often come down to whether a candidate not only fits the admission 'profile' of a program in terms of measurables, but (critically) also whether the candidate fills a relative hole in the program's class in terms of background (industry, function, nationality/native country, etc).

All that said, my thought is that investing time into your application and essays will be more impactful than a higher GMAT score, relative to your situation in the 3rd round with a 2nd tier school. You always need to convince a school that you have genuine interest, but it's that much more important in a 3rd round situation when the school might be concerned that you may not accept their offer and may try to negotiate a deferral (this happens a lot with 2nd tier programs). If, let's say, you retook the GMAT and increased from 700 to 750, the program may be even more concerned that you might be a risk to try to defer, because they think you'll think you have a better shot with a top-tier school. More generally, we have seen applicants try to re-take the GMAT, only to improve it by a small margin (10-20 points, or not at all) and the resulting quality of the rest of their application suffers. This is of course not to say that increasing your GMAT will hurt your chances. My point is that, on a relative basis, I think your (valuable and limited) time is best spent on getting a high-quality application.

One final caveat: Only apply to a 2nd tier program if you actually truly believe that you would attend if accepted. We have seen candidates in your situation who apply to these programs and don't actually think enough about this, and then they decide to try to defer to apply to a higher-ranked program in the future. If you try to defer, then you've kind of wasted your time, in a sense - you researched the school and now you have the same GMAT score to apply to more selective programs for next year.

Regarding updating schools with a new GMAT score after the application, each program has its own policy on this. Some allow updates, and some do not - often times it comes down to the resource level a school has in its admissions department relative to the number of applicants. I would encourage you to research this item with the schools you're interested in ahead of time, and/or perhaps only apply to the select group of programs that do allow these updates.

Best of luck,

_________________

nutsngum Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
07 Dec 2010
Posted:
19 messages
Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:51 pm
Hi,

I was hoping I could get your opinion on a few questions which I'll list at the end of my post. I am looking to apply for 2013 intake, so doing my research now and preparing to write applications this summer.

To start I'm a 26 y/o Canadian born male with a Japanese/Chinese background. Schooling in Canada with a HBBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. I currently work at a large telecommunications company as a Senior Analyst. My role consists primarily of project management from the business side, new product launches, and business KPI/analysis.

From a non-work perspective, I'm on a philanthropy advisory committee with the Red Cross and along with a classmate I've started a not-for-profit online mentoring website which recently launched this January. I also have my CMA (Certified Management Accounting) designation.

I'm looking to apply to an MBA program with the intent of pursuing Management Consulting upon graduation, and would prefer schools within the US and Europe. I scored 700 on my GMAT on my second attempt (47Q, 39V - AWA 5.5). The first time around I scored a 680 (47Q, 36V - AWA 6.0).

At this point in time I've narrowed my options down to about 6 schools. Kellogg, INSEAD, LBS, Tuck, Ross, and Johnson. I was hoping for some feedback on this forum regarding the following questions.

1. What are my prospects on the 6 schools I am considering applying to?
2. Is 6 schools too many to apply to?
3. I'm looking at splitting 3 and 3 for R1 and R2, but I'm having trouble with deciding how I want to split them? My preference of location is listed in the same order as above.
4. Other than starting to re-vamp my resume and narrow down my contacts for my LoR - are there any recommendations on what I can do until applications are released?
5. What's the best way to monitor when the school applications are released so I can get a start on them ASAP?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:21 pm
Quote:
Hi,

I was hoping I could get your opinion on a few questions which I'll list at the end of my post. I am looking to apply for 2013 intake, so doing my research now and preparing to write applications this summer.

To start I'm a 26 y/o Canadian born male with a Japanese/Chinese background. Schooling in Canada with a HBBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. I currently work at a large telecommunications company as a Senior Analyst. My role consists primarily of project management from the business side, new product launches, and business KPI/analysis.

From a non-work perspective, I'm on a philanthropy advisory committee with the Red Cross and along with a classmate I've started a not-for-profit online mentoring website which recently launched this January. I also have my CMA (Certified Management Accounting) designation.

I'm looking to apply to an MBA program with the intent of pursuing Management Consulting upon graduation, and would prefer schools within the US and Europe. I scored 700 on my GMAT on my second attempt (47Q, 39V - AWA 5.5). The first time around I scored a 680 (47Q, 36V - AWA 6.0).

At this point in time I've narrowed my options down to about 6 schools. Kellogg, INSEAD, LBS, Tuck, Ross, and Johnson. I was hoping for some feedback on this forum regarding the following questions.

1. What are my prospects on the 6 schools I am considering applying to?
2. Is 6 schools too many to apply to?
3. I'm looking at splitting 3 and 3 for R1 and R2, but I'm having trouble with deciding how I want to split them? My preference of location is listed in the same order as above.
4. Other than starting to re-vamp my resume and narrow down my contacts for my LoR - are there any recommendations on what I can do until applications are released?
5. What's the best way to monitor when the school applications are released so I can get a start on them ASAP?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!
nutsngum,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as provided and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates that you will be between stretch and competitive (closer to stretch) at Kellogg, between stretch and competitive at INSEAD, competitive at LBS, Tuck, and Ross, and strong at Cornell Johnson.

In terms of your profile, you indicate that you graduated with honors (HBBA) with a business administration undergraduate degree. Please note that, since the undergraduate GPA is such an important metric, it is crucial to spell out not only that you received honors but also what was the relative placement within your peer group (i.e. class rank out of a total, or percentile).

In terms of the number of schools to apply to, we have seen many candidates successfully apply to six (or more) programs in a given year. The answer for what is optimal for you depends naturally on the time and money resources available to you, as well as your profile strength relative to the competitiveness of the programs to which you are applying. Most candidates apply to between 4-7 programs.

The answer for how to split up your mix between Rounds 1 and 2 is similar: it depends on what kind of time and resources you have. In general, we see a slight advantage in chances in Round 1 over Round 2, all things equal - but it depends on the school (and the year). At the same time, we strongly recommend to candidates that they apply when their applications are of their best quality. For many candidates, this means waiting to apply to Round 2 because the application is not yet finished by the time Round 1 deadlines appear. We do see that many candidates naturally "improve" in their abilities to write applications over time. Part of this is because you are able to spot weaknesses faster, and also because you can leverage some (but not all) content from prior applications. The best advice we can give is to start early and give yourself enough time to understand what you are up against, and adjust your plan accordingly.

Things that applicants can do prior to applying include the following:
- to get promoted at work (preferably more than once);
- to accumulate impressive achievements at work (especially leadership-oriented);
- to try to get to a situation where you manage people - preferably regular direct reports (and if that's not possible, then on a project or in a matrix);
- to boost your community contribution (preferably in a leadership-oriented context);
- to consider initiating/co-founding/setting up a project/department/organization (either at work, or outside of work) and making it successful;
- to mark a few potential recommenders and deepen/strengthen your relationship with them;
- to consider whether it's possible for you to get an MS (or other degree) with distinction/excellence in order to counter your undergrad GPA (the contribution of such effort to your admission chances will be small to medium - consider if it's worth the investment of time and money)

In terms of knowing when certain programs release their information on applications and essays, Aringo tracks this very closely and updates it on our website on a real-time basis (look under 'MBA Application Materials').

Best of luck,
Brian

_________________

nutsngum Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
07 Dec 2010
Posted:
19 messages
Post Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:47 pm
Thanks for the response. How early can you really start your applications though? Don't most schools not release the questions for that year's application until mid-summer?

BrianW@Aringo wrote:
Quote:
Hi,

I was hoping I could get your opinion on a few questions which I'll list at the end of my post. I am looking to apply for 2013 intake, so doing my research now and preparing to write applications this summer.

To start I'm a 26 y/o Canadian born male with a Japanese/Chinese background. Schooling in Canada with a HBBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. I currently work at a large telecommunications company as a Senior Analyst. My role consists primarily of project management from the business side, new product launches, and business KPI/analysis.

From a non-work perspective, I'm on a philanthropy advisory committee with the Red Cross and along with a classmate I've started a not-for-profit online mentoring website which recently launched this January. I also have my CMA (Certified Management Accounting) designation.

I'm looking to apply to an MBA program with the intent of pursuing Management Consulting upon graduation, and would prefer schools within the US and Europe. I scored 700 on my GMAT on my second attempt (47Q, 39V - AWA 5.5). The first time around I scored a 680 (47Q, 36V - AWA 6.0).

At this point in time I've narrowed my options down to about 6 schools. Kellogg, INSEAD, LBS, Tuck, Ross, and Johnson. I was hoping for some feedback on this forum regarding the following questions.

1. What are my prospects on the 6 schools I am considering applying to?
2. Is 6 schools too many to apply to?
3. I'm looking at splitting 3 and 3 for R1 and R2, but I'm having trouble with deciding how I want to split them? My preference of location is listed in the same order as above.
4. Other than starting to re-vamp my resume and narrow down my contacts for my LoR - are there any recommendations on what I can do until applications are released?
5. What's the best way to monitor when the school applications are released so I can get a start on them ASAP?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!
nutsngum,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as provided and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 700, our experience indicates that you will be between stretch and competitive (closer to stretch) at Kellogg, between stretch and competitive at INSEAD, competitive at LBS, Tuck, and Ross, and strong at Cornell Johnson.

In terms of your profile, you indicate that you graduated with honors (HBBA) with a business administration undergraduate degree. Please note that, since the undergraduate GPA is such an important metric, it is crucial to spell out not only that you received honors but also what was the relative placement within your peer group (i.e. class rank out of a total, or percentile).

In terms of the number of schools to apply to, we have seen many candidates successfully apply to six (or more) programs in a given year. The answer for what is optimal for you depends naturally on the time and money resources available to you, as well as your profile strength relative to the competitiveness of the programs to which you are applying. Most candidates apply to between 4-7 programs.

The answer for how to split up your mix between Rounds 1 and 2 is similar: it depends on what kind of time and resources you have. In general, we see a slight advantage in chances in Round 1 over Round 2, all things equal - but it depends on the school (and the year). At the same time, we strongly recommend to candidates that they apply when their applications are of their best quality. For many candidates, this means waiting to apply to Round 2 because the application is not yet finished by the time Round 1 deadlines appear. We do see that many candidates naturally "improve" in their abilities to write applications over time. Part of this is because you are able to spot weaknesses faster, and also because you can leverage some (but not all) content from prior applications. The best advice we can give is to start early and give yourself enough time to understand what you are up against, and adjust your plan accordingly.

Things that applicants can do prior to applying include the following:
- to get promoted at work (preferably more than once);
- to accumulate impressive achievements at work (especially leadership-oriented);
- to try to get to a situation where you manage people - preferably regular direct reports (and if that's not possible, then on a project or in a matrix);
- to boost your community contribution (preferably in a leadership-oriented context);
- to consider initiating/co-founding/setting up a project/department/organization (either at work, or outside of work) and making it successful;
- to mark a few potential recommenders and deepen/strengthen your relationship with them;
- to consider whether it's possible for you to get an MS (or other degree) with distinction/excellence in order to counter your undergrad GPA (the contribution of such effort to your admission chances will be small to medium - consider if it's worth the investment of time and money)

In terms of knowing when certain programs release their information on applications and essays, Aringo tracks this very closely and updates it on our website on a real-time basis (look under 'MBA Application Materials').

Best of luck,
Brian

icecube6000 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
25 Oct 2011
Posted:
23 messages
Followed by:
4 members
Thanked:
13 times
Post Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:48 pm
Dear concern,
I am asking for profile evaluation since my
GMAT score has gone up.
I am a 29 year old MBA prospective student
from Pakistan.

GPA/Percentage: I have done my
bachelors in Computer Sciences from NED,
a local University that is among the top 3
Engineering universities in my country. My
final accumulative percentage was 83%.
When I will apply for transcripts, the
percentage will be converted into
equivalent GPA. I, however, cannot tell you
the equivalent GPA right now. I was among
the top 15 in my class.

Career : I have been working with
Standard Chartered, which is a British bank,
for more than 6 1/2 years. Standard
Chartered has a decent network of more
than 140 branches in Pakistan. I started my
career as a sales executive in branch
banking in February 2005. I have steadily
progressed and was promoted four times
during these 6 1/2 years. From 2008 to
2010, I was the floor manager for one of
our flagship branches in Pakistan. I
managed a sales/service team of more than
12 people and a portfolio of more than 100
million dollars. At the start of 2011, I was
promoted as a branch manager. Later in
June, I was hand picked for a sales
transformation project. The scope of the
project is to standardise the way sales is
done in consumer banking. In my current
role as a coach, I am responsible for
implementing the new sales model,
bringing about a behavioural and cultural
change in the whole of consumer banking. I
am part of team of 7 people. I will be able
to get good/stellar recommendations.

Personal life: My father was in army and
we moved a lot till I was 18. I have lived in
all four provinces of Pakistan and speak
atleast 2 provincial languages besides the
national language.

Volunteer experience: I had around 3
months of volunteer work experience last
year and would be doing the same before
filing my applications this year.My
volunteer work was on Saturdays. I was
working with a local NGO and my work
consisted of assisting under privileged
children in improving their education and
social life.

MBA major: I am aiming to get an MBA
with major in general management or
consultancy.

GMAT : I have taken the GMAT test 5 times.
Break-up of score is given below
GMAT 1
March 2010 : 650 (Q 43, V 37)
I was blown away by the difficulty of the
Quantitative section. The testing laminated
sheet also put me off. In short, I was not
prepared.
GMAT 2
Dec 2010: 600 (Q 47, V 27)
This time I was more prepared. However
during the verbal section of the test, I had a
migraine attack. I just randomly selected
most of the verbal answers and my score
dropped as a result.
GMAT 3
Feb 2011: 640 (Q 42, V 37)
I couldn't keep up with the timing in the
quantitative section and ended up missing
2 questions.
GMAT 4
Jan 2012: 680 (Q 44, V 40)
I messed up with my Quantitative section
timing again.
GMAT 5
Mar 2012: 720 (Q 49, V40)


My questions from the experts
Please evaluate my profile on my current
scores. Please advise me on whether
1) Giving the test five times would reflect
negatively on my application? especially
that I did not show any improvement
during my second and third attempts.
2) Would my applicant age of 30 this
August/September be a turn-off for US
MBA schools?
3) What are my chances with respect to the
following tier of schools? These are 15
schools in total. I would be bringing this
list down to 6-8 schools by August. I just
want a perspective of my chances for each
tier.
I am considering the following schools

European Schools
1) IMD (Europe)
2) LBS (Europe)
3) INSEAD (Europe)

Second tier US Schools
4) Duke ( USA)
5) Michigan Ross (USA)
6) Cornell (USA)
7) Virginia Darden (USA)

first tier US schools
8) Harvard
9) Wharton
10)Kellog
11)Berkley
12) Columbia
13) Chicago

NON-US schools
14) Rotman (Canada)
15) Australian school of business
(Australia)

Rotman and ASB , although good schools in
their own sense, would be my back up.

Please let me know If I am missing any
information in my profile.

Thank you for reading my long post.

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:40 pm
Quote:
Thanks for the response. How early can you really start your applications though? Don't most schools not release the questions for that year's application until mid-summer?
nutsngum,

Thank you for the follow-up question. While it definitely is true that most programs do not post their applications well into the calendar year, we believe that it is possible (and can be advantageous, in some cases) to start your application in advance of those postings. This is especially true if you are thinking of applying to a fair number of programs (e.g. 4+). We often see applicants who, as Round 1 is approaching, wish that they had started earlier.

All that said, let's walk through things that you can do ahead of a program actually posting its applications.

1) Prepare your resume - the right way. A resume for a top-tier MBA program takes a significant amount of time to prepare. One of the most common first steps when we initially engage with clients is to reposition their resumes, because it is a crucial part of the application that many overlook. We see applicants who, amongst other things, put too much techical or industry-specific jargon in their resume, who do not use a consistent format, who use bullets that are too long (or not specific enough), etc.

2) Strategize about your 'story.' Regardless of the year, and school, you will always need to explain your career history and how you got to this point, why you believe that you need an MBA, why you're interested in an MBA from that particular program, and what your future career goals and aspirations are. These are items that you'll need to think about deeply, and we advocate that applicants talk to colleagues, reach out to alumni, go on day visits to programs, etc. and go through an iterative process of write-think-edit-repeat.

3) Strategize about your top stories. Again, regardless of the year, if you have a reasonably good feeling for the programs you're going to apply to, you can gather the application questions from the previous year and put together a group of 6-8 questions that you'll quite likely be asked. What we typically advise candidates to do is to strategically think through your past experiences (professional, extracurricular, personal, academic) and come up with what you think are the more impressive/positive examples for these essays. What we often find is that students go through this process of story selection too quickly and end up using the wrong 'story' for an essay. Coming up with a well-balanced pool of stories that hit upon a good mix of what Aringo calls Admission Drivers is something that is much easier with the benefit of more time.

This is not to say that one 'must' start thinking about your applications early - we've seen plenty of applicants be successful who started closer to the deadlines. And, it's not always appropriate to start on the items I list above if you're not ready. For example, if you haven't taken the GMAT yet, if you don't yet have a decent idea of where you want to go in your career, or if you're transitioning through a really busy time at work, it could be better to focus on those aspects prior to starting to think about your application.

Hope this helps.

_________________

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
40 messages
Thanked:
5 times
Post Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:30 pm
Quote:
Dear concern,
I am asking for profile evaluation since my
GMAT score has gone up.
I am a 29 year old MBA prospective student
from Pakistan.

GPA/Percentage: I have done my
bachelors in Computer Sciences from NED,
a local University that is among the top 3
Engineering universities in my country. My
final accumulative percentage was 83%.
When I will apply for transcripts, the
percentage will be converted into
equivalent GPA. I, however, cannot tell you
the equivalent GPA right now. I was among
the top 15 in my class.

Career : I have been working with
Standard Chartered, which is a British bank,
for more than 6 1/2 years. Standard
Chartered has a decent network of more
than 140 branches in Pakistan. I started my
career as a sales executive in branch
banking in February 2005. I have steadily
progressed and was promoted four times
during these 6 1/2 years. From 2008 to
2010, I was the floor manager for one of
our flagship branches in Pakistan. I
managed a sales/service team of more than
12 people and a portfolio of more than 100
million dollars. At the start of 2011, I was
promoted as a branch manager. Later in
June, I was hand picked for a sales
transformation project. The scope of the
project is to standardise the way sales is
done in consumer banking. In my current
role as a coach, I am responsible for
implementing the new sales model,
bringing about a behavioural and cultural
change in the whole of consumer banking. I
am part of team of 7 people. I will be able
to get good/stellar recommendations.

Personal life: My father was in army and
we moved a lot till I was 18. I have lived in
all four provinces of Pakistan and speak
atleast 2 provincial languages besides the
national language.

Volunteer experience: I had around 3
months of volunteer work experience last
year and would be doing the same before
filing my applications this year.My
volunteer work was on Saturdays. I was
working with a local NGO and my work
consisted of assisting under privileged
children in improving their education and
social life.

MBA major: I am aiming to get an MBA
with major in general management or
consultancy.

GMAT : I have taken the GMAT test 5 times.
Break-up of score is given below
GMAT 1
March 2010 : 650 (Q 43, V 37)
I was blown away by the difficulty of the
Quantitative section. The testing laminated
sheet also put me off. In short, I was not
prepared.
GMAT 2
Dec 2010: 600 (Q 47, V 27)
This time I was more prepared. However
during the verbal section of the test, I had a
migraine attack. I just randomly selected
most of the verbal answers and my score
dropped as a result.
GMAT 3
Feb 2011: 640 (Q 42, V 37)
I couldn't keep up with the timing in the
quantitative section and ended up missing
2 questions.
GMAT 4
Jan 2012: 680 (Q 44, V 40)
I messed up with my Quantitative section
timing again.
GMAT 5
Mar 2012: 720 (Q 49, V40)


My questions from the experts
Please evaluate my profile on my current
scores. Please advise me on whether
1) Giving the test five times would reflect
negatively on my application? especially
that I did not show any improvement
during my second and third attempts.
2) Would my applicant age of 30 this
August/September be a turn-off for US
MBA schools?
3) What are my chances with respect to the
following tier of schools? These are 15
schools in total. I would be bringing this
list down to 6-8 schools by August. I just
want a perspective of my chances for each
tier.
I am considering the following schools

European Schools
1) IMD (Europe)
2) LBS (Europe)
3) INSEAD (Europe)

Second tier US Schools
4) Duke ( USA)
5) Michigan Ross (USA)
6) Cornell (USA)
7) Virginia Darden (USA)

first tier US schools
8) Harvard
9) Wharton
10)Kellog
11)Berkley
12) Columbia
13) Chicago

NON-US schools
14) Rotman (Canada)
15) Australian school of business
(Australia)

Rotman and ASB , although good schools in
their own sense, would be my back up.

Please let me know If I am missing any
information in my profile.

Thank you for reading my long post.
icecube6000,

Thank you for your profile submission. On the basis of the information as presented and under the assumption of strong essays and recommendations and a GMAT score of 720, our experience indicates that you would be a stretch candidate at Harvard, between stretch and competitive (closer to stretch) at Wharton and Kellogg, between stretch and competitive at IMD, Columbia, and Booth, between stretch and competitive (closer to competitive) at INSEAD, competitive at Haas, between competitive and strong (closer to competitive) at LBS and Ross, between competitive and strong (closer to strong) at Fuqua, and strong at Cornell, Darden, and Rotman.

I liked the way in which you provided contextual background for your academic and professional history. This is going to help you in crafting your resume and applications, as well as in the interview process. As you point out, you'll need to narrow down your school list somewhat.

Just a few points on your profile: Even if your school converts your GPA, keep in mind you can always put your class rank (or even better, percentile) in your resume. Second, I love your story about trying to implement behavioral and cultural change - if you apply to Kellogg, by all means integrate that experience into your application! The new dean of Kellogg has a significant background in organizational behavior and talks a lot about how making this kind of transformative cultural change in organizations is both difficult and at the top of CEOs' agendas. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a Kellogg alum). You show great progression at your company, as well - clearly, they trust your ability to 'get' the organization and how it works.

As to your questions -

On having five GMAT scores: Like with many other aspects of the MBA application process, we have seen candidates who have been able to turn it into a positive or a negative - it depends on how you frame it. First, as you may know, schools typically use the top score in their evaluations as (by far) the primary assessment. They do, however, look at the other scores and generally would like to see applicants with scores lower than that program's average retake the test if possible (at least once). In your case, you do show positive progression overall. It's not necessary to show progression in every successive re-take. Ad coms know that, statistically speaking, any individual GMAT score realistically has a range above and below the actual score that could reflect the ability of the applicant. What you don't want to do in your application is make excuses for your scores - whether in the 'additional essay' or in the interview, etc. In making excuses, you frame the discussion towards the negative. If, on the other hand, you frame the situation as one where you were determined to improve because you believed you could achieve the objective and were willing to put in the work, you'll probably be better off.

All that being said, I think it's fair to say that five GMAT tests is quite a bit above average, and it is possible that even with a positive framing they may raise the eyebrow of the ad coms. What I would say will be even more important for you in this situation is to show off your personality in the interview. If you present yourself as a high-acumen, polished, and (important) calm professional with sights set on long-term goals, you will help to alleviate this concern somewhat.

In terms of your age, being 29 or 30 at the time of the application means you're about 2-3 years older on average than the midpoint of the applicant pool for most top programs. For older candidates, you are expected to have shown more professional progression - and you certainly have this. Having said that, we do see a slight incremental negative impact as far as your age is concerned for each year beyond the age of 29. Again, it is not insurmountable, and there are some programs (like Harvard) for which it's an incremental challenge. I would not be too overly concerned about this, though - certainly do not let it keep you from applying to some of these programs.

Best of luck,
Brian

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icecube6000 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:01 pm
Thank you Brian for such a detailed response. It truly was beneficial.

As regards to GMAT attempts, my case infront of the admission would be simple. My not so satisfactory performance in the first 3 attempts was due to high nervousness. I realised it and worked on being calm during the tests. I also knew that less than 700 score did not reflect my true potential. Therefore, I never gave up until I achieved my bare minimum target score.

I was contemplating to take the GMAT again in a month's time to push my score above 720 as I still have time before August. Your answer has put me in doubt whether to go ahead with it. Please guide whether giving the GMAT a sixth time and getting a score in the range of 730-750 would help my case, especially with reference to schools for whose admission I am between stretch and competitive or closer to stretch.

Thank you again for assisting.

SHANbangs Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:27 pm
Hi,

I'm hoping someone on this forum can provide some knowledge on the way Cornell's JD/MBA admissions works, especially as it applies to applicants who have are already in their first year of Cornell's JD program. People who have knowledge on JD/MBA admissions in general for any of the top schools are more than welcome to comment.

My situation is peculiar in some ways, but I think it's also not too uncommon. I am currently a 1L at Cornell Law and I've already submitted my application to the Johnson School, Round 3. I've already had my interview. I've only had 1 year of work experience, undergrad University of Toronto, undergrad GPA 3.38. However, in undergrad I received a very low mark in the only math class I took (I forget if it was advanced calculus or linear equations). I had an even mixture of As and Bs in economics classes.

My dilemma is that I recently took the GMAT (today) and scored a 700, 43 Q (64 percentile), 42 Verbal. As you can already tell, one of the main red flags admissions officers will see is my low quant score in addition to my poor mark in undergrad math. I've heard JD/MBA applicants who are already enrolled in the JD program get a more lenient evaluation, but I'm not sure how much more lenient and if it will offset a low quant score.

At this point, my question is if I should retake the GMAT, especially this late in the admissions game (I'd have to let the admissions office know to hold my application until an updated score arrives, which wont' be for more than another month). At the very least, should I submit a written addendum to the school explaining my deficiencies (though I can't for the life of me find a good explanation - I was lazy in my freshmen year of college; I panicked on the GMAT today, scoring well below my practice test average of 48).

Again, any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best regards.

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:55 pm
Quote:
As regards to GMAT attempts, my case infront of the admission would be simple. My not so satisfactory performance in the first 3 attempts was due to high nervousness. I realised it and worked on being calm during the tests. I also knew that less than 700 score did not reflect my true potential. Therefore, I never gave up until I achieved my bare minimum target score.

I was contemplating to take the GMAT again in a month's time to push my score above 720 as I still have time before August. Your answer has put me in doubt whether to go ahead with it. Please guide whether giving the GMAT a sixth time and getting a score in the range of 730-750 would help my case, especially with reference to schools for whose admission I am between stretch and competitive or closer to stretch.

Thank you again for assisting
icecube6000,

Thanks for your follow-up question. I would strongly encourage you at this point to accept your GMAT score 'as is' and focus on the rest of the application, including prioritizing schools, getting to know their cultures (and alumni), and starting to strategize about your application. In our experience, although a higher GMAT score - all things equal - will help, as I've described your situation is a bit unique. Specifically, one item we have noticed around GMAT scores is that perhaps the greatest 'bump' in chances comes when students are able to move from the upper 600s into a score with a '7' in front of it. You have done this, and you're essentially no longer below average for top programs in terms of GMAT score. To my earlier point, I would not mention anything about your prior tests other than you knew you could do better - you really want to put the emphasis on where you are now, rather than the journey of five tests.

Let's look at what might happen with a 6th test. If you were to score the same, or slightly worse than the 720, then it may appear as though the 720 was itself an aberration. Additionally, I did mention before that we have observed the ad coms prefer to see students retake the test if they are below average. However, I think you're at the point where incremental tests would potentially cause them to question your judgment somewhat. A 10-20 point improvement, to me, is not worth the risk on the ad coms' interpretation of your mindset and/or a potentially lower score.

Best of luck,

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BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:14 pm
Quote:
Hi,

I'm hoping someone on this forum can provide some knowledge on the way Cornell's JD/MBA admissions works, especially as it applies to applicants who have are already in their first year of Cornell's JD program. People who have knowledge on JD/MBA admissions in general for any of the top schools are more than welcome to comment.

My situation is peculiar in some ways, but I think it's also not too uncommon. I am currently a 1L at Cornell Law and I've already submitted my application to the Johnson School, Round 3. I've already had my interview. I've only had 1 year of work experience, undergrad University of Toronto, undergrad GPA 3.38. However, in undergrad I received a very low mark in the only math class I took (I forget if it was advanced calculus or linear equations). I had an even mixture of As and Bs in economics classes.

My dilemma is that I recently took the GMAT (today) and scored a 700, 43 Q (64 percentile), 42 Verbal. As you can already tell, one of the main red flags admissions officers will see is my low quant score in addition to my poor mark in undergrad math. I've heard JD/MBA applicants who are already enrolled in the JD program get a more lenient evaluation, but I'm not sure how much more lenient and if it will offset a low quant score.

At this point, my question is if I should retake the GMAT, especially this late in the admissions game (I'd have to let the admissions office know to hold my application until an updated score arrives, which wont' be for more than another month). At the very least, should I submit a written addendum to the school explaining my deficiencies (though I can't for the life of me find a good explanation - I was lazy in my freshmen year of college; I panicked on the GMAT today, scoring well below my practice test average of 48).

Again, any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best regards.
SHANbangs,

Thank you for your question. Based on the context that you describe, it sounds as if you have already sent in your application for the 3rd round (which makes sense, if you've already interviewed), and that Johnson gave you an exception to take the GMAT after you applied because you're in the law school. I'm going to assume this is the case for the balance of my response.

I knew a number of JD/MBA students at Kellogg, and knew a few that were admitted in off the waitlist as well as at least one in your situation who actually applied as a 1st year law student to transition into the JD/MBA program. I don't have as much specificity around how Cornell runs its program, but it's fair to say that the size of the JD/MBA program is quite small (Kellogg's is something like 27 students each year). It is also fair to assume that by this point in the admissions process that a very small number of spots, if any, are open. The fact that the program interviewed you for Round 3 without a GMAT score indicates that they feel you were worth considering. The main tradeoff you have is that while you could try to improve your GMAT score, you also risk a window of time in which they might actually offer you a position in their class. Realistically, they literally might have something like 1 or 2 spots left, given the size of the program.

All that being said, you have an advantage over the vast majority of 3rd round candidates: you're already a student at Cornell. The school knows you would not consider other MBA programs and you would be almost guaranteed to accept their offer if admitted. The hidden advantage is that I would highly advise you to talk to any colleagues currently in the JD/MBA program to understand if they have insights into how the next class is shaping up. In our experience, not just with JD/MBA programs but these types of situations where a non-MBA current student is trying to get into a joint MBA program, getting a colleague or two to write a letter or email to the admissions department can go a long way. I would encourage you to not write a letter to admissions talking about why you had a poor math score in undergrad or why your GMAT quant split was low - these are things that frame towards the negative. Rather, I would say it would make sense to write them to explain how you've performed well thus far in the rigorous law program, and you can probably also point to the fact that you had a strong LSAT score to back up your intellectual and analytical capabilities. Finally, it is imperative to convince the school that you are really interested in the MBA itself, because you're essentially making a pivot from what you presumably did a year ago in applying to the law program.

Hope this helps, best of luck
Brian

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supermario Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:45 pm
Brian, many thanks for your previous answer.

one more question if I may - Is it possible to prepare and submit an application in 2-3 weeks? Can doing so hurt my candidacy the following year if I’m not accepted this year?
Thanks again.

BrianW@Aringo Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:29 am
Quote:
Brian, many thanks for your previous answer.

one more question if I may - Is it possible to prepare and submit an application in 2-3 weeks? Can doing so hurt my candidacy the following year if I’m not accepted this year?
Thanks again.

supermario,

Thank you for your question.

Physically, it’s possible to prepare an application in three weeks. However, most candidates you compete against (from all over the world) invest 2-10 months in the process of preparing their application: Thinking, research, strategy, hesitation, digestion, writing, editing, correcting, networking…and then more thinking and more improvements…

The short process you are referring to will likely have a significant effect on the quality of your application.

In the best-case scenario (and this may be the case with you), your candidacy is strong enough to gain admission despite the application’s quality. In the worst-case (and rare) scenario, the application you submit will be so problematic that it will ruin your future prospects, to some extent at least, in that program. The reasonable scenario is that even if you are not accepted this year, this will not significantly (or even not at all) undermine your admission chances next year. As long as your application is of reasonable quality and its content does not wreck your future prospects, you will even score some extra points with many programs (Wharton is the most prominent one in this respect) for sticking with the school year after year.

Best of luck,
Brian

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