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Optional Essay: Low GPA

This topic has 1 member reply
sgraves Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
06 Jul 2015
Posted:
36 messages

Optional Essay: Low GPA

Post Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:37 pm
I'm making some edits to my optional essay about my low undergraduate GPA and I was wondering If it would be detrimental to mention that I had a lack of direction in college which led to me not performing to the level I was capable of. I was took a whole bunch of difficult pre engineering classes that I didn't enjoy taking becuase I thought I wanted to be an engineer but it really messed up my GPA. Almost all of the classes I took besides those classes I did well in or at least not terrible. The problem is a lot of the courses I didn't do well in were quant based classes. I'm not sure if it makes sense to explain all of this. Basically I want to show that I now have established what I want to do and for the past year and a half I have worked tirelessly to go back to school.

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uniq01 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
09 Aug 2016
Posted:
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Post Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:34 pm
Hello sgraves,

First, I think you're on the right track using the optional essay to discuss your low undergrad GPA. Some lingering questions I have are - was your undergrad a well ranked school? How long ago was this and what other academic work have you done to show your capabilities in more recent times? Were you a full time student at the time or did you work to support yourself (and/or family members) during your undergrad education? What I'm getting at is, there is often an underlying story behind a transcript beyond what's visible to the reviewer of those less than wonderful grades. To the extent you can articulate what that story is, to help the Adcoms better understand your journey and appreciate how far you have come, you'll be making the best use of your optional essay.

It's not uncommon for people to have selected the wrong major in undergrad, resulting in below average grades bc they decided to stick with it. In these cases, it's important to demonstrate the progress you have made since - in GMAT scores, other academic work, work experience in an analytical capacity, professional training and certifications etc.

Cheers,

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