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What GPA/GMAT is needed to get into a top 5 school?

This topic has 104 expert replies and 147 member replies
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tommycanuck Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:03 am
Testing



Last edited by tommycanuck on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

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keepmeposted Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
03 Jan 2012
Posted:
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Post Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:21 am
Hi Lisa,

Just wondering if you can give me some feedback on my profile.

I just scored 660/5 in the GMAT and I was wondering if retaking the exam is necessary for my target schools.

Target schools: Rotman (first choice), Ivey, Queen's, York

Undergrad: Canadian university, finance, GPA 3.5/last yr 3.8
work experience: 1 yr accountant in a top 5 utilities company, 2 yrs analyst in the banking industry.
currently enrolled in the CMA program, will obtain the designation before starting my MBA.
have completed CFA level 3 exam

Thanks in advance for your time Smile

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:58 pm
Dear keepmeposted,

You have the competitive building blocks, but it is how you put them together that will determine your decisions. Your essays, interview, recommendations and resume are critical components, so use them to your advantage in making a case for admission. With a strong, compelling application package, you should give yourself a good chance at those 4 schools.

Best,
Lisa

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dianegmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:52 am
This thread is really good. Lisa, thanks for all your inputs. I am in a similar position with a very poor GPA and a high GMAT.
I have a 2.86 GPA from a top 10 engineering school in the US. I failed classes during my undergrad (junior year and senior year) and I took 5 years to complete my degree.
I have 7-8 yrs of work exp and I have a GMAT score of 740.

I am not sure what schools I should aim for. I would like to aim for the best that I can get into . Any suggestions please?

arunima88 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:58 pm
I was the topper in my final year in my batch comprising of 150 students. But my score is in terms of percentage and my college evaluates the GPA in terms of

(Marks obtained by the student) x (Grading Point ex. 10, 5 or 4 point scale)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Highest marks obtained by the topper)


Does this mean that I have a GPA score of 4.0. Do i need to mention in my transcripts that i stood first in my college.

Also since Marks obtained in the final year (B.E.) is shown in the degree certificate.Do i need to mention only my final semester marks.

Please suggest.

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:22 am
dianegmat wrote:
This thread is really good. Lisa, thanks for all your inputs. I am in a similar position with a very poor GPA and a high GMAT.
I have a 2.86 GPA from a top 10 engineering school in the US. I failed classes during my undergrad (junior year and senior year) and I took 5 years to complete my degree.
I have 7-8 yrs of work exp and I have a GMAT score of 740.

I am not sure what schools I should aim for. I would like to aim for the best that I can get into . Any suggestions please?
Dear dianegmat,

As I suggest for any applicant, the key is having an appropriate mix of schools on your list. You should have 1-2 reach programs, 1-3 reasonable and 1-2 safety options to spread the risk and give yourself the best chance of success. Your GMAT will help to mitigate your GPA to some degree; you will also have the optional essay/additional information section to make a compelling argument that you will succeed in the classroom. Just be sure that all of your application components are strong and strengthen your case for a seat in the class. As for which schools, you want to target programs that are a good match for you in terms of curriculum, career connections, and culture. For tips on identifying programs, please read our sticky on school selection.

Good luck,
Lisa

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:27 am
arunima88 wrote:
I was the topper in my final year in my batch comprising of 150 students. But my score is in terms of percentage and my college evaluates the GPA in terms of

(Marks obtained by the student) x (Grading Point ex. 10, 5 or 4 point scale)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Highest marks obtained by the topper)


Does this mean that I have a GPA score of 4.0. Do i need to mention in my transcripts that i stood first in my college.

Also since Marks obtained in the final year (B.E.) is shown in the degree certificate.Do i need to mention only my final semester marks.

Please suggest.
Dear arunima88,

Most MBA programs are familiar with the different grading systems in other parts of the world, so it is best to report the numbers in your own scale. It is possible you have an equivalent 4.0, but the only way to know with certainty is to have it evaluated by a credentialing service like WES. You might also try WES' online GPA conversion calculator for a rough estimate. It is best to report what is on your transcripts in your online application form, so do the best you can with what is on your official transcript. If you do receive an evaluation from WES or another credentialing service, you can also use the translated GPA from the service in your applications.

Good luck,
Lisa

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dianegmat Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:57 pm
Hi Lisa,

Thanks a lot for your reply. Can you please let me know where I can find the notes on school selection that you mentioned.
I am aiming for Kelley - IU. Is this a decent shot for me?

Regards,
Diane

recruitergmat Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
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Posted:
2 messages
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:57 am
Hi Lisa,

I have a BA in Bus Econ from UCSB and a 3.6 GPA (graduated with honors). I graduated in 2008 and want to apply at then end of this year for the class of 2013. I am going to take the GMAT this year. I have been an Executive Recruiter for the past 3 years and have performed very well, especially with my current company.

I feel that my only lacking area would be extracurricular/non-work related. Given my profile, do you feel that I can compete for a top 5 business school? I have a keen interest in Stanford since I currently recruit for several start-ups and would love to join the Venture Capital world.

Any recommendations for ways to improve my application between now and when I apply?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:27 pm
dianegmat wrote:
Hi Lisa,

Thanks a lot for your reply. Can you please let me know where I can find the notes on school selection that you mentioned.
I am aiming for Kelley - IU. Is this a decent shot for me?

Regards,
Diane
I think Kelley is a good option for you...and a fabulous school. The school selection sticky is at the top of the Stacy Blackman Consulting page (you should see it near the thread this message is in). Best of luck!
Lisa

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Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:35 pm
recruitergmat wrote:
Hi Lisa,

I have a BA in Bus Econ from UCSB and a 3.6 GPA (graduated with honors). I graduated in 2008 and want to apply at then end of this year for the class of 2013. I am going to take the GMAT this year. I have been an Executive Recruiter for the past 3 years and have performed very well, especially with my current company.

I feel that my only lacking area would be extracurricular/non-work related. Given my profile, do you feel that I can compete for a top 5 business school? I have a keen interest in Stanford since I currently recruit for several start-ups and would love to join the Venture Capital world.

Any recommendations for ways to improve my application between now and when I apply?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Dear recruitergmat,

Aside from score in the 700s on your GMAT, I encourage you to find at least one community activity you can be significantly involved in ASAP. That way, you can show you have been active for over 6 months by the time you submit your applications. I also encourage you to pursue opportunities to gain leadership experience, both formal and informal, at the office. You want to have examples of leading teams and projects for your essays and interviews.

Good luck,
Lisa

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recruitergmat Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
12 Jan 2012
Posted:
2 messages
Post Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:48 pm
Lisa Anderson wrote:
recruitergmat wrote:
Hi Lisa,

I have a BA in Bus Econ from UCSB and a 3.6 GPA (graduated with honors). I graduated in 2008 and want to apply at then end of this year for the class of 2013. I am going to take the GMAT this year. I have been an Executive Recruiter for the past 3 years and have performed very well, especially with my current company.

I feel that my only lacking area would be extracurricular/non-work related. Given my profile, do you feel that I can compete for a top 5 business school? I have a keen interest in Stanford since I currently recruit for several start-ups and would love to join the Venture Capital world.

Any recommendations for ways to improve my application between now and when I apply?

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Dear recruitergmat,

Aside from score in the 700s on your GMAT, I encourage you to find at least one community activity you can be significantly involved in ASAP. That way, you can show you have been active for over 6 months by the time you submit your applications. I also encourage you to pursue opportunities to gain leadership experience, both formal and informal, at the office. You want to have examples of leading teams and projects for your essays and interviews.

Good luck,
Lisa
Dear Lisa,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply and excellent advice. I am aspiring to create a nutritional education program for high school students.

If I follow your advice do you believe that I can target a top 5 school? What are your thoughts on my background as an Executive Recruiter?

I want to get a sense of what schools I can apply to.

Thank you very much.

Regards,

Daniel

keepmeposted Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
03 Jan 2012
Posted:
6 messages
Post Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:19 pm
Hi Lisa,

I really appreciate your feedback. I agree with you that my GMAT score is just one contributing factor to my entire application. My AWA score was out few days ago and it is 4.5. Together with a total score of 660, i was wondering if that would make a difference? Should I consider retaking the exam now? I know I might be a little picky and obsessed with the whole "retaking the exam thing". I just thought it might be a little easier to prepare if I rewrite the exam soon after the first trial only if rewriting it is necessary.

Thanks.


Lisa Anderson wrote:
Dear keepmeposted,

You have the competitive building blocks, but it is how you put them together that will determine your decisions. Your essays, interview, recommendations and resume are critical components, so use them to your advantage in making a case for admission. With a strong, compelling application package, you should give yourself a good chance at those 4 schools.

Best,
Lisa

GMAT/MBA Expert

Lisa Anderson MBA Admissions Consultant
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Post Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:02 pm
Dear keepmeposted,

A higher GMAT score will never hurt you, but it is hard to say if it is necessary in your case as I don't know what your entire app package will look like relative to the applicant pools of your target schools. If you have the time and it won't sacrifice the quality of your essays, then retake the exam if you believe you will increase your score. I agree that taking it closer to your first attempt is best, as you can continue your preparation and focus your efforts on the area(s) where you did not do as well. The other aspect to consider is how strong you feel the rest of your application package will be; if you are concerned it will not be "above average," then a higher GMAT score can help to bring the total package to a more average/above average level.

Regards,
Lisa

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Thanked by: keepmeposted
DWBHLW Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
21 Jan 2012
Posted:
1 messages
Post Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:12 am
Hi Lisa!

Thanks for having this thread. I really appreciated reading your advice. I was wondering if you could give me advice because my background is a little different.

School
I will have my BS in Construction Management from a state university by June 2012. My current gpa is 3.06 because of some hardships and working two jobs at times. I hope to strengthing my gpa this winter and spring quarters.

Extracurriculars/Others
I used to be in student government at my community college and mentored 15 college students on their service learning projects. This will be my 7th year volunteering for Habit for Humanity (will continue volunteering). I also used to be an overnight supervisor for a youth shelter (co-managing 27 guests and 4 volunteers) for 8 months. I studied abroad in Japan and Brazil. I am currently member of USGBC for green building ratings. I will volunteer for a committee on improving building energy usages at my internship place.

Internships
1) Interned as a concierge for a local shopping center(before getting into my major)
2) Summer intern for a international general contractor (helped team on over 12 $1-3 million projects over the 3 months)
3) Currently part-time interning for a government agency (working on a challenging ~$30 million project that will help reduce Co2 emission and save the organization money)

Goal
To become a real estate developer and work in the real estate industry. I believe that an MBA will help me in my future career.

Future
I hope to get into the 2 years Master of Real Estate Program starting Fall 2012 at my state university (took 5 classes last year and had strong scores) and continue my internship. After that, I hope to work for two years before applying for MBA.I plan to study for my GMAT soon. With hardwork, I hope to get 700+ in the GMAT. My hope is to get into the University of Washington MBA program (same state school) or if I do well, I will apply to Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and UBC (in Canada). I am a female student and was born in another country but am now a US citizen. My experience is a little different and I hope you would be able to advice me on what I can do to strengthing my application when I am ready to apply. Do you also think that I have a chance right after graduating from my master program if I move up in my organziation (intern to a part-time job/full-time position)?

Thanks Lisa!

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