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Optional Essay: Low GPA

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Optional Essay: Low GPA

by sgraves » 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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by uniq01 » 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.

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by Michelle@ARINGO » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:38 am
Your job as an MBA applicant is to understand and anticipate the concerns the school may have while reading your application. Use the optional essay to address these concerns. Don't share information that is not vital for strengthening your application. Remember, the admissions committees read hundreds of applications. You don't want to be remembered as the applicant who made them read even more.
For more tips regarding the optional essay, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efDVOu3utIQ
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by Donna@Stratus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:20 am
I agree that the optional essay is a great place to discuss your low gpa. I think it is ok to say that you realized you were in the wrong major and lacked motivation-- but don't just leave them hanging on all bad quant courses. Are there any quant courses where you DID do well? Did you have a high GMAT Q score? Make sure you do address how you can DO THE WORK because at the end of the day adcom needs to know you can DO THE WORK! If you want to discuss your case in more detail, I encourage you to reach out for a free consult here: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com/free-consult/ and to sign up for our free newsletter where we give you lots of tips in the MBA admissions process-- sign up is here: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... dmissions/

Also you may enjoy this article on the topic of low gpa: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... ba-no-way/
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