Handicapping Your Odds Of Getting In

Mr. KPMG (Steve)

  • 660 GMAT
  • 3.86 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in business from Ithaca College
  • Consultant with KPMH Advisory for two years, former financial analyst at The Walt Disney Co.
  • Extracurricular activity includes being president of the student-run mutual fund while at Ithaca

Odds of Success

Harvard Business School: Less than 20%

Wharton: 20%

Chicago: Less than 50%

Dartmouth: Less than 50%

Cornell: 50%

Yale: 50%

Sandy’s Analysis: Dude, assuming you took the GMAT less than five times in the past year, keep taking it until you hit five or 700. Also try the GRE. Ithaca College is an out-of-the-way place that schools like to brag they don’t overlook (calling Dee Leopold!!!), but a high GPA and low-ish GMAT makes it seem like the GPA is the fluke. KPMG is an okay but second-tier job in this racket, but Walt Disney is gold, even if being a financial analyst is less classy than being in business development (the home of the Ivy/IB/pre-HBS crowd).

The GMAT will keep you out of Wharton, while with a 710, you could be in the running there based on the Disney glow. I’m not seeing this as an HBS admit, although again a 700+ GMAT and some powerful execution on extras we could beat out of you might make it a 20 percent chance. Booth, Tuck, Cornell and Yale might go for you in present form based on Disney, GPA and maybe some explanation of the GMAT score.

General note to low GMAT scorers: You need to explain the score and you need to take the test at least twice to show that you tried.

For example, if this dude took the GMAT three times and he ain’t going to do any better, he needs to explain why he can do the math in a top B-school program. A 660 always requires taking the test twice just to show you care.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.