How To Offset A Low GMAT Score


Fixes For A Low GMAT Score


“I scored a what? On my third try! What do I need to do to pass this stupid test? They’ll never let me in!”

Well, not so fast according to Stacey Blackman, an MBA admissions consultant who writes a regular column for US News and World Report. This week, Blackman shared some advice for those candidates who excel in the real world but flop on their GMATs.

First, Blackman counsels students to shoot for the 80 percent score range, not the average score accepted by their school. For example, she notes that students entering the Columbia Business School in 2012 had GMAT scores between 680-760, with the average being 715. As a result, prospective students shouldn’t fret if they land at the lower end.

Similarly, there is an alternative to the GMAT: The GRE. For example, Blackman had one client take the GRE after her GMAT scores lagged behind other candidates. Although this client scored lowered on the GRE, her GRE quant score was actually higher. As a result, they submitted her GRE score to Harvard, where her client was eventually accepted.

Finally, Blackman explains that a GMAT score is just one factor in an application. In her view, an applicant can “offset a low GMAT score with a proven track record in a quantitative job, a high GPA from a respected undergraduate school and compelling extracurricular or leadership activities.” If a GMAT score is still low – and the applicant has already tried a tutor or class – she should instead focus on her “essays, extracurriculars and, to some extent, the recommendation letters, where [her] recommenders can highlight [her] quantitative skills.”

One more piece of advice from Blackman: Don’t worry about re-taking the GMAT. In Blackman’s experience, “this dedication to improving your score is often interpreted by the admissions committee as a sign that you’ll do whatever it takes to prove you’re ready for business school.”

Source: US News and World Report


B-School Traditions: Fall Football Frenzy


Can you name a sure way to bring MBA students, faculty, alumni, and administrators together?

Free food and drinks, you say? OK…what about a second way? Football? Now, you’re talking!

That’s right: College football is here! That means every Saturday – from College Park to Berkeley – students can network with potential employers, investors, and mentors. Win or lose and rain or shine, football is that unifying centerpiece that draws people back to campus. And it provides the perfect vehicle to drink, talk shop, and bond.

Thankfully, top schools like Stanford, Notre Dame, Texas, Michigan, and UCLA field Top 25 teams. After first week wins, even Virginia and Duke fans have hope. And that buzz translates into two things: Interest and dollars.

B-schools get pulled into the hoopla too. And why not? Instead of awkward interviews and mandatory cocktails, students can drop their prepared points and get to know people, including their own classmates. So how do leading business schools capitalize on these weekend invasions? Here are some examples from Bloomberg Businessweek:

  • Texas (McCombs): Holds tailgating parties at the business school before each home game.
  • Notre Dame (Mendoza): Sponsors executive speakers and career panels on Fridays before games.
  • Michigan (Ross): Hosts a reunion party during homecoming weekend, including a “speed dating” session where alumni can meet with students to get updates on various clubs and activities.
  • California-Berkeley (Haas): Throws a Mexican fiesta for alumni over homecoming weekend. Haas also leads a walk of shame after each Pac-12 game (Just kidding Golden Bear fans).

Don’t forget: Top 25 MBA powers Michigan and Notre Dame collide on Saturday. Ross may be ranked 18 schools higher on Bloomberg Businessweek, but I predict the Irish to wear down the Wolverines in the trenches.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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