Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Ms. Almost Ballerina
GRE ..., GPA ...
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Darden | Mr. Engineer Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Public Finance
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Startup
GRE 327, GPA 3.35
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3

How To Strengthen Your Quant Profile For Business School

Business schools want reassurance that you can handle the quantitative aspects of the curriculum.  If you have a low quant percentile on the GMAT or GRE, or a weak undergraduate record in quantitative courses, here are tips about how you can strengthen your quant profile for business school. •	Testing First of all, it’s helpful to understand what scores business schools like to see on the standardized exams. Although it is absolutely possible to get in with scores lower than this, the general rule is that you want to have at least a 68th percentile quant score on the GMAT, and at least a 70th percentile quant score on the GRE. Anything below that tends to trigger additional scrutiny, including a closer examination of your undergraduate grades.   If you are having trouble crossing this threshold on the GMAT, consider trying the GRE. The quant section is generally considered to be easier, especially for applicants who haven’t taken a lot of math classes.   Also, if you have a weak undergraduate GPA and think that the committee will be concerned about your academic qualifications in a general sense, quantitative or not, definitely invest the right time and resources to get a representative test score. It can go a long way in reassuring the committee that you can handle the work. (And it’s also obviously better not to apply with two metrics that are below your target school’s averages.)   •	Additional Classes If you didn’t take quantitative courses in college, or if you did take them but struggled, definitely consider taking additional courses now. The most impactful courses will be comparable to what you will find during your first year of business school (Statistics, Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance.) Classes taken in-person at the most rigorous possible institution are also optimal, and you should always take the class for a grade.   If you can’t take the class in person, I suggest looking at UC Berkeley extension courses online. HBX core is another good online option, and is comprehensive and rigorous.   Finally, if you do have weak quant grades, consider addressing them in an optional essay – ideally while drawing their attention to other indicators of your ability to handle the work.   •	Professional Experience and Certifications In some cases, you can highlight CPA or Series 6 or 7 licenses as additional evidence of quantitative ability. If you have an especially analytical job, you can also highlight those skills and ask your recommenders to get specific about your ability to manipulate data, etc. Definitely leverage the quantitative aspects of your professional experience, but consider this to be supplemental information. The schools are still going to scrutinize your grades and test scores.     There are many ways to strengthen your quant profile for business school. As with all aspects of the application process, it’s critical to be self-aware and proactive. And remember that schools are receptive to learning more about your ability to succeed.  Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than 19.9 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 96% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.

Business schools want reassurance that you can handle the quantitative aspects of the curriculum.  If you have a low quant percentile on the GMAT or GRE, or a weak undergraduate record in quantitative courses, here are tips about how you can strengthen your quant profile for business school.

  • Testing

First of all, it’s helpful to understand what scores business schools like to see on the standardized exams. Although it is absolutely possible to get in with scores lower than this, the general rule is that you want to have at least a 68th percentile quant score on the GMAT, and at least a 70th percentile quant score on the GRE. Anything below that tends to trigger additional scrutiny, including a closer examination of your undergraduate grades.

If you are having trouble crossing this threshold on the GMAT, consider trying the GRE. The quant section is generally considered to be easier, especially for applicants who haven’t taken a lot of math classes.

Also, if you have a weak undergraduate GPA and think that the committee will be concerned about your academic qualifications in a general sense, quantitative or not, definitely invest the right time and resources to get a representative test score. It can go a long way in reassuring the committee that you can handle the work. (And it’s also obviously better not to apply with two metrics that are below your target school’s averages.)

  • Additional Classes

If you didn’t take quantitative courses in college, or if you did take them but struggled, definitely consider taking additional courses now. The most impactful courses will be comparable to what you will find during your first year of business school (Statistics, Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance.) Classes taken in-person at the most rigorous possible institution are also optimal, and you should always take the class for a grade.

If you can’t take the class in person, I suggest looking at UC Berkeley extension courses online. HBX core is another good online option, and is comprehensive and rigorous.

Finally, if you do have weak quant grades, consider addressing them in an optional essay – ideally while drawing their attention to other indicators of your ability to handle the work.

  • Professional Experience and Certifications

In some cases, you can highlight CPA or Series 6 or 7 licenses as additional evidence of quantitative ability. If you have an especially analytical job, you can also highlight those skills and ask your recommenders to get specific about your ability to manipulate data, etc. Definitely leverage the quantitative aspects of your professional experience, but consider this to be supplemental information. The schools are still going to scrutinize your grades and test scores.

There are many ways to strengthen your quant profile for business school. As with all aspects of the application process, it’s critical to be self-aware and proactive. And remember that schools are receptive to learning more about your ability to succeed.


North Star Admissions LogoKaren has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Haas, Duke, Johnson, Ross, NYU, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown and more. Clients have been awarded more than 19.9 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 96% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.