Case Study #2: Low GMAT Score, Qualitative Background

Applicant Profile for “Elizabeth” (not her real name)

Academic: Sociology major at an Ivy League university in the US. Graduated with a 3.3 overall GPA. Studied abroad for one semester in France
Professional: 4 years of experience as an analyst and then manager at a marketing consulting firm
Non-work activities: Serves as executive board member of a professional women’s organization, as well as of undergraduate alumni association
GMAT: 630
Post-MBA goal: Work in brand management for several years, and then transition into a leadership role in the non-profit arena
Target schools: Columbia, Kellogg, Duke, Yale

The MBA Exchange’s Solution

Elizabeth has taken the GMAT twice and scored a 630 both times. Moreover, her quantitative score is significantly weaker than her verbal score. We feel this may be of particular concern to admissions committees because her undergraduate major and work experience are not quantitatively rigorous.

We reviewed our experience with past clients who had similar profiles and goals, and devised the following three-part strategy to enable Elizabeth to compensate for her low GMAT score:

– Work one-on-one with a GMAT prep tutor from our list of recommended resources.
– Encourage her supervisor to emphasize her quantitative/analytical abilities in the recommendation.
– Prepare a compelling optional essay that highlights aspects of undergraduate studies and professional experience that demonstrate ability to handle analytical/quantitative rigor, even if within a marketing or sociology context (for example, statistics work and ROI analysis).

Applicant’s Outcome/Results

Elizabeth followed our advice, and her dedication enabled her to earn a 680 on the GMAT. However, as a respectable test score alone cannot guarantee admission, we worked diligently with Elizabeth to help her develop powerful essay content and recommendations communicating her extracurricular and professional leadership roles and rationale for an MBA. We helped her align her strengths with the selection criteria at her targeted schools. Elizabeth was ultimately offered admission to Columbia, Kellogg and Yale.

In order to capitalize on our experience and advice as Elizabeth did, The MBA Exchange invites prospective clients to contact us for free, preliminary evaluation up to a year before they apply to business school. Engaging us for a Comprehensive Consultation will allow you time and proven strategies to strengthen your candidacy and then to prepare more compelling applications that maximize your chances for admission.

Client Comments

“After I took the GMAT twice and scored a 630 both times, I figured my chances of admission to a top business school were slim to none. Then, I learned about The MBA Exchange – and because of their expert guidance, I got into not just one – but three – top programs! My consultant’s strategy to overcome my low GMAT score and convince admissions committees of my ability to handle the difficult quant-focused coursework was brilliant and effective. Thank you, MBA Exchange!!!”