Debunking Common MBA Admissions Myths (Part 1)

MBA Admissions Myth #1: You can gauge your probability of acceptance based upon a GMAT score of XXX and GPA of X.X.

When people say that they can’t tell you what your chances are of getting in based on your stats, they’re not trying to be cryptic or philosophical. Even if you have a high GPA and a strong GMAT score, you may still not get in. There really is no way to know if you’ll be admitted short of actually applying.

Your application is much more than your GPA and your GMAT. To gauge if your numbers are competitive, compare them against the school’s middle 80% range. Most schools should have this info available on their website.

If your GPA is below the range or on the low-end and you want to show that you have the scholastic aptitude to handle Wharton, create an alternate transcript. Schools that are quantitative heavy like Wharton are primarily interested in your ability in those kinds of classes. So take accounting, calculus, statistics or something of that nature. Most importantly, you NEED to do well in this class. Slacking off and getting a C is a waste of your time and will do nothing to ease AdCom’s doubts about your possible inability to handle the Wharton workload.

Since the GMAT is standardized and everyone has to take it, it allows AdCom to gauge an applicant’s scholastic abilities as compared to the other applicants in the pool. It’s definitely not a perfect predictor of anything, but it’ll have to do.

If your GMAT is too low, I hope you have time to take it again. I’ve been told that you want to get in the 80th percentile or above on each section to be competitive for the top schools. If you are unable to take the GMAT again before you apply, it is unlikely you will be denied admission based on that score alone. However, a low GMAT score will definitely hurt your application. Like having a low GPA, a low GMAT score will cause AdCom to question your ability to handle the rigor of the Wharton curriculum.