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There are two things that catch the attention of the admissions committee when you apply to a b-school–your GPA and your GMAT or GRE score. A lot of questions come to mind when you plan to pursue an MBA degree. Which exam to take- GMAT or GRE? Is GMAT more important or GPA? Can a high GMAT score overcome a low GPA? Let’s see who wins in the GMAT vs. GPA debate.

the GMAT vs. GPA debate

Your GPA is an essential component of your MBA application since it determines your academic calibre demonstrated over three years or more. Students usually apply for the MBA programs during the final year of their college or after they have gained a few years of work experience. By then, it’s too late to improve your GPAs but still not too late to enhance your chances of getting into a good MBA program at reputed universities.

Your MBA application is a holistic process-every step toward a perfect recipe for success is counted. Low GPAs could be an admission killer but you still have a chance. Here are some tips to offset your low GPA with a high GMAT or GRE score.

In this blog:

1.    Explaining the score
2.    Strong GMAT or GRE scores
3.    Outstanding work performance
4.    Institutions accepting low GPA

Explaining the score

The foremost thing to do with a low GPA score is to confront it. Use the application essay to address the low GPA scores. Don’t go whining about it or covering it up with silly excuses. Let the admissions committee know the appropriate reasons for your low GPA. You could’ve been struck with some medical issues during your studies, or some personal tragedy might have affected your GPA. A low GPA can also be a result of you taking up a job during your college years to financially support yourself or your family. If you have been too involved in extracurricular activities or social commitments that affected your grades, do mention that and also how you have since learnt better time management and can now balance your social and work life better.

TMI is bad! Don’t give out personal information which is not going to help your case. Focus on your GPA scores and what you have learnt and will implement to improve your performance at the b-school.

How to make your college application stand out?   

Have you taken the GMAT/GRE before?

Strong GMAT or GRE scores

High scores offer you a range of advantages. What’s better than to offset those low GPAs with high GMAT/ GRE scores? First of all, identify whether your university and program require you to submit a GRE or GMAT score. Start working towards acing the exam. Scoring high on your GMAT/GRE is essential since it makes your application stronger. Members of many admission committees have agreed that a low GPA can be overcome with a high GMAT or GRE score. A standardised test score is a fresh and recent instance of your academic abilities and also demonstrates that you can handle quantitative tasks that come along with the MBA program.

Explore Jamboree’s resources for GRE prep!

Top schools such as Stanford Graduate School of Business have an average GMAT score of around 730. If you can touch or surpass this score, you increase your chances of admission to top MBA colleges. If you have already taken a GMAT or GRE and feel that you can improve your score further, retaking the GMAT exam would be a wise decision.

Explore Jamboree’s resources for GMAT prep!

Outstanding work performance

Students with low GPA scores have made it to the top MBA colleges by building excellent profiles through their work experience, high scores on standardised tests and extracurricular activities. A high value is accredited to a candidate’s application if they have relevant work experience. A recent record of professional experience also helps in convincing the admissions committee of your capabilities to succeed in an MBA program.

Moreover, if you have worked with an internationally recognized organisation such as Bain, McKinsey, Deloitte, Apple, Google, etc., it instils further confidence in the admissions committee about your professional calibre. A letter of recommendation from such reputed employers adds weightage to your MBA application along with an excellent GMAT/GRE score, which further helps to overcome your low GPA.

Outstanding work performance

Attend a free session of Jamboree’s GMAT prep.   

Have you taken the GMAT/GRE before?

Institutions accepting low GPA

Below is a list of some well-regarded business schools that accept students with low GPA scores as well-

Schools/MBA programs Minimum GPA
University of South Carolina-Aiken 2.25
Wright State University-Main Campus 2.5
University of Southern Indiana 2.5
Marshall University 2.5
Northern Kentucky University 2.5
Longwood University 2.5
Louisiana State University-Shreveport 2.5
East Tennessee State University 2.5
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville 2.5
Emporia State University 2.5
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke 2.5
Sam Houston State University 2.5
Morehead State University Morehead, KY 2.5
Prairie View A & M University 2.5
Niagara University 3.0

When applying to b-schools, the importance of a high GMAT or GRE score cannot be overlooked. With scores as high as 780 on their GMAT exam, a number of students have found their way to top business schools with Jamboree. Do not delay your GMAT prep any further, book a free fifteen-minute session with our counsellor and get started with your MBA journey.

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