Admissions Tips: Role of GMAT/GRE and GPA

10172087983_986c641035_zWith the holidays coming up, you are probably looking forward to spending time with family and friends and taking a break from your regular routine. You may even be looking forward to the extra time you have to work on your B-school application(s).10172087983_986c641035_z

A big part of the B-school application that tends to be on the top of every applicant’s mind is the role of the GMAT/GRE and undergrad GPA in the review process. What most students don’t realize is that test scores and transcripts are rarely the deciding factor in an admissions review – they merely help the Admissions Committee gauge your ability to handle the rigor of the MBA or MS program in which you are applying. Plus, Simon’s Admissions Committee will take a holistic approach when reviewing your application.10172087983_986c641035_z10172087983_986c641035_z10172087983_986c641035_z

Test Scores

Simon will accept either the GMAT or GRE – you should choose the exam that you think best reflects your capabilities! If you are not satisfied with your test scores, consider taking the test again as schools will typically take your highest overall score. Keep in mind that we can see all test dates and scores, and when you have cancelled a score (GMAT only). It’s okay to take the exam a few times, but it will be concerning to the Committee if you take it too many times.

Check out this video of Stefanie Attridge, Director of Admissions and Enrollment at Simon, offering advice to applicants who may have a low GMAT or GRE score.

Undergrad Cumulative GPA

The Admissions Committee does not evaluate your GPA merely as a numerical calculation, we also consider the strength of the college or university you attended, the rigor of courses taken, your choice of major/minor, types of classes, and the trend in grades throughout school. On a secondary level, we are also interested in other demands on your time during undergrad such as employment or involvement in campus or community activities.

What should you do if your undergrad performance was below your capabilities, or if you didn’t have much quantitative coursework? Consider taking a statistics, calculus, economics, or financial accounting class at a local community college. This shows the Committee that you are trying to improve your skill set and prepare for B-school. Keep in mind that the Committee may request your final grade from additional coursework taken at other schools.

You cannot change your GPA at this point if you’ve already graduated, so use the Optional Essay to provide an explanation of any gaps in your undergrad coursework or weak performance on your transcript. You don’t want the Admissions Committee to come up with conclusions on their own!

Good luck as you continue to work through your application – we will look forward to receiving it for 2015!


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