Originally Posted by L.R.
My understanding that the older you apply to top-tier MBA programs, the less GPA matters, and GMAT is taken as a more serious indicator. (Though, no idea about HBS, as that place is going young) How serious are alternative transcripts taken? Say the OP were to take a few Quant classes and ace them, coupled with a high 700+ GMAT. Would that put him on the right track, or still be too little, too late?
Think of them as a sufficiency thing. If you're below sufficiency (i.e., don't have any such classes on an undergrad transcript), then you'll definitely benefit by adding them. If you've already got a decent quant record on your undergrad transcript, then they probably won't help all that much. They definitely won't hurt, though, as they'll demonstrate that you've viewed continuing education in these subjects as a personal priority and/or want to brush up on the subjects before starting b-school. Will they totally put you in line with someone who had a strong quant undergrad transcript from the get-go? No. Not on this particular dimension of the overall app, at any rate.