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How much do grades factor into MBA admissions?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by micbain, May 17, 2011.

  1. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    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.
     
  2. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    what are considered 'quant' classes? 1st year Calculus? or higher up like stats (calc based), lin algebra...?

    Stats is the most important quantitative discipline in most business school curriculums, and it forms the basis for a lot of your subjects that use any sort of computational component. If you've got a college-level stats class on your transcript, that's about the bare minimum. More helps. A lot more definitely helps. I don't think one 1st year calc class will be sufficient.
     
  3. stant62

    stant62 Senior member

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    How much leeway does the admissions committee give if you graduated from a school notorious for grade deflation (top 50 private)? For reference, I'm graduating with a 3.22, which is 0.09 from cum laude and I'll be starting as a front office analyst for a top Canadian bank.
     
  4. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

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    How much leeway does the admissions committee give if you graduated from a school notorious for grade deflation (top 50 private)? For reference, I'm graduating with a 3.22, which is 0.09 from cum laude and I'll be starting as a front office analyst for a top Canadian bank.

    Tough to say. If your school is well known to the b-schools to which you're applying, then presumably its grade deflation policies are also well known. If that's the case, you should be fine. But if it's not well known, you could be in minor to moderate trouble. Grade deflation = teh suck.
     
  5. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    If you went to a Canadian Uni, some admission committees will add some amount (0.2 to 0.5 iirc) to your GPA due to relative grade deflation in Canadian schools.
    Edit: Might be more accurate to say they lower the GPA requirements rather than add to your GPA.


    Was this your experience?
     
  6. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Bear in mind that "grades" is just a shorthand term for many things about one's transcript, and should not be simplified to raw GPA alone. "Transcript" is the more appropriate word, because it encompasses:

    - GPA

    - Areas of focus and subject matter of major

    - Sufficiency of preparation in key areas (quant, finance, accounting, etc.)

    - Degree of intellectual difficulty of program
    * A 4.0 in art history won't be given preference over a 3.6 in a more quantitatively rigorous subject, for instance
    * A transcript littered with guts and other GPA-boosters, especially at the expense of more rigorous material, will be a red flag

    - Prestige and difficulty of the undergraduate institution itself

    Because all of these things go into the mix, it's too simple and incorrect to say that GPA is GPA is GPA.


    The depends what you're story is. If you did a political science degree because you were passionate about public policy, got a 3.9, went to work for government for a few years then transferred to business and now want to apply for an MBA, and you communicate that to adcoms, they're not automatically going to give the nod to some kid with a 3.2 in nuclear physics over you or ask you where all your quant classes are.

    Adcoms care a lot more about seeing a realistic career trajectory/story in your SOP than they do about seeing that you took a bunch of finance/stats/quant classes.
     
  7. Viktri

    Viktri Senior member

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    Was this your experience?
    Yes. I've also talked to admission staff. While schools obviously differ and I can't say for certain all schools do adjust, some schools show similar sentiment. Example: Canada: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/study/informat...ca/canada.aspx To be considered for a place on a postgraduate programme we require a bachelor's degree with average marks of 77% overall (on 0-100 scale), 3.3 (on a 4.0 GPA scale), 7.0 (on a 9.0 GPA system), 3.6 (on 4.3 scale) or 9 (on 0-12 scale) or a lettered grade of B+ overall. Whilst the types of degree awarded vary between Provinces, the degree titles we require are; Bachelor's degree (four years study), Bachelor's degree with Honours, Baccalaureat de type Honours, Professional Doctorate, or Grades Professionelles. A Canadian Master's or Maitrise is suitable for entry to research degree. USA: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/study/informat...erica/usa.aspx To be considered for admission to the Graduate School we require a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 on a 4 point scale, or 4.3 on a 5 point scale or 85% overall. For LSE, the undergrad entrance difference is greater as Canadian's don't need AP or any advanced classes. edit: By no means am I saying a Canadian undergrad gives you an advantage. The admissions staff are smart, know there is a difference in grades and account for it.
     
  8. micbain

    micbain Senior member

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    Thank you. I did notice the difference. UBC grad here [​IMG]

    Yes. I've also talked to admission staff. While schools obviously differ and I can't say for certain all schools do adjust, some schools show similar sentiment.

    Example:

    Canada:

    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/study/informat...ca/canada.aspx

    To be considered for a place on a postgraduate programme we require a bachelor's degree with average marks of 77% overall (on 0-100 scale), 3.3 (on a 4.0 GPA scale), 7.0 (on a 9.0 GPA system), 3.6 (on 4.3 scale) or 9 (on 0-12 scale) or a lettered grade of B+ overall. Whilst the types of degree awarded vary between Provinces, the degree titles we require are; Bachelor's degree (four years study), Bachelor's degree with Honours, Baccalaureat de type Honours, Professional Doctorate, or Grades Professionelles. A Canadian Master's or Maitrise is suitable for entry to research degree.

    USA:

    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/study/informat...erica/usa.aspx

    To be considered for admission to the Graduate School we require a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.5 on a 4 point scale, or 4.3 on a 5 point scale or 85% overall.

    For LSE, the undergrad entrance difference is greater as Canadian's don't need AP or any advanced classes.

    edit: By no means am I saying a Canadian undergrad gives you an advantage. The admissions staff are smart, know there is a difference in grades and account for it.
     

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