Got a low GMAT score and wondering what to do about it? This post is for you.
If you aren’t aware of statistics yet, this article lists the average GMAT scores for the world’s best MBA programs.
And to make matters worse, you’ll find many Indian applicants (specially engineers) who crack the test as if it was child’s play. Here’s the story of an Indian who got a 790 score on the GMAT exam.
Shipra had a low GMAT score compared to the tough Indian applicant pool she was competing in. But she did not allow that to stop her from trying.
For those who know their business school data, you’d know that HEC Paris is one of the toughest schools to get into. Small class, very competitive program, mature students with solid professional track record, very selective admissions process.
Like most MBA candidates, it would have been easy to assume that a low GMAT score would sound the death knell for most top schools. As Shipra’s story suggests, that’s not true.
As if the stress during the 04 hours was not enough, the 640 on the Pearson Vue screen dropped another bombshell on me. Multitude of questions went through my mind- “Is this my score?” “Has the system conked off?” Unfortunately rather fortunately this is my GMAT score. I have to admit that I never qualified in the super intelligent category.
All mocks scores ranged from 660 to 690, though never as low as a 640. As much as I wanted the 700 miracle to happen, a 640 in my first attempt did mar my MBA hopes.
I retracted myself from the world for 02 whole days. I did not speak with anyone, began to feel dumb but that is how it is in our part of the world. The most popular way to prove intelligence is by cracking numbers.
So after days of introspection, advices from loved ones and counselling from my MBA experts. Here’s what I decided for myself. I will go ahead and apply to business schools with 640. I took my GMAT in end May this year, so it wasn’t a question of running out of time.
My story is not to encourage people to apply with low GMAT scores, it is for people who have already decided to apply to their dream schools irrespective of their low GMAT scores.
I want to share with you the factors, in order of priority, that helped my through my entire application journey:
I never let anybody or anything shake my self confidence. There are phases of ups and downs but in spite of everything I believed in myself. This is only thing that kept me going all the way through. The day you stop believing in yourself, the world will stop believing in you.
I had the courage to take a chance in my life and I succeeded. Some of us take calculated ones, I personally am an instinct driven individual. So, I mustered up all my courage and delivered my best when writing my essays. I had to. I am ambitious and I wanted the best for myself.
Having known that the 640 will be the weakest link in my profile, I did not want to leave any stone unturned with strengthening other aspects of my profile. I write for pleasure, so language was never a problem for me. Yet mentoring from a good consultant can make a great difference in the way you project yourself.
At this point, I have to admit that before I signed up with MBA Crystal Ball, I had a horrendous experience with another MBA admission consultant. Choosing the right consultant is as important as choosing as right book to prepare for the GMAT.
From my personal experience, I have to say that Sameer is the best mentor and MG, the best coach you can find in the MBA application game, how else can I justify getting an admit from HEC Paris.
If you’ve digested this another piece of news – this was the first application I put in and I cleared it.
Update to the post: Here’s an addition to my story. Not only am I looking forward to begin the journey of a life time at this prestigious 130 year old university, HEC-Paris but I have also managed to secure some scholarship for myself.
640 on the GMAT score sheet and MBA scholarship awards may not sound logical. A couple of weeks ago I was muddled up in my head when contemplating whether to apply for scholarships. Considering I had worked on my application essays for over a month, 72 hours in hand just did not seem enough to churn out not one but two 1500 word essays.
The head said “You anyway wont get it because of your GMAT score” while the heart signalled to give it a shot. The feelings driven person that I am, I chose to follow my heart. Geared up to pen down essays and along with myself decided to give MG sleepless nights as well. I tirelessly wrote, composed and he like a coach guided me to re-write and re-compose.
Just when I had lost all hopes on receiving any monetary aid, an email popped my eyes out today. Apart from securing some monetary amount as scholarship, I have also been selected to represent the Forte Foundation Fellowship program which aims to recognise and inspire future women business leaders.
Some people may say that this may be the effect luck, destiny and fortune cookie. I like to believe that with effective guidance and the work I put in this was meant to be.
Disclosure: We only asked Shipra to share her application strategy. No arm-twisting or incentives were involved to make her add all the extra nice things about our services.
Don’t take your GMAT preparation lightly. It is an important piece of the puzzle, so give it your best. But at the end of the day, if the GMAT score is not the strongest component in your profile, don’t throw in the towel and accept defeat. Do a little more groundwork on the choice of (practical to ambitious) schools, your application strategy and go for it.
Like Shipra, there are others who’ve surmounted their GMAT score challenges. Here are some more average & low GMAT success stories of Indian applicants:
– CUHK Hong Kong: 3 top MBA programs with scholarship despite 580 GMAT score
– Smeal: Fixing a low GMAT score helped Pushkal get a full scholarship + stipend at Smeal
– ESMT Germany: MBA in Germany with 50% scholarship (20,000 Euros waiver)