Managing low academic grades (GPA) in MBA applications to write your success story

With a great deal of significance that Indian MBA applicants seem to attach to their GMAT scores, many don’t bother much about their academic grades (GPA, Percentage) during graduation. Some do, and they are right in doing so, because the admissions officer looking at your essays and recommendations would also be interested in knowing how you performed as a student.

Are 10th and 12th marks important? How to overcome low academic performance in MBA abroad applications? Can a high GMAT score We tackle these questions below and also share some low undergrad GPA / percentage success stories in the end.
 

Do your 10th & 12th Standard marks matter for (GMAT) MBA admissions abroad?

As a general rule, they don’t. That’s because you probably have around 4-5 years of work experience at the time that you start working on your MBA applications. And a graduation degree (like engineering, B.Sc, B.Com etc) where you spent another 3-4 years. That means your 10th Standard and 12th Standard memories are close to a decade old.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Admission Committees are more concerned about what’s happened recently. Your GPA and percentage in the most recent academic degree you have obtained would matter more.

An exception to this would be when you’ve had some very good (topped the merit list) or very bad (dropped a year) story that has had implications over the subsequent years as student or professional.
 

Does my undergrad GPA / graduation percentage matter in MBA applications?

You bet, it does. And here’s why. After all has been said eloquently in aesthetically designed B-school brochures and websites about how they’ll convert you into a manager and business leader, the fact remains that you are entering into a class and spending a whole amount of time grappling with academic concepts, some more complex than the others.

Though your graduation marks might’ve been earned in an unrelated discipline (like engineering, science, commerce), your percentage / GPA during those years is still indicative of how academically tuned your brain is. The impression that the Admissions Officer will have if you did well in class last time, is that you can do well again – even if the subjects are different.

And in a class full of achievers (who aren’t going to depend on shoddily photocopied notes from their seniors), they don’t want laggards.
 

Will a high GMAT score compensate for low graduation marks?

From a clear No and Yes answer (to the previous questions), we are now getting into the gray zone. Rather than saying ‘it depends’, let’s look at multiple scenarios (which, your well-trained eye will recognise, is a roundabout way of saying – it depends).
 

Scenario 1: Low GPA / percentage, from a top tier college

If you’ve graduated from any of the best undergraduate colleges in India (like IIT, NIT, BITS) or abroad (Ivy league universities in the US) where selectivity is very tight, mediocre grades could be justified with a high GMAT score. If the low GPA was due to your over-indulgence in other campus activities that helped you hone your managerial and leadership skills, Adcoms would be more lenient with your academic performance.

For instance, we’ve worked with some excellent folks who were part of the organizing committee of IIT-B’s Mood Indigo. Their grades weren’t impressive, but everything else about them was.
 

Scenario 2: Low graduation marks from a mediocre college

If you got into Sant Tambooji Maharaj College of Poultry Farming on a management seat (i.e. after paying a hefty donation) and your lacklustre grades would make Shri Tambooji turn uncomfortably in his grave, this may be tough to justify in your international MBA application, irrespective of how high your GMAT score is.
 

Scenario 3: Somewhere in between the above 2 scenarios

Most folks who work with us are in this category. The top schools may be out of reach, as some of them may have minimum / cutoff limits for academic performance. However, no point crying over spilt beer. Score as high as you can on the GMAT and move on.
 

What can I do in my MBA Application to offset my low graduation marks?

A combination of one or more of the following actions may help you offset the impact of a lower academic performance.
 

1. Get a high GMAT Score to counter low GPA

Beyond the super-elite bschools that get thousands of equally strong applicants, most of the lower ranking MBA colleges would give a higher weightage to your GMAT score.
 

2. Select the right bschools

You could select bschools that balance out the quality and flexibility aspects. Spread out the risk across schools and focus on putting in solid essays, recos, interviews. There are many that will give you access to similar opportunities (like good education, good jobs, good network, good RoI).
 

3. Take extra courses

Several American universities offer online courses that are graded. They can be pretty expensive, the choice of subjects may be limited and their utility may be uncertain. But still easier to do this than go back in time and fix your graduation marks.
 

4. Use the Optional Essay well

This is an easier (and free) option for cost-conscious Indian applicants. Of course, it needs the right ingredients too to justify what happened to your grades (was it an illness, was it because you were busy growing in other areas, or just plain immaturity) and why it won’t happen again.
 

5. Position yourself as a strong contender

Don’t try to underplay the low graduation marks in front of the Adcoms. They know its relevance, so you can’t just brush it under the carpet. Be honest in your applications. At the same time, be smart about how your present your overall profile.
 

6. Hire a good admissions consultant to get a reality check

Consultants aren’t magicians. They won’t be able to fix most of the problems that already exist in your profile. However there are many good MBA consultants who can help with points 2, 4 and 5 listed above.

They can give you an idea of whether you are aiming too high (or low), what your other strengths are that matter to bschool admission officers and how to put together a strong and impactful application (and not just your optional essay) that’ll convince the Adcoms that your GPA will not be a hurdle in your MBA and post-MBA journey.
 

Low GPA success stories

Before we wrap things up, here are a few inspiring low GPA success stories where applicants just like you not only got into good bschools, but they also did it with flair. – like cracking the application process not once, but multiple times. Or doing it for their second MBA. Some even got a generous helping of MBA scholarships to ease their financial burden.

So, all’s not lost. Hang in there, go in with a solid application strategy and come back to share your success on our blog. Like these applicants did.

Computer engineer with low GPA successfully cracks 5 top bschools with scholarships
Low GMAT and low GPA success story (despite GMAT centre’s failure)
Low GPA success story: From strategy consulting to investment banking
Second MBA from top bschool despite average undergrad grades
 
Read these related posts:
Official Academic Transcripts for GRE GMAT colleges abroad
Problems an average student can face in an elite MBA classroom


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MBA Crystal Ball provides professional Admissions Consulting services. Hire us to improve your chances of getting into the top international universities. Email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here’s more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

56 Comments

  1. Manish Khobragade says:

    What will be the advice for below profile:
    64 % in graduation; 2.5 years experience in it,

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    Manish: You haven’t shared much to analyse. Which university & which course you graduated from would matter too. Apart from absolute numbers (like the percentage), sharing the relative aspects would help Adcoms set the context.

    For instance, if you attended a top tier univ where grading is tough and your class topper (if not the unvi topper) got a 65%, then you’ve done quite well.

    On the other hand if you were in the lower 50 percentile, then you’d need to support your academic prowess with some of the tips mentioned in the post above.

    Hope that helps.

    • Manish Khobragade says:

      Hi Sameer , Thanks for reply .

      That is very helpful. I think not much details there as you pointed out.

      Here are some more details about my profile . I graduated with Engineering in Comp. Science from Nagpur University. During my time there we had toppers ranging from 70-;75% mostly. 65 is average score there.

      And as per article above I was planning to compensate my 65% by getting a good score in GMAT (around 720+). Also I have good work experience in IT where I have received some awards which I am planning to show as achievements (Don’t know if that would help, will like your advice on this). I am also working on my photography startup along with current software job. Also i more point , I got 80 % in 12th standard , will that help ?

      Thanks in advance for you review Sameer

    • vaibhav says:

      Hi Sameer. I’m not sure if this forum is still active or not but here’s my profile, if you could help me out:
      10th- 90%
      12th- 84%
      Maths olympiad state rank 40.
      B.Tech.- 67% in Computer Science
      Internship at HCL and summer training at NIIT
      2 years of work experience as maths faculty at Vidyamandir Classes in Delhi.
      I’ve been taking GMAT mocks and am pretty sure of getting 760+. What schools in US and Europe should i aim for?

    • Vinayak says:

      Gmat 730

      Graduation score -59.8 in bcom hon from hansraj college delhi university

      3 years work ex including 2 years in CRISIL

      Under 19 national table tennis player

      CFA Level 3 cleared

      Do i have chance in b school like NUS, Isb and HKUST?

  3. spandan mishra says:

    Good afternoon sir..
    in 10th 78 %.
    In +2 54%.
    In b.tech 65 % ( From BPUT in 2013 )
    What about my chances of getting into top international b school ?? what gmat/toefl score do I need ?

  4. JSR says:

    Hi Sameer,

    A much needed post there. Sharing my profile below for you to evaluate.

    I went to a tier 4 college and scored a measly 58% and grappled with 5-9 backlogs every semester before finally graduating with none. All this owing to immaturity and distractions not realising how important academic performance will be in the future.
    10th (85%) –> 12th (70%) –> BTech (58%)

    I don’t have much to say for extra curriculars except that I voluntered for a youth organisation for 1 year during BTech as a team leader managing 4 people.

    I am 25 with close to 4 years of work experience in sales with 2 years as a sales team lead in India’s hottest startup and presently as a sales city head managing a team of 13 for a fast growing healthcare startup. (fast career growth)

    Initially, I had totally scrapped any MBA goals but after reading Beyond the MBA Hype, I realigned my Career and MBA goals realistically owing to the Practical advice given in the book.

    I intend to work for another 2 years or so and wish to apply in 2017 fall intake.
    Schools in mind are NUS, IESE, INSEAD, Tepper, Johnson, Yale, Said, Judge, IE and Rotterdam.

    Could you please advice on how do I go about strengthening my application and also for which schools mentioned above does my profile not fit and if there are other schools where there is a chance of my profile fitting.

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Phunsuk Wangdu says:

    Sant Tambooji Maharaj College of Poultry Farming on a management seat –> Good one sir :-) !

  6. Sameer Kamat says:

    @All: We can’t talk about chances. Will skip that query and address the others that are related to the post (i.e. academic performance).

    @Spandan: This might help: What is the minimum GMAT score for good MBA programs?

    @JSR: School (like Judge) insist on a minimum cutoff of First Class or equivalent as the pre-requisite. With your backlogs, it’ll get difficult. However, with your sales role if you’ve been able to make a measureable difference to the startup, that would surely help.

    @Phunsuk: Just trying to diffuse the pressure :-)

    • JSR says:

      Thank you for replying Sameer. I need you inputs on the below.

      In what ways can I offset my academic debacle and also how do you reckon I go about strengthening my application in terms of extra curriculars?

      Which schools don’t emphasise on academics at all but on work experience?

  7. pk says:

    Hi Sameer, in what ways can Indian applicants build alternate transcripts as we don’t have community colleges in India to take graded courses.

    What do you think about enroling with IGNOU for a BSc in Math and doing it all over again or a MA in Economics? Will IGNOU’s grades even matter to global b schools?

    Do you have any recommendations for Indian applicants in order to build alternate transcripts?

  8. Amol Sehgal says:

    Hi Sameer, I found your blog really informative. I’m about to graduate from VIT University with a CGPA of 6.6/10 in CSE. I’m still job hunting. I wanted to know my chances of getting into a decent/good MBA college abroad given I get a work exp. of 2+ years and a good enough GMAT score. I know I’m talking quite hypothetically but I still wish to know if I’m thinking right. Thanks.

  9. aisha says:

    hii sir

    I am an engineering graduate from Thapar University.
    grad: 79.2%
    xii: 81.8%
    x: 85.8%

    Apart from that I was the convener of an NGO in the university and organized couple of events.

    what level colleges could I target for an MBA?
    and if you could suggest how can i build a stronger profile.

  10. RISHABH JAIN says:

    Hi Sameer,

    This is Rishabh. I have more then 5 years of experience of working in Public Sector Banks (State Bank of Patiala and Allahabad Bank) as Assistant Manager. I have only done graduation in B.Com (H) from DU. I am thinking about doing MBA to expand my horizons. I have two questions-

    1) Which course should i aim for a regular MBA or a one year course.

    2) I have average academic record so does it ruin my chances of getting into a good B-School. I feel kind of stuck as i think without a PG limits my chances of growing professionally.

    Thanks.

  11. Gauresh says:

    Im a bcom student. I just got my results and i haven’t fared well but iv been promoted to the third year. Because of aggregates of all the three years i doubt i have a chance of increasing my gpa which is sem1- 3.55, sem2- 3.45, sem3- 2.18, sem4- 2.88. I plan to do my cfa after graduation. Would my bcom gpa affect me in my cfa education in any case and if it could where would it. And would this gpa affect my chance for overseas education?
    Looking forward to your suggestions and advice.

  12. Shayan Das says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Awesome article. Very informative.
    It would be of great help if you could share your opinion on my profile below.

    Academics :-
    – 10th : 74.17%
    – 12th : 65.00%
    – B.Tech : 66.06% (in Computer Science from Rajasthan Technical University)

    Work Experience :-
    – Total work experience : 3.5 years

    – IT Services : 2.5 years as a Database Administator(Disaster Recovery specialist). Started with one of the indian IT service providers and then with one of the top technology companies in the world.

    – Analytics : 1 year as an Analytics Consultant with one of the analytics service providers. Wanted some business exposure therefore the change. Have worked on predictive models and recommendation engines for one of the largest computer manufacturers globally. Currently leading a team of 3.

    Professional courses :-
    – Oracle DBA courses.
    – Business Analytics courses.

    Extracurricular activities :-

    In School :-
    – State level Kick Boxer. Had podium finish in one of the tournaments.
    – Rock climber.

    In college :-
    – Part of the Student Activity Center for all 4 years. Have organised multiple events and fests.
    – Head of the Technology Club for 1 year.
    – Have won multiple group discussion and debates in inter college fests.

    recently :-
    – Have started learning Mixed Martial Arts. (had to take a break for a few years because of an accident)

    I know that the numbers are not good. Still, given the other attributes in my profile, do you think a good GMAT score can make up for the academics ??

  13. Sameer Kamat says:

    @pk: The short response is that if you’ve graduated, that’s what will count. You could take a few extra courses (point 3 in the post above), but it’s probably too late to build a parallel transcript.

    @aisha: You haven’t mentioned your experience. If you don’t have any, the best way to improve your profile would be to work for a few years and get managerial/leadership experience.

    @Rishabh: Your choice of geography will dictate that. US programs are 2 years long, while in most other countries they are 1 year long.

    @Gauresh: Yes, your graduation scores would matter in international admissions irrespective of the additional side-qualifications you get.

    @Shayan: You have a first class, which is higher than the cutoff for most bschools. Beyond that a high GMAT score will surely help.

  14. Rahul Chopra says:

    Hey Sameer Sir,
    First of all, thank you for the awesome article
    If you could please rate my chances of getting into an IVY League MBA program
    i am 19 and am pursuing BA (Hons) in History from Delhi University, my college grades aren’t bad but again they are not out of this world and yeah i am in my 3rd year
    I scored 80% in class 12 and i have played District level cricket
    I plan to intern this and the next summer
    What can i do to make a strong case for myself?
    Assuming, i get a high GMAT score, what do you think are my chances?
    Any help is appreciated, Thanks.

  15. Divyanshu says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Very informative article!! Would like to have your opinion on my profile below.

    Graduated in 2012 from Jaypee University of Information technology with 64%. Have 3 years of work ex in IT industry( Previously worked with Wipro and now with a CMMI level 3 company). Not much in the field of extra curricular activities.

    Currently preparing for GMAT and planning to give it in July. Even if I score a 700+ on GMAT, do you think it will cover my low score in graduation. And apart from a good GMAT score, what do you think I should work on to make my profile more strong & improve my chances of getting into a good B-school.

  16. agapornis says:

    First of all thank you for your very helpful blog.
    I have an unusual case. Passed 10th from a top school. Lost my way, freelanced in media as a writer for some time. Gave 12th from open school with arts, got enrolled in undergrad, came out as batch topper from a reputed college. And as a fresher gave CAT, had fair enough interview at IIMs but got rejected; probably because of academic gap. Got admission at FMS BHU, would finish my MBA in 2017. By that time I would be married.
    I want to pursue Phd after that and get into academics. I have a few questions.
    1. Like in India, would the academic gap between 10 and 12 matter? I have good grades except 12th.
    2. Is the stipend just enough to support a family of two?
    3. Apart from trying to excel in MBA and get a good gmat score how to build a strong case?
    4. Where to apply in case I expect a gmat score between 680-720?

  17. sachin sharma says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Very informative article; Would like to have your opinion on my profile below.

    Graduated in 2005 from UP Technical university with 59 %.After that got selected in telecom PSU as Junior Telecome Officer Have 4 years of work ex as JTO during that period handled 650 Kms OFC route by leading two teams of 8 members each .After that got the responsibility as SDE(Sub Divisional Engineer ) A lower mgmt post where i got the opportunity to manage Two satellite Hub of big projects by leading two different team of 7-10 people each During this period I manage to increase customer base from 0-27K (Satellite BW customer). I have 9 years of work exp as whole and now I want to pursue Executive MBA from any of the IIMs and these days preparing for GMAT with a target of 750 + .Kindly suggest me the right way to achieve the success or my Btech percentage is a hindrance to my AIM (My last GMAT score was 700 and I did not apply any school) Even if I score a 750+ on GMAT, do you think it will cover my low score in graduation. And apart from a good GMAT score, what do you think I should work on to make my profile more strong & improve my chances of getting into IIMs Executive program.

  18. Sourabh Sur says:

    Hello Sir,

    First of all a big thank you for this very informative piece of article on tackling low GPAs which I have been searching for since ages. I have graduated with a cgpa of 7.1 ( National institute of technology, Allahabad) . Was the branch opener in college ( for which I received a scholarship as well in my first year). But because of my health issues and also because of taking things casually ,my 1st 3 sems ended up in a total disaster and my grades fell down to below average. But after that I pulled up my socks and continuously improved my gpa till my final semester and thus ended up in the top 30% of my batch ( grading was pretty strict in my branch). Also, simultaneously I held lot of positions of responsibilities in college ( such as organizing head of the cultural fest, head of the music club , Inter-NIT badminton team etc.) . Sir could you please advice me on how to approach the optional essay on low gpa issue? I fear that the reasons of my mediocre grades would sound more like excuses.

    PS: I have already taken the gmat and scored a 760 and have a work ex of about 4 years as software engineer in one of the electronics giant of the world. Target schools – Columbia, Cornell, Ross, Stern , Tepper.

  19. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Rahul: Here’s how you can build your profile for Ivy League universities.

    @Divyanshu: A 700 GMAT score would be good, but IT applicants from India generally have much higher GMAT scores. 720-730 is the median range we see a lot for folks who work with us.

    @Agapornis: You’ve had a pretty exciting life so far! PhD stipends are generally just enough to survive. Don’t expect to live a lavish life with a family. It’s also better to have some independent financial support. In case the university pulls the plug (destiny!), you don’t want to be left hanging.

    @Sachin: Your experience is good. You’ve managed teams and fairly big projects. The GMAT score for your profile is decent. Rather than chasing a dream score in GMAT (would be great if you get it), go ahead and apply.

    @Sourabh: Don’t worry about the grades. Your GMAT is strong enough to address Adcom’s apprehensions. Folks with an IT background have other axes to grind, as you’d see from this applicant’s story. He had a 760 too, but took him a while to strike gold. He got into ISB with scholarship in his third attempt

  20. pradeep bhatt says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Can you please help me evaluate my profile:

    X- 66%
    XII- 61%
    BSC-IT -55.6% (MUMBAI UNIVERSITY, A Grade College)

    Work ex- 5 years of Work Ex in TCS

    Certifications- ITIL,Six Sigma GB, PMP(planning to take in a few months)

    Extra Curricular activities:

    1) Trainer for aptitude based exams at TCS designated Colleges across India

    2) Won several awards as a public speaker for my presentations on Upcoming Technologies in IT at Top Engineering colleges in Mumbai.

    3) Guitar Player (Played at a couple of local pubs, Rock shows)

    GMAT: Hovering around 750 in mocks, 750+ expected

    Do you think my poor academics could dampen my chances for Colleges like ISB, IIM Exec programs, NUS etc?

    Which Colleges would you recommend with the above profile?

  21. Ayush says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am looking to pursue MBA from US and want to start preparation accordingly. For that I need a evaluation of my profile. My profile is as follows:

    -75% marks is Graduation from MSIT,New Delhi- Btech (CS)
    -2 year plus work ex in Project Management with a US MNC.
    -Lots of extra curricular achievements along with experience of leading various teams during school and college
    -Currently working with UK Project Management team in my organization, helping to manage multiple projects.
    Can you please provide em with an idea of what colleges should I target and a good GMAT score that I should aim for?

  22. Sai says:

    Sameer, you are the eye of this academic storm. Thanks for articles like this. Keep up the good work!

    I have a 680 GMAT. I intend to focus my efforts into articulating my non profit work and my experiences in the field. If I choose to apply this year, I will have 2 years experience upom matriculation. My acads are about average, around 72% from the best college…in my city of course. So what do you think? I really think an MBA abroad would satisfy my need for diversity and challenge while learning and after some good ole post MBA work ex, give me an early start into establishing a well planned social enterprise.

  23. Roshan Kumar says:

    Hello Sameer,
    Graduated in 2009 in mechanical Engineering from Amravati University with 71 % .
    Class 12th- 59 % kendriya vidyalaya Nagpur
    class 10th- 70.4 % kendriya vidyalaya nagpur
    Years of experience -6.5 in mechanical core industry
    date of Birth- 09 April 1988 ( 27 years old)
    Brief about my work – projects, installation, commissioning and mechanical maintenance with metal industry. Expertise in Hydraulics.
    current location – Kuwait (3 years) International Experience.

    -Held Secretary post in college.
    -3rd winner in quiz competition in college.
    -organized and volunteered many social and annual function in school and colleges.
    -trekking and mountaineering with western himalaya mountaineering institute , himachal pradesh.

    Preparing for GMAT and willing to go for MBA in India.
    Please shed some light how much score should i target and which college i should look for full time MBA or Executive MBA.

    Thank you .

  24. suraj says:

    Hello sir, I am suraj. Here’s my profile…..
    10th-65%
    12th-67%(after an year drop)
    B.tech final year mech engg
    My question is- upto what extent my previous academic with an year drop in b/w 12th nd b.tech will effect the selection procedure?
    Also m really hard preparing nw for gmat lyk I got 730 in recent mock test, nd I dream of harvard, standard, mit, insead.
    Is that possible for me??
    Also I haven’t been in any kind of cocurri’s… d main reason I got that low %ages is that I got distracted…..
    Ryt nw m getting gud scores in my degree…. Plz sir must answer…
    Coz if there is no possibilities of the schools I mentioned than I need to shift my gear to cat

  25. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Pradeep: If you can get a 750+ as you are expecting, my response to Sourabh will apply to you too.

    @Sai: Thank you for not calling me the epicenter of the earthquake.
    Too early to think about an MBA, buddy. Waiting for 1-2 years would be better, if you have that option.

    @Roshan & Ayush: What GMAT score you get is a different matter, but why aim for any score lower than 800? As they say, aim for the stars so you can at least reach the tree top.

    @Suraj: Using sms lingo in queries, when you are aiming for Harvard. Not cool, my friend.

    – – – WE WILL NOT BE TAKING NEW QUERIES HERE. SO PLEASE DO NOT POST NEW COMMENTS – – –

  26. priyanka says:

    hi sir,
    I am priyanka please have a look to my profile below, and let me know if I can dream of doing a MBA from best business school in world with such horrible marks in my previous education standards.
    10th-67%
    12th-6.2(CGPA)
    b.tech-75%(mechanical engg.)
    work experience-1.5 years in a MNC.

  27. viraj patil says:

    10th 76 %
    12th 60
    B.E. civil 58% (mumbai university)
    working with reliance jio 9 months completed, if i score very high in gmat say above 700 after mayb 2.5 years i.e. with 3 years of experience in reliance and gmat 700+ but with this low academics. m i eligible for schools like isb hyderabad? please revert as soon as possible so that i can commence my preparation.

  28. Gaurav says:

    Hello Sameer,

    I have recently started following your blogs. All your articles reflect informations too incisively and helps great deal in clearing many doubts about MBA pursuit .I would appreciate if you find a chance to review my profile & provide your precious guidance :

    My profile details as follows :

    10th Std. – Haryana State Board – 78%
    12th Std. – Haryana State Board – 62.8%
    B.E. (Computer Science) – Local Engg College – 64%

    Total Work Exp : 8 Years in IT

    2.5 Years in lesser Known IT company
    2.5 Years in IT MNC (Wipro) as Oracle HR consultant
    3 Years in IT dept of Govt oil and gas company in UAE as Oracle HR consultant.

    Also ,I am a part time Oracle Trainer in a local institute in UAE for last 3 months.

    Could you please suggest me on :

    1. Are there any chances to get admission in executive MBA courses from IIMs & other top B Schools given the facts that

    a) My academics are pretty messed up .

    b) On Paper,my professional experience is not astounding too except with a couple of appreciation letters.

    2. If above answer is yes , what should i do to build up my profile strong enough to match the selection criteria required for admissions in B schools.

    Although i am well setlled in govt company at significant position and have earned good reputation among my seniors and peers who are mostly IIM/IIT/NIT/Foreign Univ. graduates for being staunch professional and carrying out projects independently in office but I still crave for doing executive MBA from renowned B schools since i feel that its only way to wash out all my past sins and get rid of distressing constant guilt feeling of having not done enough in college.

    Thanks again for your invaluable efforts to help countless mba aspirants every day.

    Thanks,
    Gaurav

  29. Tanvir says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am a 4th year undergraduate student enrolled in a Dual Degree course at IIT Kharagpur. My cgpa is 6.4. I aspire to do an MBA in Marketing from a well recognized university abroad. Over the years I have been doing Internships in the same field and am also managing the Marketing activities of a startup. Apart from this I have studied Marketing Management as a subject too. This much information justifies my interest in Marketing to a fsir extent.

    All I want to ask you is that given my low cgpa and no job experience as such, will I be able to get into Level 2 B schools(if not level 1) provided I attain a very good GMAT score since my graduation is from an IIT and I have a genuine background in Marketing too?

    Thank you in advance.

    (10th- 92% ,
    12th- 89%)

  30. Rohan Singh says:

    Hi Sameer. Great insights. I have an undergrad gpa of 3.4/ 73% from a top tier Indian university. A gmat score of 720 and close to 5 yrs work ex including that of an entrepreneurial nature though not a very successful one. Apart from this not much in the form of extra curricular creds. My question is that with the above as a base can the application essays be made convincing enough to apply to an ivy league uni with a fairly realistic chance of getting in. Would appreciate a prompt upon which we can take this discussion forward!

  31. Kartheek S says:

    Hey Sameer, great website, absolutely thrilled to have come across this.
    Here is my dismal tale.
    I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) this year (2015). However, I started the journey in 2008, after completing my 12th Standard under CBSE, also in 2008. The intended 4 year course was dragged because of my sorry performance, which had numerous backlogs. My overall percentage is some where around 50%, same as my 12th standard score. I am currently working at a wealth intelligence firm as a Research Analyst, with an year of experience, which I intend to continue for one more more year at least. I am planning to work for few more years, in the process of trying to repair my profile in someway or the other. In the mean time, I am also planning to take up some certificate or diploma courses in finance, simply because, another undergraduate degree now would be meaningless. So, my question to you is, what are my chances of getting into an university like ISB Hyderabad, or some B-Schools in Europe, considering I have a decent score of GMAT (650+)? Also, can you advise me on the kind of courses I can take up, related to finance; little detail on this would be really helpful.
    Will appreciate a thorough reply to my queries. Thanks a lot in advance.

  32. lohit eeshwa says:

    Hey Sameer, really found this article very helpful. My profile is on a shadier side of things, 10th with a percentage of 83 and 12th with a percentage of 72 (State Syllabus) and a degree in mechanical engineer from VTU with a percentage of 59(no backlogs). I have a work experience of 2 years, 1 year in a Silk Industry as a maintainance engineer and 1 year in a e commerce company as a operations associate. i have done certification courses apart from my course work to support my employment. How are my chances with a High GMAT score??
    Colleges are Booth, Kellog,ISB

  33. Kovid says:

    Hey there. Really insightful, this article. Thank you.

    I have completed my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, from SRM University. Managed to score GPA- 5.0 and that to second Pass Degree. Implying that I took 5 years to get the 4-Yr. Degree.

    However, was a scholar till High School. Kind of lost my path in midway, at college.
    Nevertheless, Later on to compensate on this below average GPA, I managed to clear level- I CFA last year.
    Got 750 on GMAT, thanks to Manhattan Interact Verbal along with all the other prep material of Kaplan and OG 15 & 16.

    And to top that, I’ve been able to complete my 3 Years of Work Experience at a reputed MNC EPC Company. [Engineering, Procurement and construction]. Being in the Project Management team, I have reached a level, no one else in my comp[any has in this short duration. Getting acknowledgment and letter of appreciation from the M.D of the group.

    Have been a national level Badminton Player. Doubles partner of Kashyap and Saina at India Level in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. State Level Player- Lawn Tennis, Cricket, Squash and Table-Tennis. Various certifications and awards in Extempre, Speech, Debate, JAMs etc.

    This low GPA is turning out to be the Deal-Breaker for me now. I seriously want to put an end to all this by getting into colleges such as Michigan Ross, Colombia, NYU, INSEAD, HEC, NUS, ISB.

    Please evaluate and let me know, the probability of me cracking it into the Top Tier schools.

    I am in the application rounds right now and am looing forward to Honest feedbacks.

    Regards,

  34. MITHILESH PATEL says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Sharing my profile below for you to evaluate:

    I am a B.Tech Final Year Student From UPTU having 63.4% till 3rd year and due to UPTU’s pattern of calculating Final % (25% of 1st year, 50% of 2nd year, 75% of 3rd year and 100% of 4th year), It has been become quite impossible to me score overall 70%. It will lie between 67% to 70% with 2 backlogs in two different semester but now I’ve cleared it. All this because of immaturity and distractions not realising how important academic performance will be in the future.
    Overall Academic Record:
    10th= 8.4 CGPA= 79.8%
    12th= 65.2%
    B.Tech= Between 65% to 69%
    I don’t have much to say for extra curriculars except that follows:
    -EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker v8.
    -Attended 3 days of Microsoft MTA certification program on Web Development Fundamentals.
    -Part of cultural committee in the pre-final year of school.
    -Participated and Winner of several school level competitions like MACMILLAN, OLYMPIAD etc.

    Now, when I just get serious about my career, I started preparation for GMAT but still in dilemma regarding the intake process of the universities.
    Could you please advice on how do I go about strengthening my application to the universities as I am planning for 2016-2017 intake.

  35. Aditya Raman says:

    Hey,
    I’m still in my pre-final year at BITS Pilani Goa Campus in the discipline of Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering. I’ve score 94.6% in Xth and 92.2% in XIIth and my current GPA at the end of 2 years is 5.1. However I was instrumental in setting up an incubator organisation on campus and am its current Social Media Outreach manager. I also have a winter internship at the Operation and Sales division of Mercedes-Benz planned. I just want to know how much I should improve my GPA by to gain admission into one of the top MBA schools abroad like LBS or INSEAD?

  36. Partha Mohanty says:

    Please guide me . I have scored 48% in graduation (Bcom with management honors). I have Cleared CFA level3 (USA) And have a mcom degree with finance honors.
    Will these additional qualification negotiate my low GPA marks ?

    Regards,
    Partha

  37. ANANTHAKRISHNAN says:

    Hi Sameer!!

    I did my B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Govt Engg College, University of Calicut; I graduated with an 81.2% aggregate and a 3rd rank in the University of Calicut (but this percentage is low when converted to GPA in the US scale); I have been working with a Public Sector Oil Corporation for the past 3+ years. Simultaneously, I enrolled as a Community Fundraising Intern with the NPO Make A Difference (MAD) in August ’14 and wen’t on to be a Community Fundraising Fellow (Lead) for MAD in Cochin from May ’15 to present. In addition, I have taken up various leadership roles in both school as well as college and have participated in a lot of extracurricular activities as well. I am yet to take my GMAT and TOEFL; light preliminary preparations is in progress.

    I aspire to get into HBS or Wharton School as their MBA programme combined with the Leadership Fellow/Lauder Programme really captivates my interests.

    What are my chances in getting through admission to these Universities? What more should I be doing to add value to my CV?

  38. babu says:

    i am very poor student with very poor academic record.xth 76% in 2004,xiith 58.2% in 2006( i gave improvement and increased it to 70.2%,i was not having any compartment).then i took two years gap preparing for engineering entrance but i was not able to make it to any good govt engineering college (nits especially) college..anyhow i realized that its too much.i joined aissms coe in pune university to pursue electrical engineering.i was not able to study because of my health issues.i failed in first year and third year.two more years wasted…anyhow i completed be in 2014 with very poor 51% aggregate and 58.2% in final year.presently i have completed my computer courses and have some work experience like 12 months.is it advisable for me to do mba.i seriously need advice.how far will it affect my mba placements.i dont want to waste my parents money anymore .whether i will get a good job or not.because for mba i will take a loan.please advice me.

  39. Dishank Gupta says:

    Hi Sir,
    Please have look on this,

    10th- 87%
    12th- 71%

    I am pursuing my B.tech in Nirma University.
    I am gong to start my 4th semester from this January because I got detained last year after third year due to 4 backlogs(2 in 2nd sem, 2 in 3rd sem).
    During detention period of 1 year,I cleared my backlogs and prepared for Gmat.
    now please suggest how to build up my profile to crack in top mba colleges.
    My GPA in Btech would be aprox 7.0 for sure

  40. Kunal says:

    Hi Sir,
    Kindly look at my profile and suggest

    10th- 72%-M.P Board
    12th- 68%-M.P Board
    B.E- 63 % RGPV Bhopal.

    I have work experience of 6+ years in techno commercial profile.

    Can I get admission in any good B school or my low graduation marks will prove to be a hindrance in the same.
    Please guide me

  41. Onkar Adarkar says:

    Hi Sir, i graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors in Management Studies from Ruparel College, Mumbai.
    Sadly my past academics havent been great at all as I didnt take them seriously and I am repenting now.
    I have scored 78% in SSC and 56% in HSC. Graduation is 5.73 out of 7 CGPA.
    I am currently working in JP Morgan and have completed a year lately. Also I am pursuing second year in Mcom.

    Could you please advice me how can I improve my profile and if I still do have chances to get into top bschools abroad as well as in India? I really dont wish to miss a chance…also wish to know how much work ex is beneficial.

    Thank you

  42. Oishi says:

    Hello sir, My scores are as follows and I have pursued B.Tech course from NIT Durgapur!

    10th- 92.4%
    12th- 89%
    CGPA:- 8.1

    Plus I’m working in UBS Verity Knowledge Solutions, Hyderabad as an investment banking analyst for the past two years!

    What are my chances of getting in the top colleges of US?

    • Rajesh G says:

      Hi Oishi…
      This is Rajesh. If you dont mind can u describe your job profile and also your initial package offered when you started the job? Since i just finished my b.tech and joined in TATA AIA LIFE INSURANCE as wealth planning officer, which pretty much relates to sales department. Im just a bit confused whether this is the right job after doing engineering.

  43. Vidhu S. S. says:

    Hello Sameer,
    After achieving 79.4% in X and 65% in XII, I pursued B. Tech (E.E.E. from Sharda University) and ended up with a 6.8 GPA. I received my Bachelor’s degree in 5 years and then went for a 3-month intern-ship with European Organisation for Nuclear Research (C.E.R.N.). My next job came after a year as a content writer in New Delhi, India. I worked for two months and had to leave because several things didn’t work out.

    My main dilemma is my B. Tech degree. I find myself not at all fascinated by any career that this degree could possibly provide and 2 precious years have already gone by.

    However, I believe my communication skills are good and I would possibly do pretty well in a job that needs me interacting with people on a regular basis or possibly explaining things to members in a team. Another thing, writing articles (or the likes..) comes pretty easily to me. But I don’t see myself proceeding towards a teaching job.

    Could you possibly figure these things out and suggest something.

  44. Sid says:

    Hi there Sir! I’m in final year of my engg Btech CSE from a private university in gurgaon. My academic scores are
    CBSE 10th- 9.4/10 CGPA
    CBSE 12th- 76%
    university cgpa 8.2 till now

    I want to know what are my prospects in top MBA colleges in US Kellogs with these grades… also what would be my realistic spot in MBA admissions if GMAT score is 700+..

    THanks a Lot

  45. Swastik says:

    Mumbai University B.E. 55% (Degree -65%)
    MBA from Sydenham (SIMSREE), mumbai – 70%
    Working for 3 years in a niche Management Consulting Firm in Mumbai
    GMAT 730

    Should i apply to top 20 B schools in the US?

  46. Indianlad says:

    I was a failure as an engineering student (2002-06) though I had 80%+ score for Class 10 and 12. After my failure in securing an Engg degree, I joined a leading nationalized bank in India, in the clerical cadre and got promoted to Managerial cadre in 4 years time, not before completing my graduation through distance education and passing an array of certificate course that are relevant to the banking Industry. I sustain a fire under my belly and keen to prove myself and make good for the loss that I have incurred. My concern is if my profile would be acceptable to a prominent B School. Looking for your guidance and advice in this regard. Your views will be highly appreciated.I’ll share more data, if required. Thank You.

  47. Praful Upadhyaya says:

    Does our 10th and 12th standard marks play a vital role in getting a MBA scholarship in abroad universities , especially the US ?

  48. Rajeev Banerjee says:

    What are those online graded courses from American universities that you mentioned in the article?

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