Q) I got a 610 in the GMAT and I was wondering which top schools would be willing to accept a student like me. A little back ground on me. Female from India, currently residing in Boston Massachusetts I have an engineering degree with a 3.6 GPA and I have 5 years experience. Presently I am a Business Analyst and I am also involved in many community services through work.
I have taken the GMAT twice and both the times I have scored 610 despite intense preparations. I would like to go to either Tuck or Harvard mainly because I like the Case Method approach.
Please advise if I should even bother to apply to these schools if not which other schools should I be looking into?
Maxx Duffy: Let's start with the good news: You have a solid GPA in a difficult discipline and that is a plus. You also have 5 years of professional experience which means you must have a wealth of projects, achievements, and perspectives to offer in a classroom environment. I am also glad to hear that you have been active in community activities. Giving support to one's community is a sign of a leader; it also is a sign of positive personal values.
Now for the more difficult news: as you already know, a 610 GMAT is a low score for Tuck or HBS. The "rule of thumb" is usually a 30-point swing for a particular school. For example, if a program's average GMAT is 700, then a 670 or higher is in their range. With your having taken the exam twice already, you have the following choices:
• Retake the exam a 3rd time, which I suspect that you do not wish to do. However, I know from my own clients that sometimes the third exam is "the lucky charm." If you could raise your score to even a 640 or 650, you would be in the range of many business schools in the second tier (Top 30s). Examples: Emory (Goizueta); Tulane (Freeman); Vanderbilt (Owen); Boston University; University of Maryland (Smith); University of Wisconsin (Madison) -- and many others. Of course, if you did raise your score to the higher 600s, you would then have a shot at Top 20 programs.
• Apply to your dream programs, recognizing that you are on an uphill battle in terms of acceptance. These are your dream schools and, in fairness, programs do sometimes make exceptions. However, the question is: Can that exception be you? There is no way of knowing that, and, honestly, I think that your odds are slim. So, here is what you have to decide: (1) do you want to take the time, effort, and cost of applying realizing that your chances are not good? and (2) if you don't apply, can you live with that decision without regret for the rest of your life? Only you can answer these questions.
• Apply to schools further down in rankings but within range of your current GMAT. If you do this, then you need to make sure that the programs do still provide the knowledge that you seek to achieve the future professional goals that you have set for yourself (you have not indicated your future goals). Examples: Pepperdine University; Syracuse University; University of Arizona.
• Wait another year; retake the GMAT; and enroll in business courses to build an alternative profile: finance, statistics, microeconomics, accounting. Of course, you should get "As" in the courses. This option is probably least attractive, as your engineering studies and your Business Analyst position do already indicate quantitative / business skills. I just wanted to cite this as technically it is another alternative.
Don't want to wait? Get Expert Advice, Sample Essays and tips from Harvard MBA Alumni with
Harvard MBA Interview and Harvard MBA School Essay Guides.
About Maxx Duffy
Irene Maxx Duffy, Maxx Associates' founder and director, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA from The Wharton School. Before starting Maxx Associates, Ms. Duffy was Associate Director of Admissions at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration. She has corollary experience in career planning, marketing, advertising, and franchise consulting. Ms. Duffy has conducted corporate seminars and taught at a variety of continuing education programs. She is a co-founder, board member, and chair of the governance committee of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants.
2019 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA
F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach.
Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?
We cover them all through our extensive analysis.
+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour
Comprehensive MBA Research Guide: Includes Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee (2018)
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary (2017)
Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee (2018)
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power
Top MBA Destination: By Economy
+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)
MIT vs. Stanford MBA (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA (2018)
Kellogg vs Ross MBA
Booth vs Wharton MBA
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA
IMD vs. INSEAD MBA (2017)
IIMA vs. ISB (2017)
+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France
Top MBA Programs in France
+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK
Top MBA Programs in the UK
Scholarships in the UK
Getting into Harvard MBA is Not Like Catching a Shooting Star
Most applicants have this strange notion that you cannot get into Harvard MBA program without climbing Mount Everest, or leading a start-up to an IPO.
Trust us, we evaluated a few Harvard MBA Admits. They are like you, but with one difference.
They are Masters at Personal Branding.
We will teach you:
1) How you should start the essay knowing that extroversion and passion are valued in Harvard MBA?
2) How you should demonstrate Active Learning?
3) How you should demonstrate confidence in decision-making?
4) How you should demonstrate your succinct communication skills?
5) How you should demonstrate your potential as an effective FIELD team member?
Also Included in the Essay Guide:
1) Six positioning tips that you should consider for your essay.
2) Two Sample Essays
Download F1GMAT's Harvard MBA Essay Guide 2016-17