When Should you Consider Alternative Transcript for MBA Admissions?

Alternative Transcript MBAIf you have checked the GPA score for top MBA Programs, you will realize that most of the top 10 Business School has a median GPA range of 3.4 to 3.6 while schools in the 10-20 rankings have a range of 3.2 to 3.6. Although 3.2 is a competitive GPA score, anything below 3.2 can be a weakness and if your score falls below 3.0 then there should be other aspects of your application like the GMAT Score that compensate this weakness.

What is an Alternative Transcript?

When your GMAT Score is within 20 points of the median GMAT score of the school and you have work experiences that uniquely highlights leadership, communication and maturity, the only component in your MBA Application that needs improvement is your GPA. For such scenarios, an Alternative Transcript would be the best option. The MBA Alternative transcript gives candidates a chance to take courses that strengthen their weak areas. This is a chance to show the AdCom that you are proactive about your application and has the initiative to do the extra-work to improve your candidacy. The extra courses and improvement in weak areas will give AdCom a more accurate reflection of your abilities.

When should you consider Alternative Transcript?

Although we have covered the scenario when you should think about creating an Alternative Transcript, candidates should also look at the following scenarios:

a) Below Average GPA

For top schools, 3.2 is the lower end of a competitive GPA but for other schools, you have to compare the GPA with the class average or median. If you fall below the average by more than 1 decimal point then you are in the danger zone. For example, if the class average is 3.0 and your score is 2.9, then it is a negative deviation.

b) Lack of Balanced GMAT Score

If you don’t have a balanced GMAT Score, that is, an 80-85 Percentile in both Quant and Verbal section, then the scores are not competitive. A difference of more than 10 percentile between Quant and Verbal means you don’t have a balanced score. You can either retake the GMAT or take courses that strengthen your weak sections. For Business Schools, strengthening your Verbal section has very little value, unless your Verbal Score falls below the 80 percentile range.

c) Inconsistency in Grades (Undergraduate Degree)

The core curriculum in almost all Business Schools covers Finance, Statistics, Calculus and Accounting. If your performance in these courses or related courses during undergraduate degree falls below your aggregate Grade then it would be a good idea to retake the courses and improve your grades. There is no point in retaking courses that you have already performed above the aggregate score.

How Schools Accept Alternative Transcript?

Most schools asks for the original transcript and often don’t ask for alternative transcript. You might wonder why you need to take all these extra courses. By getting special permission from the AdCom, you might be able to send in the grades for the additional programs. There are optional essay questions that ask applicants to share personal attributes or other information that has not been covered in the mandatory essays. This is a great opportunity to add information about the additional courses that you have taken and the improvement in grades.

Reputation and Course Difficulty

When you retake the course, the level of difficulty is also taken into consideration. Scoring A in an Introductory course in Statistics and an Intermediate Course in Statistics leave different impressions in the eyes of the AdCom.

The reputation of the university is also considered. Therefore, before you enrol in a course, make sure that the course difficulty and university reputation are in alignment with the school’s expectations.

2019 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA

"I attended three MBA Tours in US and Canada. I could just scratch the surface compared to what the guide has included. Thank you guys for the amazing book"

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. 

Pages: 500

+ 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:
Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Finance
+ Consulting
+ Marketing
+ Strategy
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Accounting
+ Energy
+ Non-Profit
+ Wine
+ Sports
+ Sustainability
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ International

+ 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    
Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    
IIMA vs. ISB   

Harvard vs. Stanford MBA (2017)

+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 

+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2019)

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter