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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.

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