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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Admissions is a Science!

November 30, 2012 by

GMAT Scores

What does a 3.8 GPA + 670 GMAT + 4 years of work experience + 3 years of community service equal?  The answer is that it could equal nothing and it could equal a letter of admission.  It is impossible to respond with confidence because admissions is absolutely not a science.  After all, if it were a science the admissions office would just do away with the entire time and resource consuming admissions process and publish a simple formula.  Why not make life that much simpler for everyone?

In some countries, there are simple tests which establish benchmarks — one gets into a top MBA program with a score of X and does not with Y.  In the United States, some graduate programs have cutoffs for GRE scores or situations where LSAT scores and grades are definitive.  Plainly put, when talking about the top global , there is no simple criteria.  Instead, the admissions committee reads a file holistically and seeks evidence of your ability to contribute in the class and perform at the highest levels post-graduation.  GPA’s, GMAT scores, work experience, etc., are just parts of the larger equation.

While it can be comforting to try to reduce the MBA admissions process to a simple science, as an opaque process suddenly becomes clear and comprehensible, it is unwise to do so. By listening to chatter on message boards or blogs about the “right GMAT score” or the “right amount of work experience,” instead of listening to the word of the admissions officers, who are at pains to explain that the process is holistic in nature (meaning that they evaluate all criteria with no particular scorecard), you expose yourself to, at best, a risk of wasting your time and at worst a risk of wasting your energy on fruitless endeavors. It is crucial that you be your best candidate and thus you need to present your full story, not just some simple stats.

While it can be comforting to try to reduce the MBA admissions process to a simple science, as an opaque process suddenly becomes clear and comprehensible, it is unwise to do so.  By listening to chatter on message boards or blogs about the “right GMAT score” or the “right amount of work experience,” instead of listening to the word of the admissions officers, who are at pains to explain that the process is holistic in nature (meaning that they evaluate all criteria with no particular scorecard), you expose yourself to, at best, a risk of wasting your time and at worst a risk of wasting your energy on fruitless endeavors.  It is crucial that you be your best candidate and thus you need to present your full story, not just some simple stats.

 

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