Should I Apply Now or Improve My GMAT?

Q: My practice GMAT tests are at a 670, and I have worked for the family business (India) for 2 years. I messed up my GPA in college but did well the last year, still, my CGPA is 6.6. Should apply this year to a tier 2 program or aim for a 700+ and apply to top European MBA programs next year?

 

A: I would recommend you put applying for an MBA this year out of your mind completely and to be honest, I think you should wait TWO years. Light work experience at a family business and bad GPA is a combo likely to undermine your credibility.

 

Then on top of this, you are competing with super high achievers in an overrepresented profile group. Your GMAT is really low with respect to your peers/competitors. I would recommend you only consider programs where the average GMAT is 650 or less at this point, if your mock exams reflect accurately.   

 

In addition to improving your test score, would recommend that you GET INTERESTING over the next two years to distinguish yourself. Increase the depth of your interests and passions to distinguish you from the competition. Become a multifaceted applicant, join toastmasters, become active in the community and take a leadership role where you can have a positive impact.

 

Of course, also make sure to have a quantifiable impact in the family business as well, and search out recommenders who can speak to that.

 

I wish I had better news, but the truth is there is a lot of work to be done. Allocate the time you would spend on applying towards building up your profile.

 

Applying now would be a waste of money and missed opportunity. Why go to a third rate school when you are still young and can improve your profile, positioning yourself for a better school.

 

 This article contains 10 tips on improving your profile pre-MBA:

Cheers and good luck!

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