How to Provide Context for Your Low GPA in Your Optional Essay

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Here’s what one Brave Supplicant put together as an optional essay around low GPA – names of specific things BSer was involved with have been changed to protect anonymity:

Optional essay: Explaining a low GPA, low grades in specific courses, and any incompletes and/or withdraws. 1 page with 12-point, Times New Roman font, doublespaced, and formatted with 1-inch margins.

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The optional essay is often a great place to play offense and explain your academic performance. While it’s rarely a good idea to fully blame extenuating circumstances for your low GPA, some explanation may be warranted. People have health problems and family deaths, some applicants are varsity athletes with crazy schedules, some students have to deal with coming to a country for the first time and performing academically in a non-native language, and some have to work full time to pay for school. There are some understandable reasons why applicants can underperform, and rather than just letting an admissions officer draw their own quick conclusion, you should provide some color on the situation. Keep it concise and don’t blame multiple things. Take some responsibility as well, and admit you could have handled the situation more maturely.

Optional Essay: Low GPA - Beat The GMAT

Write persuasive essays. Almost every MBA program allows you to write an optional essay which is a great place to address the low GPA issue. This is your opportunity to provide legitimate reasons why you did not achieve as much as you should have due to circumstances such as family issues, illness, transferring schools or switching majors. The optional essay should be direct and brief, must not be full of excuses and it must have a positive tone.

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In view of the above, I would recommend applicants to utilize optional essay to bring to the attention of Ad Com those aspects of your personality, or those areas of professional career (initiative, cultural adaptability, international experience )that have not been highlighted anywhere else in your application. Most importantly, it is your chance to address or justify flaws in your profile e.g. low GPA or GMAT, or gap in professional career, or your inability to get a recommendation from your current supervisor.

In the samples below, notice how the facts of the conviction are laid out clearly . I believe that this contributed to my low 3.0 GPA my freshman year, and that my Addressing Weaknesses in the Personal Statement at Accepted to 3 Feb 2011 Many college application essays will include a question asking you to It's much easier to forgive a low GPA, for example, if the reason for it 5 scholarships that don't require a great GPA | College Choice News 18 Nov 2013 Applying doesn't require a good GPA, essay or long form — just taking a gamble. And not like Vegas blackjack gambling either, because How to Address a Low GPA in Your MBA Applications | Veritas Prep 7 Jul 2016 A low GPA's is one of the foremost concerns among those applying to If this is the case, the optional essay can be a good space to discuss Optional MBA Application Essays - What Schools Are Really Asking 10 Sep 2014 It is also a good space to acknowledge a very low GPA or GMAT, and to point to other factors that are more indicative of your potential. 5 Tips for Writing the Optional Essay for Harvard Kennedy School 17 Sep 2014 It's hard to write a great optional essay and very easy to write an ineffective one. A skeptic on the committee says, “Look at how low her college GPA is For example, don't write “I was partying too much my freshman year of Explanation for a low grade - Transfer Essay - Essay Forum 14 Feb 2012 Explanation for a low grade - Transfer Essay the circumstances behind the sudden drop in my GPA especially during the Fall Semester of 2011. but ideas in case you want to make some changes, Good luck in school! Low GPA Success Stories : ApplyingToCollege - Reddit Sample Essays + Blog . I thought I was going to be like you, low gpa high test scores and get in Amazing EC's or some crazy good essays? How to Make Up for a Low GPA in College Applications 16 Nov 2016 In some cases, you can address the context for your low GPA in your college essay. More importantly though, the college essay is a great

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Low Gpa Optional Essay Mba Free Essays - StudyMode

Most business schools provide space for an optional essay for any types of comments or information you'd like to share. If you have a low undergraduate GPA -- or even just one that you don't feel reflects your true potential -- you can offer an explanation in this space.


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Hey ccatcher — it's tough to issue a blanket decree on it, but anything below a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is in danger territory and should probably be addressed directly. If you're in the 3.0-3.2 range and there's a real reason for it (sick relative to care for or whatever) then it certainly doesn't hurt to offer those reasons in an optional essay, but it may not be necessary, particularly if the GMAT is strong.

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Dozens of MBA applicants come to Touch MBA every month for free school selection help and a common concern is how to overcome a low GPA. How can you show top-ranked programs that you will perform well in an intense Master's level program? That you belong with other MBA candidates who got A and B+ averages as undergraduates?

Applicants with low GPAs need to send 2 signals: 1) that they're academically capable and 2) that they have a strong work ethic. Listen on for 7 concrete ways you can communicate these qualities in your application to tackle a low GPA.

Scoring well on GMAT
Performing well in other academic environments (Masters Degrees) or tests (CFA, CPA, etc)
Highlighting work experience that demonstrates your hard business skillsSecuring recommendations that rank you highly for intellectual ability
Taking pre-MBA classes (MBA Math, online courses, community college courses)
"The Shaq Rule" - being so strong employability and ambassadorial-wise that you'll still be a net contributor
Using your optional essay to explain (not excuse) the context surrounding your GPA

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