Low GRE Score and Accepted at Kellogg

Below is a written interview with one of our Application Accelerator® clients. What is remarkable about her story is that with a low GRE score and GPA on the lower end of the range, she was able to land a spot on the waiting list, and then fight her way into the incoming class at Northwestern Kellogg, her dream school.

Coaching Package: Application Accelerator®

Date of Breakthrough Call: May 16, 2018

Engagement Start Date: June 4, 2018

Engagement End Date: May 1, 2019

Tell us your business school acceptances and fellowships so far!

  • Full Ride at Indiana Kelley (Forte fellowship and Consortium fellowship)
  • 50% scholarship at Duke Fuqua (Forte fellowship)
  • 25% scholarship at University of Michigan Ross (Forte fellowship and Consortium member)
  • No scholarship at Kellogg (waitlisted and then accepted to my dream school!)

Tell us about your background and applicant profile.

  • GPA: 3.39
  • GRE: 305 combined
  • Work Experience: 5 years in marketing
  • Latina
  • First-Generation
  • First Year Applicant

What made you reach out for help with your applications?

I have worked hard to be thoughtful in all my career moves and extracurricular activities that would be necessary to get into a top MBA program, but I knew that I needed help with crafting my story.

I liked TAOA, because its mission was to help applicants that aren’t the traditional candidate.

Knowing that I had a low test score, I needed to make sure that the other parts of my application shined!

As you know, in order to be our client, every applicant has to first have a Breakthrough Call. What happened on your Breakthrough Call?

I walked through my background and I was told I was a good candidate for the program.

How did you feel about making the investment for Application Accelerator®?

At first, it felt like a very expensive investment, but I am very happy with the results! I wanted to be admitted to a top 10 MBA program, and I am excited to be attending Kellogg!

What made you choose to work with The Art of Applying®?

I liked that you could focus on all your applications, instead of paying a fee for one school application. I was concerned about my burning through my word count, but by the end of the program, I ended with leftover words.

Besides navigating and mitigating your low GRE score, what did you hope we would help you with during your application process—and what happened?

I wanted help articulating my story in the most effective way possible. I learned how to answer the “so what” within my essay prompts and button up my responses to clearly answer the essay prompts.

One of the hardest questions to answer during the MBA interviews was why should they pick you, why business school, why that program, why now? TAOA helped me build responses that showcased my unique attributes that would bring value to the business school on campus and as an alumna. I appreciated the one-on-one interview session with my consultant. He provided thoughtful feedback that strengthened my interview responses!

I learned how to write actionable and quantifiable bullet points that articulated my work accomplishments in my resume with TAOA’s help!

What advice would you give someone who is listening to this and thinking, “Great, it worked for her. But would this really work for me? Is this real?”

Although I had a low GRE score, I was still able to package my application in the best way possible to achieve great results!


We are so proud of our client’s persistence in reaching her dreams despite the apparent odds being stacked against her. We are grateful to her for sharing her story.

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