age! Here’s a handy and quick guide on what to target for in each of these areas and what to do if your numbers are out of range for your target schools.
GPA: Aim for a 3.6 or aboveWhat to do if you don’t have it:
- Leave your GPA off your resume.
- Consider taking supplemental coursework. The supplemental coursework you should consider taking (in order of importance to MBA/MPP admissions): Microeconomics, Statistics, Accounting, Finance, Calculus (surprisingly, Calculus is more important to policy schools than most business schools)
- Use your optional essay to explain in detail all the ways you are going to excel academically while in graduate school.
GMAT: Aim for a 680 or aboveWhat to do if you don’t have it:
- Leave your GMAT score off of your resume.
- Consider studying and then retaking the test. Taking the test more than 4 times sets off a “crazy” alert though, so avoid doing that.
- Consider taking supplemental coursework.
- Rock that optional essay! (It is such an important and severely underused tool!)
Age: Aim to apply when you are between 24-28 years oldWhat to do if you don’t have it:
- If you’re “too young”: Make sure your recommenders address your maturity and ability to thrive in a rough and tumble learning environment. Use your optional essay to convey your confidence and enthusiasm for graduate school. Make sure that your essays convey that you have clarity on why you are going to graduate school and what you plan to use the degree for.
- If you’re “too old”: Make sure your recomenders address your ability to work well with people of all ages. In your optional essay, reiterate your openness to learning from people of all ages and backgrounds.