How to get into a top B-school with a low GPA?

21K School · Sep 6, 2023 · 3 min read

GPA means Grade Point Average. This score helps to rate a student’s academic performance in a college or university. GPA is the first benchmark for admission to any top b-school, but it is not the only criterion. GMAT is another exam that helps students get into a renowned MBA programme.

Here is a list of things one should consider before applying to top B-schools with a low GPA

1. Do not pivot around GPA

Though GPA plays an important role while getting into a top B-school, do not overrate its importance. This alone is not the deciding factor that is considered for admission. There are other elements on an application form that waive off the magnitude of a low GPA – a recommendation letter, professional and formal resume, strong personal essay can bridge the gap between a low GPA and admission to a top B school.

2. GMAT is a huge thing

GMAT is a big thing if a student wants to get into a B school. A high GMAT score can help the applicant open doors to B schools despite a poor GPA. A great GMAT score listed on the application helps the admission officers understand how well the student can perform in an MBA programme. Therefore, a low GPA and a high GMAT score can get a student into a B school based on their calibre.

3. Go the extra mile

A top B school receives many applications each academic year with a low GPA and a high GMAT score. To stand out among those, it is essential to do things differently. Rather than spending all the college vacations on fun, try learning something new that adds credibility to the admission application. Learn a new language, try your hands on coding, begin with writing or publishing; anything that helps a student grow professionally and personally.

4. Authentic essays go a long way

While applying for a B school with a low GPA, a student gets a chance to explain this low score. Rather than missing out on this opportunity, keep the essay personal and crisp. State a valid reason for a low GPA – any illness, financial crisis, part-time job etc. Whatever the reason is, it should reflect your personality, honesty, integrity, and value system.

5. Strong Statement of Purpose

A candidate applies for a top B-school with a purpose and motive despite a low GPA. Therefore, it is crucial to draft a statement of purpose that showcases how a student will add value to the institution and contribute to projects. Basically, this statement of purpose will give the admission officers insight into a candidate’s motivation and willpower. Remember, words convey more about a candidate’s personality than what you speak.

6. Letter of Recommendation

If a candidate can make it into a B school even with a low GPA, then a good letter of recommendation could be the key. Ensure this letter highlights the key skills of the candidate – leadership, team building, multitasking, oratory skills, etc. These skills can help a candidate enter a B school on the grounds of practical knowledge of the business.

7. Professional experience matters

If a candidate has professional work backing up a low GPA, then it could turn the tables for them. Any top business school gives weightage to professional experience over GPA score. If this professional expertise lies in the financial field, it could do wonders for a candidate trying to get into a top B school with a poor GPA score.

8. A resume that stands out

A resume says a lot about a candidate, even with a low GPA. Ensure that you write a professional and concise resume highlighting your skills appropriately. It should focus on academic achievements and co-curricular activities that synergize well with MBA programmes. A candidate’s confidence and personality can get highlighted through their resume as it can precisely reflect their achievements and aims.

Final Thoughts

It is not that GPA is not an important aspect of getting into an MBA, but it does not mean that there is no hope with a low GPA. Ensure to work on other pillars of getting admitted to an MBA programme. To know more about top B school admission criteria, contact 21K school.


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