GMAT, GRE, & GPA…oh my!

Admissions, July 06, 2017 | 0 comments
Tags: advice, applying, admissions, GMAT

Before we get to the details, it’s important to note that our evaluation process is truly holistic. Each applicant stands out for different reasons, and it’s possible to make up for an area in which you’re less strong in another where you really excel. In the simplest sense, the application consists of your academic record/predictors (GMAT/GRE and GPA), your work experience (as highlighted in your resume and throughout the application), your essays, letters of recommendation, and the interview. (Of course, there are a number of characteristics we look for within each of those categories—stay tuned to Tuck 360, where we’ll talk about them!) Tuck does not assign these components various weights or importance, there isn’t a special formula that spits out “admit” or “deny,” and we thoroughly review every single application, regardless of someone's stats (every application is seen by at least two members of Ad Com).


Aptly called the Graduate Management Admissions Test, the GMAT was designed specifically with business schools in mind. That said, Tuck admits students who submit the GMAT as well as those who submit the more broadly used GRE (and both groups are successful in the program). You are not at any sort of disadvantage simply for submitting one instead of the other. We still see more GMAT scores, but here are a few reasons you might apply with a GRE score instead; you’re pursuing a dual degree and need a GRE score for the second program, you took the GRE a few years ago in preparation for a future, type-not-yet-determined grad school (both tests are valid for 5 years), OR you feel that your aptitude is better represented through the GRE (taking practice tests for both can give you a sense of what you might score). Other things of note regarding the GMAT/GRE:

Academic Performance (GPA)

As mentioned earlier, your past academic performance and behavior helps us determine whether you’ll be able to handle Tuck’s rigorous MBA program. For some of you, this is great news because you killed it in college. For others, it can be nerve-wracking because your grades aren’t all that stellar and there’s no way to call for a do-over. Remember—it’s a holistic process! Moreover, your GPA is not evaluated in isolation. We consider the rigor of your course load and major, whether grades trend up or down, and other demands on your time, such as working while in school or serious involvement in extracurricular activities. It’s possible we’ll still have concerns, but looking at the big picture helps.

We hope this blog was helpful! For some of the more nitty-gritty, logistical info, check out this page. Stay tuned—we’ll break down other aspects of the application as the season goes on. Until then, good luck! 

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