Tag Archives: MBA

Wharton MBA Interview Questions and Preparation

Wharton mba interview question and preparationWharton is tied for the number one business school in the world. If you are fortunate to be invited to interview for a spot in Wharton’s MBA program then you are very lucky. Unfortunately, only 47% of applicants interviewed for the Wharton MBA program will be accepted into the school. Given the lower than 50-50 chance of acceptance, you should prepare as much as possible for your Wharton interview. This guide will walk you what to expect during your team based discussion (TBD), your individual Wharton MBA interview as well as what are the most common questions asked during the interview.

What to Expect in Wharton MBA Interview

There are two components to a Wharton interview. First you will participate in the TBD, then you will have a one on one interview, typically with a second year MBA student who watched you during the TBD. I recommend showing up to your interview at least 30 minutes early. This will give you a chance to meet as many of the applicants as possible. Hopefully you will meet several of the applicants who will be in your team based discussion, which will make working with them easier.

The TBD will last roughly 35 minutes and there will be 4 or 5 other applicants in the interview with you. There will also be 2 second year MBA students observing you. One of the two observers will be your one on one interviewer. Each prospective student will be given 1 minute to introduce them-self and their idea for the prompt. Take notes during the prompt and probably throughout the entire discussion. Make sure you know everyone’s name or you will look like an idiot, so write everyone’s name down. After the introductions are over you have another 30 minutes to solve the problem.

If your idea is selected then great, if not then don’t worry, just play along with the group. This isn’t an idea contest, it is an opportunity to see how your interact in a group. You need to show that you can work well in a group. If you act like a jerk and try to force your idea down everyone’s throat then you will not get into Wharton.

If possible try to show leadership traits. This can be by proposing an agenda for the discussion. This could be assigning roles such as time keeper and note taker. Be sure to talk but not too much. And do not interrupt other applicants.

Wharton MBA Interview Questions

The personal interview will last 10 to 15 minutes and will be conducted by one of the two MBA2’s who observed your TBD. You will typically be asked 4 questions, but it can range from 2 to 6. Here is a list of Wharton interview questions as well as the probability that you will be asked it during the one on one interview. The Wharton MBA interview questions were collected from Clear Admit.

  1. (83%) How do you think the discussion went?
  2. (42%) Walk me through your resume / tell me about yourself.
  3. (42%) Did your behavior in the TBD reflect how you normally are?
  4. (25%) Why Wharton?
  5. (25%) Do you have any updates to your application?
  6. (25%) What clubs would you participate in here at Wharton?
  7. (17%) What is something that your group could have done better?
  8. (17%) Who I would want and NOT want on my team?

I found the the who you would not want on your team question especially difficult because I wasn’t expecting it. Even though it is a rare question, make sure you have an answer. Good luck in your Wharton MBA interview and be sure to check out my guide to preparing for MBA interviews.

HBS Interview Questions and Preparation

HBS Interview Questions and preparation Harvard MBAYou have just received your HBS interview invitation and now you realize that you need to prepare for one of the most important interviews of your life. After all the Harvard acceptance rate for those interviewed is still only 50%. This guide will tell you what to expect during the interview and what are the most frequently asked questions during a Harvard MBA interview. Be sure to spend ample time preparing, because you know that everyone else invited by Harvard to interview will be also.

What to Expect in the HBS Interview

The interview will be 30 minutes long and will be conducted by two admissions committee members. It can take place on-campus, off-campus hub, or even sometimes over skype. There are many Harvard MBA interview questions that pop up pretty frequently, but Harvard has a lot more variation in the questions they ask than other schools. Harvard is going to dig deeper and ask follow up questions, similar to a McKinsey behavioral interview. You can expect anywhere from 5 to 18 questions during the interview. On average Harvard will ask you 11 interview questions.

Harvard will ask a lot of detailed questions about your resume and essays. Expect the adcoms to have read your full application. They seem to ask a lot of questions about choices and transitions that you have made. They will ask not only why you made that transition but how you made the transition.

List of HBS Interview Questions

Here is a list of the most common Harvard MBA interview questions. It is compiled from Clear Admit interview reports. I calculated the probability of a person receiving each question in an interview so you know which questions to prepare for most. Sometimes they will ask a slight variation to the questions below.

  1. (70%) What are your weaknesses? What is negative feedback you have received? What do you struggle with?
  2. (60%) Why did you choose ABC employer or transition to ABC employer? How did you get XYZ job?
  3. (55%) Is there anything you wish we had asked?
  4. (50%) What are your long term goals / plans? What do you want to do post MBA?
  5. (45%) Tell me about yourself.
  6. (45%) Why did you pick your college?
  7. (45%) What are your strengths?
  8. (35%) Why get an MBA?
  9. (30%) Describe your industry and role? What do you make of XYZ new competitor in your industry?
  10. (30%) What do you do in your job? What does a typical day at your current job look like?
  11. (25%) What is your dream job (or internship)?
  12. (20%) Tell me about a challenge you have faced.
  13. (20%) Tell about a company outside of your area of interest that you appreciate?
  14. (15%) What do you like to do for fun? What do you do outside work?
  15. (15%) Was moving to the United States (or other country) hard? Did you experience a cultural shock?
  16. (15%) Why Harvard? How have you gotten to know us?
  17. (10%) Why did you pick your major? What was the process?
  18. (10%) How did you get these promotions?
  19. (10%) Tell me some more about your siblings or family.
  20. (10%) What would you do differently if you were CEO of your company?
  21. (10%) What’s an issue in the news you always follow?
  22. (10%) Did you visit an HBS class? What did you think?

Interestingly they don’t frequently ask why Harvard as much as other schools. Perhaps because Harvard is one of the most prestigious and hard to get into school in the world. You should prepare for at least the first 9 HBS interview questions on the list because you have a very high chance of being asked one of these questions. Be sure to read my guide on how to prepare for an MBA interview.

For students applying to Harvard undergrad, check out the Harvard acceptance rate analysis at College Admit Me.

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate Rankings

So you have just been invited to interview at the MBA school of your dreams. Obviously this raises your chance of getting in, but by how much? In general, top ten schools have lower MBA interview acceptance rates while schools ranked 11 to 20 have a higher acceptance rate for applicants who were interviewed.

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate by Rank

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate by Rank

Interview acceptance rate for Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Booth, MIT, Kellogg, Hass, Columbia, Dartmouth, NYU, Ross, Darden, Yale, Duke, McCombs, Anderson, Cornell, Tepper, Kenan-Flagler, Emory

The acceptance rate ranges from 34% to 75% for schools in the top 20. The average MBA interview acceptance rate for the top 10 is 50% and it is 62% for schools ranked 11 to 20.

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate Rankings from Highest to Lowest

MBA Interview Acceptance Rate from Highest to LowestNYU jumps out as the highest acceptance rate by a wide margin. If you have been selected to interview at Stern then you can prepare to open a bottle of champagne because you are probably going to business school. No other school in the top 10 has an interview acceptance rate above 60%.

On the other end of the spectrum is Kellogg and Tuck with the lowest acceptance rates. These two schools will allow anyone who visits campus to interview, so it is not surprising that they admit significantly fewer applicants who are interviewed. Most of the top 10 schools have an acceptance rate clustered between 46% and 51%.

Duke has the lowest acceptance rate for a school not in the top 10 at 52%. The rest of the schools range from 57% to 68%,

Good luck and don’t forget to prepare for your MBA interviews!

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

The Columbia MBA acceptance rate is on the higher side for a top 10 school, at around 18%. Despite the deceptively high acceptance rate, Columbia is still a tough school to gain admission. I built a predictive model which can give you some insight into what the Columbia Business School admissions committee is looking for in applicants.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT CBS AdmissionsAs expected, Columbia MBA acceptance rate increases as GMAT rises. The average GMAT score is an impressive 719. Increasing GMAT score by 100 points from 650 to 750 increases odds of acceptance by 140%, which is a bigger benefit than MIT.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

Surprisingly GPA has little to no affect on acceptance rate at Columbia. The average GPA of Columbia applicants is 3.49 while the GPA for those admitted is almost unchanged at 3.51. Stanford is the only other school where GPA doesn’t matter. For those of you out there with a low GPA and high GMAT, Columbia is a great school to apply.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Round

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Round CBS AdmissionsThe round you apply in impacts Columbia MBA acceptance rate. At CBS, if you apply during Early Decision then you are forced to enroll if accepted. Columbia seems to be worried about yield for accepted students if they are forcing applicants to choose them. If you are serious about Columbia then consider applying Early Decision because you have a slight edge otherwise you might as well wait for regular decision. Columbia is actually rolling admissions, so the sooner you submit your app the faster you get your decision.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Age

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by Age CBS AdmissionsThe age at which you apply has a strong impact on your chance of admission. The best time to apply is when you are 27 or 28. The further a candidate is from the average age, the lower their chance of acceptance is. I believe that this is because candidates with around 5 years of work experience have worked long enough to impress potential employers and contribute to classroom discussion while not being over qualified for on campus recruiting positions. Duke, Cornell and Booth all have a similar age effect.

Other Admissions Factors

Liberal arts majors have roughly twice the acceptance rate as others. I don’t have gender in my data set but my hypothesis is that Columbia is trying to attract women which is why the acceptance rate is so high for liberal arts majors. Acceptance rate is higher for economics majors but lower for finance majors. Consultants also have a major advantage, with an impressive 30% acceptance rate.

Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

I updated this article by request to show how Columbia acceptance rate changes by GPA. In the chart below you can see that from 3.0 to 4.0 the acceptance rate stays fairly stable, slightly above 20% for all GPAs other than 3.2 and 3.9. Shockingly the acceptance rate at 3.0 is actually higher than 4.0.Columbia MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA Business School Admissions

CBS Interview Invite Rate and Acceptance Rate by Round

Columbia Business School Interview Rates and Acceptance by Round

A reader asked me how applying early vs. regular affected an applicants chance of being invited to interview and accepted after interview. It looks like applying early does not improve an applicant’s chance of being interviewed but does raise the acceptance rate if invited to interview. Approximately 40% of applicants apply through early decision.

The data for this post comes from GMAT Club.

MBA Admissions Process Advice

The MBA admissions process is long and difficult. It is no wonder that many people pay a lot of money to hire admissions consultants to help them with the process. This article will help you to understand the critical parts of the application process.

MBA Admissions Process Components

  1. GMAT
  2. Resume
  3. Recommendations
  4. Essays
  5. Application

This list of components for an MBA application is ranked from most important to least important as far as I’m concerned. Every school worth going to will have all of these components, if not more

  1. GMAT – All top MBA programs require the GMAT (or GRE). It is extremely important for admissions. If you want to be admitted to a top ten school then shoot for 700+. Preferably 720+ given that GMAT scores at top schools have been on the rise in recent years due to more international applications.
  2. Resume – The resume is made up of your work experience, leadership experience, undergraduate school and interests. The truth of the matter is that business schools care a lot about name brand for the companies you have worked at as well as the undergraduate school you attended. If possible try to work at a desirable company such as Google, Goldman Sachs or McKinsey but at the very least, try to have at least one company on your resume that a normal person will have heard of. For additional advice, check out my article on improving your resume.
  3. Recommendations – Your recommendations are critical! If any of your recommenders give you even lukewarm recommendations then you can kiss your acceptance goodbye. Everyone gets good recommendations because we all pick people that like us. It is helpful to pick alumni of the school if possible or at least people that have an MBA. Recommenders who don’t have an MBA probably won’t understand the process and what the admissions committee is looking for. If your recommender did not go to a top MBA school, spend some time explaining to them what schools are looking for in a recommendation.
  4. Essay – The essay is your chance to explain to the admissions committee why you are a good fit and why you need an MBA. You should do as much research as possible for each school before writing the essay so that you can tailor it to the school. In researching a school you should use their website, visit the school and network with currents students/alumni. I can’t stress enough networking with current students. They recently went through the same process that you will be going through and they know what the culture of the school is. If you really befriend a student they may even help you by editing your resume and essays, but don’t expect it. If I were you I’d avoid asking too much of the tour guide who shows your around because they meet hundreds of prospective students a month and don’t have enough time to spend helping every one. Instead I would ask the tour guide to connect you with a student who is in the area in which you are interested. For example, if I were applying again then I would email the tour guide and ask them to connect me with someone who knows about financial services consulting or maybe someone who did an internship at XYZ consulting company. This gives the guide the option of passing you off to a friend of theirs who doesn’t get as many emails from prospective students. That person will probably be willing to spend more time talking to you.
  5. Even after you have done all the other components of the application you will still have to fill out the actual application. It typically takes two or three hours and will require you to have all the information about each job you worked and degree you received. If you have ever gotten into trouble, most schools ask if you were ever on probation or arrested, so have an answer ready.

MBA Summer Internship

I haven’t posted anything in the past month because I have been busy interviewing for my summer internship. I interviewed with 14 different consulting companies and am happy to say that I have already received 3 offers and am waiting to hear back from a few others. Getting your first offer is the greatest feeling in the world. I can feel my stress melting away.

If you think it is stressful waiting to hear back from business school just you wait for internship interviews. At least with business school you have only invested a thousand or so on applications and a bunch of time studying for the GMAT and filling out applications. For career switchers who need an internship in their industry, we gave up our high paying jobs and $200K in tuition and expenses to gamble in getting our dream job.

The good news is that business school does a good job of preparing you for interviews. I wish I could go back to undergrad and teach myself how to interview.

I will start posting regularly again now that I have more free time.

Booth Admissions Rate Analysis

University of Chicago is a fairly selective business school with an acceptance rate of 22%. Similar to Kellogg, Booth has one of the higher acceptance rates for a top 10 school. While building an MBA admission calculator, I uncovered some insights on how Booth evaluates MBA applicants.

Booth Admissions Rate by GMAT

Booth Admissions Rate by GMAT University of Chicago MBA AcceptanceThe graph above demonstrates that GMAT has a high impact on Booth admissions. Increasing your GMAT from 650 to 750 more than doubles your chance of admission. The average GMAT score for an applicant is 718, but the admitted applicants have a slightly higher GMAT of 724.

Booth Admissions Rate by GPA

Booth Admissions Rate by GPA University of Chicago MBA AcceptanceA high GPA will give you a slightly higher acceptance rate at University of Chicago, but it is easy to see that GPA doesn’t have a very large impact on admission rate. Even with a 3.0 GPA the Booth acceptance rate is 18% which is higher than the acceptance rate at Harvard for an applicant with a 4.0.

Booth Acceptance Rate GMAT vs. GPA

Booth Admissions Rate GMAT vs. GPA University of Chicago MBA AcceptanceThe graph above compares the importance of GMAT vs. GPA to Booth admissions. Candidates with a high GMAT score had a significantly higher acceptance rate than those who had a high GPA.* If you have a high GMAT and a low GPA, University of Chicago is an ideal school at which to apply. For example an applicant with 3.0 GPA and a 760 GMAT has a 25% chance of being admitted.

Booth Admission Rate by Age

Booth Admissions Rate by Age University of Chicago MBA AcceptanceSimilar to Duke and Cornell, the Booth admission committee prefers applicants who are around 27. The further a candidate is from the average age, the lower their chance of acceptance is. I believe that this is because candidates with around 5 years of work experience have worked long enough to impress potential employers and contribute to classroom discussion while not being over qualified for on campus recruiting positions.

Booth Admissions Rate by Round

Booth Acceptance Rate by Round University of Chicago MBA AdmissionWhich round you apply in does actually affect your chance of admission at University of Chicago. There is a small drop off in acceptance rate between round 1 and 2, but then a large drop in round 3.

Other Factors that Impact Booth Acceptance Rate

Applicants who are living in India have only a 7% chance of being accepted at Booth. Science and Math majors have a slightly higher chance of admission. Liberal Arts and Humanities majors have an exceptionally high chance of being accepted, at 56%, while Engineering majors have lower odds at 17%. I think that it is not that Booth is specifically trying to attract Liberal Arts majors, but that they are trying to bring in more women, who happen to be more likely to major in Liberal Arts. Finally investment bankers have only a 14% acceptance rate at Booth.

*A high GMAT or high GPA is defined as one standard deviation above average.

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is one of the top 20 MBA programs in the US. The Duke MBA acceptance rate is 25%, which makes being admitted a big accomplishment. The next question is obviously what characteristics does the Duke admissions committee look for in Fuqua applicants? Not only are GMAT and GPA important factors that will impact your admissions, but also your age and the round you apply in affect your chance of acceptance.

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT Fuqua Business School AdmissionThe average Duke applicant has a GMAT of 690, several points lower than the 697 for accepted candidates. As expected the acceptance rate increases as an applicants GMAT rises. The graph above shows Duke MBA acceptance rate by GMAT for the average applicant with a GPA of 3.35.

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA Fuqua Business School AdmissionUnlike schools such as Stanford and Cornell, GPA does affect Duke MBA acceptance rate. The average applicant has a GPA of 3.35, however accepted applicant’s GPA is slightly higher. Above you can see the admission rate by GPA at Fuqua.

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate GMAT vs. GPA

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate GMAT vs. GPA Fuqua Business School AdmissionNow that you know that GMAT and GPA both matter to Duke, the next question is which is more important. My admissions analysis shows that Duke prefers GMAT over GPA*. A high score on the GMAT will increase Duke MBA acceptance rate from 25% to 30%. However, a high GPA only increases your chance of admission at Duke to 28%. For applicants with a high GMAT and low GPA, Duke is a good school at which to apply. For example an applicant with a 750 GMAT and 3.0 GPA has a 29% chance of getting into Duke.

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by Age

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by Age Fuqua Business School AdmissionSimilar to other schools such as Stern, age impacts acceptance rate. Applicants who are around 27 to 28 have the highest chance of being accepted at Duke, while older and younger candidates have lower odds of being admitted. My hypothesis is that younger applicants don’t bring as much work experience to the class room discussion while older applicants are hard to place at top companies during on campus recruiting.

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by Round

Duke MBA Acceptance Rate by Round Fuqua Business School AdmissionI looked into how application round affected your chance of admission at Duke, and it was not statistically significant. Even the low round 3 acceptance rate cannot be confirmed as accurate because of low volume. Don’t worry too much about applying first or second round, but you may want to avoid round 3 just to be safe.

Other Factors Affecting Acceptance Rate

People applying from India had a significantly lower chance of admissions, while applicants from the US had a higher acceptance rate at Duke. Applicants who majored in business had a slightly lower admission rate. Military applicants had an astonishingly high acceptance rate of 50%. So all you veterans out there should strongly consider applying to Duke.

The data used for this analysis comes from GMAT Club.

*For GMAT vs. GPA comparison a high score is defined by one standard deviation above the average GMAT or GPA.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis

Many MBA applicants wonder what their chances of getting into a top school is. This analysis looks at Cornell MBA acceptance rate based on data such as GMAT, GPA, undergraduate major, and age at application. The average acceptance rate at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is 22%, which is higher than all of the schools in the top 10 but lower than many of the schools ranked 11 to 20.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GMAT Johnson AdmissionAs you would expect, GMAT has a high impact on Cornell MBA acceptance rate. The average GMAT for the Cornell MBA class of 2016 is 700. Although GMAT does affect Cornell MBA acceptance rate, GMAT has a smaller importance than other schools such as Kellogg. Increasing your GMAT score by 30 points raises your chance of admission by 5% at Kellogg but only by 2% at Cornell.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by GPA

Strangely enough it appears that GPA has little to no impact on your acceptance rate at Johnson. When I ran the logistic regression, GPA was the first variable I eliminated. Even at Stanford, GPA wasn’t eliminated until almost at the end. This suggests to me that Cornell really doesn’t care about GPA. If you have a low GPA and a high GMAT, then you should be applying to Cornell for the highest chance of admission. The average GPA from my data set, which came from GMAT Club, was 3.40 for both accepted and for declined applicants.

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by Age

Cornell MBA Acceptance Rate by Age Johnson School AdmissionAlthough your GPA doesn’t matter to Cornell, the age at which you apply does matter. Similar to other schools, such as NYU, the age at which you apply does impact your chance of admission. Cornell prefers candidates who are close to the average age of around 27 or 28. The further you deviate from this average age, the lower your chances of admission are. I believe that the schools do this for two reasons. The first is that young people don’t have as much work experience, so they tend to have less to contribute to the conversation in class. At the other end, candidates that are too old are harder to place in  recruiting because companies wonder why someone who is so old is getting an MBA. I have noticed that the women in my program tend to be younger on average than the men. I imagine that the admissions department will give women a little more leeway on applying younger because some women want to finish their MBA before they start a family.

Other Factors that Impact Acceptance Rate

Candidates who apply while living in India have a lower acceptance rate, while those applying while in the US have a higher admission rate. Applicants who majored in engineering during their undergraduate program have a lower acceptance rate. The admission rate for applicants who are currently working in manufacturing is significantly lower than anyone else.

Good luck with your applications!

GPA Trivial to Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate

Although the original predictive model I built for Stanford suggested that GPA didn’t matter, I updated the model using different data cleaning techniques and I now believe that GPA is important to Stanford. Although GPA does matter, GMAT is still much more important. The new Stanford MBA Acceptance Rate Analysis can be found here.

Stanford business school has the lowest acceptance rate of 6% out of all MBA programs in the US. I am sure everyone wants to know the secret to increase their Stanford business school acceptance rate. Shockingly Stanford GBS does not care about your GPA. I built a statistical model to predict Stanford business school acceptance rate, and there was no evidence that a high GPA increases your chance of admission at Stanford.

Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by GMAT GBS MBA AdmissionThe graph above shows how Stanford business school acceptance rate changes based on GMAT. There is a strong relationship between GMAT and  Stanford MBA acceptance rate. Surprisingly, even with an 800 GMAT your chance of admission is still only 11%. Since there are over 7,000 applicants for only 400 spots it is difficult to be accepted.

Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by GPA

Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by GPA GBS MBA AdmissionAlthough GMAT is important to GBS, there is no relationship between GPA and acceptance rate. This is completely the opposite of Harvard where GPA is more important than GMAT. Surprisingly the highest admission rare is for applicants with a 3.0 GPA.  Don’t worry too much about the high acceptance rate for low GPAs, there were only 28 applicants with a 3.0, which is not enough of a sample size to be confident. There is however enough data to confirm that there is no strong relationship between GPA and admissions. For those stats nerds out there, the P-value for the GPA variable was 33%, so clearly it had to be eliminated.

Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by Round

Stanford Business School Acceptance Rate by Round GBS MBA AdmissionAlthough GPA doesn’t affect Stanford MBA admission rate, the round you apply in does have a large impact on your chances. The acceptance rate for round one is already below 8% and only drops even lower after that. This is similar to Harvard where application round has a strong impact on acceptance rate. If you are not a perfect candidate with great GMAT and work experience, don’t even bother with round 2 or 3. Might as well wait until next year’s round one unless you enjoy throwing away $250 on your application.

The only other factor that impacts acceptance rate is your pre-MBA industry. Consultants have a 9% acceptance rate compared to other candidates’ 6% chance of admission to GBS. Undergraduate major, years of work experience, and age have no affect on your chances at Stanford business school.

The data used to do this analysis came from GMAT Club website.

Kellogg Acceptance Rate Analysis

Kellogg’s acceptance rate is on the higher side for a top 10 MBA program at over 20%. But don’t be fooled, getting into Kellogg is still very difficult. In addition to high expectations for GMAT and GPA, Kellogg allows all applicants to interview. This allows Kellogg to find candidates with the best interpersonal skills even if they don’t have high scores. Since I don’t have information on candidates’ interpersonal skills, I’ll stick to GMAT and GPA. I built a model that can estimate an applicants chance of admissions to Kellogg based on a few key pieces of data . I am posting the insights I found in the model here until I am able to build the admissions calculator over winter break.

Kellogg Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Kellogg Acceptance Rate by GMAT MBA Admissions Business School

The average GMAT score for Kellogg’s 2 year MBA program is 717, however the average GMAT for applicants is lower, coming in at 709. The graph above shows the relationship between GMAT and Kellogg acceptance rate for the average applicant, who has a GPA of 3.38. You can see there is a strong relationship between GMAT and Kellogg acceptance rate. An applicant to Northwestern has twice the chance of getting in with a 750 compared to a 650.

Kellogg Acceptance Rate by GPA

Kellogg Acceptance Rate by GPA MBA Business School Admissions

Similar to GMAT, having a higher GPA increases your chance of admission at Kellogg. Even with a low GPA of 3.0, the admission rate is still over 20%. The graph above shows Kellogg acceptance rate by GPA for the average candidate, who has a GMAT of 709 (yes I know that it is not a possible score).

Kellogg prefers GMAT over GPA

Kellogg Acceptance Rate GMAT vs GPA MBA Admission Business School

By comparing admissions for candidates with a high GMAT score vs high GPA, I found that Kellogg prefers a high GMAT over a high GPA.* This is good news for candidates who are willing to put in the hard work to get a high GMAT score. Having a high GPA only increases your chance of admission by 2% to 25%. On the other hand, having a high GMAT increases the Kellogg acceptance rate to 29%. On the flip side, if you have a low GMAT then it will harm your chance of admission more than a low GPA.

Kellogg Acceptance Rate by Round

Kellogg Acceptance Rate by Round MBA Admissions

Round 1 applicants had the highest acceptance rate, with round 3 acceptance rate the lowest. These numbers are a little misleading because they don’t take into account difference in the average candidate quality for the different rounds.

Kellogg MBA Applicant Statistics by Round AdmissionsThe lower acceptance rate for Kellogg applicants in later rounds is explained by lower GMAT and GPA. This is why application round is not a factor in my admission model. Applying in a later round does not appear to harm your chance of admission at Kellogg significantly, especially if you can use that time to raise your GMAT or improve your essay.

Other Admissions Factors

The last two factors that had an impact on admission rate were country and industry. Applicants who were living in India had a roughly 6% chance of admission. Candidates who worked in computer software while applying had a 5% chance of admission. Both of these factors were statistically significant, meaning that there was enough data to verify the effect.

Good luck with your applications! Let me know if you have any questions.

*A high score on GMAT or GPA is defined by one standard deviation above average.

Advice for Improving your Resume

Resume Advice Tips MBA Admission Interview Business SchoolA few months back I interviewed several summer intern candidates at work. While reviewing these candidates’ resumes I saw a lot mistakes that you should never make on a resume, whether you are applying for a summer internship or a top ten MBA program. They did not do very well in the interviews and I was not surprised. Here are three easy steps you can take to quickly improve your resume before you apply for business school or your next job.

Do Not Use Too Much Jargon in your Resume

These candidates dropped terms such as electroencephalographic signal and fast Fourier transformation in the resume. Using complex jargon at best won’t help you and at worst will confuse the person reading your resume. If they can’t understand what you are saying then they won’t be impressed. You are an expert in your field, but not everyone is as knowledgeable about the topic. Try to make your resume as approachable as possible so you don’t alienate your interviewer. If your interviewer is not familiar with a term, it may make them feel stupid, and that isn’t going to help your chances of getting an offer.

Do Not Focus on the Process, Focus on the Result

Often when candidates describe their work experience, they focus on what they did, not the “so what?”. Business schools and hiring managers don’t care about the process you went through or the computer language you programmed in. Instead they want to find out what the impact of your project was. What would a hiring manager or business school rather see on a resume?

  • Expert VBA programmer
  • Automated data collection process using VBA, which reduced team workload by 100 hours per month

The second description not only shows that you know VBA, but it also demonstrates that you know how to use that skill to drive real value for your company. Whenever possible, try to quantify how much of an impact your project had for your company. Mention how many more customers your company will attract or how much you were able to increase profits or revenues.

Highlight your Ability to Work in a Team

Employers and business schools want to see that you can work in a team environment and interact well with others. Don’t just state that you are a team player, demonstrate that you know how to collaborate while discussing your accomplishments. Discuss a project where you collaborated with other departments and succeeded in accomplishing a goal. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you don’t have the people skills required to interact in a work environment.

Check out my MBA Interview Preparation Guide to learn how to get ready for MBA interviews.

Stern Interview Acceptance Rate Analysis

I know that the final decisions for applicants who were interviewed for New York University’s business school are expected soon. I decided to perform a Stern interview acceptance rate analysis to see if I could predict the chance of acceptance for applicants who were invited to interview. From my data sample 74% of applicants who were invited to interview were ultimately accepted.

Stern Interview Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Stern Interview Acceptance Rate by GMAT NYU MBA School AdmissionsNot only is the slope of the regression line very flat, but also the the R-squared is only 3%. These two pieces of information suggest that once a candidate is invited to interview, their GMAT has no impact on acceptance rate.

Stern Interview Acceptance Rate by GPA

Stern Interview Acceptance Rate by GPA NYU Business School AdmissionThe slope of the GPA graph is a little steeper than the GMAT graph slope. The R-squared is also higher, coming in at 10%. Once again, this indicates that GPA has a little more impact on your chance of admission after being invited to interview compared to GMAT.

The low R-squared of the GPA and GMAT compared to admissions for interviewed applicants suggest that NYU treats all applicants as equal once they are invited to interview. If interviewed you are on equal footing compared to all other candidates invited to interview. This is different compared to Ross, which has a much higher correlation between GMAT / GPA and acceptance rate. The GMAT & GPA acceptance rate R-squared ranged from 30% to 75% for Ross, which is much higher than the 3% to 10% for Stern.

The data used for this post comes from GMAT Club.

Ross Interview Acceptance Rate Analysis

Earlier today I posted the Ross acceptance rate analysis which shows how GPA and GMAT scores affect your chance of admission at University of Michigan’s MBA program. I received a request to see if GMAT and GPA can still predict acceptance rate out of the applicants who were selected to interview. I would never want to disappoint a reader, so here is my Ross interview acceptance rate analysis. While reading this analysis, keep in mind that around 62% of interviewed applicants are accepted, which is higher than schools like Harvard and Wharton but lower than Stern.

Ross Interview Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Ross Interview Acceptance Rate by GMAT Michigan MBA Business School AdmissionsIn the graph above you can see that there is a clear relationship between Ross acceptance rate even among the applicants selected to interview. The R-squared is 74% which is fairly high, so GMAT is an accurate predictor of admissions post interview. The slope of the line suggests that for every 10 points higher your GMAT is, you have a 2% higher chance of admissions. Unfortunately for those with a low GMAT score, you are not on an equal playing field even after being selected for an interview at Ross.

Ross Interview Acceptance Rate by GPA

Ross Interview Acceptance Rate by GPA Michigan MBA Business School AdmissionsThere is also a relationship between Ross interview acceptance rate and GPA, but the correlation is much weaker. Just from looking at the graph you can see that the data is more spread out from the regression line. The R-squared of 32% is much lower than the R-squared for GMAT of 74%. All else equal, it would help your chance of admission if you have a high GPA, but it does not seem to matter as much as GMAT.

When I analyzed Harvard Business School acceptance rate, I found that GMAT and GPA could not predict acceptance rate from the pool of applicants selected to interview. Which means everyone who was interviewed were on a level playing field once invited to interview. That does not seem to be the case for Ross. In the end, even with a low GMAT or GPA, you still have a 50% of being accepted after your interview. All you can do is prepare for your Ross MBA interview as much as possible and hope for the best.

Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate Analysis

How can anyone ensure that they will be accepted to Harvard Business School? Unfortunately there are no assurances at the number one ranked business school which has an acceptance rate of 12%. This analysis will show you what factors impact Harvard Business school acceptance rate, such as GMAT and GPA.

Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate by GMAT

Similar to all other business schools, Harvard does care about your GMAT score. As you can see in the graph below, a higher GMAT results in a better chance of admission. If you want a double digit chance of admission you had better score a 740 or higher. Even at 800 the HBS acceptance rate is surprisingly only predicted to be 16%.

Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate by GMAT MBA HBS Admissions

Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate by GPA

Next we look at how GPA affects Harvard Business School acceptance rate. Obviously a higher GPA results in a better chance of admission at HBS. Acceptance rate doesn’t break into the double digits until you hit 3.7. This reminds me of why I didn’t even bother applying to Harvard with my 3.33 GPA. Damn you engineering, why did you ruin my grades?Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate by GPA HBS MBA Admission

Harvard Business School Acceptance: GMAT vs. GPA

The real question is which is more important for raising your chance of admission to HBS, GPA or GMAT? In the graph below I compare how much the admissions rate changes if I alter the GMAT or GPA by one standard deviation. A standard deviation is a measure of variance in a population or sample. Since I can’t compare the absolute variance because GMAT and GPA are on different scales, I compare how the shift of one standard deviation impacts the Harvard MBA acceptance rate.

Harvard Business School Acceptance Rate GMAT vs GPA MBA HBS AdmissionsUnlike at Stern and Wharton, Harvard values GPA over GMAT. Harvard acceptance rate increases by 30% when GPA increases by one standard deviation but only by 25% when GMAT increases by a standard deviation. This indicates that GPA is more important than GMAT at HBS, and they are willing to roll the dice on a candidate with low GMAT like the guy who was accepted last year with a 550.

Other HBS Acceptance Rate Insights

The round you apply in does have an impact on your chance of being accepted at HBS. Applying in a later round significantly reduces your chance of admission at Harvard. The data for round 3 is not statistically significant due to low sample size, but I wouldn’t risk applying in round 3 unless you have a godly application. Perhaps after this recruiting year is over I’ll have enough data to confirm and update the model.

Harvard Acceptance Rate by Round HBS MBA AdmissionsIf you want to maximize your chances of getting into Harvard, then be sure to apply during round 1. Additional work experience does increase your odds of getting into Harvard by a small amount, roughly .5% per year. I’m sure a lot of peoples’ next question is what about the 2+2 program? I do know about the 2+2 program Harvard has but I can’t tell which candidates are applying through the 2+2 program vs. not. However I can tell you that of the 59 people in my sample who are 24 years old or younger , none were admitted. So although it is possible to get in if you are younger, it certainly is more challenging.

Next I’ll mention a few factors that are out of your control in the short term but should be known so you can plan accordingly. Similar to Wharton, applicants who are applying from India have a lower chance of admissions, only 1.5% of applicants from India are accepted. Applicants who majored in finance also have a significantly lower chance of being admitted, only 2%. And finally applicants who have worked in venture capital or the military have a much higher admissions rate, 16% and 17% respectively.

Update: I took a quick look if I could predict acceptance rate accurately for people who were already selected for an interview. They only factors that had any predictive power were round, age and major. Average acceptance rate is 49%, with older candidates doing a little better about 7% higher acceptance rate for someone a year older than average. Round 2 applicants had a 37% acceptance rate, while round one had a 57% chance. And finally, applicants who majored in finance had a 16% chance of admittance. In the end, it is very difficult to predict admissions for candidates once they have been invited to interview, which suggests that to Harvard the interview actually matters.

Good luck with your Harvard applications!

For undergrads, check out the Harvard acceptance rate analysis at College Admit Me.

Stern Acceptance Rate Analysis

I just finished building the Stern acceptance rate prediction model. I will post the admissions calculator as soon as I have time to finish learning PHP and then build that portion of the website. I’ll probably have time to work on it over Christmas break, but right now I am too busy applying for interviews for summer internships. In the mean time I will share some of the insights I got from building the model.

Stern Acceptance Rate by GMAT

The first thing that jumped out at me was that the acceptance rates I came up with are noticeably higher than the published acceptance rate of 15%. I believe that this is because the average candidate who applies and posts their data on GMAT Club, where I get my data, is more competitive than the average candidate. The average GMAT Club applicant to Stern has a GPA or 3.45 and GMAT of 709, which is not too far from the scores listed on the class profile for Sterns class of 2016 of 3.52 and 721.

Stern Acceptance Rate by GMAT MBA Admissions Business School NYUIf you are applying to Stern, it is pretty obvious that having a higher GMAT is important and will significantly raise your chances of being admitted. To create the graph above, I used my model with the average GPA of 3.45.

Stern Acceptance Rate by GPA

Next I looked at how GPA affects Stern acceptance rate. Once again there is a clear relationship between GPA and admission rate for NYU. In the graph below I used the average GPA score of 709 in my admissions model.Stern Acceptance Rate by GPA NYU Admissions Business School

Stern Acceptance Rate by Round

Many candidates want to know if it matters in which round you apply. I took a look at the raw acceptance rate by round for NYU. As you can see the acceptance rate for round 2 is slightly lower and for round 3 it is noticeably lower.

Stern Acceptance Rate by Round MBA NYU Admissions Business SchoolThe acceptance rates above are raw numbers, not the predicted values from my admissions model. Why you ask? Because when I took into account all of the other factors, the round you apply in is not statistically significant. The reason the acceptance rate is lower in round 2 and 3 is not because the schools are more selective but because on average lower quality candidates apply in those rounds. If you are a qualified candidate, do not worry about applying to Stern in round 3, you still have a good chance of getting in.

Stern Prefers GMAT over GPA

In the past I tried to figure out if Stern prefers a high GMAT or GPA and didn’t come up with anything conclusive. Now that I have built the Stern admissions model I can see how a similar change in GMAT or GPA impact acceptance rate at Stern. In the graph below I compare how much the admissions rate changes if I alter the GMAT or GPA by a standard deviation. If you are applying to business school then you should probably know what a standard deviation is, however if you don’t it is a standard measure of variance in a population or sample. Since I can’t compare an absolute variance because GMAT and GPA are on different scales, I compare how the shift of one standard deviation impacts the Stern acceptance rate.

Stern Acceptance Rate GPA vs GMAT MBA NYU Admissions Business SchoolIn the graph above, you can see that increasing the GPA by one standard deviation (.28) increase acceptance rate by 29%, but raising the GMAT score by one standard deviation (39) leads to a 45% higher chance of admissions. It is clear that Stern prefers candidates with high GMAT score over ones with a high GPA. This is good news for candidates with a low GPA because with enough hard work, you can increase your odds significantly by raising your GMAT.

Other NYU Admissions Insights

I also found that NYU prefers candidates with an average age of 27 to 28, the further you are from this average age, the lower your chance of getting in. Stern really likes candidates that come from consulting. Applicants from consulting had a acceptance rate of 42% vs. 21% for non-consultants. Having more work experience also increased your odds of admissions. Acceptance rate increased by about 2% for each year of work experience. However, once you pass 28, the age deviation factor is significantly stronger than the work experience factor so you shouldn’t wait until after 28 to apply.

I noticed that candidates that majored in business or engineering had a lower chance of admission. Business majors with average scores had a 8% chance of admission compared to 24% for non-business majors. Engineers had a 13% chance of getting in compared to a 26% chance for non-engineers. These differences are statistically significant even after taking into account all other factors. That being said, I majored in engineering and I got into Stern. I also know many other business and engineering majors who are currently attending Stern with me.

Follow Up on Wharton Acceptance Rate for Indian Applicants

Last week I posted an article discussing the Indian application disadvantage at Wharton. I received a request to go into more detail about how GMAT impacts the Wharton acceptance rate for Indian applicants. Given that only 5% of applicants identified as Indian and the acceptance rate is low, I don’t have enough data to look at that relationship in isolation. However, I have built a model that can predict what that relationship would be for Indian applicants based off of data from other Wharton applicants.

Wharton Acceptance Rate by GMAT

As you can see, my model predicts that there is a relationship between GMAT and the Wharton acceptance rate. This acceptance rates in the graph assumes a GPA of 3.54, which is the average for Wharton applicants. As you would expect, the higher the GMAT score, the higher the chance of getting in. Unfortunately, even with an 800, the forecast acceptance rate is still less than 10% for Indian applicants. Wharton Acceptance Rate GMAT India MBA Application

Wharton Acceptance Rate by GPA

I decided to also look at the relation ship between GPA and acceptance rate as well. Similar to GMAT, higher GPAs increase your chance of acceptance. For the graph below I used the average Wharton GMAT score of 728 to calculate the acceptance rate. Even for candidates with a 4.0 GPA, they only have an acceptance rate of 6%.

Wharton Acceptance Rate GPA India MBA Application

After that I made a graph displaying the relationship between GMAT and GPA on acceptance rate for Indian applicants. With a 4.0 GPA and 800 GMAT, the acceptance rate increased to 12%, but that is still very low for such a qualified candidate.


The final question to answer is which is more important to Wharton, GMAT or GPA. I already had suspicions that Wharton cared more about GMAT than GPA, and this analysis confirmed it. I looked at the average candidate (both Indian and non-Indian) then compared the average acceptance rate to the acceptance rate one standard deviation above and below for both GMAT and GPA.

Wharton Acceptance Rate GPA vs GMAT MBA AdmissionsAs you can see the slope for the line is steeper for the GMAT than for GPA. What this means is that a candidate who score one standard deviation above average for GMAT will be rewarded more than a candidate who has a GPA one standard deviation above average. Similarly a candidate will be punished more for having a low GMAT. This suggests that GMAT is more important to Wharton than GPA.

The data used to make this post came from GMAT Club and included applicants from 2012 through 2014.

Stanford GPA Impact on Acceptance

stanford gpa MBA business school acceptance rate

Stanford is the most select MBA program in the country. If you hope to be accepted, then you need to put together a very strong application. It is important to understand how at Stanford GPA will impact your chance of admission before deciding if you want to apply.

Unfortunately, once you finish your undergraduate degree, you GPA is set in stone. At this point the only metric you can improve is your GMAT. However, knowing where you stand with GPA can help you to set your GMAT goal so that you still have a competitive chance of being admitted by Stanford.

Stanford GPA by Acceptance Rate

Stanford GPA MBA Acceptance Rate Business School

As you can see, at Stanford GPA has little impact on acceptance rate until it increases over 3.6. Above 3.6, acceptance rate increases by almost 50% compared to below 3.6. Applicants who have a GPA that is higher than 3.9 have a 200% higher chance of being admitted compared to students below 3.6. Although the below 3.0 applicants do not seem to suffer from a lower acceptance rate than applicants with a 3.0 to 3.6, the data for that population is very thin and is likely to have significant error. It is reasonable to assume that it will be difficult to be admitted at Stanford with a GPA below 3.0.

If you are luck enough to be invited by Stanford for an interview. It is important to work hard during interview preparation to maximize your chance of admission. Top MBA programs put a lot of weight on interpersonal skills, so you don’t want to slack off when it comes to the interview.

To create this Stanford GPA analysis, I used data from GMAT Club. The data included applicants for the class of 2014, 2015 and round 1 of 2016.

More recent analysis on the impact of GPA on Stanford admission rate shows that GPA is not an important factor, but GMAT is.

GMAT Preparation: How I Scored a 770

GMAT Preparation Studying MBA Application TestGMAT Preparation is a challenging experience. The average GMAT score at top schools has increased significantly over the past 5 years. The GMAT score is up at 19 out of the 25 top schools in that time period. It is critical for aspiring MBA students to study for the GMAT in an intelligent manner so they can maximize their chance of admission to their dream school. Here is how I was able to score a 770 on my first attempt at the GMAT.

Do Not Rush Your GMAT Preparation, I Studied for 6 Years

I know right now you think I am crazy for studying for 6 years, but it’s not what you think. I first started my GMAT preparation during the summer between my junior and senior year of undergrad. I had free time and GMAT scores are valid for 5 years. I studied for 10 to 15 hours and then life got in the way. I never ended up taking the test at that time. Since then, every year or two when I had some down time I would begin studying again, once again finishing about 10 to 15 hours of GMAT preparation before something would prevent me from finishing studying. Each time I came back to studying for the GMAT it was easier.

I finally got serious about studying for the GMAT in January 2013 because I knew I would be applying in the Fall. I studied from January until October when I eventually took the test. Studying over a long period of time has several benefits. Your brain can only absorb so much information per day. When you rush your learning by cramming last minute, you will forget almost as much as you learn, and it will not become second nature. The human brain commits information to memory during the rem cycle of sleep. If you are up late at night cramming last minute then you will not be getting enough sleep and benefit from all your studying. By studying slowly over time and getting enough sleep, you will absorb more information and your GMAT preparation will be more efficient.

I do not recommend studying over a 6 year timeframe for anyone. It is much more reasonable to plan for 6 months to a year of GMAT preparation. So if you are planning to apply for the class of 2017, now is the time to start studying.

Set a Date Test Date as Soon As Possible

When I began studying last year, my plan was to take the GMAT two months later. My goal was to study five to ten hours a week. Since I did not actually commit and schedule my test, I did not feel motivated to stick to my study plan, and the date I wanted to take the test slipped further and further. If I had a fixed date I needed to be ready by, then I would have done a better job of prioritizing my GMAT preparation. During January through May, I probably only studied two or three hours a week instead of the five to ten I wanted to. Spreading out my studying over nine months did end up benefiting me by allowing me to slowly absorb the material and get plenty of sleep, but it forced me to miss the round 1 application deadlines.

Diversify Your GMAT Preparation Techniques

GMAT preparation is not fun, but it is necessary in order to achieve a high score. Between work, social life and chores, I did not have a ton of time for GMAT preparation. I decided to try to optimize my limited time so I could study as efficiently as possible without letting the other areas of my life suffer. I found that a great way to multitask is to watch GMAT videos while doing chores or other low brain function tasks. Manhattan GMAT has some great GMAT videos posted on Vimeo that I used to study. There are also hundreds if not thousands of GMAT preparation videos on YouTube. I watched these videos every night while I cooked dinner, folded laundry, and cleaned my room. Over the course of 9 months of studying, I watched approximately 40 hours of GMAT videos without losing any time I needed for other tasks.

In addition to the videos, I also studied from traditional GMAT preparation text books. I found the official Guide by GMAC to be the best book. GMAT books are helpful for practicing problems. The books usually have problems in order of type of problem. On the test the questions will be in random order, so be sure to spend time practicing problems in random order rather than doing all algebra questions for an hour then all trigonometry questions for an hour.

Remember that the actual test is computer based, so be sure to practice doing some questions on your computer. There are a lot of great website such as GMAT Club and Beat the GMAT that offer resources for studying.

Practice Tests

GMAC offers two free practice tests that are very similar to the real GMAT. I don’t recommend wasting one early in your GMAT preparation because you only have two. Take a pen and paper test, Kaplan test or Manhattan GMAT test to roughly see where you are early on in your studying. Take your first real GMAC practice test about half way through your GMAT preparation to measure your progress. You can take the first practice test more than once. If you retake the first practice test, a lot of the questions will be different if you get certain questions right that you missed the first time. This give you a mostly different experience. I recommend retaking the first practice test once or twice. Take the second official GMAC practice test approximately two weeks before your actual test to see if you are close to the score you are hoping for.

The Human Brain Has Limited Capacity

I did all of my studying and practice tests after a full 10+ hour day of hard thinking at work. All of that thinking drains your brain’s capacity to perform on the GMAT and will slow you down. On my first official practice test I scored a 740. On my second official practice test I got a 730. Both of these tests were taken at 6 pm after working around 10 hours. On my actual test day, I took the test at 10 am without having worked all day. My brain was fresh which allowed me to move through the test faster and achiever a higher score of 770. I was in the 97th percent for quantitative and 98th percent for verbal. If you do decide to take your practice tests at night after working all day, you can be reasonably sure that you will perform at least as well as you score if not noticeably better.

GMAT Timing is Critical

Most GMAT questions can be answered pretty easily with enough time, but test takers have limited time to complete the test. Be sure to not only practice getting the questions right, but getting them right in the appropriate time period. If you can figure out within 30 seconds that you have a low chance of getting a question right, then make an educated guess and save the extra minute or so for a question you have a better chance of getting right.

The more answers you get right, the harder questions get. Some test takers go with an unconventional approach of randomly guessing on the first two questions. If you get them right then you have bought yourself 4 free minutes on the rest of the questions. If you get them wrong then the next several questions will be easier, so you can complete them faster and save time for the later more challenging questions, plus you still have the 4 free minutes for later in the test during the difficult questions.

Some people try the opposite approach, spend more time on the early questions so they can get them right. This is a bad approach because you will end up with harder questions faster and end up having less time for the hard questions later since you spent extra time on the early problems.

Good luck with your GMAT preparation. Studying is difficult and boring, but it pays off in the end. Having a high GMAT score significantly increases your chance of acceptance at top schools like Wharton.

Tuck Admissions Analysis

Tuck Admissions Analysis MBA Business SchoolThe final decision for the Tuck MBA January round applications is being released tomorrow. Tuck calls the students who have been accepted either the day of or the day before the decision is released. Today, mostly international acceptance calls were made, and I have not been called yet. I am based in the US so I am not super nervous yet, but I am finding it difficult to think of anything other than the Tuck decision. I was incredibly unproductive at work today because I spent the entire time hoping my phone would ring. To help ease my worries I created this elaborate Tuck admissions analysis to try to figure out my chances of getting in. Each of the following graphs are only acceptance rate vs. one variable. In reality there are probably interaction effects between different variables, so this is by no means especially accurate, but my final conclusion is that I have a 53% chance of being admitted. I was hoping the number would come out higher, but it is a lot better than the 20.8% acceptance rate overall at Tuck.

Tuck Admissions Analysis

Tuck Admissions Analysis GMAT Acceptance Rate MBA

The first variable I looked at was GMAT. I did a scatter-plot by acceptance rate and found the best trendline for fitting the trendline. This line has an R squared of .82, which is a fairly strong correlation. I then created the smoothed out graph below, which probably does a better job of estimating the impact of GMAT on your application odds.

Tuck Admissions Analysis GMAT Acceptance Rate MBA

My 770 on the GMAT really helped to boost my Tuck admissions chances since it is significantly higher than the 718 average. However, I know my GPA is below the average Tuck GPA of 3.5. So next I looked at how GPA impacts acceptance rate.

Tuck Admissions Analysis MBA GPA Acceptance Business School

For Dartmouth, GPA is highly correlated with chance of acceptance, as one would expect. The GPA scatter-plot has a .89 R squared, which is very high. However, the line is not nearly as steep as it is for GMAT. Similar to GMAT, I smoothed out the curve to account for noise and came up with the graph below.

Tuck Admissions Analysis GPA Acceptance MBA Business School Dartmouth

After GPA, I looked at how your industry impacts your chances of getting into Tuck. I only included an industry if it either had a high number of applicants or had a very high acceptance rate, like Venture Capital and Commercial Banking. I lumped all other industries into “other”. The trends for Dartmouth are similar to what I saw in my Wharton industry analysis. Manufacturing fared better with Tuck, but it is still significantly below average.

Tuck Admissions Analysis Industry Acceptance Rate Dartmouth MBA

Finally, I looked at Dartmouth acceptance rate by years of work experience. The results of this graph do not seem to be as conclusive as other variables. The acceptance rate kind of jumps around. My interpretation is that in general the more years of work experience, the higher your chance of admissions is, until you reach 9+ years. Then the admissions committee starts to wonder why you are even applying for an MBA.

Tuck Admissions Analysis Dartmouth MBA Acceptance Rate

All in all, my predicted chance of getting into Dartmouth is pretty decent at 53%. My chance is theoretically a little better than a flip of a coin. I know that very few people who don’t do a applicant initiated interview are invited to a Tuck interview. An admissions committee member told me that roughly 55% of applicants self-initiate interviews, and I am going to guess that only 5% of total applicants are invited. If this is correct, then the fact that I already interviewed means that I have a pretty good chance of getting in. On top of that, I had one recommender who wrote an amazing recommendation for me. I sent it to NYU, Wharton and Tuck. I was admitted to NYU and I have been interviewed at Wharton and am waiting for my final decision. I was rejected from every school that he didn’t recommend me at. I am hoping the trend continues that I get into every school that my super recommender submitted to.

For those of you who are still waiting for the Tuck admissions decision, I hope that this article is able to distract you for a little while while you wait for the decision tomorrow. I wish everyone the best of luck.

The data used to create this Tuck admissions analysis is from GMAT Club. I used the data from the class of 2014, 2015 and the first two rounds of the class of 2016.