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Can a 715 GMAT (98.5%) compensate for non-target school background at Tier 2 consulting firms?

MBB Mentorship
New answer on Apr 04, 2024
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 03, 2024

Hi PrepLounge mentors,

I'm applying to Tier 2 consulting firms (LEK, OC&C, Roland Berger, etc.) but worried my non-target undergrad school puts me at a disadvantage.

However, I recently scored 715 (98.5 percentile) on the GMAT Focus Edition. Can a GMAT score in this range improve my chances of getting interviews at these firms, despite not coming from an Ivy League or similar target school?

Has a 98th percentile GMAT score ever made you reconsider a candidate you would have otherwise overlooked due to their university? Or is undergrad prestige the key factor regardless of test scores?

Any insights from mentors with Tier 2 firm recruiting experience would be appreciated! Trying to gauge how much my GMAT can help my candidacy.

Thanks

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 03, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

The reality is that few recruiters pay so much attention to the GMAT. 

Or better said, they pay attention to so many other things that you can control for. 

Candidates spend a lot of time and effort trying to get amazing grades in the GMAT but then don't manage to pull together a well-written CV. About 2-4% of the CVs I see are actually ready to be sent out. Often CVs with good experiences get rejected because they are badly written. 

So in that sense, a high GMAT score can compensate for a non-target school, but so can an amazingly well written CV and CL, and referrals, and a proper application strategy, and networking, etc.

Sharing a few materials that might help:

Best,
Cristian

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Udayan
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Apr 03, 2024
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Congratulations on your GMAT score, it takes a lot of effort to get a high score and you should definitely take time to celebrate!

While having a high GMAT is a good thing for getting into a top MBA program, unfortunately it does not change much in terms of ‘offsetting’ going to a non target school. Things that can help you the most are networking and showing genuine curiosity and drive ; having stellar academic achievements (e.g., a GPA of 3.8 or above) ; having great non academic achievements and going to as many career events as possible.

All the best with your recruiting efforts,

Udayan

(edited)

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Ian
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Apr 04, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

I've looked at the data.

I ran an extensive data analytics projects collecting hundreds of students records across dozens of variables to determine what matters for GETTING an interview and PASSING an interview

Short answer based on data: GPA matters. GMAT matters.

Many other factors matter….i.e. yes higher GMAT is directly correlated to higher chances, all else equal.

Based on my regression analysis (through JMP supported by Tableau), I had an 80% prediction accuracy in determining if someone would be invited to interview :)

(edited)

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Apr 04, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

Yes, it does matter.

Yes, consultants care about GMAT.

The large majority of consultants did an MBA. They understand what a good GMAT is and what it tells about analytical power (and ability to learn). As such, if you have a particularly high GMAT they will regard you as a higher candidate potential.

It's not as valuable as being a top student at a top school of having worked for a great company. But it is useful information and, most importantly, an indicator of excellence. You need indicators of excellence in order to improve your chances of getting an interview - this is a good possibility.

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 04, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Can a GMAT score in this range improve my chances of getting interviews at these firms, despite not coming from an Ivy League or similar target school?

A good GMAT score will improve your CV but there are no guarantees it will lead to an invitation as there are multiple factors that will influence it. You can find some tips on how to improve your profile below:

How to Get a Consulting Interview Invitation

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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