Recently, I talked about overcoming the challenge of a low GMAT quant score. Today we’ll discuss how to handle a less-than-perfect verbal GMAT score (in the bottom of the 80% range or lower for your target programs).
With such a strong emphasis on teamwork and communication in business school (and for the rest of your life as a successful businessperson), it’s no wonder that stellar written and spoken verbal skills are essential for MBA students.
Here are 3 things you can do if you’re worried that your low verbal score may interfere with your chances of acceptance:
1. Demonstrate the power of the written word
You must construct expressive, flawlessly written essays. Maybe you couldn’t prove your verbal abilities with your test performance, but now’s your final opportunity to put your best verbal foot forward. Be sure to include examples and anecdotes that highlight your solid communication skills, so that you don’t just have well-written MBA application essays, but content that speaks to your verbal strengths as well.
2. Boost your verbal skills resume
You can enroll in additional writing and/or communications courses at a local college (and earn A’s). This option is particularly important if you’ve received low grades in your college English courses in addition to scoring poorly on the GMAT. Public speaking clubs, debate teams, and other activities, roles, or events for which you’ve stepped up and proven your strong communication skills are all noteworthy items worth focusing on.
3. Reason with your recommenders
You can ask your recommenders to comment positively on your written and verbal communication skills. While it might be a bit embarrassing to admit to your low score, you need to be honest with your recommenders if you want them to go to bat for you in this area. Since it is not necessarily the most natural topic to discuss in a recommendation, you need to give them the context for why you are asking them to focus on this particular aspect of you. No example is too small to use – emails, for example.
Don’t run for the hills just yet! A low verbal GMAT score won’t banish you from b-school if you take strategic steps to build a rock-solid application, despite those pesky low numbers. And we can help.
Check out our MBA admissions consulting services and work one-on-one with an advisor who will help you identify your verbal strengths and show you how to communicate them effectively in your applications.
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