How important is an applicant’s GMAT score and what advice do you have for applicants who struggled with this exam?
The GMAT score is one indicator and a useful one because every candidate takes it. But its only purpose is to evaluate how candidates might do in certain traditional courses. It doesn’t tell you how the applicant will work on a team, what level of emotional intelligence or drive they bring to the programs, what kind of ideas they can generate.
We are fortunate to have an applicant pool where almost everyone is extremely qualified, so it always pays to make every indicator as strong as you can, but the GMAT doesn’t weigh nearly as much as most applicants think.
What is Sloan’s policy regarding applicants who take the GMAT multiple times?
We will take the highest score.
What was the GMAT score range for admitted applicants this past year?
Eighty percent of our scores fall between 620 and 730 and our average GMAT score is 710.
Your fifth essay question requests information about an example of a situation when an applicant’s thinking was different from his or her colleagues or superiors. What types of examples does the admissions committee really like to see?
All kinds! We left it general on purpose — it’s not the difference that matters as much as your reaction to it … what did you think, feel and do then?
How important is the interview in the admissions process and what specific applicant traits are you using the interview to gauge? What types of questions should applicants expect to be asked?
The interview is very important — and we interview everyone we admit — and all are conducted by the admissions committee. We use it to flesh out the application and probe deeper into the behavior and motivations of the applicant. All interviewers will inquire about your past experiences, and will probe for the details of your process. You might be asked one question with a lot of follow-ups or several questions.
All interviews are done by admissions officers — i.e., full voting members of the admissions committee — although some of those committee members are alumni. We all train together and have a similar voice in the discussions.
Are these interviews conducted blind or is the applicant’s file reviewed beforehand?
We read the file beforehand and also the readers’ comments on that file; that way we can use our limited time to zero in on what we really need to learn.
Let’s talk about waitlists. How many applicants do you anticipate will end up on the waitlist for at least some part of the year?
Roughly 190 candidates were put on the waiting list this year. That number represents roughly 7% of our applicant pool.
How many of them will be eventually accepted off of the waitlist and what advice would you like to share with any waitlisted applicant who happens to read this interview transcript?
Depending on how many admitted applicants will accept our offer of admission this year, we may end up admitting less than 20% of our waitlist candidates.
How are re-applicants viewed by Sloan and what do they need to do to be successful the second time around?
There is no disadvantage to reapplying. Many applicants improve their application significantly through new experiences or greater effort put into explaining the same experiences