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If your numbers are below the 80% range, they warrant an acknowledgement and an explanation. Similarly, if extenuating circumstances caused the low numbers, those circumstances are an important part of your profile. The optional essay is often the place to make these statements. If you write the optional essay, make it short and straightforward. Provide a brief explanation, take responsibility, and focus on evidence of your talents that counters the impression made by the low stats. Also, explain (or, ideally, show through example and anecdote) that either you have dealt with the problem causing the poor grades, or the circumstances no longer apply.
The popular perception among MBA applicants is that a GMAT score of 700 is the magic number for acceptance into a top-ranked business school. Many applicants aren’t comfortable until they have the magical number of “7” in the hundreds digit of their score. However, you may be wondering if an even higher score – a 99th percentile score – will differentiate you from the other applicants to top MBA programs. Increasing your score from a 700 (94th percentile) to a 750 (99th percentile) may require additional study time of anywhere from 20-50 hours, and you may wonder if it’s worth it.