Posts Tagged 'GRE'

Admissions decisions = a branch of holism

We are often asked about statistics that describe the current MLHR class. We have calculated the statistics that represent the 2013 Fisher MLHR class. Click here for the class profile statistics.

Please know that this data is aggregated – it is a summary of over 40 students currently enrolled in the program. No single applicant looks the same. The admissions committee looks at everything in each applicant’s file – no one will be denied or admitted on a single criterion (e.g. GMAT/GRE, GPA, etc.). A high GMAT or GRE does not guarantee admission nor will a “low” GMAT or GRE necessarily prevent someone from being admitted into the program. The same is true for GPA. The admissions committee looks at everything – in other words, the committee is most concerned how your credentials (references, essays, transcripts, GMAT/GRE, resume), taken together, present a complete picture of you as a potential student in this program. We are not concerned so much with the individual components – individual components, by themselves, are not indicative of an applicant’s strengths. We are more concerned with how all of these individual components, taken together, comprise a complete picture of the applicant.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts


If you’re applying to MLHR and are taking (or took) the new format GRE …

We have gotten several emails from MLHR applicants – they have taken the new format GRE and are unable to self report their scores. The online application (accessible here) allows only the “old format” scores to be self reported. If this applies to you OR you haven’t taken the GRE yet but will do so in the near future, you want to continue reading this blog post.

If you took the GRE in July 2011 or earlier, you are able to self report your scores.

If you took (or will take) the GRE in or after August 2011, the system will not allow you to self report your scores. (This is because the scoring scale changed significantly with the new format GRE.) If you’re in this category, please do the following:

After you open up your online application

  1. Click on Test Score Information in the left column
  2. You will see a small drag-down menu right above “GRE Test Scores.” Click on “Intend to Take.”
  3. Insert the date you took the GRE. Do not insert your scores in the other fields shown.

This will allow you to let us know you have already taken the GRE and to look for your scores in the system.

If you are submitting your application before taking the GRE (and may not know the exact date you’ll take it), insert the first day of the month and year you will likely take it. For example, if you will probably take the GRE in January 2012, insert “01/01/2012″ in the date field.

Follow the directions listed here to self report your "new" format GRE scores

GPA and test scores as viewed during admissions (application) review


Ohio State Numbers Garden located near Central Classrooms on Ohio State's Columbus campus

Fisher MLHR receives a lot of e-mails this time of year. We are very appreciative of the interest! We try to reply to all emails within one business day – but because of the volume (especially this time of year), it may be a few days before we reply. We appreciate your patience.

There seems to be two things of which most of you are concerned:

1) Some prospective applicants are very apprehensive about their GRE or GMAT scores.

Many of you write to us and ask about whether or not your test score is competitive for the program. As we address in our FAQ, the admissions committee looks at *every*thing in your file when assessing your admissibility. The GRE/GMAT, in and of itself, will not cause you to be denied What does this mean? I can tell you what this doesn’t mean … it does not mean that if you score below the program average, that you will be denied. It is a general guideline that we suggest, not a hard cut-off point.

Again, if submit GRE or GMAT scores below the current program average, this does not mean that just because you are below the average, that you will not get into the program. I blame elementary school teachers for this issue. In elementary school world, “average,” as a concept, is a baseline minimum. If you were “below average,” you were considered to be doing less than “well.” I pity students who fear they have no chance of getting into a program because they are below the “average.”

Remember what “average” really means in the real world. If you dust off your fifth grade math book, you will see that an average (or “mean”) is (X1+X2+…+Xn)/n. Unless every student in the current MLHR class scored exactly the current average, then you have to assume that some students scored above and others scored below the average. So, yes, some applicants who scored below the average did receive offers of admission. Instead of focusing on the average, look at the range of scores. At Fisher, we tell students the average score and we also inform them of the middle 80% range. Click here for insights on the range of GRE scores currently represented in the program. (We do not report GMAT scores since the vast majority of MLHR applicants submit GRE scores. Any data we would report for GMAT would be meaningless since the sample size is too small.)

On the other hand, do not assume that just because you are above the current class average that you will be offered admission. Many students have written to us and tell us they have scores well over the average and they sound pretty confident that they will enter the class. Test scores aren’t everything. In this program, it’s not all about numbers. Remember – the admissions committee looks at *every*thing to assess “fit” and potential for success in this program.

2) Most of you are fixated on the letters, ‘G-P-A’. “What’s the minimum GPA required for the program?” “If I have a 3.5, I can get into the MLHR, right?”

The above questions are a few examples of what we receive in our inbox. They want to know if they are competitive for the program. The MLHR program recommends that students have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered minimally competitive. Sound familiar? The 3.0 minimum is a policy set by The Ohio State University’s Graduate School. You’re below the 3.0 minimum? In rare cases, if the program is interested in a candidate, the program can petition the Graduate School to admit the student. You as the applicant CANNOT request this petition, but later on I will tell you how you can improve your chances of getting a petition request. (NOTE: This is not a guarantee.)

Your GPA is above 3.0, but below the average GPA (currently 3.3/3.4) … look at the paragraph about the average GMAT. Same rules will apply.

One thing about GPA that is worth mentioning is that (at least at Fisher) admissions committees will look at trends in grades earned. What does this mean? For more detailed information, please refer to a blog post written about a year ago called, “The Minimum.” The admissions committee will look at your overall academic performance. Someone with a 3.1 who started out poorly, but ended up getting really good grades at the end will likely be more impressive (all else being equal) compared to someone with the same GPA who started out performing fantastically, but ended up not doing well at the end of his/her academic career. Or maybe the applicant started out in one major, did not do so well and then changed majors and GPA increased as a result. There are a lot of different scenarios and, yes, each case is different, but remember that you can explain yourself via your essays.

This last point, explaining your situation, brings us to the ending message: the GRE or GMAT, your GPA, etc are not the ONLY thing that matter in Fisher’s graduate student selection for admissions. Don’t get the wrong idea: grades and test scores are important, but the point is that there are other factors that also play into your application review. You are not a “number;” we look at your application in its entirety.

You ask, “What can I do to stand out?” Honestly, think less quantitatively and more qualitatively. Your grades are not going to change drastically at this point. You may choose to re-take the GRE or GMAT; this is a personal decision and the admissions committee won’t make that determination for you. If you believe you can do better, go for it. (The admissions committee does not average scores – it will use the highest scores you submit if you submit more than one set of scores.) You can control your essays; use the essay as a tool to really show case who you are. Use essay #1 on the application to explain your GPA and/or to tell us what you’ve done in your life so far. Here is a chance for you to tell us that you are not just a GRE or GMAT, but a person who will do well in HR and in the Fisher MLHR program.

The important take-away is that we cannot evaluate you by looking just at your GRE/GMAT scores and/or GPA. There is a lot more to an MLHR student than just numbers. The only way Fisher MLHR admissions can tell you whether or not you can join the program is for you to submit a COMPLETE application. Why are you still waiting? Apply today.



New version of GRE coming in August 2011

The GRE is changing - are you ready?

With proper planning, you'll be ready for changes to the GRE

ETS, administrator for the Graduate Record Examination (aka GRE), has been working on revising the GRE for the past few years. The form of the exam will change significantly; the changes include but are not limited to how it’s administered, the scoring scale, etc. I recently attended an information session at the Ohio State University Graduate School where a representative from ETS walked us through some of the changes.

  • The current form of the GRE will exist through the end of July 2011.
    • If you wish to take the GRE in its current form, you must take it by July 30, 2011
  • The new form of the GRE will be administered starting in August 2011.
    • If you take the GRE between August 1 and September 30, 2011, you will receive a 50% discount on your GRE registration fee.
    • Tests taken in August through Oct will not have scores released until mid November at the earliest.

IMPORTANT: If you wish to have your GRE scores prior to November 2011, you must take the GRE on or prior to July 30, 2011.

For more information on the changes to the GRE, please click here.

For more information on the Fisher MLHR application requirements (including but not limited to the GRE), please click here.

Not happy with your GMAT or GRE scores? Here is some advice.

You are preparing your application to the MLHR program.  You completed the online application, wrote, rewrote and finalized your essays, secured your letters of recommendation, updated your resume and requested your transcripts to be sent.  The last item on the checklist is every MLHR  applicant’s favorite four- (or three-) letter word … the GMAT (or GRE).  You took the GMAT/GRE, thinking you were going to ace it after all of those hours of intense preparation.  You finished the exam, agreed to view your scores and … oh, MAN, you have got to be kidding me?!  THAT is my score?

Sound familiar?

If this sounds like you and you are planning to apply by the next deadline, you have a couple of choices:

1) Apply as planned and wait to hear from the Admissions Committee regarding next steps in the admissions process – maybe your score isn’t as high as you had hoped, but maybe it isn’t that bad after all.

2) Apply as planned, but indicate to the Admissions Committee that you plan to retake the test on a future date and request that a decision is not made on your application until we receive your new test scores.

A few points to remember:

  • The Admissions Committee will review all of the application materials carefully.  The GMAT/GRE is important, but it is just one part of the application.
  • The GMAT/GRE was designed to help business schools determine your potential to succeed academically in Fisher MLHR classes.  It is possible that you have enough other evidence in your application of strong academic potential and the GMAT/GRE may be relatively less important.
  • Be self aware – look at our current class profile.  Are your qualifications consistent with those of other students in our program?  Manage your expectations.
  • You’ll need to be honest with yourself as to whether you will do anything differently the second time you take the test. Will you study differently? Approach it differently? We only recommend that you retake the test if the circumstances around the test day were not ideal or if you have some reason to believe that you did not perform to your maximum potential.
  • If you do plan to retake, give yourself plenty of time.  We recommend about 6-8 weeks of preparation – don’t rush into it before you are ready!

Good luck!!

Submit your application before taking the GRE or GMAT? Answer is …

The Fisher MLHR program accepts either the GRE or GMAT as part of a complete application. A question we often get is “Does the program prefer one or the other?” The honest answer is “no.” Either test is valid and acceptable for the Fisher MLHR program.

A related question that is not asked often but, based on personal experience, is something people think they know the answer to –> “Can I submit my application before taking the GRE or GMAT?” Most prospective students we talk to are of the opinion that they need to take either the GRE or GMAT before they submit their applications. This is incorrect - rather, it is very acceptable to submit your application before you take either the GRE or GMAT. In fact, I always recommend that applicants submit their applications in advance of taking the GMAT or GRE if everything in his/her application is “ready to go” prior to taking the GRE or GMAT. If an applicant has lined up his/her references, written his/her essays, and ordered his/her transcripts several weeks before s/he is scheduled to take the GMAT or GRE, why wait to submit those materials? In fact, in a strange way, submitting your materials prior to taking the GRE or GMAT will help speed up the application processing a bit. If we have everything we need for your application except for your test scores, it is quite simple for us to update your existing application once your test scores arrive in our office.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Here’s your checklist for applying

When you are preparing your application for the Fisher Master of Labor & Human Resources  program, please refer to the checklist of required items. Remember that the admissions committee will only review complete applications.

Here are some additional tips:


It is very OK for you to submit your application prior to taking the GRE or GMAT. Just be sure you take the GRE or GMAT by the end of December 2010 to meet most “early” deadlines.


We need two official transcripts from each and every university you have attended. Even if you just took a single class at a local community college, we will need two official transcripts from that community college. Be sure to send them to the correct address:

Fisher College of Business
100 Gerlach Hall
2108 Neil Ave
Columbus OH 43210-1144

Note: You are NOT required to submit transcripts for any grades you earned at Ohio State University.


I plan on writing another blog post on issues involving the TOEFL but if you are required to submit the TOEFL as part of a complete application, be sure you use the correct institution code for Ohio State University (1592) and that you allow PLENTY of time for the scores to get to us. The TOEFL is regularly the one item that seems to take forever to get to us – if you need to submit the TOEFL, it is your responsibility to ensure the test administrator (ETS) sends us your official TOEFL scores.


Your references can be sent to us electronically or via paper. (Additional instructions are in the application on the difference between the two formats.) Note that we will receive your references sooner if you choose electronic. Just be sure to give your recommenders plenty of time to write your references!


Give yourself enough time to write essays that really reflect you. Do not write generic, plain vanilla essays. Answer the questions that are posed to you in this application. Do not recycle essay responses you are using for any other applications.

We will be posting additional tips for each of the items referenced above throughout the next few months so keep an eye on this blog for updates.

If you have any questions, please let us know!