Insight on how schools are choosing to handle this sometimes-tricky number.
As the title of this newsletter highlights, its focus is to help you make Connections with GMAC as well as with professionals in graduate management education. Throughout this year, we will post various questions as we seek to learn and share insights from you and your colleagues. The most recent Question of the Month: What is your practice for calculating and converting international GPAs? was raised by a school seeking guidance from GMAC. During the last few months, the Americas team spoke with school professionals and conducted a brief survey to gather insights about how international GPAs are being calculated and converted in b-school admissions.
The survey had four available answers for respondents to select from as well as a free response option. The pre-populated answers included:
- We do not recalculate; we focus more on where the candidate completed their undergraduate studies and accept the candidate’s conversion of their GPA without verification.
- We (business school admissions) are familiar with the grading systems in various countries and have created our own formula for recalculating.
- We rely on our University’s office of International Programs to convert GPAs for us.
- We require candidates to use a 3rd party service, such as World Education Services (WES) to certify the transcript and provide the US GPA equivalent.
When evaluating the responses, we found that 37% stated that they require candidates to use a 3rd party service like World Education Service (WES) to certify the transcript and provide a US GPA equivalent. Only 16% shared that they are familiar with the grading systems in various countries and have created their own formula for recalculating GPAS. An additional 16% answered that they rely on their university’s office of International Programs to convert GPAs. 10% of respondents shared that they do not recalculate GPAs and focus more on where the candidate completed their undergraduate studies.
Rounding out the responses at 20% were those who shared that their institution has created their own policy when reviewing international GPAs. Those responses include the following:
- We submit all international transcripts to a 3rd party service on behalf of the candidates to certify the transcript/degree and provide the US GPA equivalent.
- We have a link to a GPA calculator on our application and the applicant can use it, but we are familiar with grading systems and check their calculations for accuracy.
- We do not recalculate, but we do use ACCRO EDGE data to learn about a country’s education and grading system.
- We do not recalculate. We assess the GPA within the context of the institution’s grading scale and we do not ask candidates to recalculate GPAs.
The learnings from this survey were insightful and we hope you find them valuable. If you have a question or desire insights from a broader group, please send your question to Kailin Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be considered for a future Question of the Month.