Strong academic potential is part of the profile of every student admitted to UCLA Anderson. Sometimes this potential is shown more by the undergraduate record than by the GMAT score, or vice versa. No matter what, we are looking for people with a balance of academic and managerial potential, in order to admit those with the best raw material to be successful in the MBA program and in their careers.
There is no formula for our GMAT evaluation. We just consider the test score you self-report on your application and compare it to other applicants' (which is why we prefer using the GMAT instead of the GRE so we have a global basis for comparison). Both the verbal and the quantitative scores are important, as is the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score, and we are just starting to look at the Integrated Reasoning (IR) scores too. There are no minimum scores for admission -- naturally, the higher the score the more competitive the application -- and we use our flexibility in admissions to look at the applicant's whole picture rather than just focusing on tests.
Undergraduate transcripts are another good way to show the academic potential needed to succeed in our demanding MBA program. We always evaluate transcripts in their own context, taking into account the rigor of the school and the courseload, along with grade trends. It is a good sign if your grades got better over time as you learned study methods and got deeper into classes for your major. In general we try to give applicants the benefit of the doubt, so a few lower grades can be offset by higher ones in our consideration. Graduate coursework can also help boost a candidate's academic profile, as can additional classes taken post-undergrad. MBA-type courses such as accounting, statistics or economics are usually the best ones to show good preparation -- but nothing is required, since we always want to admit a diversity of academic backgrounds.
Please note that we never convert grades to a 4.0 scale, instead we examine transcripts according to the grading scale for that school. We know the grading systems and relative rigor of schools around the world, so we understand the context for each applicant's performance.
Even beyond our thorough academic evaluation, there is so much more in every applicant profile for us to consider. Leadership, career progression, future focus, interpersonal skills, communication abilities -- everything is important as seen in our application requirements. So even if academics are not your strongest point there is plenty of room to shine on other metrics. Not everybody can be an academic star in the class, so we just try to be sure that all admits can handle the MBA coursework here, and that they are ready to help others learn and grow in this stimulating intellectual, professional and collaborative environment.