Evolution has no will. [Apologies to any Creationists out there, but just indulge us for a moment…]
If you think “the tornado” occurred because nature felt fat one day, and took its self-image issues out on humanity, it would… not sit quite right. If a train that was hurtling toward a defenseless child all of sudden ran out of gas moments before impact, sparing the child’s life… sure the parents of that child might thank nature, but I might get pissed that the train that killed MY child wasn’t so kind.
Take morality and will out of it for a second though, and understand that… stuff happens. Cells divide, asteroids crash into things, tornados… wreak havoc. Why? It can all be explained (a bit soullessly) by simple, clear, “scientific” explanations. Chemical, biological, physical THINGS line up to result in cause/effect moments in time.
Such should be the M.O. of an explanation of a bad grade or low GMAT score. Be soulless about it. Be scientific. Stuff happened that led to it, and here’s what that stuff is.
Let’s boil the “excuse” down to two types: Personal and Professional. Personal reasons: supporting a family, sick family member, being a new immigrant, etc. Professional reasons: holding a full time job while in school, lack of balance between job-related endeavor and coursework.
The last thing that the Adcom wants to read is a whiny set of long-winded excuses. So what’s the right way?
Confident. Candid. Concise.
Do not be apologetic, just… explain it. Don’t justify it, just explain it. Don’t try to spin it, just explain it. A clear, quick explanation ITSELF can earn you credibility, more so than your argumentation.
I screwed up. Here’s what happened. Not an excuse, that’s just what happened. Here’s proof that I learned from it.
Zip in, zip out.
Everyone has a bad grade, and lots of folks didn’t do so well on the GMAT. Don’t pretend that you are the coolest smartest person or the first-ever to have to work through college or support family. Just explain it coolly and crisply. This the one time you actually WANT to be a bit soulless. We’ll accept a destructive earthquake if we understand things like “fault lines.” Harder to swallow when Mother Earth tries to justify it.