Why You Shouldn’t Sweat The GMAT


I remember when I first made the decision to apply to MBA programs; there was that looming fear of studying for and taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Sure there was the option to apply to programs that did not require the GMAT, but I did not want to limit my options needlessly. On the other hand, there seemed to be a lot of people out there  stressing out about scoring well on the GMAT – especially with the growing numbers of applicants to MBA programs across the board.

However after visiting and talking to schools and programs, it seemed that admission to B-School depended upon more than just a GMAT score…even when it was required as part of the admission process. Also, unless you are applying to one of the top 50 MBA programs, the admission rate to your desired program will most likely be > 40%. Admission to anything becomes a game of measuring you up against your competition. So it helps to see the class profile of the MBA program that you are interested in. These figures along with your program’s minimum MBA admission requirements will give you an idea of whether or not you have a decent chance of getting accepted.

So ultimately, the GMAT is simply a tool to help you gain admission to your desired MBA program; nothing more…nothing less! MBA applicants will go on and on about GMAT prep courses and tip and tricks to get a score in the 700-range. But guess what? Once you’re in your MBA program, no one cares about your GMAT score. Also, at $250 a sitting, re-taking the test more than twice is just foolish.

While the GMAT is a pretty common admission requirement for many MBA programs, there are some very good schools who are re-thinking its overall weight in regards to admission. I myself took the GMAT once, with no study or preparation, and scored a 560. This score was totally fine for all of the programs that I applied to. And in the end, that is all that really mattered.

Real estate professional with an MBA in Marketing ~ writer and multiculturalist.
  • That’s some great information for when I finally get to the point of entering a masters program. It’s good to know that it’s not the ONLY criteria for entering an advanced education program!

    • That’s correct Karen it’s not. However it’s weight does vary depending on the school and program. The best bet is to try to get some information of the qualifications of the previous class; in addition to the school’s minimum requirements of course! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Best of luck to you in your own efforts towards personal development.

  • John McCullough

    I earned my grad degree more than I few years after my bachelors. I found that having several years of ‘real world’ experience under my belt made grad school a walk in the park. My thinking at the time was if I have already proved I can handle the responsibilities of my chosen profession, I could easily handle the rigors of grad school. That thinking really helped me get through it (..and let’s not talk about integrating grad school into your life along with spousal and parental responsibilities 🙂 )

    • Great point John! You’re absolutely right, graduate studies after you’ve had some professional work experience under your belt are seen in a new light (as compared to being an undergraduate with no real work experience). I think this is why many graduate programs require an essay outlining your professional goals and also take this into consideration in the admission decision. Some programs even require interviews — which are also not as frightening to those of us who have vied for jobs. Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

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