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.