Importance of GMAT score for MBA

GMAT is a well known examination among candidates seeking MBA abroad at any point of their career. To give a brief introduction about the Graduate Management Admission Test, aka, GMAT, it is an entrance exam required for admissions in business programs globally. There are four sections, Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal, all of which carry the foremost motive of assessing your critical thinking skills, analytical skills and problem-solving, all these you will be using during your MBA course.

The nature of the test itself pretty much explains the importance of this exam while enrolling students and that is why one of the most debatable questions comes across the minds of all stakeholders as to how much importance should be attributed to it by the business schools. A recent survey by Poets&Quants of world’s leading consultant firms reveals that some of the leading business schools, like, Wharton, Yale and Columbia, are giving much more importance to GMAT than ever in their admission process, and a growing number of B-schools are joining the queue. This trend can be attributed largely to the reason that GMAT score is factored in while calculating some of the most influential rankings. Also looking from a layman’s point of view, the GMAT score does give indications about some of the most essential qualities a business school considers and so why not give it more weightage when it also is a very objective indicator?

Thus, there is no denying the fact that GMAT is a very essential factor in the admission process and so now the debate narrows down to how essential it is. As the survey reports, the consultants estimate that GMAT score accounts for more than a fifth of the weight and instead it should account for not more than 16% but again, a very subjective analysis. The degree of importance attributed to GMAT in the admission process depends on school to school and applicant to applicant. Where a school, like

SAID (Oxford), has its own assessment procedure to test your analytical skills would give less importance to GMAT since both more or less serve a common purpose, another school considers it the most important criterion. 

The Perfect GMAT score

What score can we call perfect? What score would definitely get you in? Honestly, there is no answer to it. Most of the b-schools do not specify any minimum score and have a very “holistic” application process but then if you score 30-40 or more points less than the average GMAT of a school, you have to work very hard on other aspects or you are out. And the fact remains the same for all Adcoms. 

What should I do if I have a lower GMAT score?

As the application process for each school differs from the other, there is no universal score that can be considered appropriate. But the general trend is, for top 10, above 700 and for another top 50 it may oscillate between 680 to 700 above. If you are scoring lower than this, then two options may lie in front of you, one,retake GMAT and two, focus very hard on other parts of the application process. As the Poets&Quants’ survey suggested, the other important criteria that comes into play are essays, interviews, undergraduate GPAs, recommendation letters. Here if you are having a very low score, with respect to the schools you target, you mustretake the GMAT. But if you deem the other parts fit to compensate for a low score then go ahead, focus on putting good stories on the table and ace the game! 

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