Top Business Schools That Are Now Waiving GMAT/GRE Tests

The GMAT serves as the initial stride in your MBA journey. Accepted by over 7000 business and management programs worldwide, it stands as the favored test for MBA admissions by the world’s top business schools. The GMAT score for MBA allows you to demonstrate your analytical and quantitative aptitude, which are the essential skills to thrive in the MBA classroom and pursue careers in demanding fields like finance, consulting, and tech.

As an MBA aspirant, you’ve probably come across some questions:

This article will address all of your concerns regarding low GMAT scores and guide you through the process. So, stay tuned with us.

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR GMAT FOR MBA APPLICATION?

The GMAT is one of those examinations that will have a long-term impact on your professional life. Not just business schools but companies recruiting from these schools will also assess your GMAT score for MBA to evaluate your overall competency for the jobs.

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Here are a few key points that highlight the importance of GMAT score for MBA applications:

  • The GMAT score for MBA is relied upon by business schools to inform admission decisions. It plays a crucial role in setting you apart during the admission process, enabling you to build a compelling case for your academic prowess.
  • The GMAT score for MBA represents the most up-to-date assessment of your academic potential in your application process.
  • A robust GMAT score for MBA can act as compensation for a less-than-ideal GPA or attendance at a lower-tier undergraduate institute. Conversely, if your GMAT score is on the lower side, the school must find convincing evidence of your academic capabilities and professional excellence to consider your admission.

WHAT’S A GOOD GMAT SCORE?

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A strong GMAT score not only aids in showcasing your academic potential but also holds significance beyond the application process. However, determining what qualifies as a good GMAT score is subjective. Typically, you can refer to the average GMAT score of your target school to gauge what might be considered a good GMAT score for you.

WHAT DOES A LOW GMAT SCORE MEAN?

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WHAT IS THE LOWEST ACCEPTABLE GMAT SCORE?

Regarding the GMAT score for MBA, the lowest possible GMAT score is 200, and the highest possible GMAT score for MBA is 800. Most business colleges do not have a minimum cut-off for GMAT score for MBA. If you want to determine the competence of a GMAT score for MBA, look at the average GMAT score for MBA of your target school or the score range of its middle 80% of the class. As a result, if your score falls below this range, you are considered to have a low GMAT score.

EXAMPLE OF A LOW GMAT SCORE:

For a deeper understanding of the implications of a low GMAT score, consider this example: The middle 80% range of GMAT scores for INSEAD MBA is 670-750. Likewise, for MIT SLOAN, the middle 80% score range of GMAT scores is 690-760. Therefore, examining the class profiles of various schools allows you to ascertain the average GMAT score for MBA and the middle 80% range of their respective classes.

However, if your GMAT score for MBA is lower than what you expected or a low GMAT score than the school’s average, it can be discouraging, but obsessing over the low GMAT score will not make it better. Many people with low GMAT scores aren’t sure if they can apply to their target business schools. To be honest, even after a lot of head-scratching, you will fail to find an answer to this question about your low GMAT score!

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FOR A LOW GMAT SCORE, YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS MAINLY:

Option 1: If you feel you want to increase the number of opportunities of B-school applications after a low GMAT score, Retake the GMAT exam until you reach your targeted score

Option 2:  If you don’t want to reapply after a low GMAT score, Work on each aspect of your business school application very carefully and apply with the same low GMAT score.

If you choose option 1, we wish you the best of luck, and if you select option 2, grab a pen and paper and start making notes on how you can overcome your low GMAT score and let us help you become a case of low GMAT score success stories! 😉

HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY A LOW GMAT SCORE?

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Don’t think about yourself as a number or define your worth based on your low GMAT score, and you are much more than your GMAT score for MBA. And no matter how cliche it sounds, the GMAT score for MBA is only one component of your entire application.

The admission committee considers every part and detail of the application during the application review process. Business schools are not looking for all 780s as GMAT scores for MBA. They need people who can bring different ideas and perspectives to their classes, are employable to top companies, and significantly contribute to their classes.

So thinking about your low GMAT score from this angle will help you put together your entire application as a whole instead of worrying about your low GMAT score.

However, you could do a couple of things to justify your low GMAT score.

THESE ARE FIVE KEY POINTS THAT WILL HELP YOU BALANCE YOUR LOW GMAT SCORE.

1) LOR’S: YOU SHOULD DEDICATE AT LEAST 10% OF YOUR TOTAL PREPARATION TIME WORKING ON YOUR RECOMMENDATION LETTERS TO UPGRADE YOUR PROFILE DESPITE A LOW GMAT SCORE. 

  • Firstly, remember that various programs may have distinct requirements for recommendation letters, so be sure to review the admissions section for your application. This could be a crucial factor in excelling in your application, especially after a low GMAT score.
  • The admissions committee seeks a recommender who has collaborated with you, knows you personally, and can recount real-life stories and anecdotes that provide substantial insights into your personality. This approach goes beyond relying solely on your low GMAT score to gauge your potential.
  •  Your LORs must provide admission officers with helpful information about you, your experience, accomplishments, contributions, and talents to paint a favorable image of you to consider your application despite the low GMAT score.
  • LORs from non-profit organizations with which you have collaborated can be instrumental in offsetting a low GMAT score. Generally, universities extend opportunities to applicants with low GMAT scores, particularly when supported by LORs from non-profit organizations. This demonstrates qualities such as social contribution, leadership, and empathy—attributes highly valued by universities, often carrying more weight than a low GMAT score.

2) SOLID RESUME TO ACE YOUR ADMISSION DESPITE A LOW GMAT SCORE:

Aside from your recommendations and low GMAT score, the quality of your work serves as a testament to your flourishing and illustrious career. Your resume is the ideal platform to showcase achievements such as promotions, international experience, and leadership, all of which speak louder than a low GMAT score.

Are you wondering how you justify a low GMAT score? This is how!

Recall the moments when you held a leadership role, steering a team of ten or more to success in your team’s most significant project and overseeing its successful completion. Highlighting such impactful experiences in your resume can effectively mitigate the impact of a low GMAT score. Delve into instances where you proactively organized knowledge management sessions or assumed additional responsibilities beyond your primary role. Trust us, every effort contributes to diverting attention from your low GMAT score. Your resume is the canvas for narrating your professional story and showcasing your most remarkable achievements.

3) ESSAYS: HOW TO EXPLAIN A LOW GMAT SCORE IN YOUR ESSAYS?

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The key to focusing away from a low GMAT score here is to emphasize your distinctive personality and life experiences. It aims to demonstrate who you are as an individual rather than giving yourself a tag of your GMAT score. 

Consider yourself a product, and write down all of your USPs. Introspect over questions such as;

  • Where are you in your career right now?
  • Where do you want to go? 
  • Do you need an MBA to reach there? 
  • How can the school assist you in getting there?
  •  Why have you picked this school at this point in your academic and professional career? 
  • Why do you think you are more than your low GMAT score?

TWO TIPS FOR CONCEALING YOUR LOW GMAT SCORE – 

  • First, Convey what you are passionate about as the admission committee is keen to know what excites you and why they should accept you as an engaging, dynamic, vital person to their program. Concentrate on the particular role you aspire to undertake, maintaining realism in your goals if feasible, and candidly addressing your low GMAT score. It is crucial to genuinely persuade the admissions committee, portraying a clear understanding of the program despite the low GMAT score. Illustrate how you can enhance your peers’ learning experiences in ways beyond their imagination.
  • Second, if any of your schools offer an optional essay allowing additional information, seize this chance to thoroughly address your low GMAT score. Ultimately, assure the admission committee that your low GMAT score is not indicative of your fundamental academic skills.

    How do you explain the low GMAT in an optional essay? First, briefly describe the steps you took to prepare for the GMAT exam, as well as any obstacles that prevented you from having more time to study for the GMAT. Then, to strengthen your candidacy and showcase your capabilities, draw their attention to the supplementary coursework you have done. Supplemental coursework will help overshadow your low GMAT score.

4) INTERVIEW; HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR LOW GMAT SCORES?

If you’ve received an invitation for an interview, you’re on the verge of success! This signals an opportunity to shift focus away from your low GMAT score and make a lasting impression on the admissions committee (adcoms) members. This is your moment to shine, where you realize your worth goes beyond your low GMAT score. During the interview, the panel members are eager to learn about you—your aspirations, goals, why you want to pursue an MBA, and various topics unrelated to your GMAT score. Therefore, present your best self on this day. Instead of worrying about your low GMAT score, embrace the fact that the adcoms have moved past it by inviting you for an interview, indicating their interest in knowing more about you.

5) SUPPLEMENT COURSE WORK FOR A LOW GMAT SCORE APPLICANT:

The GMAT score for MBA serves as a reliable indicator of your academic skills and ability to thrive in the MBA course. Consider undertaking and excelling in additional coursework, particularly in subjects like statistics, economics, calculus, or accounting. This effort showcases your capacity to navigate the quantitative rigor of business school, mitigating the impact of a low GMAT score. There are alternative strategies to offset a low GMAT score and demonstrate these capabilities, including maintaining a high undergraduate GPA or completing online/offline courses demanding a high level of quantitative competency. Possessing a postgraduate degree (e.g., MS, M Tech, etc.) or having completed undergraduate/postgraduate studies at an international university can significantly enhance your profile, diverting attention from your low GMAT score.

LOW GMAT SCORE SUCCESS STORIES- JOURNEY TO ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

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FINAL TAKEAWAY

The GMAT score for MBA constitutes just one aspect of the application. For example, a low GMAT score can be offset by strong performance in academic coursework, substantial work experience and progression, and other factors like extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and cultural fit. These additional qualities provide a competitive advantage, allowing you to excel in the application process despite a low GMAT score.

Now that you have insights on overcoming a low GMAT score, it’s time to embark on crafting your application. If you require assistance with brainstorming your storyline, personalizing impactful essays, highlighting achievements on your resume, or addressing questions about the low GMAT score, we are here to support you. Stop hesitating and apply to your dream schools because you are truly much more than your GMAT score!

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