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Is the GMAT Actually Important for Business School?

By BlogMgmt On Jun 28, 2018 In  General GMAT MBA Advice & Tips 


If you are hoping to get into business school, you will most likely be pouring hours of your time into studying for the GMAT exam. At some point, you will probably find yourself asking if all the work and stress is worthwhile. Could the test be that important for business school? The short answer is yes, it definitely is. But as with most answers, it’s more nuanced than that. Let’s explore the role of the GMAT in the business school application process and beyond.

The Role of the GMAT in Admissions

According to the GMAC’s Application Trends Survey from 2016, the GMAT holds considerable weight in the admissions process. In fact, for typical two-year programs, test scores came second only to the admissions interview, and even then by only one percentage point. In fact, the GMAT is frequently a deciding factor in whether an application advances to the interview round at all, making it a make-or-break element of your application.

The Role of the GMAT in Business School

So, knowing that an impressive GMAT score is essential to your business school application, you may be wondering if it also matters once you get in. Obviously, your professors won’t know your score, but could a higher GMAT score translate into success in business school? While it’s true that you will rarely use the exact skills you perform on the GMAT in the business school classroom, there may be more applications than you expect. The skills that the GMAT actually tests are life skills that translate into numerous scenarios both in the classroom and in the real world of business.

Truthfully, the GMAT isn’t intended to quiz you on high school math, grammar, and writing skills. Instead, it is designed to measure your ability to evaluate and analyze data, use your time wisely, and make informed arguments. At the same time, the exam is a type of gateway. Not just anyone will spend months preparing for an exam of this magnitude. Simply by showing up and making a good effort, you show a good work ethic and ability to persevere. All of these skills are necessary to succeed in business school, and afterward in a career. There are plenty of other essential skills, like leadership and emotional intelligence, which is why applications require more than your test scores. But ultimately, the GMAT is an excellent tool to tell the application panel about you and your potential.

What You Should Do

Now that you know that the GMAT is no joke, it’s time to buckle down and get studying. In reality, the GMAT is a hoop to jump through. Yes, studying will give you skills that you will use later, but realistically you are aiming for the score that will get you where you want to be. And if your scores aren’t what you hope for, take heart! There are plenty of tools to get you where you want to be.

The GMAT is a tool, and it is a good one. The GMAC is in regular communication with business schools around the world. They work to keep the exam relevant and meaningful for business school hopefuls and their future educators. We see that in the changes they have made to the exam recently. If you want to learn the skills that the GMAT and business school require in an accessible and proven way, check out our GMAT prep course. It’s guaranteed to get you where you need to be.

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