Essentials of an Awesome MBA Application: GMAT

On the other hand, if you didn’t study adequately for the test the first time around, or were having a particularly stressful day, week, or month, then you may want to give retaking the test a shot.

Lastly, let’s address the misconception surrounding the extreme importance of the quant score and the lack of importance of the verbal score. It is grossly exaggerated. Top business schools want to make sure that you have strong math skills so that you’re able to succeed in high level statistics and economics courses, but having a solid ability to talk, read and write is still important and required. What adcoms real look for is a well-balanced score. Yes, international students may get a slight break when it comes to their verbal score, but in general, top schools use the 80th percentile as a guideline – not carved in concrete — for both verbal and quant scores.

To sum up: Your GMAT score is important, and if you score below the 80th percentile range, then you may need to retake the test or apply to less competitive MBA programs. BUT, your GMAT is not the end-all and be-all to MBA admissions. Even a high GMAT score needs to be supported with an equally strong application. And it goes without saying that if your scores are a little on the low side, then the rest of your application has to work that much harder to make up for it.

By Linda Abraham, CEO and founder of and co-author of the new book, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.  Linda has been helping MBA applicants gain acceptance to top MBA programs since 1994.

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