Harvard | Mr. Google Tech
GMAT 770, GPA 2.2
Kellogg | Mr. PE Social Impact
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.51
MIT Sloan | Mr. International Impact
GRE 326, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Energy Enthusiast
GMAT 730, GPA 8.39
Chicago Booth | Ms. Future CMO
GMAT Have Not Taken, GPA 2.99
Said Business School | Mr. Global Sales Guy
GMAT 630, GPA 3.5
N U Singapore | Mr. Just And Right
GMAT 700, GPA 4.0
Georgetown McDonough | Mr. International Youngster
GMAT 720, GPA 3.55
Columbia | Mr. Chartered Accountant
GMAT 730, GPA 2.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Controller & Critic
GMAT 750, GPA 6.61 / 7.00 (equivalent to 3.78 / 4.00)
Harvard | Mr. Spanish Army Officer
GMAT 710, GPA 3
Kellogg | Mr. Cancer Engineer
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Financial Analyst
GMAT 750, GPA 3.78
Kellogg | Mr. CPA To MBA
GMAT Waived, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Ms. Sustainable Finance
GMAT Not yet taken- 730 (expected), GPA 3.0 (Equivalent of UK’s 2.1)
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Healthcare Provider
GMAT COVID19 Exemption, GPA 3.68
Kellogg | Ms. MBA For Social Impact
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
MIT Sloan | Ms. International Technologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Art Historian
GRE 332, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Harvard Hopeful
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Yale | Mr. Philanthropy Chair
GMAT Awaiting Scores (expect 700-720), GPA 3.3
Columbia | Mr. Startup Musician
GRE Applying Without a Score, GPA First Class
Chicago Booth | Ms. Entrepreneur
GMAT 690, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. MGMT Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Future Family Legacy
GMAT Not Yet Taken (Expected 700-750), GPA 3.0
Wharton | Mr. Big 4
GMAT 770, GPA 8/10
Rice Jones | Mr. ToastMasters Treasurer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7

Timely Advice From The Guru Of The GMAT

The Guru of the GMAT has some important advice to offer MBA applicants: If you haven’t yet taken the exam but plan to do so, go and sit for it before the launch of the newly revised test in three months. Doing so, says Andrew Mitchell, Kaplan Test Prep’s director of pre-business programs, can mean the difference of scoring a 680 or a 710 with the same amount of prep time.

The Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT, is adding a half-hour “integrated reasoning” section to the test starting June 5th. The time to take the test will remain the same: three and one-half hours. To make room for the new section, GMAC is cutting the analytical writing portion of the test in half from one hour to half an hour. GMAC says it is changing the test because “today’s managers need to integrate data into meaningful information” and the new section measures your ability to work in a more data-driven world.

“To do well in an MBA program,” believes Mitchell, “you have to be a little bit of a poet and a quant. These new questions may reflect that more accurately than the total score on the GMAT.” He says the new section won’t make the test harder, per se. But generally test takers will have to spend more time preparing for the new test if they want to get the same score they would be able to achieve on the existing exam.

WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE THE TEST BEFORE THE NEW SECTION DEBUTS IN JUNE

“If you spend the same amount of time practicing for the test, you are therefore spending less time on quantitative and verbal practice, assuming you spend any time on integrated reasoning,” believes Mitchell. “So on average, you won’t do quite as well on your total score. This is true regardless of how you do on integrated reasoning.

“You could call this an arbitrage opportunity–because you have the opportunity to get a 710 with an amount of overall effort that will only get you 680 after the test change,” he adds in an interview with Poets&Quants. “One way to think about this is that you are buying your 710 with X amount of practice. The price is cheaper because to get a 710 on the new test will require that you study more. Someone who has 100 hours to prepare before June actually has a little advantage over someone with equal skill over someone who prepares after the test change.

“Is it a crushing advantage?,” asks Mitchell. “No. But it is a significant advantage if you have time to prepare before the test change. It’s also true that when June comes around it will be moot because no one will be able to exercise this option anymore.”

THE GMAT PREP COMPANIES AREN’T AS GOOD AS THEY WILL GET IN PREPARING PROSPECTIVE TEST TAKERS FOR INTEGRATED REASONING

Add to all this the fact that test scores tend to go down slightly when a change is introduced. “It might be the fact that there is always some uncertainty when the test changes,” believes Mitchell, “and it also takes us a little bit of time to truly perfect our own prep materials until we know more about the new questions on the test. It’s very true that we have to extrapolate and draw some inferences, which are not guaranteed to be correct about what we think the questions will be like.” Translation: It will take a little time before any GMAT prep firm can best prepare a test taker for the new section of the exam.

Mitchell is the grand Pooh-Bah of the GMAT at Kaplan, which has been preparing prospective MBA students for the three-and-one-half-hour test for more than 40 years and is acknowledged as the market leader among GMAT prep companies. Over the past few months, ever since attending a Test Prep Summit put on by the Graduate Management Admission Council last September, he pulled together a team of more than 100 experts in text design, psychometricians and computer types to bone up for the changes in the test. The work of that team will come out in changes to Kaplan books, prep courses and online efforts. On Friday (March 2), the firm launched its update to the GMAT prep courses to help prepare test takers for the change.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.