When GMAT scores go up, it’s often because the school is probably handing out increased amounts of scholarship aid to get the best students. When GMAT scores go down, it’s often because a school is falling behind its rivals, lacks leadership focus, and is in decline.
PURDUE’S KRANNERT SCHOOL HAS SEEN THE BIGGEST DECLINE IN GMAT SCORES IN TOP 50
The single biggest signs of trouble–based on GMAT score declines in the past five years–show up at Purdue University’s Krannert School, which has suffered a 36-point plunge in average scores, the highest of any Top 50 business school. Wake Forest University’s Babcock School has had a 26-point drop, while UC-Irvine’s Merage School has reported a 21-point decline.
It may not be an accident that all three University of California business schools in the Top 50 experienced plunging average GMAT scores over the past five years when the state’s budget crisis has led to significant cuts in higher education. UC-Berkeley’s Haas School had a drop of four points, while UCLA’s Anderson School saw a five-point fall. Those are fairly minor declines compared to the 11-point drops at both the University of Washington’s Foster School and Ohio State University’s Fisher School.
So when you peruse the numbers, don’t look at the average scores as a hurdle for you to overcome. Turn the tables and look at the trend lines that show which schools are re-investing in their futures and which ones are merely milking the cow. You don’t want to sign up for an MBA degree at a school that isn’t investing in itself or its future.
Top 50 Schools With Biggest Decreases in Average GMAT Scores
|School||Five-Year Change||2013 Average GMAT||2009 Average GMAT|
|Wake Forest (Babcock)||-26||632||658|
|University of Washington (Foster)||-11||670||681|
|Ohio State (Fisher)||-11||666||677|
|Penn State (Smeal)||-7||645||652|
|Brigham Young (Marriott)||-7||665||672|
Source: Poets&Quants analysis from publicly available data from business schools