Rankings Still Sway Most MBA Applicants

FEMALE APPLICANTS MORE LIKELY TO PREFER GRE

Not surprisingly, the survey found that the vast majority of business school applicants–just under 90%–submit the GMAT with their applications. But AIGAC found that female applicants were more likely to prefer the GRE than men, mostly because of the test format and outcomes as well as the flexibility it gave them to apply to non-business programs (see below). Respondents said they preferred the GRE because it gave them the option to “skip questions and return later” to them, or because they could change their responses during the test, or because they had already “struggled” with the GMAT.

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Shrum said the GMAT remains the “largest source of anxiety” for business school applicants. “Many of them see the GMAT as a smoking gun,” he said. Many applicants who are either rejected by their target schools or waitlisted think, “‘If only I had taken it again or had a higher score I could have gotten in.’ For some people who have given up on the GMAT, they are increasingly choosing the GRE. This is still a small number, but it is an interesting trend, and women express that far more than men. As many as one in six women submitted either the GRE or both. With men it is one in ten. This is a meaningful difference, and it is something that jumped out at us.”

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

Source: 2014-2015 AIGAC applicant survey

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.