Another top-25 business school has announced that MBA applicants don’t need to submit a Graduate Management Admission Test or any other entrance exam score to be considered for admission next year.
Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business has extended its official test score waiver through the entire 2020-2021 admissions cycle, according to a school announcement Friday (December 4). The waiver option for GMAT, Graduate Record Exam, and Executive Assessment (EA) test scores is available to qualified candidates applying to Tepper’s full-time, part-time online hybrid, and part-time “flex” MBA programs.
Coronavirus has created an uneven testing field, says Kate Barraclough, head of the Tepper MBA program.
“Our intention is to address concerns about access to testing centers and potential inequalities in online testing,” Barraclough says in a news release. “Standardized tests are intended to level the playing field for candidates, and testing centers provide a consistent setting for all candidates. Now, many MBA candidates must take the online test, which does not ensure equal footing for all candidates.”
CMU TEPPER IS THE SIXTH TOP-25 SCHOOL TO WAIVE TEST REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MBA
Tepper is just the latest top B-school to make the move. More than a third of schools have suspended the testing requirement for all applicants this year due to Covid, according to a new survey of admission officers by Kaplan, as reported this week by Poets&Quants. According to admissions officers at more than 100 business schools across the United States, 36% say they are not requiring either the GMAT or the GRE for all applicants.
While the competition to get into a top-ranked business school remains fierce, the survey also found that now may be the most convenient time in recent memory to apply. That’s because 82% say that due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, they have made their admissions process more flexible this cycle.
Among the schools that have announced a testing waiver are Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, MIT Sloan, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. CMU Tepper becomes the fifth top-25 school to offer waivers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At least nine of the top 50 MBA programs are now essentially test-optional.
THOSE WITHOUT A TEST SCORE MUST PASS CALCULUS
At Tepper, waivers will be granted on a case-by-case basis but interested prospects are encouraged to explore their options and apply for a waiver, says Kelly R. Wilson, executive director of masters admissions. “We are offering a standardized test waiver to qualified candidates who can demonstrate their mathematical preparedness through advanced quantitative coursework.”
To qualify for the waiver, prospective MBA students should note the following conditions:
- Waivers will be evaluated based on mathematical preparedness demonstrated through advanced quantitative classes in undergraduate or graduate work. These classes include, but are not limited to, calculus, linear algebra, and statistics.
- A waiver decision by the admission committee does not signal an admission decision. The admission decision will be based on a holistic review of the application.
- Candidates admitted without a standardized test will be required to successfully complete the Tepper School “Calculus Fundamentals” course to complete their admission to the program.
‘UNLIKE ANYTHING WE’VE EVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE’
In the last cycle, as coronavirus led to extended deadlines and flexible test requirements, the Tepper School had one of the biggest rebounds among the top 25-ranked schools, with a bounce-back that exceeded its previous record for apps in one cycle. CMU Tepper received 2,094 apps for the Class of 2022, up more than 60% in a year, and upped its number of admits by more than 30. However, because it granted more than 60 deferments, the school actually enrolled a much smaller MBA class of around 141, down by nearly 60 from last year.
Dean Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou says the move to waive entrance exams through the rest of the current cycle comes in recognition of the continuing impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on candidates.
“Covid-19 has created an environment unlike any we’ve experienced before,” Bajeux-Besnainou says. “We are empathetic to the unusual challenges posed in recent months and must come together to problem-solve, innovate, and collaborate to ensure we emerge from the current crises stronger and wiser than before.”
The round 2 deadline for application to Tepper’s full- and part-time MBA programs is January 10. The round 3 deadline is March 2. Click here for more information about the admission process and details about Tepper’s testing waiver.