Common GMAT Myths Debunked

Common GMAT Myths Debunked

15 of the top 25 B-schools are offering test waivers for the 2023-2024 MBA season.

But many experts say that GMAT or GRE test scores can be beneficial—especially if an applicant has a non-business background.

“Broadly speaking, we advise against seeking a test waiver if you can credibly take the exam,” Caroline Diarte Edwards, co-founder and director of Fortuna Admissions, says. “Unless you’re a truly exceptional candidate with an amazing personal story – and have a really good reason for not taking the test – you should plan on submitting with your scores even for MBA programs waiving the GMAT or GRE.”

Experts at Manhattan Prep recently debunked common GMAT myths and offered advice for applicants looking to take the test.

“I NEED TO GET 90% OF THE QUESTIONS RIGHT TO GET A 700”

While part of this sentiment is true (scoring a 700 probably means you got more questions right than someone scoring a 400), simply getting more questions right does not mean your score will increase.

“The GMAT scoring algorithm does not look at how many questions you answered correctly in a section,” according to Manhattan Prep. “Instead, it looks at the difficulty level you have reached by the end of that section. You could reach the same difficulty level by missing a lot of questions or by missing only a few, depending on where in the test you miss them and whether you finish the section on time.”

“QUANT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN VERBAL”

Your quant score holds different weight depending on which school you’re applying to. Some schools tend to favor higher quant score, while other schools simply want to see that you’ve hit a minimum threshold. In terms of an overall high GMAT score, however, Verbal is the more important out of the two.

“Getting a 90th percentile Verbal score and a 50th percentile Quant score, for example, will give you a slightly higher overall score than if these two scores were reversed,” according to Manhattan Prep. “Also, many candidates, especially native English speakers, find improving their Verbal score easier, quicker, and more fun than improving their Quant score. If you just want to earn a particular overall score, you might get there faster by focusing on Verbal.”

“IF I WANT A 700, I SHOULD MOSTLY STUDY 700- TO 800-LEVEL PROBLEMS”

Many applicants make the mistake of basing the problems they study on the score they want. This mindset, however, can lead to a stagnant score. Rather, Manhattan Prep experts recommend applicants to base their studies on their current testing ability.

“If you see a very hard question on test day, the best move is often to proactively guess on it: missing a hard question will not hurt your score very much, and attempting it could waste a lot of time,” according to Manhattan Prep. “However, if you have spent a lot of time studying really tough questions, you will have a harder time making yourself guess on them when you need to. Instead, study the questions that will really help you on test day: the ones right at or slightly above your level, or easier questions in areas that tend to trip you up.”

Sources: mbaMission, P&Q

Next Page: Benefits of an MBA to Entrepreneurs

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.