3 things you MUST know about GMAT scores for Top business schools
Last updated on November 3rd, 2014
“What is a good GMAT score?”
The person who asked this question was someone who had recently given up hopes of belling the CAT and had just started exploring the GMAT. He had little idea how complicated this question is to answer 🙂
Until a few years ago, everyone wanted to somehow just cross 700 because this was considered a great GMAT score. But now, the average GMAT score itself at many top business schools is 700+! So does that mean you need a higher score? If so, how much do you need? 720? 750?
Here are 3 things you MUST know about GMAT scores for Top business schools:
1. The higher your GMAT score is, the better your chances:
I can almost see you rolling your eyes and saying “Duh-uh!” But hold on – let me put things in perspective! The higher your GMAT score is than the average score at your target school, the better your chances are.
This means that if you are aiming for a top business school with an average GMAT score of 690, say Said Oxford or Texas McCombs, then 720 is a great score. But if you are aiming for business school with an average of 732 GMAT score (Yes, Stanford!) then 720 is not going to be a major advantage.
2. The GMAT score is a key factor that decides the amount of scholarship you get
The higher your GMAT score, the better your chances of getting a large scholarship because business schools want students with big numbers on their profile, who will drive up their average GMAT score (which in turn will impact the schools’ reputation and ranking)
3. The GMAT score may play an important role during your post-MBA job search
When you look for post-MBA roles, you may find that some recruiters will be interested in knowing your GMAT score. Take, for instance, consulting companies. These prefer candidates with high GMAT scores. So if your post-MBA goal is management consulting, then you must aim for a 720+ GMAT score.
However, the GMAT score is NOT the only thing that matters in admission decisions.
Top business schools look for multiple parameters while evaluating applicants: academic potential is just one part. The other significant areas are:
1.Quality of work experience – your performance, career progress, employer, nature of work etc.
2. Leadership – initiatives and experience at and outside of work
3. Goal clarity – how clear are you about where you want your career to go?
4. Diversity – what uniqueness do you bring to the classroom? Personal experiences interests, activities, perspectives and viewpoints… and so on.
Thus, by highlighting how well you are doing on these other parameters, you maybe able to offset an average GMAT score and convince a school to interview you. And that is another chance you get to convince your dream school to take you!
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you pick the right schools/programs, your GMAT score need not be a handicap at all.
For instance, applying to a mix of Ambitious, Reach and Safe schools. Take a step back and evaluate your career goals. And then ask yourself, do I need to go to a Top 10 B-school to achieve these goals? For instance, if your goal is to become a Business Analyst at Deloitte (or a similar company), then you don’t need to go to Wharton to achieve it.
It’s good to be ambitious and apply to top programs – but if it is important that you join an MBA program next year, then increase your chances by applying to some Reach and Safe schools also.
The second question to ask yourself is Do I even need an MBA degree? For instance, if you are keen on a career as an equity researcher, a Master’s in financial engineering or quantitative mathematics may be a better idea than an MBA. You could even consider applying to a specialized program such as the Kellogg MMM or the Krannert STEM MBA.
Watch how our student Kakoli Sanyal scored a 710 on the GMAT after joining CrackVerbal.
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