Why You Need the GMAT™ Exam For Your B-School Application

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Alison Merzel, The Ohio State University

Start preparing and plan to sit for the GMAT exam as soon as you're ready.

Alison Merzel, The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business. 

Yes, the thought of taking a standardized test can certainly be daunting. We understand that you might not be the best test taker or that you have other strengths that should be able to convince us of your qualifications for business school. Yet, the responsibility of the admissions team is to evaluate whether a candidate (YOU) has the potential to succeed in your graduate business program.

Consider these three reasons why the GMAT exam can help you in the admissions process:

  1. The GMAT exam helps us assess your quantitative, verbal, and analytical aptitude when we may not have other academic coursework that can do the same. Perhaps you graduated college without ever taking a math class, or your undergraduate major did not require you to write many essays or analyze an argument in written English communication – the standardized test can fill in those gaps.
  2. The GMAT exam can help to compensate for a weaker undergraduate GPA. Perhaps your grades were sub-par because you were working to pay for school and couldn’t put in as much studying time as you would have liked OR you were a college athlete OR you were just less motivated and mature than you are today (we have never heard anyone claim that one). Your test scores can help you if your grades are not the best reflection of your potential.
  3. The GMAT exam is often used in evaluating merit-based funding opportunities. While we do take a holistic approach when making admission decisions, we look closely at undergraduate grades and test scores when making financial aid award decisions. Undergraduate institutions are not the same, offering varying levels of rigor, different degrees, etc. The GMAT exam is the only application requirement that is “standardized”; it has been tested for validity, reliability, and is accessible to all applicants.

Since standardized tests can be one of the most significant application hurdles you face, start preparing and plan to sit for the GMAT exam as soon as you are able. It may not be easy, but know that all the hard work you put into it will help you in the long run. Good luck!

Video: Why should I take the GMAT exam?

Full Video Transcript

You know, I think that the GMAT should be used when you're trying to, maybe, show that your lower GPA isn't indicative of who you are. So I think a GMAT, regardless if it's required, could certainly assist you in that area.

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