It can be the most stressful part of an MBA application-– the requirement to take either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
At McCombs, the Admissions Committee does not waive this requirement for any of our Working Professional MBA programs (Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, or the Austin Evening programs) or for our Full-Time program.
So your first question will be: Which test do I take?
Like coffee vs. tea, or vanilla vs. chocolate ice cream, the choice is entirely yours. We have no preference, though more of our students end up choosing the GMAT because it is designed to prepare candidates specifically for business school. And some professions, like consulting and investment banking, do prefer that you have a GMAT score to report. (We’ll have more on this in a future blog post.)
While both tests have quantitative and verbal sections, they have noticeable differences. We encourage you to do your research and take practice tests to learn each test’s points of emphasis, and how they are scored.
Here are some key differences between the GMAT and GRE:
From our Working Professional MBA staff and students:
Working professional MBA programs provide an inherent challenge – how to manage the competing priorities of work, school, and a personal life. Many wouldn’t think of adding to that mix perhaps the ultimate challenge, caring for a new baby. Nevertheless, McCombs Working Professional MBA students have shown it can be done, with the right planning, prioritizing and support network.
“There’s never a ‘right’ time to have a baby,” says Denise Xue, Texas Evening MBA Class of 2017, a financial analyst at Intel who gave birth to her son Daniel in April of 2016, during her fourth semester in the program.
Having a baby while getting an MBA is certainly not easy, but I never regret one bit. You will be extremely busy, and feel challenged both physically and emotionally, but at the same time you will also feel proud of yourself for the things that you accomplished.”
Here is some advice from Denise and other recent parents for those contemplating parenthood in combination with their Texas MBA:
In the world of MBA Admissions, your numbers are not everything. Applicants do tend to focus on numbers when they submit an MBA application: Their undergraduate GPA, total GMAT/GRE score, quant and verbal scores, percentiles, etc. With limited seats in Texas MBA classes, measurable figures can be a very helpful tool when determining who best fits into our programs. But…
You are not just a simple sum of your numeric parts. The same way that you are not just left-handed or right-handed — your scores are part of you, but certainly do not define who you are.
We should say up front that putting your best numbers forward is important. That’s why getting your best test score and putting your best GPA into your application is a must. However, in our review of a typical MBA candidate, GMAT and GPA alone do not offer any consistent indication of success in the program. Even if you do have a 780 GMAT, this does not automatically indicate to us that you will make good grades, find an internship, thrive in your study groups, or find a good job after graduation. It is the combination of strong numbers, your unique story, a commitment to McCombs, and many other things that indicate how well you’ll do in the Texas MBA Program.
If you have reviewed the Texas MBA admissions process, you are familiar with the basic steps to applying. Here are some of those steps we’ve highlighted recently:
Of course, the above list does not cover everything. Every application is unique and you may have a special situation or specific questions. The Texas MBA Admissions Team is here to help!