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:
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.
From Director of Texas Executive MBA Admissions, Sharon Barrett:
Hands down, this is the most common question I get from Executive MBA candidates:
“How does the test waiver work and do I qualify?”
So here’s the lowdown– First and foremost, the Executive MBA is the only Texas MBA program that accepts applicants’ petitions to waive the GMAT or GRE exam requirement. (Key words being “applicant” and “petition.”) And everyone’s case is different, so there’s no recipe to follow, no checklist, and no guarantee that if you do certain things, you’ll get a waiver.
The MBA Admissions committee views each applicants’ petition in the context of their entire application, and renders a decision on the application versus a separate decision on just the waiver.
Here are the areas of consideration when reviewing an application with a petition for a test waiver:
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!