This is the final installment in a series of posts on GMAT/GRE testing. We encourage you to review previous posts, if you have not already.
The Texas MBA Admissions Committee recognizes that you might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to achieve a high test score. After all, you’re competitive and driven enough to want to pursue an MBA! It’s important to remember that your test score is only one piece of your story, and it’s considered in the context of your overall application. We review your scores with the knowledge that a test is only one day in your life, and your academic and work history span many years.
Nevertheless, the test is an important component in evaluating your application.
“Quantitative test scores, in particular, have proven to be predictive of success in an MBA program, and taking the GMAT or GRE gets you back into the practice of preparing for exams. The preparation you put into the test sets you up for the mindset you’ll have to bring to your MBA– setting aside time to study on a nightly basis and working your way through problems analytically.”
– Sharon Barrett, Director of Working Professional MBA Admissions at Texas McCombs
This post was written by our Working Professional MBA staff & students:
Working professional MBA programs provide an inherent challenge– How do you 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:
This is the third in a series of posts on GMAT/GRE testing. We encourage you to review previous posts, if you have not already.
Before you make a final decision on which test to take, it’s best to research some of your target companies or industries and determine two things:
- The extent to which they evaluate a test score in reviewing job candidates.
- Whether they have a preference for one of the tests. At McCombs, we have found that most consulting and investment banking firms do look at the candidate’s score, and both industries historically have favored the GMAT.
Regardless of which test you take, you should consider it as another opportunity to not only impress the Admissions Committee, but also potential employers.
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.
Once you’ve done your research on the format and content of the GMAT and GRE tests, you’re ready to settle on which one you want to take and start your preparation.
If you still need a review of each test to help you navigate the details, see our previous post examining both test options.
Test preparation is critical. The tests are rigorous, but your prep has the advantage of getting you in the right mindset for entering a top MBA program– where the exams and workload will be just as challenging, if not more so.
Prep tools include books that take you through the format of the test and offer practice exams, as well as formal prep classes (in person or online) and tutoring that can cost hundreds of dollars. Going with a more affordable option can work for some candidates.
“If you did well on the SAT or if you have a rigorous math background, you might be able to prepare on your own.”
– Jamie Nelson, an instructor with Manhattan Prep, which offers test prep classes in Dallas, Houston and Austin.
Here are some top prep tips from students and test prep instructors: