A career in business is seen as a stable career path by many. Pursuing a career in business often begins with a solid education from a business administration program. Whether one chooses to study accounting, finance, marketing or management, the study of business offers a solid background that can prepare one to enter the corporate world. One question that is commonly asked is “Do I need to take the GMAT and the GRT tests to get into business school?” The answer is yes. Most graduate programs in business do require admissions exams. The GMAT is the standard test.
Requirements for Business Degree Seekers
In the United States, those applying to graduate school must take the GRE. For business degree seekers, the GMAT exam is similar. It has a verbal section, a quantitative section, integrated reasoning and an analytical writing section. As this Bloomberg Business News article points out, the required GMAT score has been steadily creeping upward. Candidates for a top business school may need to take the GMAT more than once to obtain the required score.
The Bloomberg article highlights the question of ethics, noting that many of the highest scorers on the GMAT exam come from countries with different cultural expectations and a resulting different standard of ethics. While it doesn’t seem ethical to judge high scoring candidates on the possibly stereotyped belief systems of their home country, it is still worth noting that US students will be competing against those from other countries, countries that often place more value on mathematics education and related fields. Ethics aside, students should consider the diversity and strengths of those they will be competing against for B-School admission.
What is the GMAT?
The GMAT that is currently being administered is still relatively new. The updated version, launched in June of 2012, added the integrative reasoning section. However, regardless of what is on the exam, preparation is key. An article in U.S. News and World Report offers tips for prospective test takers. Pacing and allowing sufficient study time are important. In addition, it is important to master lower level questions first, since students who miss early questions will not get the opportunity to try the more difficult questions.
Admission criteria does vary from school to school. While most programs do require the GMAT, they do not all put equal emphasis on it. Students with lower scores need not give up their dream of business school. They may, however, need to seek out a school that values the qualities they do have to offer.
Applicants to business school come from many different backgrounds. Some may be applying immediately after finishing a liberal arts program. Some are returning to school after working in another field. Others may take time off from their corporate career in order to earn that advanced degree. There is also a wide cultural variation for business school candidates. Regardless of background, the goal of every potential student is admission. The GRE is simply one hurdle that must be jumped.