The importance of the GMAT to your application

How much does your GMAT score matter? Short answer: quite a bit.

When there are two candidates stacked side by side, it’s important to remember that the GMAT ultimately serves as an equalizer. In the face of potentially identical work experiences and undergraduate grades, the only true tool for hard comparison is the GMAT score. Undergraduate institutions vary widely in grading practices, and workplaces are similarly hard to measure, but the GMAT is administered the same way to everyone. Of all of the components in one’s application, this score is not only the fairest point of comparison but also the element most within your control.

That said, because admissions teams usually evaluate your application holistically, most schools will regard the GMAT as only one piece of the puzzle. Strong recommendations, well-written essays, a solid postgraduate work record (if any), and a decent GPA are the other carefully considered elements that contribute to the overall portrait of your candidacy. For this reason, a strong score will not guarantee admission, and a weaker score won’t necessarily preclude you from it. A higher score can, however, help round out weaker grades, whereas a lower score cannot.

The GMAT therefore,  is one component that goes into a solid application and doubles as a key screening tool. It is important to know the average GMAT score ranges for the programs that you are applying to, as low GMAT scores will give admissions officers pause.

In summary, your GMAT score:

  • determines your academic fitness and predicts your ability to thrive in a program
  • is an equalizer for applicants (which is why it is standardized and strict)
  • won’t get you in on its own, as processes are usually holistic, but needs to be taken seriously

Because this exam is designed to really put you through the paces, it is very challenging to score well without being familiar with its procedures, question types, and computer-adapted format. Prepare to study rigorously. GMAT test prep companies such as Quantum Test Prep, with their seasoned instructors and wealth of strategies, are a good place to start: Quantum offers registration for free private assessments and GMAT mock exams to help determine your baseline score and build a study plan. You can also register for an upcoming free GMAT information session. These sessions are held at our Laurier Toronto office one-two times a month. View the Lazaridis MBA events calendar for all upcoming free GMAT information session dates and registration details.

Best of luck studying!