Should I retake the GMAT (or GRE)?

The age-old question – what score is “good enough” to gain an admission offer to a selective B-school for MBA or MS study?  Most students look at the GMAT or GRE averages and make a determination on whether they measure up.  A much better suggestion is to look at the middle 80% range on GMAT scores posted on the class profile.  That shows the GMAT at the 10th percentile and 90th percentile for enrolling students and probably gives a more encompassing sense of the type of GMAT score target that you should have for the application.

Beyond that, there are a few other things to keep in mind if you are contemplating a GMAT retake:

• Only consider a retake if you have enough time to sufficiently prepare.  There’s nothing worse that scheduling a retake during a busy season at work, or trying to cram it on top of your B-school applications and then posting a lower score.
• Take a look at the other components of your candidacy (GPA, amount and type of prior work experience), as the application review is holistic.  For example, if your GPA is high, it may offset a lower GMAT.  On the other hand, if your undergraduate GPA is low, then you may want a GMAT that is a bit higher.
• What is your verbal/quant split on the GMAT and does the School you are applying to have a suggested range for this?  Most schools understand that you may be stronger on one of the two dimensions, but at the same time they are hoping to see reasonably good performance on both the quant and verbal sections.  A retake may allow you to focus attention on the area where you performed lower, while maintaining your initial performance in the section where you are naturally strong.
• Interested in more details about the Simon MBA and MS degree?

At the end of the day, the GMAT or GRE will be one data point that the Admissions committee will use to compare each of its applicants.  But it is by no means the only factor that will determine admission.  Each school can point to students with lower than average GMATs who are admitted and applicants with higher than average GMATs who are denied.  Make sure your entire application allows you to put your best foot forward in the application review process.  Have questions? Consider attending an upcoming webinar to learn more.

Rebekah Lewin
Executive Director of Admissions & Administration

 

Comments (2)

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  1. suzain says:

    When i read this post i understand the way for Preparing GRE Test. This tips is very useful for me and I will share it to my friends keep posting GRE Application Guide

  2. grenespeawn says:

    Wonderful post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

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