Tests are stressful, and when you’re heading back to school for an MBA, the last thing you may want to do is to study for a placement test. The GMAT is one of the most common tests that are required by colleges and universities. The good news is that there are many schools that have no GMAT requirement, allowing you to apply without having to take the test.
Avoid the Stress of the GMAT
In many instances, you need to provide the scores of either a GMAT or GRE in order to get accepted into an MBA program. However, GMAT can be particularly difficult because of the content within the exam. There are entire study books and courses dedicated to helping you get a high score.
When you do take the GMAT, it takes approximately three and a half hours to complete and examines:
- Analytical writing
- Integrated reasoning
- Quantitative reasoning
- Verbal reasoning
All of this can be stressful. Plus, if you’re not one to deal with the pressure of test-taking, your entire graduate program’s future can be riding on the test results. The easier solution is to find a program with no GMAT requirement.
Focus on Your Professional Experience
When you’ve been working professionally for years, it can be advantageous to focus on that experience. It’s a good idea to find a program that’s going to focus more heavily on your resume than on test scores.
When you apply to a business school, you’re going to want to impress with your professional experience. Be sure that you list out some of what you’ve been doing – and this includes not only your managerial experience but other things, too. Talk about what you’ve been able to accomplish at your job, how you’ve been able to collaborate with employees, and how you’re ambitious enough to work while going back to school.
There’s no “perfect resume” that will get you admitted into an MBA program. However, when you’re choosing to forego the GMAT requirement, you need to be able to prove that you have what it takes to succeed. Boast about awards that you’ve won and things that you have done to get to where you are today.
Get Recommendations That Matter
Many grad schools want to see recommendations. This is where you can really shine on your application. Don’t think about going to get recommendations from high school teachers. You’re not applying for a bachelor’s degree. You’re seeking out a master’s now, and the game has changed. Be sure that you ask your employers for recommendations. Depending on your professional experience, you may even want to ask clients, business attorneys, and others for a letter of recommendation. Don’t be afraid to branch out to show off some of the connections you have been able to make professionally.
Often, you’ll be asked to supply at least three letters of recommendation. Consider getting them from different individuals instead of them all being supervisors. Ask a subordinate to write a letter so that the grad school admissions can see that you’re a good leader. Ask a company involved in a merger to write a letter so that admissions can see that you’re a good negotiator.
Explore Schools That Look at You
There are more and more schools with no GMAT requirement because they want to look at the individual instead of at a score. Take the time to do some research. Find a school that is looking for someone like you.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box for your education. Plenty of schools will forego the GMAT requirement if you can prove that you have what it takes to succeed in their graduate program.