As COVID-19 shows no sign of abating, more and more prominent business schools are announcing either more test choices or test-optional policies for the 2020–2021 MBA admissions cycle. There is more widespread recognition that MBA applicants may not require GMAT/GRE scores to be successful in business school. At other programs, the shorter Executive Assessment is now used as an alternative to the GMAT or GRE, and some schools are accepting other tests like the MCAT or LSAT.
Potential for success is predictable without GMAT/GRE
Most business schools use a holistic approach to admissions and view standardized test scores as just one part of a bigger picture. According to Katie Lloyd, associate dean of full-time and evening MBA programs at Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, “We can predict a candidate’s potential for success in and beyond the MBA program without reliance on the GMAT or GRE. Basing a decision on previous academic experience, work history, and interview evaluations has been an effective admissions approach for our Evening MBA program, which began accepting candidates without a test score in 2018.”
Full-time MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT
|School||Are Waiver Requests Reviewed?||Accepts |
|CMU Tepper||Yes, under certain circumstances. Candidates admitted without a standardized test score must complete the Tepper "Calculus Fundamentals" course.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cornell Johnson||Yes. Applicants must submit a statement explaining why they will flourish in Cornell's rigorous academic environment.||Yes||Yes|
|Emory Goizueta||Yes, for applicants with "extenuating circumstances" or who can demonstrate that COVID has prevented them from testing.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Georgia Tech Scheller||Yes, under certain circumstances. Your reasons for applying without a test score should be noted in the optional application essay.||Yes||Yes||Score may be submitted as supplemental information.||Score may be submitted as supplemental information.||Score may be submitted as supplemental information.|
|Michigan Ross||Yes||Yes||Yes||Strong EA scores may help applicants build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver.||Yes||Yes|
|MIT Sloan||Will waive test requirement w/o a waiver request.||Yes, even if the score has expired.||Yes, even if the score has expired.||Yes|
|New York Institute of Technology||Yes, for applicants with strong academic records.||Yes|
|Northwestern Kellogg||No. GMAT/GRE is required for admission; in some cases, applicants may test after submitting their applications.||Yes||Yes|
|UCLA Anderson||No||Yes||Yes||Yes, for students currently enrolled at the UCLA School of Law.||Yes, for students currently enrolled at the Geffen School of Medicine.|
|UNC Kenan-Flagler||Yes, under certain circumstances.||Yes||Yes||Strong EA scores may help applicants build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver.||Strong LSAT scores may help applicants build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver.||Strong MCAT scores may help applicants build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver.|
|University of Delaware Lerner||Yes, for applicants who already hold a terminal degree (MD, JD, PhD, etc) or who meet certain other criteria.||GMAT is the preferred test.||GRE is accepted, though not preferred||Yes, for applicants who hold a law degree.||Yes, for applicants who hold a medical degree.|
|University of Maryland Smith||Yes, under certain circumstances.||Yes||Yes||Applicants may qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver if their LSAT scores are in the 70th percentile or greater.||Applicants may qualify for a GMAT/GRE waiver if their MCAT scores are in the 70th percentile or greater.|
|University of Texas McCombs||Yes, for applicants who can demonstrate that COVID has prevented them from testing.||Yes||Yes|
|USC Marshall||No. However, you may submit test scores up to two weeks after the application round deadline. Note: USC Marshall may make an admissions decision based on the application as submitted.||Yes||Yes|
|UVA Darden||Yes, under certain circumstances.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify.***
If you know of other MBA programs that are accepting tests other than the GMAT or the GRE, let us know! Please email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org with a source that we can confirm.
One implication of reduced reliance on test scores is increased reliance on other elements of your application including your essays, resume, short answer responses, and interview.
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