MBA programs are planning for a return to in-person instruction. Admissions offices are deciding what to keep and what to discard from last year’s COVID adaptations. And everyone is holding their collective breath to see if the pandemic restrictions are mostly in our rear view mirror.
What about testing? The situation is very fluid.
Several prominent MBA programs last year went test-optional or offered test waivers. Most of them are continuing with this policy for the 2021–2022 MBA admissions cycle. Admissions offices are increasingly skeptical as to whether all MBA applicants need a GMAT/GRE score to predict that they will be successful in business school. Other programs are allowing applicants to submit the shorter Executive Assessment 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 |
|Boston University Questrom||GMAT/GRE is optional for the 2022 admissions cycle.||Yes||Yes|
|Emory Goizueta||Yes, under certain circumstances.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Georgia State University (Robinson)||A GMAT or GRE score is not required.|
|Georgia Tech Scheller||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Indiana Kelley||Yes. Candidates applying for a waiver must submit other evidence of academic potential.||Yes||Yes|
|MIT Sloan||Yes, should the applicant’s circumstances prevent them from safely accessing the exam.||Yes||Yes|
|New York Institute of Technology||GMAT is not required for admissions, but may be submitted if your undergrad GPA is below the requirement.||Yes|
|NYU Stern||Yes, for MBA applicants who prove strong academic readiness. Dual-degree applicants may not request waivers.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pace Lubin||Yes. In addition, GMAT/GRE is not required in certain situations.||Yes||Yes|
|UNC Kenan-Flagler||Yes||Yes||Yes||Strong scores can be used to build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver||Strong scores can be used to build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver||Strong scores can be used to build a case for a GMAT/GRE waiver|
|University of Delaware Lerner||Yes, if certain requirements are met.||Yes (preferred)||Yes (accepted)||Yes, if you took the test for law school and hold a law degree.||Yes, if you took the test for medical school and hold a medical degree.|
|University of Texas McCombs||Applicants who are able to take an exam are strongly encouraged to do so.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USC Marshall||No||Yes||Yes||Yes, for applicants who are part of the dual-degree program|
***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 email@example.com 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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