Is the GMAT necessary?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by roysavia, May 8, 2003.

  1. roysavia

    roysavia New Member

    With the advent of distance learning fewer business schools are requiring the GMAT as part of their admission requirements.

    When I attended York University (Toronto) in 1987, the GMAT was mandatory. I scored well on the GMAT. However, I found the entire exercise a waste of time. The GMAT only served as a "weeding out" tool. Only the first quartile (or approximately 120 applicants) were admitted into the program. A colleague of mine recently received his MBA from Athabasca University via DL. He didn't have to write the GMAT to get accepted.

    There seem to be more DL and B&M schools that have done away with the GMAT. Business schools seem to be looking at high GPA and strong references rather than GMAT scores. Could the GMAT eventually become extinct like the dinosaur? :(
  2. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    Is any standard test necessary?

    The same argument could be made for all standard test (GRE, LSAT, SAT, etc.). IMHO, it probably has more to do with competition and supply and demand then need. Back when I got my MBA there were only three programs in the San Francisco Bay area that were not full time day classes. Now, when you can do a night/weekend program through Haas, and also have many DL options the goal is to fill the seats not reject all but the few.

    So are they needed, no. Why do some require them and others don't? Probably as a nother sorting tool to weed out those who may have trouble at graduate school.
  3. Vinipink

    Vinipink Accounting Monster

    I had my GMAT waive due to my high grades, but it was a requirements, Now again it can be waived again from Florida Atlantic University in their Master of Taxes program due to my high GPA and because I already have a master. I am waiting to see if my employer pick up the cost, if they do will shoot for this option. As you see the GMAT is a filter tool and does not predict success, I dont believe it. That is just me.
  4. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Roy - The GMAT remains an important tool for selective business schools. If you were the admission director at Harvard, you'd have to have a tool to say "no" with. There is no way you can accomodate all the applicant that come. Further, the GMAT is useful in raising the quality of the incoming class. While the correlation is far from perfect, the GMAT is a statistically valid measure of first year MBA grades. All other things equal - the applicant with an 800 GMAT is far more likely to be successful than an applicant with a 400.

    As for York versus Athabasca - there is likely a significant quality difference. Here in the states, for example, Harvard and UoP both issue the same degree "MBA", but the difference in experience is substantial.

    Regards - Andy

  5. Han

    Han New Member

    Re: Re: Is the GMAT necessary?

    I couldn't disagree more. Standard tests do not take into account desire, drive, research abilities, etc. I was dyslexic when I was young, and went to a Dr. for about 6 years to get up to par. I do very poorly on standard tests, but graduated with honors as an undergrad, and have one of the highest grade point averages in my MBA class.

    If someone looked at the test grade and threw my application out because of that, I would not be where I am today. I think they should not be required, there are so many other measures that actually mean something.

    Hey - why don't we just use an IQ test.... (that was sarcasm).
  6. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Is the GMAT necessary?

    Kristie - I can agree that standardized tests don't take into account a lot of things - such as desire, drive, etc. But like it or not, they are a statistically valid (albeit imperfect) measure of one's potential to do graduate work. The GMAC folks have done many studies on this and the results are clear - the GMAT does correlate significantly with first year MBA grades.

    Consider the challenge that a top business school (or medical school or law school, etc.) has. A place like Harvard or Stanford has many thousand of applicants for just 750 spots (in Harvard's case). You have to say "No" many more times than you say "Yes". These schools have an admission process that considers a number of factors - grades, work experience, references, etc. The GMAT helps provide a common benchmark among applicants. Further, it provides a standardized "screen" that reduces the pack to a more manageable number of applicants.

    Are there exceptions? Of course. Your situation is a case in point.

    Of course minor differences in the GMAT (such as a 560 verses a 580) are meaningless. But gross differences - an 800 versus a 400 is a pretty strong sign of a difference. All other things equal - I'd go with an applicant that has an 800.

    Recently, I was involved in the startup of a couple of doctoral programs. Faculty danced around the idea of a GMAT requirement - but wisely chose to implement it. If nothing else, the quantiative score will help diagnose potential "walking wounded" students.

    One more story - I talked a couple of years ago with the director of NSU's doctoral program. He told me that he had seen a strong correlation between GMAT scores and dissertation completions. For a while NSU allowed students to opt out of the GMAT in favor of a portfolio. No longer - the GMAT (or GRE) is back as a requirement.

    As for your statement "there are so many other measures that actually mean something.", I have to ask you to show me one. If you can come up with a method to screen MBA applicants that works better than the GMAT - I'm sure you can make a lot of money.

    Regards - Andy

    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2003
  7. Han

    Han New Member

    Andy - I can see you poitns, but have a couple of questions. First, what is "walking wounded" students?

    There are the same coorelations on IQ and success, so why not have an IQ test?

    I see the problem with thousand of applicants and only a few spots, so need to weed out early, but would urge schools to give enough budget to review all of the applicantions.

    Take the essay, it usually is not reviewed until all the weeding out takes place, but wouldn't you want a student that is well rounded, have employment experience, with a lower score on the GMAT than a student that is on;y into scholasticas, with a high GMAT.

    I can say, being from an engineering company, that the smartest test takers are NOT the best management people, but in this scenerio would take the engineer, with no ability to manage.

    My only fristration is that some top level managers pick the "top engineer", with no people skills or ability to manage (meaning motivate their employees, etc), but hey - they would do great on the GMAT......
  8. debitcredit

    debitcredit New Member

    I would like this to become an MBA admissions prerequisite: Achieving CBM (Certified Business Manager) status.
    It's an excellent program.
  9. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    The Dreaded ABD

    He referred to "the walking wounded" to doctoral students, so I speculate that he was referring to students who do not have the necessarily aptitude to complete the dissertation process, thus ending up with all but the dissertation (aka ABD). Consequently, they are "the walking wounded." ;)
  10. roysavia

    roysavia New Member

    You do have a valid point and I don't disagree with the logic of using the GMAT as a measuring tool. However, in my experience, some of the first quartile (scores above 700) applicants were not "straight A" students in the program. In fact I was surprised to see that a couple of them struggled with some of their courses.

    Of my graduating class, 3 students were placed on the "Dean's Honors List" for having an overall GPA of 3.9 and 4.0 (out of 4.0).
    I was surprised to find out later that their GMAT scores were in the mid to upper 500 range.

    It goes to show that in some instances the GMAT cannot predict overall success.

  11. Vinipink

    Vinipink Accounting Monster

    My score many years ago was 498 and most schools wont' take you if you don't have at least 500, University of Miami accepted me St. Thomas University accepted me, Barry accepted me, but FIU and FAU(today FAU takes me if want to go ,they waive the GMAT due to my MBA and GPA) did not, due two tiny points.

    They argue that I did not meet their entry requirements, what really gets me if they say that they would consider the applicant in the overall, they did not. I was not planning to spend more money for this test which to me proves nothing(I have the MBA).

    When I was searching for the MBA I was Looking to but when I saw That GMAT exam was very expensive, I rule that option, so I started to look for a college that would take, without the GMAT, I was able to waive at UIU my GMAT requirement due to my high GPA, and as you can see I was able to finish my MBA. This bring me to one thing, is the student and not the school.

    Since most education tuition today in both and Public University are about the same price ( FAU is 25K For a Master in Taxes, FIU 16K for MAcc, and GMAT and have to go to campus, UIU for MBA in Accounting, was 16K so I took UIU, no GMAT and Online) Then again that is just me. As I see GMAT may not be used in the future. As I saw in the case of FAU, the rules can be bend.

  12. Jeff Hampton

    Jeff Hampton New Member

    What is your interest in this certification? And are you associated with Chadwick University?
  13. 9Chris

    9Chris New Member

    What does being associated with Chadwick University have to do with the CBM certification?
  14. debitcredit

    debitcredit New Member

    I've seen advertisements and articles in some business journals. It seems to be comprehensive and a good addition to an MBA degree. BTW - I am not am employee of or a volunteer member for Chadwick.
  15. Professor Kennedy

    Professor Kennedy New Member

    GMAT suspicions

    I am with Kristie7 on this one. GMAT is a rationing tool that protects the School from discrimination accusations on those they refuse entry to on campus programmes with finite space to accommodate them on MBA courses. The onus is on the candidate to pass GMAT with a high enough score to miss the cut.

    Given the number of books on how to score high in GMAT and adverts for courses on how to get over 700 on it (there is one in today's Times (London) stating 'our students aim for 600 & 700s and get them!' (the Studyworks, Tel +44 20 7402-9877; with 'Guarantee: 'if you do not achieve the score YOU want on the GMAT you can REPEAT the course FREE') I am dubious about GMAT's credibility. Though in the absence of anything else I can see why Schools hide behind it (it's like film producers buying rights to a historical book on something they wish to film, no matter that the film they make about the historical event has nothing in common with the book, but it prevent plagiarism claims from anyone who wrote a book on the treatment made by the film).

    Campus MBAs need a rationing device and they can't use racism, or sexual preference, etc., so they use an objective sounding test. DL programmes that are scalable do not have this problem. The only real test is not input based, it is output based - can the candidates pass the School's exams? If yes - proven by doing so - they join the programme. If no - GMAT, high GPA, first degrees or otherwise - they don't.

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