A high GMAT/ GRE score helps your odds in the admission process to B-schools. The higher you go, at least till the average score of your target school, the better it is.
Where else can it help?
In bagging fellowships and, sometimes, even improving your odds of landing a job.
A good GMAT/ GRE score improves your odds of getting a fellowship
Every year, B-schools strive to fill their MBA class with the brightest students fulfilling their criteria of diversity, professional excellence, and academic credentials. These students not only satiate the appetite of B-schools for high rank in popular rankings of MBA programs, but also lay the foundation of a future network of successful alumni – both, so important for building the school’s brand.
Therefore, schools want to get the brightest of bright onboard, even if that means extending a high five-digit fellowship to accepted applicants.
A high GMAT score relative to the average of your target school is one of the indicators of your brightness, and if you are at-par with other accepted applicants in the rest of your profile, your above-par GMAT score can tilt the scale in your favor when decision on fellowships is taken.
Furthermore, average GMAT score is an important parameter in some of the popular B-school rankings (U.S. News, for example), thereby making B-schools more conscious about this statistic and, sometimes, more proactive in maintaining a competitive average GMAT score through fellowships.
“We just need more talent in the door and we are going to use every dollar we can to do it,” says Kevin Frey, managing director of Rotman’s full-time MBA program. “We are in this global talent game, and this is the cost of entry.
Surging numbers of international applicants and a growing number of MBA spaces globally have ratcheted up the intensity in the battle for students. In turn, schools are spending more and more money on scholarships, says Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Some buy candidates who will improve a school’s standing in business school rankings, which measure incoming GMAT and GPA scores and outgoing salaries and job offers. Other schools are simply hoping to land the best and brightest to their programs in the expectation that their future success will reflect well on the institution.
Hot pursuit for outstanding students! And schools do that pulling the levers of their merit-based fellowship kitty.
Your test score, though, is just one of the factors influencing the committee awarding fellowships. There are others too.
If you are from an under-represented community, country, or profession, you will raise the diversity quotient of the class. If you’ve already worked in top companies or if you’ve been successful in highly competitive industries to get in such as private equity and hedge fund, the schools are more assured of your post-MBA success. In such circumstances too, the school is likely to extend you a fellowship.
In recruitment process, few companies/ industries give some weight to your GMAT/ GRE score
There are management consulting firms and investment banks who want to see a good GMAT/ GRE score on your resume. Though it’s a minor factor in the overall recruitment process – multiple interviews, case studies, networking, and your grades in the MBA program, it may keep you out in case the recruiters have to filter out applicants of equal caliber.
Your test score assumes more importance in recruitment in schools which have adopted Grade Non-Disclosure Policy, officially or unofficially. Under such a policy, students are not bound to disclose their grades to recruiters, and can only disclose academic awards such as figuring in top x% (dean’s list, xyz scholar etc.) of the class. In such cases where a significant proportion of the class (leave aside those who figure in one or the other list) has little to write about in the name of a recent academic grade, test score assumes greater importance, and some recruiters use test score for shortlisting applicants for interviews.
Though your test score holds most significance, of course, for admission, it influences fellowship decisions and, in some cases, recruitment decisions too. So, don’t slack in your GMAT/ GRE preparation lest it comes back to adversely impact you at a later stage. It’s too late to change your GPA, but you can certainly control your test score.