We’re back to share some GMAT-related questions we’ve received (as well as our answers) in hopes that the information may be of benefit to others. Today’s question deals with how multiple GMAT scores may be interpreted by admissions officers.
Q: Does taking the GMAT multiple times look bad when applying to B-schools?
This answer was provided by Claudia Sampson, who has helped hundreds of clients access the business schools of their dreams. Claudia is an admissions coach and the founder of LEEDS Coaching, one of Bell Curves’ admissions consulting partner organizations.
How multiple GMAT test scores will be viewed by schools depends on a host of factors. All schools treat your GMAT as part of your entire package. Therefore, your goal is to present a strong case for being admitted no matter the challenge. Therefore, you should focus on getting the best score possible to offset either a weak GPA or a undergraduate major that may be viewed as less rigorous compared to others like Economics, Accounting, Computer Science, Engineering or Math. The mistake most people make is taking the test multiple times in succession without showing any significant increase. Admissions Committees will take into consideration the effort made to get a more competitive score particularly if you’re within striking distance of their published median score. But, there’s always the risk you run of taking the test too many times and getting a less competitive score which only weakens your chances of getting a favorable decision. But remember, your GMAT score alone will not get you into the school of your choice. You have to demonstrate leadership, collaboration, passion and a clear career vision or at least some idea as to why you really want to get an MBA. Finally, if you’re challenged by taking standardized tests and can’t provide medical proof to attest to this fact, don’t dwell on this in your essays or conversations with Admissions folks. Trust me: we’ve heard and seen it all when it comes to the GMAT and its many challenges. Just do as many practice tests as you can until you’re truly ready for the real deal.