Why your GMAT score is less important than you think

Business schools want to welcome the business leaders of tomorrow. A business owner can usually hire and run any 750 GMAT people she likes, but a 750 GMAT doesn’t indicate that someone will never inspire others.

Of course, you want the best of both worlds. But every year, Ace Admissions works with applicants who are worried that their scores are “only” in the top 2%, as they feel the need to get into the top .5% for any chance of getting an H. / S / W!

We also work with many applicants who achieved results in the mid-600s and are concerned that they will not apply to business school. Tip: apply! You will always find yourself in the first two levels of schools if you are considered one of the business leaders of tomorrow.

This GMAT worry can get pretty extreme, but it’s understandable, given the “conventional wisdom” out there. The old saying goes “there are lies, lies and statistics”. Average GMAT scores published by schools can be intimidating. But by definition, each of these schools has many students who scored well below the average. What these students have in common: a compelling story that complements a diverse classroom in a professional, geographic or cultural way.

You are not a statistic. Ultimately, your score is just a test of sanity. In other words, can you speak the same essential “language” as your future classmates? All of those 750 GMATs want a leader that they can relate to on quantitative things.

Please note: GMAT can be used as a scapegoat. Blaming a test usually feels better than blaming a story on a company’s leadership potential. Don’t fall for the trap! Your leadership story is what will determine your destiny if you allow it.

Mark Friedman is a graduate of Wharton Business School and Stanford Law School. He takes pride in crafting new posts from seemingly ordinary backgrounds, mastering the details and the big picture of the application process, and helping clients exceed their goals. He is the founder of Ace Admissions.

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