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MBA Admissions: GMAT Versus GRE – Test Preferences of Top-50 MBA Programs



Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: GMAT and GRE Face Challenges in MBA Admissions Landscape, Poets&Quants Analysis Reveals

In a recent analysis conducted by Poets&Quants, it has been revealed that both the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are facing challenges in the ever-evolving business school admissions landscape.

Over the years, the GRE has been steadily gaining market share in MBA admissions, with its share nearly tripling from 7.6% in 2016-2017 to 22.9% in 2021-2022. However, a significant stall in submission rates for the GRE was observed in 2022, particularly among schools outside the top rankings.

On the other hand, the GMAT continues to be the preferred entrance exam for graduate business education. Among the top 10 schools, the average GMAT submission rate stands at 64.5%, with several schools reporting rates exceeding 70%.

The viability of both tests is being threatened by the rise of waivers. Many leading business schools now offer waivers or do not require a standardized test score for admission. Candidates with strong qualifications, such as substantial work experience in a quantitative field or completion of an advanced degree, are being granted these waivers.

In the year 2022, around 21 of the top 50 business schools witnessed a decline in GRE submission rates, predominantly among lower-ranked institutions. The average decline was approximately 9.3 percentage points, while the average increase in submission rates was only about 5 points.

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As more business schools embrace holistic admissions approaches and offer alternatives to standardized tests, the future of both the GMAT and GRE seems uncertain. It is plausible that these tests could be phased out in the long term.

In the upcoming MBA application cycle for 2022-2023, the GMAT and GRE have streamlined their online versions. It remains to be seen how these improvements will affect submission rates and the future of these tests in the business school admissions process. The results of this cycle are anticipated to provide insights into the changing dynamics of standardized tests in the MBA application landscape.

Ultimately, the business school admissions landscape is transforming, with a shift towards a more holistic approach and alternatives to standardized testing. The future of the GMAT and GRE hangs in the balance as admissions committees seek to create more inclusive and comprehensive evaluation processes.

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Robert is a talented writer and educator with a focus on MBA courses. He has years of experience teaching and writing about the intricacies of business education, and his work is highly regarded for its depth of insight and practical application. Robert holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a reputable institution, and his academic background gives him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing MBA students. He has a talent for breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language, making his writing accessible to a wide range of readers.

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