Last Updated on September 23, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2025 Profile Shows Declining Importance of GMAT Scores
In a surprising revelation, Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2025 profile has highlighted a shift in the admissions process, indicating that GMAT scores are becoming less significant. The range of GMAT scores for successful admits during the 2022-2023 cycle varied from 500 to an impressive 790. However, the average GMAT score among test-takers in the three years leading up to December 2022 was 582.34.
This data suggests that strengths displayed in other areas of the application can now outweigh weaknesses in GMAT scores. Harvard Business School’s decision to stop reporting GMAT averages since 2010 further supports the notion that a holistic evaluation of applicants is more valuable than a mere focus on test scores. Instead of averages, Harvard only reports median scores. For the Class of 2025, the median GMAT score broke a 13-year streak, reaching an impressive high of 740.
Despite a slight decline in their number of applications, Harvard managed to increase their median GMAT score while also witnessing a record number of GRE (Graduate Record Examination) submissions. While women’s enrollment remained stable at 45%, it is notable that there was a slight decrease in racial diversity, with an increase in the number of White students. On the other hand, the percentage of international students rose to 39%, highlighting the school’s global appeal.
Examining the industry backgrounds of Harvard MBA students, there was relatively consistent representation across various fields. Consulting, finance, and technology maintained their popularity as the top choices among incoming students. Furthermore, the Class of 2025 achieved an outstanding average undergraduate GPA of 3.73, setting a new record for the school.
This shift away from prioritizing GMAT scores is undoubtedly good news for aspiring MBAs who may excel in other areas of their application. Harvard Business School’s evolving approach to admissions affirms their commitment to fostering a diverse and talented cohort, where multiple facets of an individual’s profile are considered in the assessment process. As the Class of 2025 enters Harvard, it will be interesting to observe the impact of this change on future MBA cohorts and the business world as a whole.
Overall, this shift in admissions procedures reinforces the notion that futures in the MBA career track are becoming increasingly dependent on a comprehensive evaluation of applicants, placing less emphasis on standardized test scores and more on individuals’ unique abilities, experiences, and aspirations.