Just like “Every coin has two sides”, there are only two ends to the broad spectrum of candidates who apply to B-schools every year. One is the candidate with one year experience, whose cranium remembers all that he studied in school and college and is thus ready to write any competitive test he comes across and the other is the candidate, who has been working for about 5 years now and whose knowledge has become old and rustic and all the data has somehow moved to this virtual cloud inside his head, thereby making data retrieval a little later than in the former case. Admissions committee of all the top B schools find it really challenging to place both these profiles on the same spectrum and this has resulted in the creation of distinct programs that cater to both these individual groups. Nevertheless, the grey area still remains.
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If we compare and contrast the GMAT requirements for the programs that accept the former set of candidates and the latter, it is very clear to come to a generalized conclusion that the candidates with lesser work experience tend to get higher GMAT scores thereby earning them the entry to top B-schools. This is usually attributed to the fresh scholastic skill sets that these candidates possess. This has thus led to the pervasive presence of the idea that a strong score is the ONLY criterion that can get you into a top B-school. We would beg to differ and here is why,
GMAT is an Icing on the cake; there has to be a cake, the icing alone wouldn’t suffice.
When the AdCom reviews an application, it usually tries to view a person as holistically as possible. This means your application as a whole will be considered and it is not the GMAT score alone that will work wonders during admissions. While it is true that a great GMAT score can offset the other deficiencies in your profile, a GMAT score alone cannot turn a pauper into a prince. The reverse also holds good. A great profile can offset a not-so-great GMAT score. So don’t fret and you will be able to give your best. You must ensure to spend enough time to build your profile since it can be a major influencing factor at the time of admissions. Keep in mind that while your GMAT scores contribute to a significant part of the admission procedure the Adcom gives equal consideration over other aspects of your application.
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The GMAT’s objective is to equate and not criticize.
Remember that GMAT tests basic and general quantitative, verbal and reasoning skills. It enables the AdCom to place everyone on one common platform when it comes to measuring these skills. Most people like to believe that their rustic scholastic skills translate to poor performance on these components as well. On the contrary, majority of the skills that are tested on the GMAT are skills that would naturally come to someone with three years of work experience as he or she would be able to relate to the scenarios given. Remember that the objective of the GMAT behind assessing the candidates is to be fair but not to find deficiencies. GMAT is aimed at testing the competencies of candidates in various sections like – Quantitative, Verbal and Analytical Writing. You will have to therefore be prepared to tackle each of these sections as they all play a vital role in the exam. The syllabus for the exam is also not very advanced and has basic middle/high school maths topics for the Quantitative section. The Verbal section is divided into Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence correction. It evaluates your skills in fundamental grammar like parts of speech, Verb tense, Subject Verb Agreement, Modifiers etc. This therefore creates an equal platform for all candidates – Experienced and fresh graduates alike.
Great managers aren’t born with a high GMAT score.
An MBA program makes you a generalist. So, just as it teaches you math and economics, an MBA program will also teach you other human-skills. It teaches you to be compassionate, firm and handle stress well since all of these are necessary skills that a manager must possess. Thus it is to be understood that a high GMAT score doesn’t reflect in what kind of a person you are – In fact, many successful leaders in today’s corporate scenario haven’t even thought about writing GMAT. You can rest assured that universities will not deem you unfit if you do not have a high GMAT score. The Adcom takes into consideration other vital criteria which are necessary for a good Managerial candidate. Most universities require candidates who can add the required diversity and skills to their campus. Therefore all the work experience you have gained will act as a trump card for you at the time of admissions.
It takes 6 months for a great GMAT score; it takes 6 years to build a profile.
Everybody understands the above fact and that is precisely the reason why AdComs are aware of the fact that the GMAT is no reflection of the hard-work that you have invested in improving your profile. Hence, a great GMAT score complements a great profile but both individually cannot help you to reach the desired destination. Profile building is a very critical aspect of the admissions process and must not be taken lightly. You must ensure to invest appropriate time for this since it could provide you with the required leverage to gain admission in the university of your choice.
So if you are someone who feels that you have worked for 3 years and hence find all lame excuses of the world to study, then it’s time to buckle up and hit the books as we now know that everyone understand the general mentality of people who write the GMAT after sufficient work experience. Hence, even if GMAT is in present in the tiniest corpuscle inside your brain, it would be wiser to start working on your profile that makes you more sellable rather than cramming up formulae and getting a high score on the GMAT, which is anyway disconnected from all the other components in your profile.
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