For years now, students have tried attain very high GMAT scores since these scores are welcomed by top business schools such as Stanford which boasts 738 Average, MIT Sloan and Harvard 730. Thus, many MBA candidates pursue to attain these scores instead of other endeavors, such as devoting their time to volunteering or developing their soft skills.
Being a GMAT tutor for over 25 years and having prepared hundreds of students who have attained high scores, I have come to the conclusion that high scores are a small indication of how successful a candidate will be to succeed academically or make the world a better place.
My experience has showed me that my students’
- academic excellence through school and University accompanied with extra certifications,
- leadership positions in clubs and associations through schooling and work life
- caring for others by being involved in volunteering drives that show leadership, longevity and impact
- having a clear vision and passion about the future career path
are the features that make individuals bring a positive change.
That is why I was really pleased to see that INSEAD welcomes lower GMAT scores, which will be accompanied by a strong academic background. INSEAD’s Director of Admissions Ms. Fougea and I quote “We are welcoming applications from those with lower scores because if everything else is a good quality, we can either interviewed these applicants or ask them to retake the test. There is a lot of myth about the ideal GMAT score at INSEAD and some well-rounded applicants tend to exclude themselves just because of a lower GMAT score. If they don’t apply with these lower scores, they will never consider INSEAD, which would be a pity.
We at CLC always emphasize the importance of a high GMAT, but at the same time we ask our students to make their leadership profile unique and emphasize the need to complement their math knowledge, if they lack, by taking extra courses in Math, through online platforms.
Past experiences show the potential for future success, candidates, through these experiences, must show –not tell- different aspects of leadership such as:
- a time you had an impact
- how you have built teams
- how have you shown your strategic thinking and your results-oriented skills.
We truly believe that INSEAD’s move for lower GMAT will increase its pool of really extraordinary applicants and hope that other B-schools will follow suit.