Average GMAT scores at top MBA programmes keep increasing across the board, pointing towards intensifying competition among MBA aspirants.
Out of the Financial Times’ global top-20 ranked MBA programmes, Stanford (US) boasts a 737 record-highest class average GMAT score – based on its incoming MBA class in the fall of 2016 – up from 733 the previous year, BusinessBecause reported.
BusinessBecause sourced data for the most recent incoming MBA class of 2016.
INSEAD’s (France) class average GMAT score has increased gradually from 700 to 706 in the past two years. London Business School (LBS) (UK) is the only other Europe-based business school to boast a class average GMAT above the 700 mark in the Financial Times’ global top 20.
You can find the complete table of average GMAT scores for the world’s top 20 MBA programmes here.
David Simpson, MBA admissions director at LBS, says:
The increase in the GMAT average in recent years is reflective of the increase in competition. We are not chasing a higher average score. We enrol the individuals we think will add value to the classroom. That being said, a higher score does make an application more attractive, even though the test is only one of several key measures.
Up to now, the GMAT was compulsory for all LBS MBA applicants. But with the next intake, the school will begin to accept the alternative GRE. Simpson predicts that up to 5% of the next incoming LBS MBA class will take the GRE rather than the GMAT.
Elsewhere, the number of incoming MBA students taking the GMAT has decreased gradually with more applicants looking to other options. IE Business School (Spain), which accepts both the GMAT and the GRE, also offers its own admissions test. The IEGAT requires no prior preparation.
Check out: Why Business Schools Require GMAT Scores
Cambridge Judge Business School’s (UK) class average GMAT has increased from 675 to 690 in the last two years. About 10% of 2016’s incoming MBA class took the GRE over the GMAT, up from 5% in 2014.
At Yale School of Management (US), over 25% of incoming MBA students snub the GMAT. Laurel Grodman, Yale SOM’s director of admissions, says:
We’ve seen a consistent and robust number of non-GMAT test-takers over the past few years. Roughly half of the students who do not submit a GMAT are joint-degree candidates, who may have focused on another exam that also can be used for their other degree programme.
Although the GRE is increasing in popularity, the GMAT is the b-school-specific admissions test that b-schools know best. Hong Kong’s HKUST Business School started accepting GRE scores two years ago, but almost all of its incoming MBA students are GMAT-takers. Sarah Wong, the HKUST MBA’s executive officer of marketing and admissions, says:
We have more trust in, and are more familiar with, the GMAT. We always advise candidates to take the GMAT if they haven’t taken any test yet.
Check out: GMAT Scores That Can Get You into an MBA