How Can I Get the GMAT Requirement Waived?

waive the gmat

While some Online MBA hopefuls will have to buckle down and prepare for the GMAT, other prospective business students looking for relief from placement tests will want to find an Online MBA program that offers some flexibility on their test requirements. Maybe you are one of the ones asking, how can I get the GMAT requirement waived? Let’s dive into it!

Do Business Schools Require the GMAT?

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A recent survey of ranked business schools by US News & World Report reveals that a vast majority of programs that require candidates to submit a GMAT score during the application process provide a waiver for qualified business students. Of the nearly 260 online MBA programs that shared requirements about their testing policy, 125 require business school applicants to submit scores on either the GMAT or GRE. Twenty-two programs require that MBA candidates submit GMAT instead of GRE results. In contrast, all but six business schools requiring scores allow testing requirement waivers if applicants meet specific criteria, such as fulfilling a particular amount of work experience or an excellent undergraduate GPA. Additionally, 112 Online MBA programs said they require no GMAT or GRE test scores from applicants.

How Can I Get the GMAT Requirement Waived?

MBA programs which allow candidates to apply without a GMAT or GRE test scores are still not the norm. Business schools more commonly enable applicants to request test waivers. Requirements for GMAT waivers vary between MBA programs. Online MBA applicants interested in pursuing a test waiver should research the waiver rules at each of the business schools they apply to. Students will do well to explore the school’s policies. They are straightforward, firm, and should be strictly followed. The most critical factors are work experience, undergraduate GPA, and advanced degrees. Many business schools would struggle to grant a waiver to applicants with little to no work experience and who have only gone through the undergraduate academic experience. This student may struggle with a graduate program as it’s different from the rigor, pace, and environment of an undergraduate program.

Meeting a waiver’s minimum requirements does not guarantee you will be granted one. It is essential to call the admissions office and share personal circumstances to make sure you qualify. Questioning an admissions officer will help MBA applicants assess their chances of being approved.

In a some cases, Online MBA programs do not require the placement test scores of any of their applicants. A business school’s test-optional policy can be attractive to many applicants, like the students who discover that taking a standardized test is not the best measure of their abilities.

Should I Take the GMAT Anyway?

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In some cases, applicants who can get the GMAT requirement waived, take the test regardless. A healthy GMAT score allows MBA candidates with a high undergraduate GPA to qualify for scholarships and exempt some from prerequisite courses. A high GMAT or GRE score can help potential graduate students compensate for low undergraduate GPAs and give them a better chance of being accepted.

Some experts believe that an attractive test score can bolster an MBA applicant’s chances for admission even at business schools where a score is not required. Using a GMAT waiver may not always be as advantageous because a strong score may prove beneficial to an Online MBA candidate. Admissions offices want maximum evidence of a candidate’s academic potential.

Action Plans

1. Discover your options for replacing the GMAT.

Business schools typically feature GMAT waivers because they believe the criteria needed can be found in other ways, namely through professional or military experience.

While it may relieve you to discover you don’t need to sit for the exam, it is helpful to understand why some business schools find it valuable. Becoming familiar with what topics the test covers and understanding a GMAT mindset will help you better prepare to frame your application process to lean in on your strengths. Some business schools even offer their own exams applicants can take instead of the GMAT.

2. Compose a persuasive letter.

One of the best ways to request a GMAT waiver is to write a letter asking for one. Countless sites can help you compose a persuasive paper. Here are a few things in mind:

-Work within the formatting requirements of the program you are applying to.
-Begin the letter with a clear statement of its purpose.
-Communicate how the professional work experience you have influences the skills you possess that would be communicated in the GMAT.
-Be as specific as possible while supporting your claims.
-Research examples of GMAT waiver letters and glean from their language and usage.

3. Highlight your professional experience.

Online MBA programs offering a GMAT waiver recognize work experience that reflects proven analytic and quantitative abilities. By waiving the GMAT, these business schools acknowledge that real-world experience may override a numerical score. Throughout the application process, it’s a good idea to portray professional experience in a way that shows how an MBA student applied her sharply honed abilities in the roles she’s held.

4. Show off your personal development.

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When applying to a business school after years in the workforce, it’s helpful to show how you’ve developed through the course of your career. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

-Share career progression that reflects professional growth. 
-Showcase strong leadership and initiative. These qualities should also be reflected in your waiver request. Essays should include specific stories that speak to your abilities. Show how you always go beyond a good job and strive for excellence in all situations.
-Pursue the type of program that can be customized to fit your professional needs. Business schools want candidates with diverse backgrounds and interests. Make sure all your great qualities stand out on your MBA application.
-Applying to an MBA with previous work experience can be an advantage, but you want to maximize that potential. Make sure to highlight the value of that experience in your application.

An Online MBA is one of the most rewarding business degrees on the planet. Finding a program that features a GMAT waiver and knowing how to capitalize on it is a strong move.