THROUGH Meghan MalasJanuary 14, 2022, 10:20 PM
University of Washington students, seen in March 2020. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
Good news for professionals who want to apply for MBA programs as early as possible: more and more top MBA programs are relaxing their testing requirements.
Professionals who think their experience speaks to their management skills and would like to skip the tests altogether and candidates who think they would do better on the Graduate Examinations (GRE) rather than the Management Admissions Test of Graduate Studies (GMAT) might be happy to hear that most top MBA programs no longer have GMAT-only test score requirements.
In fact, some programs do not require any submission of test results. The 10 best schools in FortuneThe top MBA program rankings have a “flexible” GMAT requirement, meaning they accept either GMAT or GRE test scores.
While it is more common for online, part-time, and executive MBA programs to not require applicants to submit GMAT scores, a significant number of full-time programs have also dropped this requirement.
Top-ranked schools point to a broader trend in MBA admissions policies — a trend that began before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but has accelerated over the past two years, according to Esther Magna, Senior MBA Admissions Consultant. at Stacy Blackman, an MBA admissions consulting firm.
Top schools want to ensure diversity in their incoming cohorts — diversity of personal and professional backgrounds — and maintaining a GMAT requirement somewhat limits the types of students who apply, Magna adds. But most MBA programs, especially top-ranked ones, require students to be analytical and data-driven, she adds.
“These programs seek to attract people who can handle the quantitative gymnastics inherent in the MBA program,” Magna says. “Thus, throughout the admissions process, it is imperative that applicants demonstrate that they can handle the quantitative courses.”
Depending on the school they are applying to, some students may choose to submit GRE scores or take the Executive Assessment to prove their quantitative aptitude. Meanwhile, other applicants may list their work experience as proof of their abilities.
But if you’re determined to avoid taking a test altogether, the 10 schools below don’t require MBA applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: No. 8
MIT Sloan allows applicants to request a test waiver, and if approved, no GMAT or GRE score is required. However, the school notes that standardized testing “plays an important role in our holistic assessment process.” And incoming students in 2020 had an average GMAT score of 720.
2. University of Washington (Foster)
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: No. 18
The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business does not require standardized test scores for applicants to its full-time MBA program for 2022 and 2023 who are able to demonstrate strong quantitative skills through their prior academic work or their recent work experience. International applicants are still strongly encouraged to submit a valid standardized test result as part of the application process, given the competitive pool of international applicants. The average incoming student last year had a GMAT score of 692.
3. Michigan State University (wide)
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: No. 31
Michigan State University (Broad) is offering GMAT test waivers to applicants to its full-time MBA program who qualify because the Broad MBA “seeks to create an MBA class with diverse backgrounds, talents, and perspectives” , according to information from the university. . The average GMAT score for the Class of 2022 was 674.
4. Fordham University (Gabelli)
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: No. 38
Fordham University (Gabelli) has made submitting standardized test scores optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle due to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy states that applicants can still submit their test scores. The average incoming student in 2020 reported a GMAT score of 618.
5. George Washington University
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: No. 40
George Washington University is a test-optional school, but will accept grades from applicants who “deem it necessary to strengthen their candidacy,” according to the university. In 2020, incoming students submitted an average GMAT score of 612.
6. Babson College (Olin)
Fortune MBA program ranking: 45
Babson College’s full-time MBA program is elective for 2022 entry applicants. In 2020, admitted students who elected to take a test had an average GMAT score of 608.
7. University of Denver (Daniels)
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: 49
The University of Denver (Daniels) full-time MBA program is elective. The average full-time incoming MBA student had a GMAT score of 612 in 2020.
8. American University (Kogod)
Fortune MBA program ranking: 54
American University (Kogod) is an elective school, but encourages applicants to submit a grade if they have one. In 2020, incoming students who said so had an average GMAT score of 550.
9. Syracuse University (Whitman)
Fortune MBA program ranking: 65
Syracuse University (Whitman) is offering GMAT and GRE waivers to qualified full-time MBA applicants for the 2022 admissions cycle. The average GMAT score for the entering class of 2021 was 667.
10. Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead)
Fortune MBA Program Ranking: 67
Case Western Reserve University’s full-time MBA program is elective for incoming students in fall 2022. In 2020, admitted students who take a test have an average GMAT score of 636.
Find out how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of best part-time, executive, and full-time schools, and online MBA programs.