The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a standardized exam often used by business schools to assess their applicants. Its relevance is not only well-known in entering MBA, but is also an eminent criterion for consulting recruiters.
Top tier consultancies, particularly Bain, say that they are likely to utilize the scores on integrated reasoning section of GMAT to screen applicant for their consulting roles. Apparently, top firms like Bain and McKinsey tend to consider standardized test scores of any type – whether that be SAT, GRE, or GMAT.
Why recruiters give importance to GMAT score
Generally, consulting firms look at MBA GMAT scores because they perceive it as a reliable measurement of one’s academic prowess. As the competition in the consulting job market is quite intense, every element of a resume is given weight. And standardized test scores can just spell the difference between landing an interview and the dustbin.
GMAT scores are used by employers to help them gauge the applicant’s management consulting competencies. For instance, recruiters may take a look at the candidates score in the quantitative section of GMAT to help him evaluate the applicant’s quantitative reasoning. Apparently, consultants need to be proficient with numbers as they often handle financial reports, compute costs and revenues, etc. Consulting recruiters routinely check this aspect, as an impressive score in the section dedicated to numerical problems would reveal strong quantitative skills.
Another section in GMAT that recruiters typically check is the integrated reasoning. A high score on this part of the exam may help demonstrate your skills in analyzing tables and graphs. Consulting firms perceive this section as a helpful tool to gauge a candidate’s problem-solving capabilities.
GMAT scores may also help recruiters in assessing your reading comprehension and critical reasoning skills. Your GMAT score may reveal your ability to understand written text, formulate reasoning, as well as how you express ideas. Apparently, firms are looking for individuals who have excellent verbal and written reasoning skills.
Another reason why firms tend to consider GMAT scores is because it is a strong indication of a candidate’s ability to work under pressure. They need candidates who can think analytically even under time pressure. Consultants are expected to handle various clients within a limited time. So an impressive score in GMAT may show your ability to organize thoughts systematically even with time constraints – something that is attractive for recruiters.
Lastly, consulting firms place a high value on GMAT scores because it provides an easy benchmark to compare one candidate to another. It is a consistent metric that can be utilized across the applicant pool.
What if you don’t have an impressive GMAT score
Mark Howorth, senior director of global recruiting at Bain & Co., reveals that because most of their serious applicants have good GMAT scores, it's generally not a key differentiating factor in their selection. "Plenty of people here don't get interviewed who have an exceptionally high GMAT,” he said.
So don’t be too worried if ever you fail to get an impressive GMAT score. GMAT markings alone cannot derail your candidacy. There are plenty of ways you can do to compensate for a low GMAT score. For instance, networking can be the key to landing an interview. Never underestimate the power of valuable connections. You can use the information you got from your networking efforts in your resume and cover letter. Your application would then stand out even if you don’t have great GMAT scores.
Also, you can impress recruiters by providing results-oriented track record. Quantifiable achievements are very much attractive to employers. You can also use the strong leadership card to compensate with low GMAT scores. Top firms are looking for candidates with great people skills.
A strong GMAT score may help you move on to the next level in your application. However, it cannot guarantee anything. So if you are really serious with starting a consulting career, you need to step up and polish every aspect of your application.
For additional consulting career tips and guidelines, you can check ConsultingFact's website. It is an online resource that assists aspiring consultants in achieving their professional goals.