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Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later

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Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2013, 18:56
Hi everyone!

I read in MBA Mission's "Complete Start-to-Finish Guide" that most business schools prefer you apply to their schools within 3 years of taking the GMAT. I just graduated from undergrad and was hoping to take the GMAT this September or October, and then apply to business school in 4 years. I will be working at a well-known management consulting firm (not MBB), but I feel like I want to develop myself a lot there and make myself a more competitive candidate before applying. I know many people from MBB might apply after only 2-3 years of work.

Do you guys think that schools will really prefer that I take the GMAT closer to my application date/year or is it okay that I take it this year and apply 4 years later? I don't want it to be a "waste" for me to spend money prepping and taking classes to take it this fall, only to have to take it again in a few years and repeat the process. The b-schools I am looking at are top-10 schools.

Thanks :)

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Re: Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2013, 10:41
Yes, I'd like to know that too. I am planning to take the GMAT in 6 months or so, but I will be applying for b-school after 4- 4.5 years. Is this going to be a problem?

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Re: Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2013, 12:04
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Yes, it's generally true that MBA programs prefer to see a fairly recent GMAT score. In theory, the GMAT is supposed to give schools an idea of how academically prepared you are for business school; if your score is too old, it's awfully difficult for MBA programs to know exactly how sharp your skills will be when you actually start graduate school. It's reasonable to think that your quant skills might atrophy in the four years between undergrad and b-school, so it isn't too surprising that schools want you take the GMAT within a couple of years of your projected matriculation date.

I've occasionally met applicants who've managed to get into business school with a crusty old score report, but it isn't all that common. If your profile is absolutely irresistible in every possible way, then it's hard to imagine that a business school would reject you just because you took the GMAT three or four years ago. If you can prove that you've kept your academic skills fresh (by, say, taking some calculus or economics or stats courses before applying to b-school), then it's a little bit easier for adcoms to accept an older GMAT score. And if your GMAT score and academic record are absolutely phenomenal, then MBA programs probably won't really care if the score is a little bit old. If, for example, you got a 3.9 in a quant-heavy major from an Ivy and then nailed a 750 on the GMAT, why would anybody worry about your academic skills?

So there's no hard-and-fast rule here, but if there's any hint of weakness in your academic record, then there's a good chance that MBA programs will (understandably!) want to see a more recent score.

If you're already close to clobbering the GMAT, then you might as well get the test over with, and hope for the best when application time hits in a few years. But if you think that you'll have a marginal profile four years from now, then it might make more sense to wait.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2013, 22:14
GMATNinja wrote:
Yes, it's generally true that MBA programs prefer to see a fairly recent GMAT score. In theory, the GMAT is supposed to give schools an idea of how academically prepared you are for business school; if your score is too old, it's awfully difficult for MBA programs to know exactly how sharp your skills will be when you actually start graduate school. It's reasonable to think that your quant skills might atrophy in the four years between undergrad and b-school, so it isn't too surprising that schools want you take the GMAT within a couple of years of your projected matriculation date.

I've occasionally met applicants who've managed to get into business school with a crusty old score report, but it isn't all that common. If your profile is absolutely irresistible in every possible way, then it's hard to imagine that a business school would reject you just because you took the GMAT three or four years ago. If you can prove that you've kept your academic skills fresh (by, say, taking some calculus or economics or stats courses before applying to b-school), then it's a little bit easier for adcoms to accept an older GMAT score. And if your GMAT score and academic record are absolutely phenomenal, then MBA programs probably won't really care if the score is a little bit old. If, for example, you got a 3.9 in a quant-heavy major from an Ivy and then nailed a 750 on the GMAT, why would anybody worry about your academic skills?

So there's no hard-and-fast rule here, but if there's any hint of weakness in your academic record, then there's a good chance that MBA programs will (understandably!) want to see a more recent score.

If you're already close to clobbering the GMAT, then you might as well get the test over with, and hope for the best when application time hits in a few years. But if you think that you'll have a marginal profile four years from now, then it might make more sense to wait.

I hope this helps!


Thank you! Don't know why I didn't see this reply earlier. I am taking the GMAT next month and not planning on applying for another 3 years, so hopefully they will be able to accept my GMAT score...thanks for the idea of taking another quant class. I might ask around and see if that is necessary and consider it if it will ensure I don't have to go through taking the GMAT again. I feel like i can get a pretty good score with all the studying I've done now, so I would prefer not to wait...but your reply definitely makes me weary about applying in 3 years. I just don't think I will be competitive enough (work experience-wise) to apply in 2...

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Re: Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later   [#permalink] 23 Dec 2013, 22:14
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Taking GMAT this year and applying to b-school 4 years later

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