Candidates view the GMAT as a make-or-break situation, where they often consider it the most critical aspect of their college application. But there is little correlation between the GMAT and academic performance during the MBA, as long as the candidate achieves a particular score on the GMAT. The admissions committee evaluates an applicant’s profile on a no. of factors; yes, the GMAT is one of them. But the primary question they need to answer is, Can This Student SucceedAnd Perform Well? For this, they evaluate evidence of past success and brilliance. Every university is unique and has its evaluation criteria, where certain schools will place more weight on past performance while others will tend to bend in favour of brilliance. E.g., a candidate with a 3.8 undergraduate GPA from a top college and a 700 GMAT will have a better shot at certain schools than a candidate with a 3.3 GPA from a lesser-known college and a 770 GMAT, and vice versa. Both these candidates have provided some level of reassurance to the respective admissions committees – this is what you need to play on and prepare your plans on.
Now, what to do if you score a 690? If your focussed schools are Indian, like ISB, etc. In that case, you can just stop further appearing for the said exam and proceed with the current score and let the college decide, based on your other academic results and the consistency you showed earlier. B-Schools view the application as a system and will put a checkmark on elements that reassure them. So it is more about their security in believing your candidacy as a student- how well you will fare. The scope to worry about here isn’t the concern, as the minimum score requirement for ISB is a score of 650 (males) and 620 (females). But yes, if you are interested in giving your future a complete rebound, and wish to apply to US/Canadian University for MBA, then the advisable score should be at least a 700. This will give you the confidence to apply by further strengthening the other parts of your profile – recommendation letters, resume, essay answers, statement of purpose, extracurricular activities, etc. But indeed, even a much higher score opens a broader spectrum of colleges and universities to apply to.
You should apply your intelligence and judgment to your situation as an applicant. Every candidate is unique, and while we all love to obsess over the GMAT and how we can improve the score even a bit, you should consider the merits of your overall application. This zeal is what the B-School admissions committee wants to see (the best way to do that is through your essays and SOP). Sometimes, a candidate’s potential cannot be evaluated from prior backgrounds alone because not all have had access to the same opportunities. In such situations, the GMAT, your essays, and your interview play a more significant role. The key here is to score as well as possible. Whether you have achieved a 690 or 740, it all comes down to the acceptance criteria of the college you wish to apply to. Preparing and going through the entire process of appearing for the exam can be very challenging and, at times, brings down your morale.
Once you have a score, it is better to research the universities welcoming of it, e.g., scoring a 690. To be honest, yes, you cannot apply to the most elite B-Schools in the US with this score, but you can still manage to get into any reputed one with the enhanced profile. The following are the prime reasons why any student decides to retake the GMAT exam after getting a 690 or something near to it:
- When you are confident that you prepared well and can do better on the 2nd attempt, you want to achieve a score that reflects your efforts.
- It is not uncommon for students to reappear for this exam. It is not like they are losing from it. However, it will give you less time to prepare your application work.
- The other reason to give the exam can be that you have an ambitious university list, and a 690 won’t fare well with it. This requires motivation and hard work to pursue.
- A higher GMAT score will give you an edge when your undergrad academic isn’t strong enough. This will show perseverance and zeal to do better and put a convincing case in front of the admissions committee.
- Some companies/employers expect a strong GMAT score before interviewing a possible candidate. With a low score, you can lose confidence and may not be as sure of yourself as needed. It could be a hindrance down the road, even if you do make it into your dream B-School.