Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on June 10, 2010
It’s been widely reported that more top business schools are accepting the GRE exam in place of the GMAT for admission into their full-time MBA programs. The list includes Harvard Business School, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. To schools, accepting the GRE for admissions broadens the applicant pool to include dual-degree students, younger applicants, and international applicants without easy GMAT access, individuals who otherwise may have been left out of the mix. It also benefits prospective students who aren’t as strong in the quantitative areas that aren’t focused on as heavily on the GRE exam as they are on the GMAT.
But how many prospective students are taking advantage of the option for admittance into the MBA Class of 2012? Not many. At eight prominent business schools that accept the GRE for entry into their full-time MBA programs, only four percent of applicants actually submitted the test.
Washington University’s Olin Business School received the highest percentage of GRE scores, accounting for seven percent of the total applications submitted. On the other hand, at the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, only one percent of applications included the GRE. Similarly, at Stanford, while an exact percentage couldn’t be calculated, Derrick Bolton, MBA admissions director, said that the number of individuals submitting the GRE was “not a statistically significant group.” At Harvard, 468 applicants submitted GRE scores, which equaled about five percent of the total. Yale School of Management received a similar percentage of GRE scores as Harvard.
Based on the small number of scores being submitted, it’s not a surprise that very few GRE applicants are gaining admittance at these programs. At the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, for instance, where less than two percent of applicants submitted GRE scores, only two or three were admitted, according to Sara Neher, director of admissions at Darden.
True, the GRE is a new option for MBA-wannabes, which may explain the low numbers, but I think submitting GRE scores in place of the GMAT is still somewhat risky. My guess is that it will take a few years for admissions officers to feel completely comfortable with the test as an alternative to the old, reliable GMAT, and, until then, I’m not sure I would feel comfortable letting my application ride on such an unknown.
Am I off base here? Any prospective MBAs (or current MBAs) who have, or are considering, submitting a GRE score, feel free to sound off.