Are You Ready to Accelerate Your Career with an Advanced Business Degree? Business schools around the globe have utilized graduate test scores to predict an applicant’s likelihood for academic success for the last six decades.  Although not perfect, a correlation does exist between test scores on graduate entrance exams and success in the first year of graduate school.  Revisiting math and verbal concepts from high school may not at first glance seem appealing there are a number of reasons why graduate business applicants should embrace GMAT/GRE testing.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons applicants to graduate business schools should get excited about these standardized tests.

5. Overcome the obstacle of a low GPA- For reasons ranging from a lack or maturity, to the death of a family member your undergraduate transcript may be littered with grades that make you squirm in disbelief and disappointment. The story behind your D+ in Fundamentals of Music and the C- in Astronomy is now told with a tinge of regret as these undesirable grades have pulled your overall GPA below the average standards of your preferred business school.  Years removed from the classroom and no way to improve your GPA the best option now is to redeem yourself with a strong GMAT/GRE score to show the Admissions Committee that your undergraduate record is not the best reflection of your academic aptitude and that your standardized test score is indicative of your ability to handle the rigors of graduate level course work.

4. Determine if you have time for graduate school– The GMAT/GRE are tests most people should not take unprepared. It takes preparation to familiarize yourself with concepts you may not have encountered in years.  It also takes time to understand the nuisances of the test and how to effectively move through each section efficiently. If you find that your work and family obligations are leaving little time for you to properly prepare for your graduate test it may be an indication that the timing for you to start graduate school is not quite right, or you are not ready to make graduate school a priority at this time.  It is better to find this out while preparing for your graduate entrance exam than it is after 2 or 3 classes where your performance has been impacted negatively by your work and family obligations.

3. Assure you have the aptitude– Certainly the Admissions Committee is interested in reviewing your graduate test score to help determine if you have the academic aptitude to handle the rigors of graduate level education, but it is equally important that you demonstrate to yourself that you have the ability to be successful in more advanced coursework. One of the reasons top tier universities utilize graduate admission tests is to know that incoming students are able to comprehend the advanced material that is presented in their courses.  Your graduate test score can give you the confidence that you are ready to be successful in graduate classes, or help you realize that a particular program may be too challenging for you and ultimately save you thousands of dollars in tuition.

2. Quality of classmates– Higher admissions standards ensures that your fellow classmates are the caliber of students that you would like to study with. Often times, graduate business programs require a great deal of interaction with other students. A tremendous amount of learning takes place as classmates discuss their experiences with each other. Programs that require GMAT/GRE test scores most often attract students with an academic and professional background to make a positive contribution to the class. The opportunity to network with high caliber classmates can pay dividends as your career continues to mature after graduation.

1. Reputation matters- The reputation of the university you attend for your graduate business program can have a dramatic impact on your future career opportunities. Elite employers tend to recruit more aggressively at schools that have an outstanding reputation for academic excellence.  Most highly regarded graduate business programs require a GMAT/GRE test score to be submitted as part of an applicant’s application.  The time you invest in preparing for your graduate entrance exam can open up opportunities at higher ranked institutions and ultimately position you for your dream job at one of the nation’s premier employers.

Certainly it is easier to apply to a graduate business program that does not require a GMAT/GRE, but graduate school is not about taking the easy route.   Get excited about what you can learn about your preparedness for graduate school and see what opportunities your test score can open up for you. Instead of looking at the GMAT/GRE as an obstacle, embrace it and see what new and exciting career opportunities await you upon graduation.