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Introduction

In recent years, business education has changed to be more flexible and inclusive. Many renowned business schools around the world have started to recognize that standardised tests like the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) may not be the sole indicator of a candidate’s potential for success in an MBA program. As a result, an increasing number of business schools in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia have adopted more holistic admissions approaches, offering MBA programs that do not mandate GMAT scores. This article explores some of the leading business schools in these countries that have embraced this progressive change, widening access to MBA education for a diverse pool of candidates.

Understanding what GMAT is and why it is being waived off in some schools.

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardised exam used to assess the readiness of prospective students for admission to graduate business programs, such as MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs. It evaluates a range of abilities such as analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Business schools use GMAT scores as part of their evaluation process to determine the academic potential and aptitude of applicants. The applicants are expected to submit their scores as part of their application package.

Why is GMAT being waived off by some schools?

  • Extensive Work Experience: If an applicant has significant work experience, especially in a relevant field, the business school may waive the GMAT requirement as their professional experience demonstrates their abilities and potential.
  • Advanced Degrees: Applicants who already possess a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field may have the GMAT requirement waived, as their previous academic achievements serve as evidence of their aptitude.
  • Academic Excellence: Some business schools may waive the GMAT requirement for applicants who have outstanding academic records, demonstrating exceptional performance in their undergraduate studies.
  • Alternative Tests: In some cases, business schools may accept alternative standardised tests, such as the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), in place of the GMAT, especially if the applicant has already taken the GRE and achieved a competitive score.

Internal Policies: Business schools may have their own internal policies that allow for GMAT waivers based on specific criteria or circumstances.

List of business schools that have waived off or do not require GMAT for MBA.

USA

Universities Name Conditions for MBA w/o GMAT
Colorado State University 8+ years of work experience.
New York Institute of Technology 3.0/4.0 GPA.
The University of Tampa Though the GMAT is not obligatory, it is still accepted if provided.
Boston University Specific cases are available for professionals attending evening sessions.
Golden Gate University 5+years of work experience.
Kenan-Flagler Business School Candidate needs to write an application.

CANADA

Universities Name Conditions for MBA w/o GMAT
University Canada West
  • Bachelor’s degree in Business (e.g., BBA or BCom) with 75% or above.
  • Successful completion of UCW’s MBA Foundation (MBAF) with a GPA of at least 72%.
  • Minimum of three (3) years documented professional or management experience.
  • Evidence of career progression and relevant education/training.
  • Generally offers MBA without GMAT.
  • Students from non-management background may require GRE/GMAT or 3 years of managerial experience.
University of New Brunswick
  • Four-year Bachelor’s degree in any stream with 75% overall required.
  • Minimum of two years of post-graduate work experience with resume.
  • Three Letters of Reference and Statement of Purpose required.
  • GMAT waiver with CGPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.3 scale).
Thompson River University
  • Three or four-year undergraduate degree in any discipline with a minimum of 70%.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) outlining education and career plans (250 words).
  • Personal resume required.
  • GMAT waiver available.
  • GMAT score may be requested in specific cases for application assessment.
Trinity Western University
  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum 70% from a recognized university (final two years).
  • EMBA requires 10+ years of professional work experience, including 5+ years of managerial experience.
  • Two letters of reference and Statement of Purpose (SOP) required.
  • GMAT not mandatory; only requested for applicants with lower academic or insufficient business studies background.
Vancouver Island College
  • University Bachelor degree with 60% minimum (business or non-business).
  • At least 1 year of full-time work experience (in any field).
  • Required: SOP, Resume, and 2 LORs (1 from employer).
  • GMAT not needed.

AUSTRALIA 

Universities Name  Conditions for MBA w/o GMAT
Charles Darwin University
  • Bachelor degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) that includes a statement of purpose.
Murdoch University
  • Evidence of two years of work experience
  • English Proficiency test.
  • IELTS/TOEFL.
Curtin University
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 2+ years of work experience.
Victoria University
  • Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline.

UK

Universities Name Conditions for MBA w/o GMAT 
The University of Reading
  • 60% in Graduation.
  • PTE and IELTS.
  • 3 years of work experience.
The University of Central Lancashire
  • 55% in Graduation.
  • Post-Graduation.
  • PTE and IELTS.
Birmingham City Business School
  • 5.0 CGPA.
  • PTE and IELTS.
  • May require an interview on campus.
Middlesex University
  • 55% in Graduation.
  • PTE and IELTS.
  • 2+ years of work experience.
Lancaster University Management School
  • 60% in Graduation.
  • PTE and IELTS.
  • 3 years of work experience.
  • Must give an interview with a university member.

NEW ZEALAND

Universities Name  Conditions for MBA w/o GMAT
AIS St. Helens
  • Graduation.
  • IELTS/PTE/TOEFL.
  • 2+ years of work experience. 
Massey Universities
  • Graduation.
  • IELTS.
  • 3 years of full-time work experience.
University of Canterbury
  • IELTS.
  • 5 years of work experience.
University of Waikato
  • 3 years of managerial experience/10 years of working experience.
  • IELTS.
  • Individual universities and business schools have specific criteria for GMAT exemptions, based on factors like work experience and academic background. It’s crucial to contact the schools’ admissions offices directly for accurate details on admission requirements and GMAT policies. Some schools may have alternative evaluation methods for applicants without GMAT scores.

Conclusion

The ways MBA admissions are done are constantly evolving , with many renowned business schools recognizing that standardised tests like the GMAT might not accurately judge a candidate’s true potential. By eliminating the GMAT requirement, these institutions are embracing a more inclusive approach, welcoming talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. This, in turn, enriches their MBA programs with a wide range of unique perspectives and experiences. If you aspire to pursue an MBA, it’s worth exploring the exciting opportunities provided by these prestigious business schools in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Your journey towards a fulfilling and successful MBA experience awaits!

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