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The No GMAT Required MBA

More and more schools are removing the GMAT requirement for admission to their MBA programs.

no gmat mba student

Let's say you've been thinking about getting your MBA, but you've got young children, plenty of commitments and, like most people, the need for a steady income. Enrolling in an MBA degree program is already demanding, so having to take the time and money to prepare for the GMAT can understandably be a deal breaker. Here's the great news. There are a growing number of options for MBA programs that don't require the GMAT. No test scores at all. In fact, you can even enroll in an online no GMAT MBA program and earn your degree on your time with the bonus of no standardized tests, and more money in your wallet. And don't worry—these programs aren't doing it just to boost enrollment, there's a movement towards making getting an education realistic for the majority of folks. Let's learn just how schools are doing that.

What is the GMAT Anyway?

You may be wondering, why do business schools require the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)? It all started in 1953 when a few schools decided to create a standardized test that objectively quizzed students on their verbal and quantitative skills. Today, the exam includes a writing and an integrated reasoning section as well. While it does test for English, mathematics and analytical writing skills, it's really testing how well you use specific techniques and strategies to perform your best on the test.

No GMAT MBA Programs

Just because a program doesn't require the GMAT doesn't mean you won't get a good education—the path to success is just a different road. If we think about most people's lives, the reality is that we have kids, we have jobs, we have bills, and we can't just set it all aside to pursue our education, hence the no GMAT MBA program.



A Look at the Stats

Online schools are at the forefront of this movement, which is why they're such a good option for those of us who have many responsibilities to balance. U.S. News reported in 2017 that of the 218 online MBA programs that submitted data for their annual survey, 99 required applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores, with an additional 22 requiring GMAT scores. That means that 97 didn't require any test scores, and that's just of those that participated in the survey.

What Do No GMAT MBA Programs Focus on?

Great question. While standardized tests aim to measure the expected success of students should they be accepted in a program, tests may not be the best evaluator. It's hard to assess the soft skills required to succeed in any career role via an exam, especially those of an entrepreneur or businessperson. Many schools are realizing this, in addition to the fact that a lot of folks getting their MBAs already have work experience in the business field. Real-world experience often serves as a better gauge for a student's understanding of business principles and a better demonstration of just how much they can accomplish. Typically, no GMAT MBA programs look for a combination of factors:

  • Good grades
  • Experience applying business principles and techniques at work or on your own time
  • An essay that doesn't tell the reader how committed you are, it shows it
  • Excellent letters of recommendation

Together, these are proving to be great indicators of just how serious and capable MBA applicants are.

The Executive MBA (EMBA)

Enter the Executive MBA, an MBA program designed for professionals already in the field. While you don't have to be an "executive" to enter the program, they are geared for those who aim to maximize the impact they're already making. The majority of EMBA programs do not require the GMAT or GRE because they know that students already possess the skills needed to succeed in the business world.

How Do I Find No GMAT MBA Programs?

Now that we know that there are an increasing number of MBA programs that don't require the GMAT or the GRE for admission, it's safe to say you've got options. The best place to start would be searching for online MBA programs, since they are already such flexible degree options and are more likely to waive the GMAT.

no gmat stamp

Online programs are a lifesaver for many, since they usually allow students to earn a degree at their own pace while studying wherever is convenient for them. Not having to relocate, change your job or be away from your children are some of the many perks of earning an online degree. Now, you also have the option of finding a program that doesn't require the time, stress and cost of a GMAT exam, but make sure to check with each individual school you research to understand what they expect from their applicants if no GMAT score is required.