The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is increasingly used for entry onto MSc programmes. For MSc International Management in particular, a GMAT or GRE score is an important entry requirement. So if you’re applying to this programme you need to be thinking about GMAT if you haven’t done so already.

So what is GMAT and why is it needed?

GMAT is a three and a half hour test comprising of quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, integrated reasoning, and analytical writing components.

Each section is designed to test a different element of your skillset, including critical thinking, numerical aptitude, ability to analyse data and ability to understand written material. The idea is that higher scores show that you have good competence in these areas, and are therefore well-equipped to succeed in postgraduate business study. You can read more about the structure of the exam on the GMAT website.

The GMAT is well known as being ‘designed for business schools by business schools’ meaning that your results provide us with a key insight into your analytical and quantitative ability, and help us to distinguish top candidates as a result. The test shows us that you are serious about postgraduate study, which is crucial when you are looking to take a programme as competitive and rigorous as MSc International Management.

What’s more, we can trust the GMAT as the entire exam experience is consistent across the world. From the time you register for the exam to the time when you receive your scores – the whole process is standardised, no matter what country you sit the test in. To give you some numbers, 200,000 business school candidates take the GMAT exam per year, exclusively for application to a graduate business programme – and we expect this number to grow.

Crystal Grant, Director of Admissions, explains:

We receive a high volume of applications for MSc International Management from a wide range of business backgrounds, and from all over the world. GMAT results give us a consistent criterion to look at in the selection process – and a strong, well-rounded performance can definitely help your application stand out.

Are there any other benefits of taking GMAT?

A well-rounded score will not only add weight to your application, but can continue to be valuable post-MSc.

Although GMAT is predominantly designed to predict likely success in postgraduate study, the type of skills that are demonstrated through the test such as quantitative analysis, problem-solving, working with data and reports, and communication, are sought after professionally. In the fields of finance, analysis, risk management, investment banking, management and consulting, it is becoming more common for firms to ask for your GMAT scores. Even if you aren’t required to take it, an excellent score will look good on your CV and LinkedIn profile as it has a strong global reputation. GMAT results are valid for five years, so this gives you quite a wide timeframe.

The Graduate Management Admissions Council conducted a study of both corporate recruiters and business school applicants, and found that 88 per cent of recruiters are projecting a need for outstanding business school graduates. Graduate business school applicants reported taking the GMAT exam in order to stand out, in support of similar goals, to help increase job opportunities, salary and accelerated career growth.

You can read more about the study and watch videos from recruiters at some key firms here.

Even better, the skills, time and effort you put in to preparing for the GMAT, as well as striving for a good result, will put you in good stead for the challenges and rewards of MSc study – a good indicator of things to come!

I’d like to take the GMAT soon, what next?

There are more than 530 GMAT test centres worldwide – you can use the GMAT website to find your nearest test centre.

Bear in mind that the GMAT is designed to be prepared for. The time needed varies from person to person with some test-takers reporting that eight weeks is enough time to get ready for the exam. Some of our current Management students have put together their own tips to prepare for the GMAT and you can find lots more information about preparing for the GMAT here.

Once you are ready, you should upload a copy of your results within your application and request your score to be released to Imperial College Business School. This will enable us to verify your results online, so you should not send a hard copy unless we request it. Our GMAT code for MSc International Management is S22-7S-53.

You are expected to have a valid GMAT or GRE score as part of your application for MSc International Management, but a minimum GMAT score is not required. We do, however, recommend aiming for at least 600 overall.

Lastly, candidates for MSc International Management with exceptional academic backgrounds may also be considered for a GMAT/GRE waiver.

Before you go…

GMAT is a big commitment for most applicants, but we hope we have given you a better idea of its importance in the application process and how it can be of real benefit to you. We know how much hard work goes into preparing for the GMAT, and so we are delighted to offer the new GMAT Excellence scheme to recognise and reward the highest achievers, with a £3,050 award for candidates who achieve an overall score of 750 or higher and join our programme commencing in September 2019. Eligible candidates will automatically receive the award as a reduction to their tuition fees.

GMAT is and will always remain just one element by which we measure applicants – every other aspect of your application will continue to be taken into consideration and help us to shape your profile.

If you would like to discuss more or have any questions about this requirement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or come and meet us at one of our information sessions or online webinars.

Should you be taking the test soon – best of luck!