Generally, MBA programs are highly competitive, and those with the highest GMAT scores stand out in this crowd. However, not everyone can attain the best scores, and since many traditional colleges and universities require the GMAT before they will accept anyone into their MBA programs, several applicants miss the opportunity to earn their MBAs.
If you are concerned that you will not earn good scores on the GMAT, you have an alternative to the traditional MBA program. Several online schools offer MBA programs, and some of them do not require the GMAT.
An increasing number of educational institutions are using indicators other than the GMAT to find worthy candidates for their MBA programs. They are looking for a different type of student, and you may fit into the description. One very important factor is work experience. Generally, MBA candidates are between 30 and 40 years of age. These people have many years of work experience behind them, and colleges and universities are taking this into consideration.
The Executive Master of Business
Those in the population described above are excellent candidates for the Executive Master of Business or EMBA. Educational institutions geared this program toward people who occupy mid-level management positions and would like to climb higher in their organizations. The EMBA is comparable to the MBA and has the same academic focus. The good news is that you can earn it online.
Online Schools that Waive the GMAT
Prospective business students are required to take the GMAT to enter some online MBA programs, but don't despair. In some instances, the school asks for the GMAT on an individual basis. For example, if you received a 3.0 grade point average during the second half of your undergraduate program and have eight years of experience in the workforce, the school may waive the GMAT requirement. In other cases, the institution will "recommend" that you take this test, but it is not required to be admitted to the MBA program. You may qualify to bypass the GMAT in these instances if you can gather favorable references.
The Disadvantages of Forgoing the GMAT
If you choose not to take the GMAT, there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind. First, the list of schools that you will have to choose from will be much shorter than if you did not have this one stipulation. Second, if you do not have a long work history to present to the school, you will be at a disadvantage because administrators will not have as many ways to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for their MBA programs.
When Not Taking the GMAT Is a Good Choice
The choice not to take the GMAT can be a good one for some people. The GMAT is $250, and this is much too expensive for some prospective students. Other people suffer from test anxiety and believe that they will not perform well on the test. Older applicants often have difficulties with this exam even though they have been in the business arena for several years.
The Value of an Online MBA
You do not have to worry that an online degree will not impress future employers. Approximately 1,500 business owners and chief executive officers participated in the December 2007 Excelsior College/Zogby International survey. The results showed that 83 percent of respondents believed that online MBA programs were just as valuable as the traditional ones. Therefore, if an online MBA program that does not require the GMAT is the best option for you, you are on your way to making your dream of earning your MBA a reality.