A 8 min read
As an undergraduate student considering future career prospects, especially in a management-related field, it’s crucial to make informed decisions that will set you up for success. One such decision is whether to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). While primarily associated with MBA admissions, the GMAT offers numerous advantages for undergraduates, especially those pursuing business and analytics majors.
Often seen as an exam exclusively for working professionals, the GMAT is overlooked by many undergraduates who fail to understand its potential benefits. However, taking the GMAT early in your career, particularly during your undergraduate studies, can open doors to a wide range of opportunities and provide significant advantages, especially if you have a clear interest in pursuing a management-related career. In this article, we will dispel the misconception that the GMAT is solely for working professionals and present five compelling reasons why it is an excellent choice for undergraduates.
Reason 1: GMAT is an exam specifically designed for Business and Analytics majors.
The GMAT stands out among multiple entrance exams available for graduate programs as the most reliable predictor of performance, especially for business and analytics majors and specifically for MBA programs. By taking the GMAT, undergraduates can showcase their proficiency in crucial areas such as verbal reasoning, data analysis, and quantitative reasoning, which hold immense value in the business world. Moreover, the recent revamp of the GMAT and the introduction of the new GMAT Focus Edition emphasize higher-order critical reasoning skills and data literacy that are particularly relevant and applicable in the evolving business landscape of the future.
To learn more about the GMAT Focus Edition, click here.
No other standardised exam for business related courses is as reliable a predictor of your performance in the business programs as GMAT. For example, the GRE is another popular test accepted by business programs, however it is not designed specifically for business programs. It is accepted by almost every program in every field including social sciences, humanities, engineering etc. Therefore, by choosing the GMAT, undergraduates position themselves for success by aligning their preparation and abilities with the specific requirements of the business world and graduate programs. The GMAT’s focus on business-related skills, its acceptance across a range of master’s programs, and its long score validity make it an indispensable choice for undergraduates aiming to excel in the field of business and analytics.
Reason 2: GMAT is a test of logic, rather than of specialized knowledge, so it is perfect for undergraduates.
The GMAT sets itself apart from other standardized exams, such as the GRE and CAT, by focusing on logical thinking rather than specialized knowledge. This unique characteristic makes the GMAT an ideal choice for undergraduates from diverse academic backgrounds and specializations. Unlike exams that assess specific subject knowledge, the GMAT evaluates the ability to think critically, reason logically, and analyze information from multiple sources, reflecting the demands of today’s business world.
This emphasis on logical thinking means that undergraduates from any major or field of study can excel on the GMAT. It doesn’t require specialized knowledge but instead tests the ability to apply logic and reasoning to a variety of scenarios. For example, the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section challenges test-takers to synthesize data, identify patterns, and solve business problems, mirroring the skills needed in today’s dynamic business environment.
Another notable example of the GMAT’s focus on logical thinking is in its quantitative section. Unlike other exams that allow the use of calculators, the GMAT’s quantitative section prohibits the use of calculators, emphasizing the importance of mental math and logical reasoning. This means that regardless of your background in mathematics or quantitative subjects, the GMAT provides a level playing field for all test-takers.
Similarly, the GMAT’s verbal section doesn’t require specialized knowledge of the English language. Instead, it evaluates your logical thinking and comprehension skills. This means that you don’t need to be an English language expert to perform well on the verbal section. By focusing on logic and reasoning, the GMAT allows undergraduates from all specializations to demonstrate their analytical abilities.
Reason 3: GMAT offers immense opportunities to choose from a variety of different MBA and masters programs
Over 7,700 MBA, business masters and business analytics programs accept the GMAT score! One of the significant advantages of taking the GMAT as an undergraduate is the wide range of opportunities it offers in terms of choosing graduate programs. While the GMAT is primarily associated with MBA admissions, it is also accepted by various master’s programs in business and related fields, such as Masters in Management (MiM), Masters in Entrepreneurship (MeM), and Business Analytics programs.
Consider the case of Shahmeer, for instance. He chose to pursue a Master’s in Management (MiM), a degree usually undertaken by those in the early stages of their career. This decision gave him a notable three-year head-start compared to those who opt for an MBA, a degree typically sought after gaining substantial work experience.
His remarkable progress in GMAT scores, from 550 to an impressive 760, played a key role in securing his admission to the esteemed MiM program at London Business School. To know more about his journey, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Den88nxX5eI
The flexibility offered by the GMAT allows undergraduates to explore different paths and choose the program that aligns best with their career aspirations and interests. The undergraduates can get their GMAT score and then have sufficient time to make an informed decision about the specialization they want to go for.
In contrast, other major entrance exams fail to provide the same level of versatility for undergraduates or accurately assess the abilities required to excel in the business world. For instance, the CAT is a popular management entrance test in India, but it is primarily accepted by IIMs and a limited number of colleges in India for two-year MBA programs. It lacks wide acceptance outside of India and for other business and analytics majors.
Read these articles to know more about the differences between CAT and GMAT and the differences between GMAT and GRE
Reason 4: GMAT score is valid for 5 years, so students can take the test now and keep their options open
Here is a pro-tip by one of e-GMAT’s students Samiya, who score an incredible GMAT 780!
“Try to get done with the GMAT as early as possible. Preferably, while in school or immediately after. Since studying for the GMAT becomes that much easier as you’re already in the habit of putting in study hours. The positive morale boost of having a good GMAT score in hand should not be underestimated.”
Samiya got done with her GMAT immediately after her graduation and had ample time to concentrate on building her career and her application. She eventually got an admit at Wharton and is studying there currently. You can read her story here: https://e-gmat.com/blogs/gmat-780-scorer-preparation-tips/
A major advantage of taking the GMAT as an undergraduate is that the test scores are valid for five years. By taking the exam early, students can keep their options open and have a valid score in hand when they decide to pursue an MBA or other graduate programs. This flexibility allows them to focus on their careers immediately after completing their undergraduate studies, confident in the knowledge that they have a competitive GMAT score that remains valid for several years.
Completing your studies before starting your career is typically easier. Studying for the GMAT while working can be time-consuming and tedious. Here’s a smart choice for undergraduates: finish GMAT preparation, achieve a good score, and then focus on your career. Utilize this time to make an informed decision about your desired specialization. The GMAT score remains valid for 5 years, and over 7,700 MBA and masters programs worldwide accept it. Therefore, completing the GMAT while studying provides several advantages, including a longer timeframe for thoughtful consideration and exploration of various options available to you.
Consider the story of Shaarang for instance. Despite securing a commendable GMAT score of 740, he faced initial setbacks. His applications to numerous business schools during his first attempt were unsuccessful. Undeterred, Shaarang used this time to focus intensively on enhancing his application. He took more than a year to gain clarity on his goals and cultivate his career, without needing to retake the GMAT, thanks to his already impressive score. His perseverance paid off when he received acceptance letters from five of his target schools, accompanied by scholarships totaling an astonishing $250,000. Ultimately, he chose to further his education at the University of North Carolina (UNC). To delve deeper into his inspiring journey, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApCOjSKdChI&ab_channel=e-GMAT
Reason 5: The skills built while taking the GMAT go beyond MBA and are for life
Taking the GMAT not only prepares you for MBA programs but also equips you with valuable skills that extend beyond the academic setting. The Critical Reasoning (CR) section of the GMAT enhances your ability to evaluate different options, weigh arguments, and engage in respectful and logical debates. These skills are essential for making informed decisions and fostering effective communication in the workplace.
In addition, the Sentence Correction (SC) section of the GMAT helps you develop strong communication skills by improving your grasp of grammar, sentence structure, and effective expression. These skills are valuable not only during your time in business school but also throughout your professional career.
The Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT enhances your data analytics and problem-solving abilities. The modern business world heavily relies on data analysis, and the IR section prepares you to make sense of complex information and draw meaningful insights.
By developing these skills through the GMAT, you are better equipped to excel in business school and thrive in the business world beyond. These skills will continue to serve you well throughout your career, helping you make informed decisions, communicate effectively, and analyze data to drive success in various professional endeavors.
Here is another reason for taking the GMAT that might come as a surprise for you:
Reason 6: Taking the GMAT opens a plethora of career options, not just a graduate program
Taking the GMAT not only provides opportunities for admission to graduate programs but also opens doors to various career paths beyond academia. Two notable career options that are highly relevant to a good GMAT score are GMAT coaching and consulting.
Becoming a GMAT coach can be a rewarding career choice with a high return on investment (ROI). Afterall, with an investment of $275 dollars for the exam, you can earn thousands of dollars per year in this niche market helping other aspirants replicate what you have already done! As a coach, you can help aspiring test-takers improve their GMAT scores and guide them towards achieving their academic and professional goals.
Furthermore, many consulting companies value the critical thinking and problem-solving skills demonstrated by a strong GMAT score. A good GMAT score can give them confidence in a candidate’s ability to analyze complex issues, make sound decisions, and think critically.
Now that you know all the advantages of taking the GMAT, let us compare the different standardised tests in terms of the advantages they provide undergraduates:
Comparison of GMAT, CAT and GRE in terms of advantages given to undergraduates:
|Relevance to business related programs||7700+ programs including MBA, MiM, MeM, business analytics etc accept the score||Mostly accepted by 2-year MBA programs in India and select 1 year programs||Programs from all fields including 1300+ business schools accept the score|
|Score validity||5 years||1 year||5 years|
|Skills tested||Quantitative reasoning, Data insights and Verbal reasoning||Quantitative reasoning, Data interpretation and logical reasoning, Verbal reasoning||Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Analytical writing, Unscored/Research section|
|Usage of calculator for the math sections||Not allowed (except in Data Insights section)||Allowed||Allowed|
In conclusion, taking the GMAT as an undergraduate offers immense benefits and opportunities, especially for those interested in a management-related career. This exam provides a reliable predictor of performance in business and analytics programs, tests logical rather than specialized knowledge, and opens up a plethora of choices in MBA and masters programs. Its score validity of five years allows undergraduates the flexibility to plan their career path strategically. Additionally, the skills developed while preparing for the GMAT go beyond academic applications, proving useful throughout one’s professional journey. Moreover, a strong GMAT score can also unlock attractive career options such as GMAT coaching and consulting. In comparison to other standardized tests like the CAT and GRE, the GMAT stands out in its relevance to business-related programs and the specific skills it tests. Therefore, it’s an invaluable investment for undergraduates aiming to excel in the business world.