The GMAT is becoming more important

This Businessweek article talks about the increasing importance of the GMAT to top financial and consulting firms. Recruiters seem to be weeding people out based on GMAT scores. The article doesn’t exactly spell out what score is the cutoff for these institutions, but it does make this reference, “even ‘slightly below 700 might not be a help.” The beginning of the article also talks about how some schools are alerting students about this and in turn the students are re-taking the exam. One school is even offering a 4 day course for in coming students.

My take on this is that this would be the same as filtering out people based on SAT scores, which I know does happen. The tests themselves do represent your ability to retain information and apply in to solve a problem, but it doesn’t measure more qualitative things that go into making a good leader/worker. If I got 690 on the exam, which I did, does that make me a better candidate for an I-banking job at  Goldman than someone who gets a 650, or am I worse than someone in the 700s? That I cannot say…what if someone is a bad test taker or a great test taker? Does my 690 mean that I would pick better stocks for my hedge fund than that 650?

I suppose that this is really used because recruiters have a bevy of qualified candidates and they need to widdle the pile down somewhat. The GMAT is something we will all have in common, the great equalizer, if you will. So this is a heads up to all those who plan on “making it rain” for the rest of their lives…you better have the GMAT score necessary to get into the club!

About these ads

20 Responses

  1. [...] Visit 2012 MBA Applicant for more. var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, digg, delicious, buzz, mixx, reddit, bitly, facebook, twitter, google, more'; [...]

  2. [...] the full article: The GMAT is becoming more important AKPC_IDS += [...]

  3. Seriously? It’s one test. (disclosure: 740, 1 week of study)

    I’d value my people management and manipulations skills well above my quantitative skills. I can write a program to simulate the latter, but not the former.

  4. LSMBA – completely agree, but apparently Goldman and BCG don’t.

    I would say that most people can be taught quantitative methods or procedures and conduct them with relative ease, but managing someone takes skills that are much harder to instill in someone.

    BTW…congrats on the 740 w/ only one week of study. I might have sacrificed my first born for that (just kidding honey…(but seriously I am not kidding))

  5. I wouldn’t work for any company so short-sighted as to use an external standardized exam to weed out candidates. But, of course, I’m a badass analyst with plenty of quantitative experience and don’t need to worry. Recruiters call me direct ;)

  6. I’ve talked with a Bain recruiter and she told me that she looked the GMAT score. Of course, it was NOT THE factor that determined a decision, but they look at it because when students are applying for the summer internship, perhaps in december or january of the first year, they may not have the scores of the courses they’ve taken. So the GMAT stands as an academic indicator.

    Regards!

    MBAJourney
    http://mbajourney12.blogspot.com

  7. Randy – I am sure you don’t even have to interview at this point. You are simply handed a key to which ever corner office you please. After reading the knowledge and insight you drop on the blog, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t.

    Journey – Thanks for the input. It would make more sense if recruiters are using scores for internships, as opposed to full-time positions. Did the recruiter give any indication what the base score would be for a candidate?

  8. Something like that Steve! Some times, I take other current employees office’s, just to show that I can. Like Favre showing up on the Vikings and taking #4, even though it was currently being warn.

    But seriously, I view using the GMAT for employment the same way I view using credit scores for setting insurance premiums. Yes, using these automated scores may be predictive of *something*, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

    The GMAT is a test that can be beaten. You can study, you can get a company to tutor you, and you can do so many practice problems until you learn the quirks. But translated to the work environment, is that necessarily the type of person you want?

    Nothing against the high GMAT folks, but when I’m hiring I want people who can work quickly, can *estimate* the right answer, and know when good enough is good enough. High GMAT or not. And when dealing with problems without a clear solution, or more qualitative problems like branding, you want people who can move beyond what’s already out there, rather than working fingers to the bone to analyze what’s already out there.

    If Goldman is doing it, or Bain, I’m sure they’ve had success. But it seems like there’s so many better ways to quantify future success. Heck, I have had interviews for programming positions where people have explained a program to me verbally, then told me to write out the program by hand on a whiteboard! That certainly proved whether or not I had the nuts.(Wrote the program correctly, not offerred position anyway. Not sure what they were looking for, exactly).

  9. No, she didn’t talk about cut offs. However, she left me the impression that they used it just as admissions committees do: as one part of an overall process.

    Regards!

    MBAJourney
    http://mbajourney12.blogspot.com

  10. Hey there…am curious, how did you get clearadmit to publish your posts on their ‘Fridays from the frontline’ weekly article?

  11. Randy – Much respect on the programming thing…I took one course in college and when things like booleans and such started getting thrown around, my eyes glazed over and I started nodding off. Pulled off a solid B+, but I think it was out of sheer pitty.

    MBA – Thanks.

    Max – I am pretty sure that they get my stuff from Hella. There is a link on my front page to the site. Ask them to add your blog (assuming you have one) and then you should start showing up on clear admit. Also, if you do have a blog, leave the address and I will throw you up in my blog roll. It should help drive some traffic to your site (I mean I am kind of a big deal, so any endorsement from me can only hurt your traffic, help…I meant help. Freudian slip!)

  12. [...] recent victory (we wonder what Wharton students did to celebrate). Steve read an article about the increased importance of GMAT scores during the job recruitment process. ABeautifulMind was in the midst of a hectic week of Fuqua essay prep and tracked the success of a [...]

  13. [...] recent victory (we wonder what Wharton students did to celebrate). Steve read an article about the increased importance of GMAT scores during the job recruitment process. ABeautifulMind was in the midst of a hectic week of Fuqua essay prep and tracked the success of a [...]

  14. [...] recent victory (we wonder what Wharton students did to celebrate). Steve read an article about the increased importance of GMAT scores during the job recruitment process. ABeautifulMind was in the midst of a hectic week of Fuqua essay prep and tracked the success of a [...]

  15. [...] recent victory (we wonder what Wharton students did to celebrate). Steve read an article about the increased importance of GMAT scores during the job recruitment process. ABeautifulMind was in the midst of a hectic week of Fuqua essay prep and tracked the success of a [...]

  16. [...] author of The 2012 MBA  Applicant blog, shrewdly observes in  The GMAT is becoming more important ”So this is a heads up to all those who plan on ‘making it rain’ for the rest of [...]

  17. [...] author of The 2012 MBA  Applicant blog, shrewdly observes in  The GMAT is becoming more important “So this is a heads up to all those who plan on ‘making it rain’ for the rest of [...]

  18. [...] author of The 2012 MBA  Applicant blog, shrewdly observes in  The GMAT is becoming more important “So this is a heads up to all those who plan on ‘making it rain’ for the rest of [...]

  19. Hi,

    The GMAT score is becoming a buzz word everywhere. Unlike before, it has made its presence felt in the IT sectors where scores less than 700 are not valued. Hence, one must keep this in mind before initiating one’s preparation for GMAT.

  20. it’s hilarious to see some people saying that they scored 740 at the GMAT by only studying one week, and to think that because of that, this test is easy… To say that is to forget that some people come from math background and are good at this kind of test, CAT, that doesn’t exist in Europe. my girlfriend for example, who took a test for fun and made me feel like crap when she scored a 710 (she’s a law student, so no she didn’t study at all for the GMAT), the funny detail is that she is not at all a people person and she freaks out in stressful situation; Math does not equal good manager.
    So yes, the GMAT is easy when you have studied math for years, but for people like me, it’s a real pain in the ass.
    i forgot to say that i am french, have already a MSF with a 3.73 GPA and was working as a trader in Europe for one of the biggest banks… Despite that, according to the GMAT, my application is good for the bin…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: