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!