Poets and Quants: The Case Against the GMAT

Poets and Quants just posted a write-up of a study from Toronto’s Rotman School of Management concerning the GMAT and whether it’s a good predictor of employability post-MBA.

Questioning the GMAT’s ability to predict success outside of the classroom is nothing new. According to the GMAC, the GMAT predicts academic success in an MBA program, which is ostensibly why it’s so important to b schools. (The fact that it has a 16% weight on the US News and World rankings probably doesn’t hurt either.)

But Rotman got all up in the data and found that the GMAT was not a significant predictor of employability post-MBA — here are the factors that they found to be “the five most significant warning signs that an applicant is most likely to be an employment risk, in order of importance:”

  • Citizenship from a region of the world for which Frey declines to identify.
  • Years of work experience. (Ten or more years, to be precise.)
  • Admissions interview scores for candidates.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) test. (The GMAT essay section.)
  • Undergraduate grade point average. (Regardless of major.)
  • Then, finally, came an applicant’s GMAT score—barely.

So it seems that communication skills are key to success post-MBA, judging by the importance of performance in the admissions interview and the AWA. Rotman is now using employability risk data to build its class, but keep in mind that these factors don’t predict success in MBA admissions and that they are not universally recognized and utilized.

This is more an interesting way to assess yourself against some proven factors of success and a way to remind yourself that you are more than your GMAT score!

Read more at Poets and Quants.

Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

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