Will a Good GMAT Score Land Your Dream Job?

Last Updated Nov 9, 2009 3:25 AM EST

A question for all of you MBAs reading this: remember how great it felt when you finished the GMAT test? After you got into an MBA program, you probably never thought about the test again.

So how would you feel if you had to re-take the GMAT... after receiving your MBA acceptance letter?

That is exactly the situation some new MBA students are finding themselves in as their schools advise them to retake the GMAT to better position themselves with job recruiters.

As BusinessWeek recently reported, "For a select group of companies, mostly top consulting, finance and banking firms, employers routinely look to MBA graduates' GMAT scores as a reliable standard measurement of academic prowess."
Of course, a high GMAT score isn't prized by every competitive firm as an indicator of job performance. BusinessWeek quotes Bain & Co.'s global recruiting director Mark Howorth as saying, "It's easy to look at a score like a GPA or a GMAT, but in fact, what we teach our people is not to focus on those. Those scores don't capture the type of problem solving we do in our job."

However, some companies do look at GMAT scores as a normalizing factor, as MBA programs have various grading scales or use a pass-fail system. Others see GMAT scores as a counterweight to widespread grade inflation.

The takeaway from the article seems to be that while a great GMAT score itself won't land you a job, it may be a factor that companies look at when deciding who to bring in for an interview. In today's competitive job market, a strong GMAT score may be the thing that helps you get your foot in the door.

So if you're considering really going back to b-school, enrolling in one of those GMAT prep courses may be money well spent.

Image courtesy of get-mba-info.com.

  • Stacy Blackman

    Stacy Sukov Blackman is president of Stacy Blackman Consulting, where she consults on MBA admissions. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Stacy serves on the Board of Directors of AIGAC, the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, and has published a guide to MBA Admissions, The MBA Application Roadmap.