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Do Americans Fail to Measure Up on the GMAT?

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According to The Wall Street Journal, "new waves of Indians and Chinese are taking America's business-school entrance exam, and that's causing a big problem for America's prospective MBAs."

You probably ask yourselves why is this an issue. WSJ provides the answer: "The foreign students are much better at the test."

Do you agree to this? Do you believe that "Americans fail to measure up" on the GMAT? Let us know your thoughts below!

Here's a link to the original article: https://on.wsj.com/1x5hGN7
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by fxMBAconsulting (Leah) » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:50 am
Schools want to provide a mix of students from different backgrounds - and the reality is that at top schools most of the Indian/Asian students that are offered places already have experience working or studying abroad. In my class at Sloan there was not one person from India or China who had not spent a significant amount of time working in Europe/US etc. Not one. My hunch is that the Indian/Asian students driving up the quant scores on the GMAT are people who see a top US/EU MBA as a way of GAINING international experience and acquiring an international career trajectory. What they don't realize is that even with a 780, a lot of these schools aren't considering them (IMHO).

So is a higher average GMAT a problem for American MBAs....I don't think it is, and I don't think it will ever be.
Leah Derus
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by Personal MBA Coach » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:38 pm
While applicants from certain regions may do better than others, at the end of the day it may not matter. Since schools want diverse classes, they fill them with students from a variety of backgrounds including industry, function and geography among many more.

In addition, GMAT score is only one part of the application. While it is very important, schools do not fill their classes with applicants who have the highest GMAT. Each situation is different depending on the individual circumstance. While it is important to score within the range, once you demonstrate academic potential it is important to master the other areas of the application. Often applicants spend too long studying for the GMAT only to rush the rest of the application. I would usually rather the rest of the application be improved so it is closer to perfection than to see another 20 points on the GMAT.

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by MBACrystalBall » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:50 am
Here's a counterview.

After having worked with Indian applicants for over a decade, I know for a fact that high GMAT scores (or rather the desire to get them) are a huge source of grief for Indian MBA aspirants.

Given the sheer number of Indians taking the test, the absolute number of 700+ scorers may seem high. But a large number of candidates struggle to reach the magic 7XX score.

Each year, we come across some extremely talented applicants who simply can't crack the test, even after multiple attempts.

And those who do score high aren't happy either since they think their overall application isn't well-balanced. Now they have the additional challenge to balance out an obscenely high GMAT with really strong essays (which is the real Achilles' heel for this applicant pool).

For Indian applicants, it's come to a stage where a high GMAT score isn't a game changer, but not having a strong score can sound the death knell for their MBA dreams.
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application process

by MenloCoaching » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:47 am
It is true that GMAT test takers from India and China often have a different pattern of scores on the quant and verbal sections than American test takers. A large group of international test takers score high on the quant, but low on the verbal, which influences every test taker's percentile ranking.

When American MBA applicants take the GMAT, they often achieve relatively balanced scaled scores on the quant and verbal sections, which then translate into a high percentile on the verbal and a low percentile on the quant. This is misleading and may cause American applicants to think that they must reach at least 80th percentile on the quant, which as of 2019, requires a 50/51 score on the quant section. This is NOT required to win admission at a top MBA program.

The test score that will make you an attractive applicant varies depending on the competitiveness of your cohort within the MBA applicant pool. Basically, it's supply and demand.

Because there are a large number of highly intelligent, accomplished young professionals in India and China who are applying for top MBA programs, but only a small number of seats available (because the admissions committee needs to reserve spaces for applicants from many other regions of the world), then the GMAT score required to be a competitive applicant is usually higher for applicants from India and China.

On the other hand, applicants from under-represented regions such as Africa may be attractive to MBA programs even with a GMAT score that is slightly lower than the school's average, since their professional experiences may be distinctive and uncommon within the MBA applicant pool.

If you want to understand the GMAT score that you need to achieve to be a competitive MBA applicant, and whether it is worth the effort to re-take the GMAT, we've written a longer guide to this topic at What is a Good GMAT Score?

The answer depends not only on your profile, but also your GMAT study history, which is a clue to how much time it would require for you to raise your GMAT score.
David White
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Re:

by kittysoman2013 » Sun May 17, 2020 4:53 am
fxMBAconsulting (Leah) wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:50 am
Schools want to provide a mix of students from different backgrounds - and the reality is that at top schools most of the Indian/Asian students that are offered places already have experience working or studying abroad. In my class at Sloan there was not one person from India or China who had not spent a significant amount of time working in Europe/US etc. Not one. My hunch is that the Indian/Asian students driving up the quant scores on the GMAT are people who see a top US/EU MBA as a way of GAINING international experience and acquiring an international career trajectory. What they don't realize is that even with a 780, a lot of these schools aren't considering them (IMHO).

So is a higher average GMAT a problem for American MBAs....I don't think it is, and I don't think it will ever be.
I think so

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