Should I Submit Low Test Score or Waiver?


Is there a possibility that I might get in a T15 with a Test waiver, however, if I apply with a test score, I might get rejected (because of a low-test score)?

Just trying to assess what’s the best course of action :)


Yes, that is right, because 1.) you are bringing down their GMAT/GRE average and by extension their rankings and 2) they want to make sure you don’t drop out because opportunity cost.


However, you need to be able to demonstrate quant readiness in order to credible. This could take many forms, UG grades, CFA, analytical work experience. If you are a margin case, I would recommend doing MBA Math and submitting those transcripts as an additional upload within the application.


Of course, half of applications submit a test score below the median, but they are candidates who offer diversity in terms of ethnicity, citizenship, LBGTQ+, and to a lesser degree, diverse work experience. They are seen as worth the sacrifice in GMAT rankings. But for applicants from very overrepresented pools such as Asians and Indians, who don’t have these things, it’s very tough to get in with a test score below the median without a waiver or doing an unpublished test like the EA.


So, if you have a test score below the median, and especially if you are part of an overrepresented group, get a waiver. One of my overrepresented male candidates submitted with a test score to Ross in Round 2; dinged without interview; then to Darden Round 4; admitted with $40K. He did have a great leadership profile and so it made it worth their while; there were offsetting entries.


To expand the list of school you can apply to (mainly, CBS) you might consider also going the EA route; it’s built to be easy to prep for and a scaled down easier version of the GMAT. Would be the path you want to take if you don’t have a lot of quant evidence otherwise. More on that here.


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