This blog post is part of our weekly "Application Insider" blog post series that provides insider information, tips, and advice about applying to the UCLA Anderson MBA program.
APPLICATION INSIDER TOPIC:
Test Scores (GMAT & GRE / TOEFL & IELTS)
When preparing for admission to an MBA program, the one application component that often brings stress and anxiety for many prospective candidates can be the exams, including the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS. We hope the Q&As below will help provide more insights to alleviate some of the stress so you can focus on studying and acing the exam!
Should I take the GMAT or the GRE?
At UCLA Anderson, applicants have the option to submit the GMAT or GRE with their application. Both exams are evaluated equally in the admissions process, so we encourage potential candidates to submit the test on which they feel most confident with.
How should I prepare for the GMAT/GRE?
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the exam. There are many forms of test preparation including prep classes, online practice exams, test books, and one-on-one tutoring. Given your learning style, you will want to select a method that works best for you -- no one method is right for everyone! Each exam assesses your verbal, quantitative, analytical writing and integrated reasoning ability. It is important to dedicate review sessions for each component of the test as the admissions team will evaluate your performance in each area.
When should I take the exam?
If you are currently in an undergraduate or graduate program, it might be in your best interest to take the exam now since you are already in an academic mode and mindset -- it's surprising how quickly one can forget how to effectively study for an exam! However, your test scores are valid for 5 years and it is common for many applicants to take the exam multiple times before being satisfied with their overall performance. Even though we only evaluate your highest score, both the GMAT and GRE provide you with the option to select which test score you prefer to submit to the institution to which you’re seeking admission. Regardless, we do not penalize applicants for taking an exam multiple times.
Why do we require the GMAT or GRE exam?
While the admissions process is holistic, one area that we measure is your academic ability. In addition to your undergraduate performance, the GMAT or GRE serves as an indication of your ability to handle the rigor of an MBA program. Also, a higher GMAT or GRE score can help strengthen your academic profile if you did not perform well in undergrad and do not believe it reflects your potential. Overall, our goal is to ensure that you will be successful in the MBA program and will be able to handle its academic rigor.
Is there a required minimum score?
At UCLA Anderson, we do not have a minimum test score that you must receive. As you prepare for the exam, we recommend that you review our most recent class profile. Do not just focus on the average score, but rather the range of our admitted students. This will help provide a realistic picture of what you need to be competitive. Remember, each component of your application is given equal weight and our review is holistic, so if your performance on the exam is not as high as you'd like, you can demonstrate strengths in other areas (e.g., work experience, essay, undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, etc.).
Who needs to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
For any international applicants that received their education outside of the United States, you will also be required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS exam with your application, unless your education was solely taught in English in an English-speaking country. The purpose of this exam is to assess your English proficiency. Given the collaborative and interactive structure of the MBA program, we want to ensure that you will be able to contribute to classroom discussions, and these exams help us evaluate this important factor. You can learn more about the TOEFL/IELTS requirement on the UCLA Graduate Division webpage.
Hopefully these insights will help guide you as you prepare for GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and/or IELTS, as a part of the admissions process. If you have any follow-up questions about our requirements and application process, please see our admissions webpage, our FAQs or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check back next week for the next "Application Insider" blog post about WORK EXPERIENCE!
P.S. The answer to the Instragam post question is... C!