We all know that the GMAT is a difficult test and a significant factor in establishing your academic competencies in the eyes of the admissions committees. However, the GMAT is not the only factor used to evaluate your candidacy, but is in fact just one of several. Although a high GMAT score can enhance your overall competitiveness at top-tier schools, it alone cannot secure your admission. Meanwhile, a low or average score on the GMAT by no means precludes your admission. Remember, the average scores listed on admissions Web sites, are, after all, averages! The nature of an average is such that some people are above and others are below— meaning that roughly half the class at your target school will be below the stated average and will, lo and behold, still get in!
You may have read our previous entry in this series, Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT, which stresses that there is no risk in retaking the GMAT if you are unhappy with your initial score. However, if you have already taken the test a few times and have scored similarly each time, you should consider whether continuing to retake the test is truly worth the effort. Rather than attempting to take the test again (and again), you should probably focus your energies on bolstering the other components of your application: your essays, short answers, resume, recommendations, etc. A strong application is not a guarantee of success, but is your best shot at overcoming a low GMAT score.