So you have taken the GMAT and exceeded even your highest expectations, scoring at the very top of the scale. Congratulations! But please do not assume that earning such a high score means you can relax with respect to the other components of your application. Every year, applicants who have scored 750 or even higher are rejected from their target business schools—even when their GMAT score falls within the top 10% of the schools’ range. And many of these candidates were rejected because of a fatal, but ultimately avoidable, mistake: they got overconfident and assumed their GMAT score alone would get them in.
“You are more than your GMAT score or the sum of your years of work experience. We may admit students who have lower GMAT scores because they are amazing in all other aspects of their candidacy. We may also deny candidates with very high GMAT scores because they are one-dimensional and are not as competitive on those other important dimensions.” So said Liz Riley Hargrove, the associate dean for admissions at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, in an exclusive interview with mbaMission. The business schools are interested in hearing about your ambitions, accomplishments, leadership skills, teamwork experience, perseverance, motivation, integrity, compassion … and the list goes on. Fundamentally, admissions committees need to be able to determine whether you will be a vital and contributing member of their community, and your GMAT score tells them only that you can do the work.
Heed our advice—even (or especially!) those of you with a 780—and commit yourself to the rest of your application with the same enthusiasm with which you approached the GMAT!