You are preparing your application to the PhD program. You completed the online application, wrote, rewrote and finalized your essays, secured your letters of recommendation, updated your resume and requested your transcripts to be sent. The last item on the checklist is every PhD applicant’s favorite four-letter word … the GMAT. You took the GMAT, thinking you were going to ace it after all of those hours of intense preparation. You finished the exam, agreed to view your scores and … oh, MAN, you have got to be kidding me?! THAT is my score?
If this sounds like you and you are planning to apply by the December 17 deadline, you have a couple of choices:
1) Apply as planned and wait to hear from the Admissions Committee regarding next steps in the admissions process – maybe your score isn’t as high as you had hoped, but maybe it isn’t that bad after all.
2) Apply as planned, but indicate to the Admissions Committee that you plan to retake the test on a future date and request that a decision is not made on your application until we receive your new test scores.
A few points to remember:
- The Admissions Committee will review all of the application materials carefully. The GMAT is important, but it is just one part of the application.
- The GMAT was designed to help business schools determine your potential to succeed academically in Fisher PhD coursework. It is possible that you have enough other evidence in your application of strong academic potential and the GMAT may be relatively less important.
- Be self aware – look at our current class profile. Are your qualifications consistent with those of other students in our program? Manage your expectations.
- If you are interested in being considered for merit-based financial aid, the two quantitative measures primarily used to evaluate candidates are the undergraduate GPA and the GMAT. Most of you are unable to impact your undergraduate GPA at this point. If you feel that your GMAT score is sufficient for admission, but you believe you have the potential to do better, it may be worthwhile to retake for the possibility of funding.
- If someone gets a better score by retaking the GMAT, the average increase on a GMAT retake is 30 points. Most people actually perform the same or do worse. We only recommend that you retake the test if the circumstances around the test day were not ideal or if you have some reason to believe that you did not perform to your maximum potential.
- If you do plan to retake, give yourself plenty of time. We recommend about 6-8 weeks of preparation – don’t rush into it before you are ready!