Posts Tagged 'GRE'

When should you take the GMAT or GRE?

Whether you take the GRE or GMAT for your application, give yourself enough time to prepare adequately.

Whether you take the GRE or GMAT, give yourself enough time to prepare adequately.

For students applying to the Fisher Specialized Master of Business – Finance (“SMF“) program, a common question is “When should I take the GRE or GMAT?” There are two things you need to be aware of to get the correct answer.

1) What deadline are you shooting for? In other words, by which date do you want to have your application be complete?

It takes at least three weeks for us to get your official scores from the test administrator. Using this info, you work backward – for example, if you want to have a complete application by December 31, you want to take the GMAT or GRE by December 7 (approximately 3 weeks prior to December 31). However …

2) Do you want to build in any “error correction” time for yourself if you do no get the score you like on your first attempt?

The advice in point #1 above is true but only if you plan to take the GMAT or GRE once. The Fisher SMF program will use your highest total GMAT/GRE scores as part of its application review process. If you want to allow for “error correction” – in other words, you want to allow yourself the option of retaking it a second time to attempt to get a higher score, you need to add (at least) another four weeks to the timeline recommended in point #1. For example, if you want to have a complete application by December 31 and want to give yourself the option of retaking it if you do not like your first score, you want to take the GMAT/GRE by early November (approximately 6 to 7 weeks prior to December 31). Important –> The test administrator requires test takers to wait at least 30 days in between each GMAT/GRE attempt.

Remember that you are welcome (and encouraged) to submit your application materials to us even if you have not already taken the GRE or GMAT. We will hold on to your application materials until we receive your official scores.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your application!


3 (plus 1) things to keep in mind when applying to the Fisher SMF program

Three things to keep in mind when preparing your SMF application

Be aware of deadlines

Deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you. I recommend taking a look at the deadlines and working backward. If you want to submit your application by December 1, for example, you know that gives you approximately four months or sixteen weeks from now until then. You need to be aware of how long each item will take to be completed and submitted to us. Examples include but are not limited to:

GMAT/GRE: About two to four weeks will go by from the time you take the GMAT to the time we get your scores. And it usually takes longer for us to receive official GRE scores. Accordingly, if you want your scores to be here by December 1, you should plan on taking the GMAT no later than November 15. If you’re submitting GRE scores, November 1 or earlier.

References: How long will your references take to prepare their recommendations for you? Work backwards from December 1 and add an extra couple of weeks or more as “cushion” in case anything unforeseen and unpredicted occurs.

It is OK to submit things “out of order”

You do not need to wait before everything is complete before submitting your application materials. For example, you can submit GMAT scores before submitting your application. Conversely, you can submit your application before taking the GMAT. You can submit your application before all your references are received. You can submit your transcripts to us before you submit your application. And so on.

Be very aware of how long things will take to complete/submit when compiling your application materials – and assume it will take longer than you plan

As mentioned earlier, we will not receive your GMAT scores the day after you sit for the test. Plan for the lag time. Also, your references will need (on average) at least one month to prepare your letters of recommendation.

Transcripts can take a long or short time to get to us – it all depends on the university issuing the transcripts. And sometimes colleges “forget” to send them. Advice: Find out from your school how long it will take to issue your transcripts. Plan accordingly. Build in a margin of safety. And follow up with your school to ensure it sent them to us.


TOEFL scores can take a long time to arrive at Ohio State. How long? It varies. It can be anything from several weeks to several months. The delay is almost always due to the TOEFL test administrator. If you are an international student and need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, be sure to keep in close touch with the TOEFL or IELTS test administrator.


Applying for autumn 2015? Here’s what you need to do.

When you are preparing your application for the Fisher Specialized Master of Business – Finance program, please refer to the list of required items. Remember that the admissions committee will only review complete applications.

We do not pre-evaluate candidates/potential applicants. It’s not uncommon for us to receive the following question (or something like it): “My GMAT/GRE is XXX. My TOEFL is XXX. My GPA is XXX. What are my chances of being admitted?” The only way you can find out whether you will be admitted is to apply. If you wish to review statistics on the most recent class (e.g. GMAT or GRE average, GPA average, etc.), click here. The SMF admissions committee reviews everything in an application to assess admissibility for each applicant. There is no single item that will cause someone to be admitted or be denied admission – everything is reviewed.

Here are some additional tips:


You may submit either GRE or GMAT scores for your application. It’s your choice. Also, it is very OK for you to submit your application prior to taking the GRE or GMAT. Just be sure you take the applicable test by the end of December 2014 to meet most “early” deadlines.


You will need to upload a scanned copy of an official transcript from each and every university (other than Ohio State) you have attended. Even if you just took a single class at a local community college, we will need to upload a scanned copy of an official transcript from that community college. (The upload button is built into the online application.)

You are NOT required to submit transcripts for any grades you earned at The Ohio State University.


I plan on writing another blog post on issues involving the TOEFL but if you are required to submit the TOEFL as part of a complete application, be sure you use the correct institution code for Ohio State University (1592) and that you allow PLENTY of time for the scores to get to us. The TOEFL is regularly the one item that seems to take forever to get to us – if you need to submit the TOEFL, it is your responsibility to ensure the test administrator (ETS) sends us your official TOEFL scores.

The SMF program also accepts IELTS from those applicants required to submit a test of English proficiency.


Your references can be sent to us electronically or via paper. (Additional instructions are in the application on the difference between the two formats.) Note that we will receive your references sooner if you choose electronic. Just be sure to give your recommenders plenty of time to write your references!


Give yourself enough time to write essays that really reflect you. Do not write generic, plain vanilla essays. Answer the questions that are posed to you in this application. Do not recycle essay responses you are using for any other applications.

We will be posting additional tips for each of the items referenced above throughout the next few months so keep an eye on this blog for updates.

If you have any questions, please let us know!