We caught a question on one of the applicant boards recently and thought we’d share the answer here with you, too.
First, while LBS is definitely a very good school, most would not put them in the same category as HBS. This is reflected in the salaries that grads can command coming out, and it’s also indirectly reflected in the average GMAT score of admitted students. Just like other great schools like Kellogg or Tuck, LBS doesn’t get the same volume of applications as HBS and the GSB, so they have fewer to choose from. And, if someone gets into both LBS and HBS, they’re likely going to HBS – LBS has some stiff competition among the best candidates. LBS has a smaller class size than LBS and so if they admit a handful of people with lower test scores, it has a bigger effect on the average than it would at HBS.
The biggest reason though is that LBS prefers almost double the work experience as HBS or Stanford do (5 years, compared to ~3 years) – and GMAT scores go down in older populations. So LBS has a smaller pool of candidates to choose from, and that pool presents a lower overall test score – it affects their average.
It doesn’t affect the quality of an LBS education though – they offer a unique experience and certain advantages that HBS and Stanford cannot. If you feel that you’re a good fit for LBS then none of these issues should matter in the slightest.
Hope that helps!