If you’re just starting the process of applying to bschool for the first time, this post is not for you. Today we’re mostly talking to those who are either still on the waitlist, or who will be reapplicants, and who will be informing the adcom about an updated GMAT score either in a waitlist update letter, or in the reapplicant essay (which is meant to show how you’ve improved yourself since originally applying).
Many people tackle the GMAT anew as a way to boost the candidacy, and it is in fact a tried-and-true method of getting the adcom’s attention and making it off the waitlist, or getting them to issue a different decision on your reapplication than they originally did the first time through.
If you’re one of those BSers who got up the gumption to take the test again, and you boosted your score, then Yay You! It’s definitely going to increase your chances of success all around.
If this is you, then there will come a tine when you’re writing a sentence in either a waitlist update letter, or in an optional essay, that will go something like this:
“After being rejected [or put on the waitlist] I evaluated my candidacy, and in month year, I retook the GMAT and scored a 770.*”
What you will want to resist the urge to do is to write:
“…and scored a 770 (99th percentile).”
Because guess what BSer?
You’re writing to the adcom. They’re like the EXPERTS in what GMAT score is which percentile. You do not need to tell them.
Just report the score, and let that sentence be.
Tossing out the percentile is like saying, “Hey, I got paid today! Wanna know how much?”
It’s just not necessary.
You’ve made your point with stating the score.
The score is all the schools care about.
And ALL the schools know what X score equates to in the percentile system.
While we’re on this subject: We do not believe that GMAT scores belong on resumes. Perhaps when you’re IN bschool and you start the process of recruiting for that fancy post-MBA job you have your sights set on, then yeah, you can put the GMAT score there. (If it’s high enough.) In the context of APPLYING to bschool, the GMAT is a datapoint that your audience already has – and nobody in the real world of career recruiting gives a rat’s a$$ about your GMAT score. Unless you’re a STUDENT at an MBA program who is competing against other STUDENTS for their first post-MBA job. In that case, yes, it’s relevant.
When you’re out in the world and NOT A STUDENT, trying to BECOME A STUDENT through the application process, then no, it does not belong. To include it makes you seem a bit, well, overly proud of it. Ya know?
At least, that’s our opinion on the matter. Other consultants definitely feel differently. However we’ve never once had an MBA admissions director tell us, “You know, it really would be nice if all of those applicants would just put their GMAT score on their resume, gosh darn it.” Because they don’t. They have access to that data one mouse click away when they’re reviewing your app. You do not need to advertise it all over again on the resume.
Just our two cents.
*(Or a 710, or whatever new-and-improved score you’re reporting. Yeah, we know, we’re OptimisticSnark today by tossing out that 770 figure.)