Well maybe we were wrong in thinking that the GMAT was going to stick around as a requirement for getting into bschool for a long time!
There’s been necessarily adaptations to rules around testing since March 2020 when the pandemic hit, and test centers closed. Lots of policies had to be revised in that era.
Most schools reverted to requirements for submitting test scores as part of the app process as fast as they could (and some being real hardasses about it), with some noteworthy holdouts and change agents who have now implemented permanent-seeming flexibility.
Schools like Darden allows applicants to submit any test score from any domain, including SAT scores.
Other schools like Ross allow LSAT and MCAT scores (though honestly, if you’ve already taken the MCAT, then the GMAT is going to be a small hurdle to jump).
The latest in that front is UC Berkeley Haas, who now is allowing a “statement of academic readiness” in lieu of the GMAT or GRE score.
This is essentially the same as having the ability to ask for a waiver of the test, which Darden and NYU are offering. They’re just calling it by a different name, which actually is kinda smart.
The term “waiver” doesn’t quite capture what’s needed from you, from the adcom’s side. They’re giving the candidate the opportunity to make a case that they have enough knowledge and skill from previous education or work experience that the test would be redundant.
The term “statement of academic readiness” much better encapsulates this.
You’ll need to actually pitch them on how you’re ready for the challenges of the graduate business curriculum.
We can support you in this effort! If you’re intending to apply to Berkeley, you can include your statement of academic readiness as one of your four essays in the Essay Decimator essay critique service. (If you have more than four essays that need to be reviewed, you can purchase an add-on for the extras.)
Here’s a few quick tips offered for our current blahg subscribers:
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International students need to keep in mind that, at least for now, UC Berkeley does not allow the TOEFL to be waived or skipped. It’s a university-wide requirement, and it applies to more categories of international candidates than are required to do the TOEFL at other schools.
As with all other essays you’ll be submitting, the statement of academic readiness needs to have substance.
For now, while these systemic changes are still taking shape, the old rules will apply: A higher GMAT score is always preferable for most schools if you’re really, really wanting to get in. However, for some schools and certain applicant profiles, it is becoming more and more possible to get in with out going through the stress of that standardized test. These are still going to be the exception, not the rule, at least for now. The conservative approach is to go for the GMAT (in some cases, preferable to GRE, though GRE can also be fine for many; our Comprehensive Profile Review can guide for your specific situation) and do well on the test.