Business graduate programs across the country are beginning to accept different forms of graduate entrance exams, but business-bound Buckeyes will continue to take the traditional business school exam.
Kaplan Test Prep began tracking the issue in 2009, and for the first time this year, the results show that out of the 265 business graduate schools surveyed, 52 percent of graduate business schools are accepting the Graduate Record Examination as well as the Graduate Management Admission Test.
Andrew Mitchell, the director of pre-business programs at Kaplan Test Prep, said the GRE gives students more flexibility when deciding what to pursue after they complete their undergraduate degree.
“Those students who are still completing their undergraduate degrees may be uncertain about what they want to do after graduation,” Mitchell said. “Taking the GRE gives them the option of going to business school or another graduate program with the same test.”
Kelsey Pockl, a third-year in accounting, said that she is contemplating business graduate school, but would consider taking the GRE if it was a choice.
“I’ve heard there are lots of options and sometimes you can take it for free,” she said.
For students who are serious about pursuing business graduate school, Mitchell recommended the GMAT.
“The majority of business graduate school applicants take the GMAT,” he said. “It is designed for graduate business school applicants and sends a message to schools.”
Alison Merzel, director of recruiting and admissions for the Fisher College of Business graduate programs, said the Fisher College of Business still requires applicants to submit a GMAT score for admission. She said the only program at Fisher that also accepts the GRE is the Master of Labor and Human Resources.
Merzel said the college does not accept the GRE because it is not designed to measure possible MBA success.
“The GMAT is designed specifically to test applicable skills applicants will need for the MBA program,” she said.
Merzel said Fisher is not looking to make the switch to accepting the GRE.
“Maybe if the GRE changes to become more applicable to business graduate school, then we would consider it. Until then, we require the GMAT,” Merzel said.
Nick Sincere, a third-year in accounting, plans on applying to business graduate school. He said, given a choice, he would take the GMAT because he is used to that way of testing, but doesn’t know if business schools accepting the GRE is a good or bad thing.
“They are two different tests, not testing the same thing,” Sincere said. “How can you compare candidates that way?”
The standardized test a student chooses to take could affect their chances of admission. According to another Kaplan Test Prep survey, a low admissions exam score is the biggest application killer for business graduate school applicants. The survey reports that 58 percent of business schools say a low admissions exam score has the most negative impact, followed by 24 percent saying a low undergraduate GPA, and then 12 percent say a lack of relevant work experience.
Merzel said that the weight of the admissions exams score depends on the program.
“Test scores are a way to predict if someone will be successful academically, high test scores are a way to be competitive in an applicant pool,”
Merzel also says that exam scores are a way to determine merit-based funding.