Why It’s Good to Take the GMAT as an Undergrad (but OK if You Didn’t)

For anyone interested in expanding their career opportunities, increasing marketability, and building an extended network, taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an obvious next step. But for female undergraduate students especially, it’s a timely decision that can positively alter the course of a career and accelerate the track for success. Take it from the team that administers the exam, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

According to Sabrina White, vice president of the Americas and Europe at GMAC, “The percentage of U.S. female GMAT test takers (49 percent) is already the highest in college and fairly even with the percentage of male test takers (51 percent).” She goes on to say, “Our research also shows, globally, that women who take the GMAT exam in college often score higher than at any other time in their lives.” 

In many cases, higher scores can be attributed to an undergraduate student’s academic mindset and strong test-taking strategies, sharp quantitative and analytical skills, and confidence in tackling business-related subjects. Over time, Sabrina writes, a woman’s “lack of confidence tied to the GMAT only increases the further they progress in their careers.”

Those that take the exam at least once as undergraduates can then allocate more time to mastering areas of the GMAT, if a retake is desired prior to applying to an MBA program. If you are happy with your scores, they can be used for up to five years after taking the exam. This means that when you are ready to enter a program, you will have already completed a major portion of the application process.

GMAC has also found that, for women in particular, life after college becomes increasingly complicated. When women take the GMAT as undergraduates, they are more inclined to stay on their desired career track and accomplish their goal of earning an MBA in a more timely manner.

So, are you disadvantaged if you take the GMAT after you’ve completed your undergraduate coursework? Not necessarily.

Adding “study time” to an already busy schedule will require careful planning. Keep in mind, though, that your recent professional experiences, or the skills utilized in your current role, may benefit you on the exam (such as your ability to recognize patterns when faced with solving similar problems).

By allowing yourself ample time to prepare, and in reviewing these five study tips, taking the GMAT exam and performing well on it is an attainable goal for any prospective MBA student.

If you’re sold on the value of a graduate management degree, you can still apply to begin the BC MBA this fall. Take the GMAT exam now and provide your self-reported test scores when you submit your application.