How to Get Into an MBA Program Without Taking the GMAT


The GMAT acts as a stumbling block for professionals who want to pursue an MBA online.

Many universities and business schools require prospective students to take the GMAT to enroll in their online MBA programs. For busy professionals, however, studying for GMAT does not look like a viable option.

Many professionals hold a view that a standardized test cannot measure the value of business acumen acquired after working for a number of years solving real-world problems. That's why a number of colleges have eliminated the GMAT requirement for their online MBA programs.

Business schools that were offering specializations in the healthcare industry were among the first schools to eliminate the GMAT from their application process.

What is the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)?

The GMAC, Graduate Management Admission Council has been administering the GMAT to assess the skills of business school applicants since 1953. Every year, more than 250,000 students take the GMAT all across the world. 

The test challenges the candidates to prove their reasoning abilities, verbal skills, writing skills and quantitative aptitude.

Candidates can earn a score between 200 and 800. More than 60% applicants score between 400 and 600. You need to earn a score more than 700 to get enrolled in reputed business schools.

Why do schools offer waivers and not require GMAT?

GMAT can assess the candidate's basic skills, but it cannot measure intangible qualities like team management, leadership abilities, etc. Schools recognize that work experience and advanced degrees are strong evidence of the applicant's skills.

Eliminating GMAT removes a number of hurdles that discourage successful professionals from applying for the program. Business schools get an applicant pool of professionals from different backgrounds.

Admission Requirements for Schools That Waive GMAT

Work Experience

You will need anywhere between 3-10 years of work experience for a GMAT waiver. You must exhibit managerial potential evidenced by the projects you have handled.

Advanced Degrees

Advanced degrees like M.D., J.D., Ph.D. can get you a GMAT waiver in online business schools that offer GMAT waivers.

Letters of Recommendation

If you have letters of recommendation from employers or professors, you can get the GMAT waiver while applying for an online MBA course. They demonstrate your career potential and academic readiness.

Personal Statement

Online business schools use the essay portion of the application to filter out the serious candidates from the rest. Short essays on real-world business problems and solutions will indicate your business acumen. You can use the essay or personal statement to express your commitment to your profession and the course.

Professional Certifications

Professional certifications like CFA, Six Sigma, CPA, etc. authenticate the math skills you need to complete the MBA course. Together with work experience, they can get you the GMAT waiver.


You will probably not get a GMAT waiver solely with an exceptional GPA. However, in certain cases, a degree in Finance, or STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with exceptional grades can get you the GMAT waiver.

Evaluating Online MBA No GMAT Programs

There are a number of online MBA courses that offer a GMAT waiver but you must evaluate the course before enrolling. To choose the best online MBA program, research all the aspects of the course.

Type of Course

Different online MBA programs follow different formats. Find a program that fits your lifestyle. You should consider the length of the program, the flexibility of hours to take classes, size of your batch, etc., before enrolling.


The faculty is one of the most important factors you should take into consideration while choosing an online MBA program. Your instructors will shape your educational experience and also help you make important connections. Best MBA programs have working business professionals with years of experience as instructors.


A government agency or an independent board make sure that the business program meets the set standards. Accreditation is another critical factor you should never ignore.

Placement Rates

Choose a business school that has a high placement rate. It indicates that the school supports the candidates even after the completion of the course.


Most online MBA courses will offer similar core classes. Elective courses vary in topic and the curriculum. Find a program that offers the specific course you are interested in pursuing.

Accreditation for Schools Without GMAT Requirements

Business schools and MBA courses must be accredited for students to get financial aid, reimbursements of the tuition fee, transfer credits, and validation of the entire course. AACSB and ACBSP are the two most widely recognized bodies for the accreditation of MBA programs and business schools.

To Sum Up

You can enroll in an ACBSP or AACSB accredited online business course with a GMAT waiver if you don't want to invest your time into studying for a high GMAT score. The number of MBA programs that offer a GMAT waiver is increasing but you must evaluable the course thoroughly before applying.

You will need a resume, documented professional experience, letters of recommendations, personal statements and short essays, etc. before applying for the course.

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