GMAT Waiver for MBA Programs
Many graduate schools, Babson included, have temporarily moved to a test-optional policy due to constraints brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This means GMAT/GRE test scores will be waived for all full-time graduate applicants with a 2021 program entry.
In Babson’s case, the admissions committee will continue to use a holistic review process that evaluates your quantitative readiness, past academic performance, and your written and verbal communication. This is done by looking at responses to short answer questions, interviews, and career potential and/or progress through each applicant’s resume and references. Students can elect to further demonstrate their individual qualifications for graduate school by submitting an optional essay. This not only shows the student’s interest in attending Babson, but also enables the student to share any additional information they find pertinent and gives the admissions team the opportunity to learn more about the applicant.
Schools continue to emphasize that even though they may have waived the GMAT or GRE, it's still vital that candidates showcase through their applications that they can handle the rigor of a graduate program. Babson’s graduate admissions site states an important note:
Please note that quantitative and academic readiness is a large component of any graduate business program, and applicants who have minimal quantitative experience as expressed on their transcripts or work experience may want to submit a test score to help showcase their quantitative aptitude.
But, what else is considered in a holistic review? Babson students are leaders who understand the importance of collaboration and creativity. They are global-minded and bring with them experience, skill sets, and world views that enrich the learning environment for their peers. Our students possess an entrepreneurial mindset and whether they are looking to build a startup from the ground up, advance a family business to the next level, or elevate their current corporate or non-profit organization, they come ready to take action and learn by rolling their sleeves up.
Graduate School Application Dos and Don’ts
When applicants are looking to bolster their application, there are ways to do that effectively and efficiently. Director of Graduate Admissions Colleen Hynes shares some application dos and don’ts.
- Do: ask colleagues with whom you collaborate regularly for their recommendations. It’s ideal to have at least one recommendation letter from a current or former supervisor, but it’s more important that you ask people who can speak to your strengths at work and your ability to thrive in teams.
- Don’t: ask someone whom you don’t know well for a recommendation just because they have an impressive title. It’s easy to tell when a recommendation letter is generic, and you want to make sure you have recommendations that really highlight all the wonderful work you do.
- Do: highlight key skills in your current position, like quantitative expertise, team lead roles, or impactful individual contributions, and be specific about any value-driven examples you provide.
- Don’t: leave major gaps in your resume unaccounted for. Took a year off to backpack through Europe? Worked full time for a few years before starting your undergraduate degree? We value a diverse class, and we want to see a complete picture. You can choose to add any pertinent information to your resume or to our optional essay.
- Do: answer the question completely, but succinctly. Your essay should be no more than 450 words, and should answer the essay prompt specifically. Make sure your work is free of grammatical and spelling errors, too, so the focus is on the message you’re trying to convey.
- Don’t: feel like you need to write an Optional Essay. It is offered as a way for applicants to describe any gaps in their resume, academic background concerns, or interesting things about you that you feel weren’t properly addressed elsewhere in the application. Admissions will be able to get to know more about you regardless of whether you submitted an optional essay during your admissions interview.
- Do: dress appropriately, arrive on time, and come prepared with any remaining questions you may have about the program. These apply for virtual interviews, too.
- Don’t: be nervous! The interview is a time for both of us to assess program fit, and if you’ve done a thorough job answering our essay prompt and preparing your resume, you’ll be able to approach the interview as a friendly conversation.
Last but not least, make sure to view your program’s upcoming application deadlines. If you’re applying to Babson, we take a holistic approach to application review and will consider all parts of your application during the admissions process. You’ll also automatically be considered for scholarships, and will be notified of any scholarship at time of admission.