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Interview With Global MBA Programme Director, Sandra Richez
MAY 29, 2021
Tests like the GMAT/GRE/TAGE-MAGE (in French) allow us to have a common indicator to predict academic performance for post-graduate MBA and Masters level studies. Participants with high GMAT scores find MBA studies easier and have proven study skills. These tests require candidates to invest in their project to pursue further study and require planning, preparation and independent study - all great habits to bring to a challenging academic programme. The level of the tests are not necessarily the issue as they use general levels of maths and English, but the necessity to apply those skills and to balance accuracy and time pressure is a good indicator of a candidate's ability to perform in MBA-level classes which are intense, concentrated and highly applied learning experiences. What's more, the verbal and analytical competency assessed in these tests are at the base of many managerial roles in international business.
Despite the trend to move away from the GMAT or other entrance exams, I prefer to keep it in our admissions processes. It is very important for us to ensure that every one of our admitted candidates has the capacity to complete their MBA successfully in our intensive 10-month format - tests like GMAT/GRE/TAGE-MAGE allow us to predict academic success reliably. At the end of the day, this indicator is as important to candidates who invest in our degree programme as it is to our admissions committee.
We continue to require a test score (GMAT/GRE or the French TAGE-MAGE) for entrance to our Global MBA for three main reasons. First, it is part of our triple-accredited and ranked standing, a degree certified by the French state at master's level. Second, these recognized and global qualifications are important to our graduates who go on to careers around the world and it carries forward as they advance in their careers and move from country to country. Finally, and most importantly, let me point out that while we continue to require these exams, we weigh test scores and results equally among many other admissions criteria - we always look at our candidates as individuals, holistically and ensure that they will find the right fit at EDHEC. Because of this, a lower GMAT score is not a deal-breaker, but it requires the candidate to be very strong on other admissions criteria.
During the pandemic, we have waived test scores for those who cannot take these exams in time for admission due to test centres being closed with no other alternative option being available. Our holistic admissions process has been a real plus for these candidates, and I am happy to say that the first results are in and the students who were granted exceptional waivers are performing well on the programme.
We will continue to support individual applicants through the pandemic in this way if an applicant is unable to take the GMAT or an equivalent due to the current COVID crisis. However, it is important to apply early and build a close relationship with your admissions contact early on if you are experiencing difficulties and we will work to find the best solution.
As mentioned above, a lower GMAT score does not mean that you will automatically be rejected, but it requires the candidate to be very strong on all other admissions criteria. GMAT scores have not been proven to measure potential for career success, which is a very important criterion for us at EDHEC. We aim for an average GMAT score per cohort and can decide to admit a candidate who is strong elsewhere even if they have a lower score on one of these tests. We issue conditional admissions which allow candidates to prepare and retake the GMAT as many times as they need to improve their scores. The key advantage at EDHEC for making the effort to improve your score is that our very transparent scholarship policy rewards high GMATs with up to 50% off of tuition fees, and with our already highly competitive tuition rates this makes an MBA far more accessible than you would think. By preparing, practicing, and retaking the exam, most candidates can raise their scores enough to translate into money saved on tuition.
Take our GMAT Mini-Quiz to determine your approximate level of knowledge and how you might rank.
Operating from campuses in Lille, Nice, Paris, London and Singapore, EDHEC is one of the top 15 European business schools, ranked 1st worldwide for its Master in Finance. Fully international and directly connected to the business world, EDHEC commands a strong reputation for research excellence and the ability to train entrepreneurs and managers capable of breaking new ground. EDHEC functions as a genuine laboratory of ideas and produces innovative solutions valued by businesses.
The School’s teaching is inspired by its research work and a focus on “learning by doing”, all with the aim of equipping people with the skills to succeed in business.