NYU Stern GMAT Guidelines

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Recently, the MBA Podcaster published a great article quoting Isser Gallogly, a representative of the admissions committee from New York University's Stern School fo Business.

There are no big surprises, but the interview confirms that Stern follows many of the practices of other top schools.

Stern is consistently ranked among the top U.S. business schools, and it's 2009 incoming class had an average GMAT score of 717. The middle 80 percent of students scored between 680 and 760 on the exam. In other words, nine out of ten Stern students scored in the top ten percent of GMAT test-takers.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • "People focus way too much on the average and not enough at the 80% range." I can't tell you how many times I've heard this from top schools. Just because the average score is a 717 doesn't mean you must score a 720 or better.
  • "Gallogly said he'd prefer to be able to look at a proven track record over a one-time test." In other words, don't skimp on the rest of your application, no matter what your GMAT score.
  • "He actually recommends scheduling two test dates." This is interesting. I've occasionally suggested this to students as well. Stern, like many schools, takes your best score. It doesn't matter how badly you perform the first time if you improve enough for the second try.
  • "Gallogly suggests you should not talk about being a 'poor test-taker' on the application." Thank you! Every time I hear someone talking about their subpar test-taking skills, it comes off as whiny as excuse-making. That's not the image you want to project on an application.

Many of these positions hold true for other top MBA programs. As always, it's important to sufficiently prepare so that you can do your best on the GMAT...but keep the test in perspective as only one part of your b-school application.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

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