This is one of the most asked questions when applying to business schools. To be frank, it is a very good question and very difficult to answer as the GMAT score is an indicator on how you tackle difficult situations under stress – and during a Master degree program at IE Business School you will experience plenty of these situations.
In some occasions candidates leave the GMAT test center with a very unsatisfied feeling as they thought they could perform much better and some external factors had influenced too much their concentration on the actual test: the aircon was too strong or too loud, too many people were around, heavy workload at the job, bad food on the day before – or just too many nerves while doing the test. So, are all chances gone to enter into the desired top business school?
Certainly not! The GMAT is a relevant factor to take into account while reviewing applications at the IE Admissiosns Committee but there are much more factors than just the GMAT. The IE Master Degrees underlying principles are based on individual academic performance but also in an important part on the exchange of experiences, on the class discussions, and in general on the interaction between the class members. In consequence, we value during the admissions process much more things than just only test scores and academic results. Of course, those are important as they provide a feedback on individual features like academic performance, steady learning capabilities and analytical skills. However, they do not provide information on the ability to lead a team, to communicate, to express the ideas clearly and coherent, to work in teams. There might be candidates with impressive resumes and academic / GMAT results, nonetheless they are not able to integrate well in teams as they prefer to work on their own or they struggle to structure well their thoughts and arguments in public.
For this reason, the GMAT is of course critical to your application and the better your score, the better it is – but we are looking much more into a balanced application and for candidates who excel as a well-rounded persons in which some features of the application might compensate others. So, a GMAT of 800 does not guarantee at all the admission to any of the IE programs. In contrast, a candidate with a GMAT within the 80% range with suitable professional experience and well developed soft skills, might have much more chances.