Low GMAT Score? Check the List of Popular B-Schools Where You Can Apply

By Cyril Zachariah Updated On - May 11, 2021 02:06 PM

Didn’t score well in GMAT? No need to worry! Here are some of the popular Universities abroad that offer MBA admissions to students with low GMAT scores. You can check out the different colleges and the general GMAT score requirement, at which prospective students are offered admission.

Indian MBA aspirants often dream of studying in one of the renowned business schools in the world. However, admissions to these highly acclaimed universities include a GMAT score criteria that most students are required to clear. In other words, aspirants should have secured a minimum GMAT score to be considered for admissions at these reputable institutions.

With GMAT or the Graduate Management Aptitude Test being a globally competitive standardised test, students from across the world prepare and study for years before attempting the test. Some are able to score incredibly well, while many are able to score just enough to get into an MBA school. Few applicants may, however, end up scoring a low GMAT score.

Now, those who are unable to score well should not feel bad, as many B-schools claim that GMAT scores are just one of the many factors that evaluate an applicant’s potential to pursue the curriculum offered by them. Thus, while a low GMAT score may lower your chances of receiving a seat in one of the top universities of your choice, the overall package that you bring to the table can still help you take a seat at one of the prestigious MBA colleges or schools in the world.

In this article, we shall look into the universities, colleges, institutes and B-schools that offer MBA admissions to international students with a low GMAT score.

Also Read:

Top Universities in the USA to Study MBA Study MS or MBA Abroad - Which is a Better Option after B.E/B.Tech?
Canada or USA? Which is Better for Pursuing MBA 5 Best Countries for Indian Students to Study MBA

Is GMAT Necessary for MBA Admissions Abroad?

Yes, GMAT, as a deciding factor provides valuable leverage that a student can use to his/her advantage when applying for admissions. While, it is advisable to try and improve the GMAT score, if necessary, it is also advisable to work on the other elements that build a compelling MBA application, such as the Statement of Purpose, Resume, Essay/s, Interviews, etc.

Any element that can help build a good profile for your application to an MBA programme should be a crucial part of your application. However, if, in this case - the GMAT score, is not impressive enough, prepare and study harder and attempt the test once or twice. If you are unable to score well, do not worry, as Business Schools put enough weightage on other parameters that can sway the admission committee to offer you a seat in the MBA programme of your choice.

Also Read: MBA Without GMAT in Top Business Schools Abroad - Check Out Admission Process

What is a Low GMAT Score?

Similar to what a “good” GMAT score is, which is subjective, a “low” GMAT score is also subjective. However, the lowest GMAT score anyone could score is 200. According to records based on GMAT test-takers over the years, a low GMAT score is anything below 400. In case a test-taker has scored lower than 400 in GMAT, they should consider reattempting the exam.

How to Determine a Low GMAT Score?

Business schools across the world look for candidates with a competitive GMAT score which falls within the middle 80% range of percentile ranking. Thus, if your score falls below this range, it may be considered a low GMAT score. For example, the middle 80% score range at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is 690-760. So, if you have obtained a GMAT score below that, you can think of it as a low GMAT score.

How to Deal With a Low GMAT Score?

As mentioned before, universities consider a lot of factors while selecting an applicant. So, a low GMAT score does not necessarily mean that you would not get in. Here are a few things you can do to make up for a low GMAT score:

  • Apply Despite Having a Low GMAT Score: A GMAT score, although important, is not the only thing that makes an ideal applicant. For instance, at Said Business School, University of Oxford, an application is assessed holistically and a low GMAT score will not disqualify someone nor does a high score guarantee admission.

  • Retaking the GMAT: Many may feel discouraged but acts as a perfect solution to the problem of not scoring your target GMAT score. Many leading b-schools across the world see candidates who retaken the test and consider their highest score. In addition, some universities may also request you to retake the test.

  • Focus on the MBA Essay Questions: Some B-schools require applicants to submit an optional essay that allows them to provide additional information about themselves. The essay should be a culmination of your strengths, weaknesses and what value you would add to the cohort. For international students, it is important to also demonstrate their English language proficiency in the essay. 

  • Try to Ace the MBA Interview and/or Video Essay Questions: Many top b-schools emphasise on your performance in the interview and/or video essay. So, even if you have a low GMAT score but you manage to exhibit how you could be a great fit, the university may consider your application based on your performance in the interview. 

  • Find Out if the University Accepts GRE Scores: Some universities may accept both GMAT and GRE scores and weigh them equally for MBA admissions. You should make sure that the university accepts GRE before you go on to switching tests. 

  • Apply to Universities With GMAT Waivers: Universities sometimes do not ask for GMAT scores and assess a candidate based on their academic background and performance in the MBA interview. 

Also Read: What is a Good GMAT Score & How is it Calculated?

How to Improve My GMAT Score?

For students aspiring to attempt the world-renowned GMAT score, it is recommended to improve your score if you were not able to score well the first time. GMAT applicants have the opportunity to appear for the GMAT test more than once, in a bid to improve on their previous score. However, keeping the number of attempts to a minimum is also advised for GMAT aspirants.

Here are some pointers or tips to improve your GMAT score.

  • Determine Your Learning Style: Every individual has a different way of learning. To perform well in anything, one must learn what helps them learn faster and perform better. For instance, while some may love to self-study and get a good grasp of the material, some tend to procrastinate while self-studying. 

  • Practice and Mock Tests: Attempting GMAT practice and mock tests are the best possible method to improve and analyse your weak and strong points in the test. These tests will also allow you to train yourself and your mind to adapt to a testing environment, thus, helping you be calm during the tests and think clearly and analytically.

  • Prepare the Weak Subjects Intensively: All students are weak and strong in certain areas or subjects. You, as a GMAT applicant, need to figure out what your weak and strong points are. Once you have realised your weak points, prepare and study these points intensively. Give more time to these subjects and areas, and your expertise in these areas will improve.

  • Analyse Your Test Results: After attempting the test, students will be able to check their performance in the different sections of the tests. Depending on the scores they obtain in these sections, they will be able to analyse the sections where they need to practice and prepare more.

  • Improve Your Timing: The best way to learn how to pace oneself while attempting the GMAT is by practicing timed tests. Tests like the GMAT can be tricky in terms of time management - one can neither go too fast and ignore the important details nor go too slow and put themselves at risk.

  • Avoid Panic: More often than not, panic during an exam may lead to lower scores. Meditation can help deal with anxiety and candidates should consider taking the exam in the same location/GMAT test centre, as it may reduce the chances of getting lost and panicking. 

Business Schools Accepting Low GMAT Scores

As stated above, many B-schools in the world will give you the benefit of the doubt and put enough weightage on the other elements of the application while reviewing your MBA application. Nonetheless, here are a few B-Schools accepting Low GMAT scores for International Student admissions.

University/Institute Name

Average GMAT Score


University of South Florida



University College, Dublin



Grenoble Ecole de Management



University of Strathclyde



Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of Management



Purdue University



University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School



University of Manchester - Alliance Manchester Business School



George Washington University - School of Business



University of Edinburgh - Business School 



AGSM - UNSW Business School



University of St. Gallen - Executive School of Technology, Management and Law



University of Pittsburg



City University - Cass Business School



Macquarie Graduate School of Management



Listed above are just a few colleges and universities across the globe, out of the thousands that accept international student applications with low GMAT score. However, while these universities are offering students, GMAT applicants are advised to study and prepare for the test as early as possible and keep practising for the test, in order to achieve the best results.

Also Read: 10 Mistakes You Should Avoid Making on Tests like GMAT and GRE

Note: Starting your preparation as early as possible will help you score better in the GMAT test in the first go. However, since everyone possesses different capacities, these steps may help you improve and perform better in the test.

If you are interested in studying abroad and need assistance in choosing the right college and course, then you can write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com.

You can share this post!

Admission 2021

University of Strathclyde

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Washington State University

Pullman, USA

University of East Anglia

Norwich, United Kingdom

Entrance Exams to StudyAbroad

Popular Universities to StudyAbroad

Planning to study abroad?

Admissions open for 2021

Connect with us to know your study options overseas and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!