When Can I Skip Taking the GRE or GMAT?

Different post-graduate degrees call for their own entrance exams. Prospective doctors have to take the MCATs, future litigators are locked into the LSATs, and the majority of other students are required to take either the GRE or GMAT. But what if no test was necessary to continue schooling after a Bachelor’s degree?

If a graduate school does not require an entrance exam, this could be a relief for some applicants who shy away from the standardized graduate school entrance exams. The school’s admissions department evaluates students based on criteria other than GMAT or GRE test scores.

When Can I Skip the Test?

If you’re only applying to one graduate school, or if all of the schools you’re applying to do not require GRE/GMAT scores, then taking the test might be a waste of time. Many schools do require entrance exam scores, especially business schools which conventionally mandated applicants take the GMAT, but many b-schools are trending toward accepting GRE scores as well.

Sometimes graduate schools’ policies on whether the applicants need exam scores to apply vary on a case-by-case basis. Quinnipiac University is a mid-sized school in Connecticut whose business program was recently ranked as one of Bloomberg’s top business schools of 2014. Its admittance policies for applicants depend on their intended field of study.

A representative for Quinnipiac admissions office said that the school of business requires entrance exams to be eligible for admittance, but programs at other schools within the University don’t necessarily demand that applicants take the GMAT or GRE.

How Will That Affect My Chances For Admission?

If the school says it’s optional to take an entrance exam, it’s up to the applicant to do some research to find out how this will affect her. Applicants with a strong work history might be able to forego the expense of taking the GRE in the event that the school does not deem it necessary to take the test. A long resume will often have less to prove in the admissions process than someone fresh out of college when it comes to applying to graduate school, especially when it comes to business or business-related programs.

Students may also want to take the GRE even for programs that don’t require it if they feel as though it will balance out a not-so-fantastic GPA. Entrance exams might also help with certain financial aid opportunities such as scholarships and grants.


Frazer, M. (2014, April 4). The Complete Ranking: Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2014. Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-04/the-complete-ranking-best-undergraduate-business-schools-2014

Getting Into a Program Without the GMAT - OnlineMBA.com. (2014, January 1). OnlineMBA.com. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://www.onlinemba.com/guide/getting-into-a-program-without-the-gmat/

Thread: Any reason to take the GRE if not required for admission?. (2011, February 22). Any reason to take the GRE if not required for admission?. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://www.degreeinfo.com/general-distance-learning-discussions/37561-any-reason-take-gre-if-not-required-admission.html