"They use the GMAT as a way to get a sense of a candidate's raw quantitative abilities," Barefoot said. "Sometimes candidates on the front end aren't aware of that, and it's our job to tell them."
Since the revised GRE was introduced last summer, only a small percentage of students have requested permission to submit it instead of the GMAT, several business school admissions directors said.
At Loyola University Maryland's Sellinger School of Business and Management, the figure is less than 5 percent, which is similar to the amount reported at other business schools. "It's going to take some time before people start thinking about the GRE the way they think about the GMAT," said Karyl Leggio, dean of the Sellinger School.
One business school that is not accepting the GRE for admission to its full time, two-year MBA program is the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The school, however, is accepting the GRE in applications to its professional MBA program offered in the evenings and weekends, and for its online program, said Ruthie Pyles, the school's director of admissions and recruitment.
"With the GMAT, we have a strong history that we can rely upon," Pyles said. "With the fulltime population of students, because of the short amount of work experience that the students have—it's just usually five years of work—it becomes more important on the application to identify their standing in academic testing."
Regardless of which test applicants take, Leggio said it is more important to consider the student's leadership experience than their test scores. At the Sellinger School, Leggio notes that students enter the full-time MBA program with an average of three years of work experience.
"The GRE or the GMAT is just one data point in the portfolio," Leggio said. "We're trying to attract the next generation of leaders. We're looking at people who understand leading within a company and outside a company. You're not going to find that from a data point."
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