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Apply for an Executive MBA without taking the GMAT/Executive Assessment

Candidates can apply to the Cambridge EMBA programme without taking the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) exams, if they can demonstrate the relevant skills in their application and interview.

Businesswoman taking ticking off checklist in a notebook in an office.

What is the GMAT/EA?

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Executive Assessment (EA) are exams that evaluate whether you have the academic skills to succeed on a business school programme. These tests are recognised by schools around the world, and a strong score can demonstrate your preparedness for the rigour of an Executive MBA programme.

Do I need to take the GMAT/EA to apply for the EMBA?

If you feel confident that you a can demonstrate the skills covered by the GMAT/EA across your career and academic achievements, you may apply for a GMAT/EA waiver within your application.

“The GMAT/EA waiver is a viable option for senior professionals who meet our academic requirements and can demonstrate the quantitative and analytical skills tested by the GMAT/EA in their careers and qualifications,” says Megan Manley, EMBA Admissions Manager. “Candidates should write a short paragraph in their application that explains why they are a good candidate for the waiver. They should be able to demonstrate how their work experience has prepared them for the rigours of the programme and include examples of how they have used critical reasoning, analytical writing, problem solving and data analysis in their current role.”

How will I know if my waiver is accepted?

A GMAT/EA waiver request will be assessed by the Programme Director and Admissions Committee. However, only the Programme Director has the final say on whether the GMAT/EA can be waived after a candidate has completed an interview. You may be asked to complete the GMAT/EA as a condition to being interviewed for the programme or as an offer condition after interview.

If I wanted to take the GMAT/EA exam, what score would you accept?

Whilst we accept GMAT/EA waivers, we would of course recognise a good score as part of an application. We would look for balanced scores between the different sections of the tests, with slightly more emphasis on the quantitative and reasoning sections. We would expect a 650 on the GMAT or a 153 on the EA. Please note that achieving an expected score does not guarantee a candidate to be invited to interview, as this score is only one element of an application.

I don’t meet the academic requirements for the programme. Can I request the GMAT/EA waiver?

We would strongly suggest that candidates who do not meet our academic requirements complete the GMAT or the EA before submitting an application.


We will consider results from either the GMAT or the EA. However, the EA is specifically designed for EMBA programmes and the format/study time is often more suitable for senior executives.

What to do next

1. Confirm whether you meet our minimum academic requirements

Use our Graduate Admissions International Qualifications tool to find out whether you meet the minimum academic requirements for the programme. If you do not meet our minimum requirements and would still like to apply for the programme, then we strongly suggest that you complete the GMAT or the EA before you apply for the programme.

2. Submit your CV for review

Upload your CV and our Admissions Team will complete a profile review. You can follow-up on this review to discuss your eligibility for the waiver.

3. Write your GMAT/EA waiver

The EMBA application form has a text box in which you can write a short paragraph explaining why you would be eligible for a waiver.

4. Outcome

The GMAT/EA requirement can only be waived after a candidate has completed an interview. If you are offered a place on the programme and the offer does not contain a GMAT score condition, then the requirement has been waived. If your offer contains a GMAT score condition, then you must obtain the specified score by the provided deadline before you can join the programme.

Final points

The Admissions Team can only advise whether they believe you’re a suitable candidate for the GMAT/EA waiver; the Programme Director makes the final decision on all waivers.

The ultimate decision on applications is made by the Admissions Committee, which includes the Director of the programme, and decisions are based on your responses to the application questions, strength of your academic background and your work experience. If your application is successful in the first review round, then you will be invited to an interview at Cambridge Judge Business School.