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Apply for an Executive MBA without taking the GMAT

Candidates can apply to the Cambridge EMBA programme without taking the GMAT exam, 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?

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is an exam that evaluates whether you have the academic skills to succeed on a business school programme. The test is 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 to apply for the EMBA?

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

“The GMAT waiver is a viable option for senior professionals who can already demonstrate the quantitative and analytical skills tested by the GMAT 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 waiver request will be assessed by the Programme Director and admissions committee. However, only the Programme Director has final say on whether the GMAT can be waived after a candidate has completed an interview. If the Director thinks that you’re a viable candidate for the programme, but would like you to complete the GMAT, the Admissions Team would give you a conditional offer after interview and let you know the test score you would need to achieve to meet the condition.

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

Whilst we accept GMAT waivers, we would of course recognise a good GMAT score as part of an application. We do not specify a minimum GMAT score, as it is one of the many criteria we consider in the selection process. However, the average score of this year’s full-time MBA class is 690, and we would look for balanced scores between the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections of the test.

What to do next

  1. Submit your CV for review
    Upload your CV and our Admissions Team can assess whether you meet the minimum admissions requirements for the programme. They can also suggest whether they feel you are a suitable candidate for a GMAT waiver.
  2. Write your GMAT waiver
    The EMBA application form has text box in which you can write a short paragraph explaining why you would be eligible for a GMAT waiver.
  3. Outcome
    The GMAT 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 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 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.