How important is the GMAT?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) is one of the most prestigious MBA entrance exams in the world. Its scores are considered for admissions into graduate management programs of the top business schools around the globe. But scoring well in the GMAT does not guarantee your selection in a business school, or that you will become a billionaire (or even that a person won't end up homeless!). Nor does a low GMAT score mean that it’s the end of the road for you.

Is the GMAT all that is?

GMAT scores are crucial for the applicant evaluation process as they offer a quantitative measure to compare applicants.

But no business school will allow or deny you admission based solely on your GMAT score, without carefully examining the rest of your application and your personality (provided you meet their cut-off criteria).

GMAT and Business Schools in Canada

Here are some top business schools in Canada, with the average GMAT scores they require. Apart from this, there are online MBA programs in Canada as well.

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Different courses demand different average scores. This is mostly dependent on the type of course, the hours required to graduate and the activities, practical and papers required. On average, however, anything above 600 is safe if you are aiming for a good tier-1 college.

But as stated before, no college will grant you admission based on your GMAT scores alone. They review the profiles for a holistic evaluation. Apart from one of the parameters being GMAT, they consider work experience (both duration and quality), undergraduate performance, extra-curricular/co-curricular participation, leadership skills, communication skills, the reason to pursue an MBA and the reason to apply to the program.

Most of the top B-schools compulsorily require one or more of the above qualifications like a minimum of 2 years of work experience, a minimum of 70% marks in graduation, etc.

There are MBA programs for Canadian professionals which also give admissions based on your GRE scores. Some notable ones are

  • Lakehead University, Thunder Bay

  • New York Institute Of Technology

  • Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

  • Vancouver Island University

  • Alberta University

As you can see, you will have a limited number of options if you want to opt for a college without the GMAT score. So appearing (and better, performing well) in the GMAT will drastically improve your chances of getting admission in the Business School of your choice.

Things to keep in mind when applying for an MBA in Canada

  1. Don’t merely go by the rankings of the school. Instead, talk to an expert who will suggest you the best college keeping in mind a variety of factors.

  2. Aim for a school which is ideally suited to your profile or prior work experience. For example, if you have a strong background in Finance, going to Rotman School of Management would make more sense as it is based out of Toronto, a strong finance hub.

  3. Opting for Consulting and Finance is a much rewarding option as far as employment opportunities are concerned, as most of the Canadian schools have a majority of the graduating class working in Consulting (23%) and Finance (30%).

  4. If you can speak or learn to speak French (which is the second language), it would help you with better placement offers.

Working to improve your profile will help you in the long run. An excellent GMAT score is undoubtedly the best arrow in your quiver, but if you have a low GMAT score, it can be compensated by maintaining a good profile.


B-schools look for candidates that can add value to their MBA-class. Try and add some distinguishing factor in your profile. This can be excelling in extra-curricular activities, an initiative at work that increased your company’s revenues, enhancing leadership qualities, joining social initiatives like an NGO, etc.


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