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November 3, 2020


Does using the GMAT/GRE waiver help or hurt my application?

Why it matters:

Deciding whether to submit test scores with your application can be tricky. We’ve laid out pros and cons here to help guide your decision.

Article Highlights

  • Testing can benefit your application by showing off your quantitative skills
  • Accessibility to testing is difficult right now, so we’ve extended our waiver policy

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has extended our GMAT or GRE waivers for many of our Fall 2021 applicants.

If you are eligible for a waiver, is it advantageous to use the waiver or to take either the GMAT or GRE? We do not give preference to any applicant who chooses to test or to use the waiver. At Carey, testing is truly optional. 

So how do you decide what is best for your Carey Business School application? It’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. We review the entire application and weigh factors such as work experience and quantitative skills in addition to test scores. Evaluate your own skillsets, strengths, and shortcomings and decide whether testing or the waiver makes your application as strong as it can be.  

Why consider taking the GMAT/GRE test

Increase your opportunity for additional scholarships. 

Although you are automatically considered for scholarships with your application, you may boost your opportunity for scholarship with high test scores.  

Showcase your quantitative skills.

If your undergraduate GPA is not as strong as you would like, your test scores are your opportunity to show quantitative skills beyond your transcript. 

Talking Point
Evaluate your own skillsets, strengths, and shortcomings and decide whether testing or the waiver makes your application as strong as it can be.

Show potential.

If you don’t meet the minimum work experience for the MBA application (three years), test scores are your opportunity to showcase your understanding of key concepts. 

You’re a great test taker. 

If your test scores are stronger than your essays, testing is your opportunity to shine. 

Talking Point
Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has extended our GMAT or GRE waivers for many of our Spring 2022 applicants

Why consider getting a GMAT/GRE Waiver

You have not studied. 

If you have not properly studied for the tests, consider focusing your time on your essays and other application materials. 

Your score is moderate or low. 

We do not view the absence of scores negatively. Focus on the parts of your application where you will excel. While the absence of scores is not negative, a low score can still reflect poorly. 

The test score does not reflect your abilities.

If you have work experience demonstrating quantitative skills but your testing does not reflect those achievements, forgo the test and use your essays to demonstrate your abilities. 

Accessibility to testing is difficult.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has made taking the test more difficult. If you feel unsafe or it is prohibitive to travel to a test site, do only what makes you comfortable and keeps you safe. 

Testing is optional, and the absence of scores is neither positive nor negative. Make a decision to test or use the waiver based on your personal strengths.   

Ready to take the next step?

Explore our programs

When you’re ready, start your application.  


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