You are Mexican. Being part of the Latin American region, it is true that you have a point in your favor to be admitted to the best MBAs and business postgraduates in the world, since geographical diversity is something that these institutions seek. However, the admissions committee barely checks your profile and rejects your application. What reasons exist behind it? There are various factors and issues that contribute and harm your process. Without a doubt, one of the essentials is your score on standardized tests: GRE and GMAT. It is natural that, since they are standardized tests, they are the cover of your transcript. However, for a Mexican this requirement is not taken seriously, and this is reflected in the average score of the applicants from this country. In this blog post we will answer these questions and share with you how to avoid being part of the statistics.
According to the Top Schools in the USA, the average GMAT score of Mexicans in 2019 was 542 points, equivalent to a 38% percentile. In other words, an average Mexican scores lower than 62% of the entire population. The above situation places Mexico among the worst countries in Latin America in terms of GMAT score: the region has an average of 565 points, equivalent to the world average. Countries above Mexico include Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Panama, among others. This only in the mentioned geographical area.
Thus, with this score, the probability of being accepted into a top MBA in the best business schools in the world becomes small. Furthermore, obtaining a performance scholarship is an impossible scenario. Why? These business schools, the most selective with their students, take the score on the GMAT as your cover letter, before reviewing the rest of your record and your requirements. A 38th percentile does not make a good impression, which implies an application rejected from the beginning.
To put it in perspective, those admitted to the Stanford Business School Full-Time MBA have a score range of 600 to 790, with an average of: 734! this is a 96th percentile. Along the same lines, those admitted to the Harvard MBA scored from 590 to 800! (the maximum score), with a median of 730. The trend is the same in the best business schools, including MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, Duke Fuqua, UPenn Wharton, Oxford, INSEAD. The competitiveness of candidates on the exam raises the bar for what is considered an ideal score, hence these results are not surprising.
The conclusion of these numbers is that the opportunities of an average Mexican are severely reduced if he does not stand out among the rest of the candidates. Therefore, if you aspire to be accepted for your MBA, you must break down the cultural, linguistic and even social barriers that distinguish and characterize us, and that prevent us from having adequate levels with respect to the world ones. The following question then arises: what are some of these barriers? How to overcome them?
FIRST: THE EXAM
The first barrier is not knowing the exam. If you have studied in Mexico your whole life, you have perhaps taken one, or even no standardized test. Admission exams in most colleges and universities, after all, tend to be simple red tape. In other cases, these tests further test your knowledge before your skills and abilities. The GMAT is not like that. This test will put you in situations of time pressure, critical analysis, understanding and decision-making that, if you don’t know the exam, you will be beaten.
One of the reasons that rank your direct competition above average is preparation. Most of those who take the GMAT, and all of those who obtain competitive scores, prepared for it in some way: individually – through books or guides; through a face-to-face GMAT course – in their home cities; some travel to do an intensive course of a few days; and others decide to make the most of their time and decide to study in an online GMAT course. All those who hold the test in all GMAT centers have the same objective in mind: to get the best score to apply for an MBA or business graduate degrees which will be essential for your professional achievement. It is logical to think that their effort and dedication are focused on creating a competitive profile, ad hoc with the program of their choice, and they prepare up to a year in advance to achieve it.
Unlike the above, an average Mexican is used to not studying, or doing it very little, in the face of exams and tests. In the case of the GMAT, they tend to fall into the error of believing that they are very good in English and mathematics, and that just a little review of the subjects will be enough to do well: the result is that they are in the lowest percentiles.
THIRD: THE LACK OF STRATEGY
Often times, when taking GMAT courses, they tend to be conventional and fall into one of two extremes: they are very theoretical and only fill you with basic and advanced knowledge for the exam; or they are very pragmatic, and they only give you several strategies that, by themselves, will not be enough to reach competitive percentiles. Hence, an adequate mix of both theory and practice is what you should look for when studying for the exam. In addition to this, without a strategic action plan, your advancement and progress will be limited, since you may suffer workshop blindness, and not recognize where there are errors and areas of opportunity.
FOURTH: WRONG IDEAS
If you take the GMAT just because you want to get into an MBA, you are already making a mistake. Since the best business graduate degrees accept both GMAT and GRE as entrance exams – and both are taken at the same level – you have to take the exam that fits your profile. There is a general idea that if you are going to do an MBA it is mandatory to do the GMAT. This is not the case, so the decision to sustain it has to be strategic, based on your skills and which one you can progress faster.
FIFTH: YOU ARE HISPANOPARLANT
The exam is in English and is designed with this language in mind. Your specific Spanish-speaking profile represents various language and cultural barriers when taking the exam. These include the way of writing, the style of the questions, the topics that are approached and the way in which it is asked, etc. On the other hand, speaking Spanish also reflects certain advantages over English-speaking competition. Recognizing what are the weaknesses and strengths in front of the exam with your profile is important, knowing how to guide them so that they are not obstacles the first, and are weapons in your favor the last is the step to follow to dominate the exam.
After looking at these barriers, then how do I know about the test? How do I make the decision if the GMAT is right for me ? How do i prepare? Who can be my guide?
How to overcome them?
It must be recognized that preparing strategically for the GMAT is not easy. It requires dedication, discipline and time. Since individually there is little guide you will have, it is essential to prepare accompanied by experts, both in education and in the exam, to define, from the beginning, what is the most appropriate according to your profile. If you are looking for a course with this experience, you must make sure that they will give you their specific insights so that you can make the best decision regarding which exam to take and how to invest your time so that your progress is methodical. There are few such courses, since most of them consider that you have already made that consideration.
In addition to the above, the course you take to prepare must recognize your profile, speak to you in your language to provide you with all the insights, and train you to use all your qualities to your advantage. Furthermore, the facilitators who accompany you in your process must be aware of your initial level, your goal score, and establish the fastest path to achieve your goal.
At Scholastica, teachers are aware of all these barriers that prevent Mexicans from raising their score, and they take advantage of all the tools to help you overcome them. They accompany you throughout your process and you will feel them close to you to support you. They focus on your preparation being totally strategic, so that you use the resources at your fingertips in a structured way.