The Ultimate LBS Guide to the GMAT/GRE and English Language Tests

By Alex Hurd, MiM & GMiM Student Recruitment Associate

In this blog post I am going to talk about the entrance exams you need to sit before you can submit an application to LBS. I will cover all the burning questions: what score do I need? Is the GMAT better than the GRE? Can I take it after I submit my application?

The purpose of this article is to answer all the common questions and clear up any confusion so you can submit the strongest application you possibly can.  

GMAT or GRE?  

Both exams are viewed equally by the Admissions Committee we have no preference over which exam you choose to sit! More applicants choose to sit the GMAT over the GRE but remember this is completely your choice. It might be worth sitting some mock exams to get an idea which one suits you better?

Test centre or Online?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are accepting online versions of the GMAT/GRE if you cannot get into a test centre. We are aware the online test does not contain the Analytical Writing Assessment Section, but rest assured you will not be penalised by the Admissions Committee for choosing the online option. Your overall score is what is most important.

What score will guarantee me a place at LBS?

I am afraid it is not as simple as that. We always recommend aiming for a score that is close to the current class average of the programme you apply for (this numbers changes each year).

What are the current class GMAT average scores?

MiM: 681

GMiM: 702

MFA: 690

MAM: 687

*Please remember these are scores to aim for and do not guarantee a place on any of the programmes.

Can I take the test after I have submitted my application?

No. You must sit your GMAT or GRE exam before the deadline you are aiming for.

My Official Score report will arrive after the deadline – what do I do?

The official score report can take up to 7 days to be sent to you so we will accept the unofficial score report or some sort of proof you sat the exam before the deadline. This interim document informs the Admissions Committee that you took the test before the deadline and that they should expect your score shortly. A proof could be a screenshot of an email confirming you sat the test for example.

Can I request a GMAT waiver?

We have withdrawn our GMAT waiver process at the request of the Admissions Committee therefore all applicants must sit either the GMAT or GRE exam.

Can I get a GMAT/GRE fee waiver?

These standardised exams are curated by external companies GMAC (GMAT) and ETS (GRE) so you will need to contact them regarding any issues or requests. LBS have no control over the costing of the exam.

I have the CFA level1/2 do I need to take the GMAT/GRE?

If you have a CFA Level 1 or 2 certificate and are applying for the MFA you will be exempt from sitting the GMAT/GRE. If you are applying for the MiM, GMiM or the MAM you still need to sit the exam regardless if you have a CFA certificate.

Is the GMAT/GRE weighted more than other parts of the application?

There is no guarantee of a place at LBS simply with a high score as the GMAT/GRE only make up one component of the application and is equally weighted to other areas. The Admissions Committee make a holistic assessment of your overall profile taking into consideration: academics, experience, GMAT/GRE, references and your application essays. Remember it is a competitive process and the best candidates tend to be fairly strong across all areas!

Proving your English level.

I studied my undergraduate degree entirely in English. Do I need to sit a proof of English proficiency exam?

Nope. We only ask that the transcripts you upload in the application show that the medium was taught in English and this will make you exempt.

What tests do you accept?

TOEFL – Online home edition accepted – a recommended score would be around the 110 mark.

IELTS – Online test also accepted – we want to see a 7.5 overall score.

CPE – Cambridge English Exam.

CAE- Cambridge Advanced Exam.

PTE – Pearson Test of English.

*We do not accept any other tests including Duolingo etc.

My test is out of date?

You must have taken the test within 2 years of when you are submitting your application. If yours is out of date you need to provide an in-date version at the time of application submission.

Can I apply and submit my score at a later date?

It is the same as the GMAT/GRE exams. We need our applicants to submit their application with all the required documents so the Admissions Committee can make an informed and well-rounded decision. However, if you have a good reason why you cannot send it before the deadline. The Admissions Committee should allow it to arrive a few days after the deadline. Anything longer than this and you will have to apply in a later round.

There you have it – a detailed breakdown of the requirements for the entrance exams so please take note and plan accordingly so you can submit the best application you can. Good luck with your exam preparation!

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