Should I retake or skip the GMAT entirely?

CommadantCipher's picture
Rank: Baboon | 127

Hi guys. So last December I took the GMAT and didn't manage to achieve my goal of 700. Instead I got a 580 which I cancelled straight away because I couldn't bear to see it (hence I can only remember that I got a 28 on Verbal, but not my Quant score). I took a preparatory class but it didn't help with my quant, since I needed more work on the basics. I spent more time studying quant than verbal and I ended up with a wonderful disaster.

Following my little Waterloo I was conscripted in the Greek Army the following month (January 2018), where I served as a tank gunner (19K equivalent) before being transferred over to the Ministry of National Defence, where I'm currently stationed. Right now I'm on leave before I get discharged on October 16th.

I don't intend on staying in Greece any more than I actually need to. My goal is to get a finance job in Germany, hence (as you can see from my profile below), I will need a masters degree. From here I am faced with a dilemma.

On the one hand, I can bypass the GMAT entirely and go for Masters degrees in Germany that don't require the GMAT per se. This includes my 4 targets: TUM's Master in Management and Technology (has the option of a dual degree with HEC Paris), the Master of Economics at Mannheim (I like its option of the semester abroad at HKUST), and the Master in Business Administration (Betriebswirtschaftslehre) at the Goethe University and at Hamburg University (which is my safety). Of course I have also looked at Erasmus University's Master in Financial Economics and SciencesPo's Master in Economics and Business, but I don't know how well they place in Germany. Then of course I have the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management which has the best Finance curriculum in Germany and a 3-day model, but with a ridiculously high tuition fee of EUR 36,000.

Alternatively, I can attempt to retake the GMAT and try for the Mannheim Master in Management, which has been my original choice for quite some time. Cheap and with good classes in Finance and IT. Of course the real reason why I see myself facing this dilemma is that, should I get a good GMAT (>700), I would do myself a disservice not to apply for LSE, LBS, Bocconi, or Said Business School.

Hence the question. Given my intention to get a job in Germany, should I bite the bullet or bypass the GMAT completely?

Here is my summed up profile:
* Greek, 23 years old.
* BSc. Maritime Studies (Business Studies with a focus on shipping but with various finance, marketing, supply chain management, econometrics, and economics modules - it even included a maritime informatics course which included SQL) - GPA: 8.38/10.
* Greek (fluently), English (fluently), German (fluently - I have the C1 from Goethe Institut and this year I'm going for the C2), Turkish (basic knowledge). Given the fact that my French is rusty, this year I am also planning on refreshing it as well.
* Attended a German language summer school in Hamburg on a scholarship from the DAAD to improve my German language skills.
* Internship at the National Bank of Greece's Shipping Branch in 2017.
* AIESECer for 17 months - experiences include interview and project management roles.
* Participated in a simulation of the Greek Parliament in March 2017 as an MP and won the best orator award within my committee (debating the refugee crisis).
* During my time in the military I have been trained as a tank gunner on M48A5 tanks, run the unit's entertainment centre for the entirety of May 2018 (responsible for the sale and management of goods worth more than EUR 2,500. At my current posting, I have been working as an adjutant for my battalion commander, wherein I have executed secretary tasks, including handling correspondence, taking calls, and relaying orders to company commanders.

Thanks for your time!

Comments (9)

Sep 30, 2018

If the quant part fucked you, do the GRE instead. I know for a fact UK unis accept it no problem (LSE/LBS/Oxbridge). For others like HEC and Bocconi they may prefer GMAT but if you knock the GRE out of the park you should be fine (your other experiences will certainly make you an interesting candidate if you sell them well).

If you want other good EU unis that are pretty well known in Germany you have options. UCL's and Imperial College's MiMs don't ask for GMAT (Imperial says a 600+ GMAT will strengthen application but that's mainly for vanilla students with not much else on their CV).

WU in Vienna offers a MiM in German (which if you can get C2 German shouldn't be an issue) and doesn't require GMAT/GRE. Also the Master's in Business Managment at St. Gallen makes taking the GRE/GMAT optional and counts for 25% of the application - not little but strength in other areas can be achieved.

TLDR; don't worry, you have plenty of good GMAT/GRE-less options besides the ones you listed

    • 1
Oct 1, 2018

Thanks man. I appreciate it.

I have indeed looked at WU Wien and liked its programmes. I also found that the HSG's Master in Accounting and Finance also has the GMAT/GRE as an optional component. Moreover, Erasmus University (not RSM per se) offers a Financial Economics master that doesn't even require letters of recommendation, let alone a GMAT. Indeed you are right.

By the way, I've been scrolling, i.e. a German forum for business/econ studies. The Mannheim Master in Management dominates the Management masters thread and, as you'd expect, it's trolled ridiculously. Anyway I have been looking at the cuts for the German/English track and it's said that it's quite high. This is because the MMM has a points system that gives 20 points for a semester abroad, meaning that I would need a GMAT in excess of 680 to be competitive for the German/English track. Do you know whether the pure English track of the MMM is less competitive?

For my DAAD scholarship application, I am required to declare 3 Masters. I have declared TUM's Master in Management and Technology as a first choice and my safety, i.e. Hamburg University's Master in Business Administration, as a third. For the second preference I'm stuck between Mannheim's MMM, Mannheim's Master in Economics, and the Master in Finance at FSFM. I have no idea which of the three to declare.

Sorry for any disturbance.

Oct 1, 2018

I honestly don't know enough about Mannheim's courses to speak about them. Does you DAAD scholarship only accept German unis or can you look at others in the DACH region like others in Switzerland or Austria?

Oct 1, 2018

As a non-German, inevitably this application can only be for German universities.

Oct 1, 2018

Have you check if any of the others I mentioned offered scholarships?

Oct 3, 2018

Affirmative on UK unis. HSG and WU offer relatively fewer scholarships. However, in Greece I can refer to a number of institutions for scholarships. Moreover, if necessary, I can take out student loans to cover for any difference. The Austrian Government also offers scholarships for studies in Austria.

As I have said, my goal is to place in Germany (though a placement in Vienna, the Netherlands, or Switzerland certainly wouldn't hurt)

Oct 3, 2018

Check out Maastricht also - it isn't a bad uni for the Benelux region

Oct 3, 2018

I have. Many of its Masters demand the GMAT. However, I will check again so that I can find something that doesn't require it.

Mind if I ask you which German schools would you recommend that I apply to? I've noticed that you suggested universities outside of Germany.

Oct 3, 2018