GMAT, GRE and other prometrics

Taking advantage of living in the downtown of Madrid I gave GMAT and GRE examinations a try last week. GMAT or GRE scores, university performance, sponsorization letters and work experience are the typical selection criteria one should pass in order to get into MBA or similar programs. When top masters boast about the quality of their students, they almost always refer GMAT (or GRE) scores but many people question whether they really measure managerial potential.

GMAT means Graduate Management Admission Test and GRE stands for Graduate Record Management. Both are quite similar and assess the ability to give quick solutions to multiple choice numerical and verbal problems accompanied by two short writing tasks. GRE is a bit cheaper but its verbal section is more difficult. Anyway, the funny and odd conclusion is that instead of practicing management the wannabe-MBAs practice tests.

Good managers should be intelligent and the tests measure some kind of fast-thinking intelligence but, indeed, anyone can be intelligent and become a horrible manager. So, from my point of view, GMAT and GRE constitute useful but overrated tools to identify successful management students and other critical characteristics are not adequately considered. This is more dramatic when English is not your mother language.

What is more, GMAT and GRE encourage a uniformization of post-graduate education provided that the most popular rankings use the minimum admission score as a standard of how good postgraduate schools are.

PS: my scores were GMAT = 680 and GRE = Quant 750 + Verbal 490 which are acceptable for a non-native English speaker.