Recently, we talked about what to try if your deadlines are rapidly approaching and you don’t yet have the score that you want. I’d like to talk about next steps for those of you who decide to postpone your exam and possibly your b-school applications.
I didn’t actually decide – I just didn’t get the score I wanted
First, a pep talk. You always have a choice. You could, for example, choose to apply this year but lower your standards in terms of where you apply. In fact, if you fall into certain categories, this may be better than waiting a year to try to get into a “better” (or, at least, higher-ranked) school. Let’s say that you’re being groomed to take over a family business. The current CEO is getting older. The business is well-established and fairly regional, so actually the best thing might be to get a degree from a respected (but not necessarily “top”) school in the same geographic region as the company headquarters.
On the other hand, let’s say that’s NOT you – in your case, you’re only willing to spend $100,000+ if you can get into a top-fill-in-the-blank school (top 5? top 10? top 20?), and your current GMAT score is probably going to hold you back. In that case, postponing for a year may be the way to go. Any “helpful” friends or family members who say, “Hey, I thought you were applying to business school!” can be told, “It’s actually a smarter career move to wait until next year.” They don’t need to know that the GMAT had anything to do with that decision.