How to get a GMAT waiver/exemption for Imperial College London

The GMAT is a prerequisite for multiple of the postgraduate courses offered by Imperial College London. So, what should you do if you can’t complete the GMAT, or feel it is unnecessary? Your answer does not need to be giving up on your dream of attending Imperial College London. Instead, you can apply for a GMAT waiver!

Here, at The Profs, we’ve successfully helped many students get GMAT waivers and gain admission to competitive universities, including Imperial College London. Over 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities! So, if you want to cut to the chase, reach out to our expert admissions team who can get you started on securing your GMAT waiver.

Don’t forget to check out our previous articles on how to get into Imperial College London, courses and entry requirements at Imperial College London, and what to do if you don’t meet Imperial College London’s entry requirements.

You can also watch videos on Imperial College London by our founder, who has over ten years of university admission experience: ‘How to get into Imperial for Finance’, ‘How hard is it to get into Imperial for MBA?’, ‘How to get into Imperial Business Analytics?’ and ‘How to get into MSc Management and International Management at Imperial?’.

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What are the GMAT and GRE?

The GMAT and GRE are both admissions tests required by many postgraduate courses that are related to Business. Many business schools and universities accept both GRE and GMAT scores for Management and Business courses, including Imperial College London. Imperial College London does not have a preference for either qualification. 

Both tests are designed to assess a similar set of skills, however there are some differences. 

As a general rule, the GMAT tends to suit applicants who have strong quantitative and analytical skills and excel at interpreting data presented in charts, tables, and text to solve complex problems. The GRE tends to suit applicants who prefer essay writing over Maths, as there is a longer essay section and its Quantitative sections tend to be more straightforward (calculators are also allowed).

Please note: Whilst many university programmes claim that they don’t have a preference for the GRE or GMAT, employers might. So, always check this!

The GMAT

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is an admissions test used by many UK universities to assess students’ suitability for postgraduate Management and Business-related degree courses.

The GMAT helps universities and business schools assess your academic potential and gives a more consistent point of comparison between applicants from a range of academic and professional backgrounds. Your GMAT score is also one part of the application process you can control (you can improve your score through hard work and effective preparation) so it gives business schools an insight into your work ethic.

For these reasons, the GMAT is often a mandatory requirement for top universities/business schools. It’s important to work towards achieving the strongest possible score to show your commitment to your chosen course and to help you stand out amongst many competitive applicants from the outset.

Imperial College London’s minimum score for the GMAT: 600.

We have a previous article on the GMAT.

The GMAT Focus

Starting in February 2024, the GMAT Focus Edition will replace the original GMAT and become the only version of the GMAT available for candidates. Until then, you can choose to take the old GMAT or GMAT Focus Edition. 

Imperial College London has been accepting the GMAT Focus since the 7th of November, 2023.

Imperial College London’s minimum score for the GMAT Focus: the 55th percentile or higher.

For information, read our article on how to prepare for the new GMAT Focus.

The GRE

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is an admissions test used by many UK universities to assess students’ suitability for postgraduate Management and Business-related degree courses.

The GRE is a postgraduate admissions test used to assess applicants’ ability to study demanding degree programmes in fields such as Business, Law, Finance, and more. It is designed to test your critical thinking skills, mirroring the kind of thinking you’ll be required to do at the postgraduate level.

Imperial College London’s minimum score for the GRE: 156 in the verbal, and 158 in the quantitative sections.

For information, read our article on how to prepare for the GRE.

Should I take the GMAT/GRE?

First of all, it’s important to highlight how competitive the admissions process is for Imperial College London.

Imperial College London’s business school is highly regarded; it is ranked 3rd in Europe and 6th-8th in the world by the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education (2024). It is noteworthy for employment opportunities, having ranked top in the UK for career prospects by the Guardian University Guide (2022).

A waiver can be a strategic move if your overall application stands strong without it. If not, then you may want to reconsider the waiver. If you are able and available to take the GMAT or GRE, as well as attain a higher score than what’s average for Imperial College London offer holders, then you might want to consider doing so. It could really boost the competitiveness of your application, and you should take any opportunity available to maximise your chances of success against your talented competitors. 

Also, if your reason for wanting a GMAT/GRE waiver is that you’ve taken the test multiple times and failed it or gotten bad scores, you should reconsider this tactic. 

Firstly, the GMAT allows you to cancel scores you’re not happy with (within two minutes of receiving your score, so ensure that you understand your programme’s expectations). 

Secondly, Imperial states that it does not penalise candidates for needing multiple goes to reach the required score. Instead, Imperial claims that it demonstrates a candidate’s “grit and determination to succeed”, which are qualities that Imperial seeks in students.

The GMAT waiver should not be used as a means of avoiding taking the test multiple times or getting a bad score once or twice. If this is your reason for asking for the waiver, it’s likely your request will be rejected.

On this note, we have expert GMAT and GRE tutors who can coach you through the process of achieving TOP results. Just reach out to get started!

All that said, if you find it tricky or impossible to take the GMAT/GRE due to professional or personal circumstances, or maybe you think your backlog of experience negates the need, then Imperial College London offers a waiver just for you. Don’t be lulled into thinking it’ll be easy, but The Profs know just how to get one. Stay tuned for our intel.

​​Need help with applying for a GMAT waiver? Our team has tonnes of experience in this area and has helped numerous students obtain GMAT waivers and gain admission to top business schools. We also have expert writing tutors who can help you create the perfect waiver letter!

Do I have to do a GMAT or GRE for an MBA or MSc at Imperial College London?

Postgraduate courses at Imperial that have no relation to Business, Management or Finance do not require, recommend or even accept GMAT/GRE scores as part of their admissions process.

For Imperial’s MBA, the GMAT/GRE is a requirement. A GMAT/GRE score is also compulsory for courses like the MSc International Management and the MRes or PhD in Business at Imperial.

However, whilst the GMAT/GRE is not required for many of Imperial’s business-related postgraduate courses, like the MSc in Finance, Imperial states that a good score will add weight to your application. Imperial specifically recommends the GMAT to applicants who lack a strong quantitative background.

If you choose to take the GMAT for a course that doesn’t require it to boost your application or because you lack a quantitative background, Imperial advises achieving 650 or higher as well as getting a good grade in the quantitative reasoning section to add value to your application.

If you’re applying for the MBA or another one of Imperial’s courses that require the GMAT/GRE, remember that Imperial offers a GMAT/GRE waiver which can deem you exempt from having to fulfil this requirement. Let’s jump into how this works.

What is a GMAT or GRE waiver/exemption?

A GMAT or GRE waiver/exemption is a provision offered by some graduate business programmes that allows applicants to bypass the standard requirement of submitting GMAT or GRE scores as part of their application. 

How do the GMAT or GRE waivers work?

This waiver is typically granted under specific conditions, such as having significant professional experience, holding advanced graduate degrees (it certainly helps to have a postgraduate too), or possessing certain professional certifications. It provides an alternative route for qualified candidates to showcase their readiness for their chosen graduate programme without relying on standardised tests.

When did GMAT or GRE waivers take wind?

During the Covid pandemic, before the prevalence of online test centres across the world, many business and graduate schools temporarily lightened their GMAT restrictions as test centres were closed. 

Since the world has returned to pre-Covid normality, business schools have once again become stricter in GMAT/GRE exemptions, but there are still more waivers being given than pre-pandemic.

Who are the GMAT or GRE waivers for?

The GMAT waiver is typically for those with years of professional work experience under their belt as well as a strong academic history (including a bachelor’s degree) and professional certifications like the CPA or CFA. They will also be able to demonstrate their leadership and problem-solving skills through their experience.

You are unlikely to get approval for a GMAT waiver if you lack sufficient work experience, leadership background, or quantitative academic achievements, or face other application weaknesses. Applying under these circumstances is not strategic.

If you’d like a GMAT or GRE waiver but you’re unsure how to successfully have one granted, chat with our knowledgeable team on the subject. We can help.

Does Imperial offer a GMAT waiver or exemption?

Imperial offers a GMAT waiver to those who demonstrate academic excellence and quantitative skills. 

Here at The Profs, we have successfully helped multiple students receive a GMAT exemption for the MBA at Imperial. 

So, we’ve developed a couple of strategies to maximise the chances of our students securing waivers! Reach out to our talented admissions team if you’re serious about securing one.

How do I apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver from Imperial College London?

Here’s how to apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver from Imperial College London:

  1. Click on the GMAT waiver form.
  2. Fill it out.
  3. It is important that you attach a copy of your transcripts (including the modules you’ve taken and the grades you’ve achieved) along with an up-to-date CV.
  4. Complete this process and submit your form before you submit your MBA application.

This process is deceptive in appearing quick and easy! We recommend thinking very strategically about how you write your academic/professional CV (which is different from a CV that you submit to an employer). We strongly suggest that you speak with Imperial before applying for a GMAT waiver. We can guide you through the process.

Warning: If your GMAT waiver request is declined subsequent requests won’t be reconsidered and will be automatically declined. Hence, your first attempt must be perfect as it is crucial. There are no second chances! Don’t take a gamble, get our help.

Please note: Imperial will review your waiver request on a case-by-case basis within seven working days.

Also note: If you do not qualify for an exemption, you must submit a valid GMAT or GRE score as part of your application. Your application is not complete until this score is received and therefore will not be processed by the Imperial Admissions Team and may be removed.

Need help? Chat with our team.

Extenuating circumstances

Many universities, like LBS, allow applicants to submit GMAT/GRE waiver request letters or essays to highlight why they cannot take the GMAT/GRE exam. So, candidates have the opportunity to highlight and explain their extenuating circumstances, such as parental/caregiver responsibilities, bereavement or financial hardship. 

In some cases, taking the GMAT/GRE could get in the way of a competitive promotion at work, meaning that preparing for the GMAT could explicitly harm their career prospects. This is another valid circumstantial reason that would prevent an applicant from being able to take the GMAT.

However, Imperial does not allow students to attach a letter or essay to their GMAT waiver request. There is only one mode of applying for an exemption and it is through a form that remains very impersonal. Imperial is merely checking whether you, as an applicant, are qualified to take their course and likely to do well without the evidence of a high GMAT score. This is great if your reason for not taking the GMAT is that it seems unnecessary because you’re an applicant with an outstanding academic record in quantitative subjects and have some relevant professional experience and qualifications. 

But what about if your reason for not taking the GMAT is due to extenuating circumstances? Before you submit your GMAT waiver request form, it’s highly recommended that you contact Imperial’s admissions office via email: [email protected] and [email protected], or telephone: (+44) 020 7594 7258. Tell them about your situation and ask them if your situation can be considered as part of your GMAT waiver request.

It’s important to note that universities have different reasons for offering GMAT waivers. Clearly, Imperial’s main reason for offering them is to encourage applications from highly qualified students who are eligible for Imperial’s business courses even without GMAT scores and who might have been put off if they had been required to take the GMAT test in order to apply. 

So, the intention behind Imperial’s GMAT waiver is not really to increase applications from students who can’t take the GMAT for personal or contextual reasons. What this means is that your GMAT waiver request must prioritise selling yourself as a competitive candidate with a great academic record in quantitative subjects and an accomplished professional.

Remember: You should also ensure that your CV doesn’t let you down. Check that it’s up-to-date and of high quality. If it needs some updating, restructuring or perfecting, find the time to do so! Imperial College London will study it thoroughly and it is a clear introduction to you as a professional.

​​Need help with crafting your CV and applying for a GMAT waiver? Our team has tonnes of experience in this area and has helped numerous potential test takers obtain GMAT waivers and gain admission to top business schools. 

5 tips: How do I get a GMAT/GRE exemption approved by Imperial College London?

We’ve covered some important tips regarding the GMAT/GRE waiver but we have more. Let’s whiz through some of our insider tips on how to have your GMAT waiver request granted by Imperial College London!

Feeling overwhelmed by information? Reach out to our expert team!

1. The early bird catches the worm!

This is one of the instances in admissions applications where applying early (for the waiver) is likely to increase your chances. Here’s why:

  • There is a limited number of GMAT waivers Imperial College London is willing to give, hence there’s an element of first come first serve!
  • You want to get your foot in the door before a better candidate applies for a waiver.
  • The earlier you apply, the more time you have left to take the GMAT and receive your score before Imperial’s application deadline for your course.

Don’t forget, our admissions team can coach you through the process, as well as advise you on timing and strategy.

All that said, don’t rush your application. If your GMAT waiver request is declined subsequent requests won’t be reconsidered and will be automatically declined. Hence, your first attempt must be perfect as it is crucial. There are no second chances! Don’t take a gamble, get our help.

2. Believe in your background

Applying for a waiver can be thought of as similar to applying for a scholarship. Accordingly, your background is extremely relevant to your application. Understanding the factors that increase your chances of a scholarship will greatly help.

Over the last couple of years, diversity has grown more and more important to the GMAT waiver. Whilst universities will not admit this, your eligibility for the GMAT exemption includes demographic factors, such as ethnicity and gender because waivers can be used to help universities diversify their cohorts e.g. when a demographic is severely underrepresented. 

So, ensure that you disclose your gender if you identify as a woman or non-binary. Similarly, if you are a national of a country other than the United Kingdom, and/or you attended university outside of the UK, flag this in the form. 

Generally, within the UK, we have seen weaker academic candidates gain more favour in their waiver applications to programmes where they would be improving the severe underrepresentation for that course.

Consequently, you should try to carve opportunities to highlight to Imperial any relevant factors about your background or circumstances that relate to diversity and representation. If applicable to you, emphasise your diverse perspective under a role in your CV (and later along, in your personal statement) to make a powerful impression on the admissions committee. 

Need help crafting a winning GMAT waiver request? ​​Our team has tonnes of experience in this area and has helped numerous students obtain GMAT test waivers and gain admission to top business schools. We also have expert writing tutors who can help you create the perfect CV too!

3. Master Mathematics

Demonstrating outstanding academic aptitude is always extremely helpful when applying to a competitive university, much less asking them for a waiver. Imperial College London specifically lists this as an expectation. 

GMAT/GRE waiver decisions are made by Imperial’s Admissions Committee. They look for a strong academic history and are particularly interested in quantitative subjects. Hence, you must prove that you have impeccable quantitative skills as this will deem you worthy of a GMAT exemption.

The minimum requirements for Imperial’s MBA course are a UK Second Class Honours (or the international equivalent) or an acceptable professional qualification:  

  • Full membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the UK or Ireland (ICAEW, ICAS or Chartered Accountants Ireland) . 
  • Full membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA) . 
  • Associateship or Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) . 
  • Full membership of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) .

Your grades and modules should be provided in the transcripts you’re required to submit as part of your GMAT waiver request form

Need help securing a top grade in your undergraduate degree or completing a professional qualification? We have expert tutors in every niche. Reach out to get started.

We have had success in helping our candidates secure GMAT and GRE waivers without any quantitative skills. So, if this is you, talk to us and let’s find a way to get you your waiver from Imperial College London.

4. Your experience is everything

Imperial College London is unique from many other universities due to how much focus it puts on real-world work experience. This is to the extent that it will often overlook lacking or subpar grades if the applicant in question has substantial professional experience in their field. 

This is proven by many of Imperial’s courses stating that applicants who do not meet the academic requirements listed but have substantial relevant industry experience may exceptionally be admitted following completion of a ‘Special Qualifying Exam’ (SQE).

Prospective candidates for Imperial’s full-time MBA typically possess an average of five years of professional experience upon entering the programme. The eligibility criteria include a minimum of three years of continuous, pertinent full-time work experience post-graduation. In unique cases, applicants with less than three years’ experience may be considered, provided they exhibit outstanding academic performance, notable career advancement, and international work exposure.

In the evaluation process, Imperial examines candidates’ career trajectories, focusing on roles, responsibilities, project management, and team leadership. This scrutiny aims to ensure candidates can actively contribute to and engage in classroom discussions, sharing valuable experiences with their peers.

So, when it comes to the GMAT waiver, the importance of professional experience only grows! GMAT waiver MBA candidates should ensure that they have five years or more of professional experience in a relevant field with accomplishments and achievements to speak of.

Imperial College London often expects all GMAT waiver candidates to have outstanding professional experience in fields relevant to their chosen course. Moreover, candidates with professional qualifications will be considered more competitive. 

Don’t forget to look at the GMAT waiver guidelines for your specific course on Imperial College London’s website because one programme may put more weight on academia whilst another might put more weight on professional experience. 

Last, but not least, ensure that you hand in a strong and well-crafted CV. Here is a CV template provided by Imperial. Chat with our team for expert help.

5. English is key

If you are a non-native English speaker, Imperial College London will not grant you a waiver unless they’re certain that you’re fluent in the English language. 

Take an approved English language proficiency test that Imperial College London accepts. Imperial’s most popular accepted tests are the IELTS (7.0 minimum), TOEFL (100 minimum) and Duolingo English Test (125 minimum). Try to score even higher!

Imperial accepts more English proficiency tests too. More information can be found on Imperial’s English language requirements page.

You’ll need to take the test far enough in advance before your application so that you have your grade ready to submit before you begin your application to Imperial College London!

Here at The Profs, we have excellent English language tutors who can help you.

If you’re set on Imperial College London, don’t forget to reach out to our expert university admissions coaches. We have plenty of experience with Imperial College London as well as GMAT exemption waivers. Why not join our winning team?

Your waiver will be approved (or rejected) before your application

When you apply for your GMAT or GRE waiver to Imperial, you’ll have it approved (or rejected) before you submit your application to Imperial College London. Consequently, you might still decide to take the GMAT or GRE to maximise the competitiveness of your Imperial College London application. You have the option to change your mind.

Imperial College London runs a popular, competitive and highly selective admissions process. Accordingly, an approved waiver might not mean that you get an offer from Imperial College London. You should be prepared to maximise your chances of getting into Imperial College London!

That said, as Imperial is more focused on qualifications and experience for its GMAT waiver request, rather than needs-based allowances, it is unlikely Imperial would deem you qualified to forgo a GMAT but unqualified to make it onto their course. 

If you fail at getting an offer after receiving a GMAT waiver, it’s more likely to do with your personal statement! So, if you get your waiver, pour all your efforts into perfecting this essay into something articulate, original and compelling. The next and final step that could fail you is the interview, so prepare for this too!

Luckily for you, we have expert personal statement tutors and interview coaches with previous success in getting students offers from Imperial! 

Note: A high GMAT score is important to some employers, so you might want to boost your future employment potential.

Our GMAT waiver success stories

We’ve helped multiple applicants just like you to receive their GMAT waiver. Just look:

Secure your GMAT waiver now! Why not join our winning team? We can even help you get your offer to Imperial College London.

Contact us online or give us a call: 020 3820 6133.

We can help you get your waiver/exemption!

Here, at The Profs, we help over 95% of our students get an offer to their first and second-choice universities! Moreover, we have successfully helped many of our students receive GMAT/GRE waivers. So, why should you be any different? 

Imperial College London runs a competitive admissions process on all fronts. But there’s no need to be overwhelmed, we’ve got your back. No achievement is out of reach, and our success stories demonstrate that. If you’re set on Imperial College London, don’t gamble with your future. 

Reach out to our expert admissions team to make things happen.

FAQs

Does Imperial College London have a GMAT waiver form?

Yes. You can access it here.

What about the GMAT waiver for international students?

The system for requesting a GMAT waiver is the same for international students as it is for UK students. You will need to meet the same eligibility requirements to have it granted. 

What are the GMAT waiver MBA 2024 eligibility requirements?

Imperial College London’s eligibility requirements for the GMAT waiver are as follows: the candidate must have a history of academic excellence, and have evidence of quantitative skills. 

These requirements are not reportedly being changed for 2024, however, it is certainly harder to get a GMAT waiver now than during Covid. 

See here for more information and advice or contact our team for an expert helping hand. We can also help you boost your MBA application!

Is a competitive GMAT score mandatory for Imperial MBA admission?

Whilst a competitive GMAT score is typically required, Imperial College Business School considers GMAT waivers for candidates with a strong academic background, quantitative skills and work experience. Waivers are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Does Imperial College London have a GMAT waiver essay sample?

Imperial College London does not require GMAT waiver letters. 

However, the University of Oxford does. A candidate who had their GMAT waiver request granted by Oxford shared their successful letter here

What is the GMAT waiver process?

For Imperial College London, the GMAT waiver request process is as follows:

  1. Click on the GMAT waiver form.
  2. Fill it out.
  3. It is important that you attach a copy of your transcripts (including the modules you’ve taken and the grades you’ve achieved) along with an up-to-date CV.
  4. Complete this process and submit your form before you submit your MBA application.

Don’t be fooled by how quick and easy this appears. For further information, read this article or reach out to our team for an expert helping hand. 

What are alternatives to the GMAT?

The GRE and EA are both alternatives to the GMAT. However, you should always check what your specific course at your chosen university prefers and this is subject to change each year. You should also consider what future, potential employers might prefer. 

Here, at The Profs, we have GMAT, GRE and EA tutors who can help you achieve top scores. We also have previous articles on the GMAT, GRE and EA.

What impact does the GMAT waiver have on a university application?

If the waiver is granted, it’s a thumbs-up from the admissions committee based on something promising in your profile. If not, it’s a cue to prepare for the test. The beauty of this lies in the fact that if the committee grants you a waiver, it’s not a penalty but a sign of approval. 

For schools with a more automated review process, skipping the GMAT/GRE/EA removes one evaluation factor, making the rest of your application even more crucial. 

A waiver can be a strategic move if your overall application stands strong without it.