How to get GMAT waiver/exemption to LBS

The GMAT is a prerequisite for many of the courses offered by London Business School (LBS). 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 LBS. 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, like LBS. We boast an 83% offer rate to LBS. That’s over 4 times LBS’s reported average acceptance rate! 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 LBS, LBS’s executive MBA entry requirements and what to do if you don’t meet LBS’s entry requirements.

You can also watch videos on LBS by our founder, who’s an LBS alumnus with over ten years of university admission experience: ‘Is it hard to get into LBS MBA?’, ‘How to get into LBS Masters in Finance’, ‘How do you get into LBS Masters in Management?’ and ‘How to get into LBS Masters in Analytics and Management.’

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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 LBS. LBS 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, their 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.

LBS’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. 

LBS is already accepting the GMAT Focus.

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.

LBS’s minimum score for the GRE: 160 for both verbal and 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 LBS.

LBS is regarded by professionals globally as one of the most esteemed business schools in the UK and Europe. It is noteworthy for being among the select postgraduate-only universities in the UK, consistently earning top rankings for MBAs, Master’s in Finance and Management, and related fields. The Financial Times has rated it as the number 1 choice for MSc Finance for the past five years.

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 LBS 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. 

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 LBS 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 LBS?

Officially, yes. A GMAT/GRE score is a requirement for all of LBS’s courses.

However, LBS offers a GMAT/GRE waiver which can deem you exempt from having to fulfil this requirement. Let’s jump into how this works.

Please note: LBS does not offer the option of a GMAT waiver for all courses e.g. all applicants must submit a GMAT score for the Masters in Financial Analyses unless they have completed a CFA Level 1. So, always check the requirements for your specific programme.

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 London Business School offer a GMAT waiver or exemption?

London Business School offers a GMAT waiver to those who have a record of academic excellence in quantitative subjects in addition to impressive work experience. 

Here at The Profs, we have successfully helped multiple students to receive a GMAT exemption. 

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 LBS?

When it comes to applying for a GMAT/GRE waiver from LBS, there are three methods to choose from:

Application submission without test score:

You can simply submit your application without a GMAT/GRE test score. After reviewing your complete application, you will receive one of the following decisions:

  • LBS has decided to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement.
  • LBS has decided to move forward with an interview, but your offer may still be conditional on a strong GMAT/GRE score.
  • LBS have decided to wait for a test score before deciding whether to call you for an interview or not.
  • LBS has decided not to consider you for this intake.

You should note that in all cases, LBS’s Admissions Committee reserves the right to require a strong GMAT or GRE score before confirming a place in the programme.

Requesting a waiver before applying:

Before you submit your LBS application, submit your CV for review. If the programme is deemed a good fit, LBS may provide guidance on your test options. In most cases, a full application assessment is required before deciding on a GMAT/GRE waiver.

Automatic consideration:

All applications submitted without a GMAT/GRE score will be automatically considered for a waiver.

Need help? Chat with our team.

GMAT waiver guidelines: Your GMAT waiver essay/letter

When you apply for the GMAT/GRE waiver, you must include a compelling letter that is unique, carefully written and clearly expresses your motivation. Ensure that it is personal to you and articulate.

You should invest time into planning, drafting and structuring your essay. Also, ask relevant people (like professors, colleagues and/or your boss) to read it and offer feedback.

Remember, the objective of the GMAT/GRE waiver letter is to highlight why you cannot take the GMAT/GRE exam at this point in time. So, highlight and discuss your extenuating circumstances, such as bereavement or financial hardship. These examples shed light on why you cannot take the GMAT or GRE exam.

Some previous successful candidates spoke about how GMAT preparation detracted from their parental responsibilities and the quality of care available to their elderly dependents. Others mentioned how it threatened to get in the way of a competitive promotion at work, meaning that preparing for GMAT could explicitly harm their career prospects; this is something LBS is prudent to avoid.

Please note: LBS states that having inadequate time to prepare for the GMAT/GRE is not considered an extenuating circumstance or an adequate reason for a waiver to be granted.

Also: 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! LBS will study it thoroughly and it is a clear introduction to you as a professional.

​​Need help with 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. We also have expert writing tutors who can help you create the perfect waiver letter!

5 tips: How do I get a GMAT/GRE exemption approved by LBS?

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

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 LBS are 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 LBS will provide for you to take the GMAT by the required test date – if a conditional offer is made based on you taking it.
  • Late applications may have a shorter time frame to meet the test requirement for a conditional offer, and options for resitting may be limited.

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

2. Believe in your background

Applying for a waiver can be thought of similarly to applying for a scholarship. Accordingly, exceptional circumstances are 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. 

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 highlight any relevant factors about your background or circumstances that relate to diversity and representation. If applicable, emphasise your diverse perspective and contribution to MBA communities in your application to make a powerful statement to the admissions committee. Shed light on why they want you on this course!

Need help crafting an eloquent or persuasive letter? ​​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 waiver letter!

3. Master Mathematics

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

GMAT/GRE waiver decisions are made by the MiF Admissions Committee. They look for a strong academic history, mainly regarding your university-level studies, and are particularly interested in quantitative subjects. Hence, you must prove your quantitative achievements as this will make you a more attractive candidate.

It is clear that LBS particularly values Maths as it has a rather generous GMAT waiver for its MFA (pre-experience Masters in Finance). This waiver is based on excellent academics and decent work experience, as well as excellent performance in other aspects of their (gruelling) 3000-word application across 13 questions and an in-person interview. 

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 LBS.

4. Your experience is everything

LBS is unique from many other universities due to how much focus it puts on work and professional experience. This is to the extent that it will often overlook lacking or subpar grades if the applicant in question has substantial experience in business. When it comes to the GMAT waiver, this becomes even more true!

LBS requires 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. For example, LBS claims that holding CFA II or above gives you an automatic GMAT waiver!

It’s also important that you look at the GMAT waiver guidelines for your specific course on LBS’s website because one programme may put more weight on academia whilst another might put more weight on professional experience. 

5. English is key

If you are a non-native English speaker, LBS 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 LBS accepts, such as the IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge CPE, CAE or PTE, and ensure that you score highly. You’ll need to take the test far enough in advance before your application so that you have your grade ready to submit to LBS before they consider your GMAT waiver!

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

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

What if I get my waiver approved before my offer?

If you apply for your GMAT or GRE waiver and have it approved before your LBS application is judged, you might still decide to take the GMAT or GRE to maximise the competitiveness of your LBS application. 

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

LBS also notes that a high test score is important to some recruiters, 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:

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

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

We can help you get your waiver/exemption!

Here, at The Profs, 83% of our students applying to LBS get an offer! Moreover, we have successfully helped many of our students receive GMAT/GRE waivers. So, why should you be any different? 

LBS 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 LBS, don’t gamble with your future. 

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

FAQs

Does LBS have a GMAT waiver form?

No. You can apply for the GMAT waiver to LBS in 3 ways (application submission without a test score, requesting a waiver before applying or automatic consideration).  

If you’re unsure about how to request a waiver, see 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. 

It’s also worth noting that the GMAT waiver requirements and application process work similarly in the United States.

What are the GMAT waiver MBA 2024 eligibility requirements?

LBS’s eligibility requirements for the GMAT waiver are as follows: the candidate must have a history of academic excellence and/or extensive, relevant professional experience and/or professional qualifications and/or be unable to study for the GMAT for a reason deemed valid by LBS. 

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

Reach out to our team for an expert helping hand. We can also help you boost your MBA application!

Does LBS have a GMAT waiver essay sample?

LBS has not released previous successful GMAT waiver letters. However, a candidate who had their GMAT waiver request granted by Oxford University shared their letter here. You can also chat with our experienced team; we’ve helped multiple students write successful GMAT waiver request essays and can help you with yours!

What is the GMAT waiver process?

For LBS, there are 3 options for the GMAT waiver request process:

  1. Application submission without a test score.
  2. Requesting a waiver before applying.
  3. Automatic consideration.

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. While many advise aiming for an above-average GMAT exam score, a waiver can be a strategic move if your overall application stands strong without it.