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Apply for an Executive MBA without taking the GMAT/Executive Assessment

6 December 2018

The article at a glance

Candidates can apply to the Cambridge EMBA programme without taking the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) exams, if they can demonstrate the …

Category: News Programme news

Candidates can apply to the Cambridge EMBA programme without taking the GMAT or Executive Assessment (EA) exams, if they can demonstrate the relevant skills in their application and interview.

Businesswoman taking ticking off checklist in a notebook in an office.

What is the GMAT/EA?

The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and the Executive Assessment (EA) are exams that evaluate whether you have the academic skills to succeed on a business school programme. These tests are recognised by schools around the world, and a strong score can demonstrate your preparedness for the academic rigour of the Cambridge Executive MBA programme.

Do I need to take the GMAT/EA to apply for the EMBA?

If you meet our minimum academic requirements and feel confident that you a can demonstrate the skills covered by the GMAT/EA across your career, you may apply for a GMAT/EA waiver within your application. Candidates should demonstrate how they meet our academic requirements and can show examples of how they have used critical reasoning, analytical writing, problem solving and data analysis in their current role.

How will I know if my waiver is accepted?

A GMAT/EA waiver request will be assessed by the Executive MBA Admissions Committee and at least one faculty member. You may be asked to complete the GMAT/EA as a condition to being interviewed for the programme or as an offer condition after interview.

If I wanted to take the GMAT/EA exam, what score would you accept?

We look for balanced scores between the verbal, quantitative, and integrated reasoning sections of the test. As a guide, we would expect scores of 50th percentile in each subsection (GMAT or EA) to strengthen a case that does not meet the minimum requirement (Bachelor’s (Hons) degree with grade of 2:1 in the UK system or international equivalent). For the Executive Assessment, 50th percentile scores will usually be around 10 in each section and an overall score or roughly 153.

I don’t meet the academic requirements for the programme. Can I request the GMAT/EA waiver?

We would strongly suggest that candidates who do not meet our academic requirements complete the GMAT or the EA before submitting an application.


We will consider results from either the GMAT or the EA. However, the EA is specifically designed for EMBA programmes and the format/study time is often more suitable for senior executives.

What to do next

1. Confirm whether you meet our minimum academic requirements

Use our Graduate Admissions International Qualifications tool to find out whether you meet the minimum academic requirements for the programme. If you do not meet our minimum requirements and would still like to apply for the programme, then we strongly suggest that you complete the GMAT or the EA before you apply for the programme.

2. Submit your CV for review

Upload your CV and our Admissions Team will complete a profile review. You can follow-up on this review to discuss your eligibility for the waiver.

3. Write your GMAT/EA waiver

The EMBA application form has a text box in which you can write a short paragraph explaining why you would be eligible for a waiver.

4. Outcome

The GMAT/EA requirement can only be waived after a candidate has completed an interview. If a candidate receives an offer, they will either have a condition of a GMAT/EA score as a condition to their offer, or they will have the GMAT/EA requirement waived.

Final points

A member of the Admissions Team can only advise whether they believe you’re a suitable candidate for the GMAT/EA waiver. To be considered, you must apply for the programme, provide evidence that you meet our academic requirement and complete the waiver. The Admissions Committee, which includes at least one EMBA faculty member, would review your full application and waiver.

The ultimate decision on applications to the programme is made by the Admissions Committee, and decisions are based on your responses to the application questions, strength of your academic background and your work experience.