A 700 plus GMAT score is considered the holy-grail for applicants aspiring for a top league B-School admit. If one has missed the 700 mark on GMAT, retaking the test is the most obvious solution for improving the score. In fact, most admissions officers actively encourage candidates with low scores to retake the test. Additionally, most schools will only look at one’s highest score in the test taking history.

Some applicants, who are unable to improve their GMAT scores with retakes often get frustrated in the process. This frustration compounds their challenge by leaving them with very less time to work on the remaining elements of the application – essays, recommendations, resume and interview.

If your GMAT score shows no improvement, perhaps it’s time to move on. Instead, you should rather focus your energy on the rest of the application packet. You can choose from among the colleges where a lower GMAT score won’t be a deal-breaker.

Here’s a representative list of such schools from USA, Europe, Canada and Australia. These schools have their GMAT average requirement lower than 650; sometimes as low as 500 if you fit the bill!

Average GMAT Score Less Than 700


  1. Warwick Business School, Coventry, UK
  2. Erasmus University – Rotterdam School of Management(RSM), Netherlands
  3. University of Manchester – Alliance Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK
  4. ESMT Berlin, Germany
  5. University College Dublin (Smurfit), Ireland
  6. City University – Cass Business School, London, UK
  7. University of St. Gallen – Executive School of Technology, Management & Law, Switzerland
  8. Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
  9. Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  10. The Lisbon MBA, Lisbon, Portugal
  11. University of Strathclyde Business School, Scotland, UK
  12. University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, UK
  13. Lancaster University Management School, UK


  1. Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA
  2. Purdue University (Krannert), Indiana, USA
  3. Temple University – Fox School of Business, Philadelphia, USA
  4. University of Pittsburgh (Katz), Pennsylvania, USA
  5. Babson College, Massachusetts, USA
  6. George Washington University School of Business (GWSB), Washington, USA
  7. HEC Montreal, Canada
  8. McGill University, Canada
  9. Queen’s University, Canada
  10. University of British Columbia, Canada
  11. University Of Ottawa, Canada
  12. York University, Canada
  13. University of Toronto, Canada
  14. University of Western Ontario, Canada


  1. CUHK Business School, Hong Kong
  2. AGSM – UNSW Business School, Sydney, Australia
  3. Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM), Sydney, Australia

And the list goes on. Did you know that The Financial Times Global MBA ranking also includes a lot of business schools with a low average GMAT score requirement?

When you’re applying to any university, you will want to be aware of what their admission requirements are. Even if they will accept a low GMAT score, you are still advised to check whether they require anything in addition to the GMAT in your application profile.

Also, remember that some schools, like Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, accept both the GMAT and GRE. They weigh them equally as part of the admissions process. Be sure to ask each school about their GRE policies before switching tests though, since this is not the case at every business school.

So, detox yourself from the stereotyped notion that 700 plus GMAT score is the be-all, end-all of your candidature. It certainly is not! Do your bit of research or talk to counsellors on the sub-700 league, take that leap of faith and move on.