Most business schools have adopted a test-optional policy for admission to their degree-granting programs, according to a survey and report from the MBA Roundtable, a global association of business schools, and Wiley.
While most survey respondents show no change in most skills when considering how test-optional policies impact the student body, a number—close to two in 10—saw positive impact in the areas of leadership and social influence and creativity, originality and initiative. In contrast, skills often measured on standardized exams, such as complex problem-solving, are seen as being more negatively impacted by the test-optional policy.
Application volume and the diversity of students at many business schools have increased as a result of the test-optional policy. More than half of respondents (60 percent) report an increase in the diversity of the racial/ethnic makeup of the student body. Nearly half (49 percent) say the career backgrounds of the student body are more diverse. In addition, 44 percent report improved gender diversity, and 43 percent report increased diversity of academic backgrounds. The majority of respondents report that application volumes to each of the business programs have grown as a result of the test-optional policy.