This Is Only A Test

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Q: I am curious to know if you have any information on the best graduate and/or business schools for African Americans. I am concerned about my future. I carry a 3.11 GPA and I’ve worked hard to maintain it. I have researched many schools and most of the “good” schools require or prefer a GPA of at least 3.4 and a GMAT score of at least 550. I have not taken the test, but I can say that I am not a very good test taker. How would a person in my situation get into a good school? I have no problem with hard work and tests don’t measure everything. So please help!
–R.S. Jackson
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

A: First, contact the National Black M.B.A. Association. In addition to being a great resource, the organization is a partner in Destination M.B.A., a program aimed at encouraging African Americans to pursue M.B.A. degrees ( tion.html).

I am glad to hear that you have no problem with hard work because you need to reject the idea that you are not “a good test taker” and focus on improving your test-taking skills, especially if your GPA is somewhat below the admission standards of the best B-schools. Remember the adage: Whether you think you can, or think you can’t–you’re right.

For help preparing for the GMAT, start by going to the Graduate Management Admission Council Website, I also recommend the book No More Test Anxiety: Effective Steps for Taking Tests & Achieving Better Grades by Ed Newman ($17.95, Learning Skills Publications).