The SBS Student Blog

Life as a student at Stockholm Business School

Admissions Requirements: GMAT & GRE

It is almost time to gear up for the Winter/Spring Semester here at SBS, and I am looking forward to getting back to school and catching up with my fellow students!

Before you know it, it will be time to apply for the Autumn Semester of 2015! International students will already be in the process of applying now, and students with an EU passport will start thinking about the process soon. For international students, the GMAT and GRE examinations are well-known and sometimes dreaded, but are typically less common in Europe. The GMAT and GRE are quickly becoming standard requirements for many European universities though.

When I applied to SBS, the GMAT/GRE was not a requirement for admissions, but after contacting the admissions department, it was highly recommended that I write the test. SBS admits many of their students who have a GMAT or GRE score, however they also admit students who have not written the test. To decide if you should write one of these admissions tests, contact the admissions department. Check out Admissions Sweden for key date, requirements and all other information!

The GMAT/GRE is considered a supplementary document in the admissions program so the deadline is in the beginning of February (Feb 3). It can take a few weeks for the GMAT/GRE staff to send the results to your chosen universities, so don’t cut it too close!

Looking back, my decision to apply to a Masters Programme in Stockholm could be considered last minute. Within one month of the international student application deadline (Jan 15, 2014) I decided to apply and write the GMAT exam. Upon reflection, this may not have been the best strategy, since the GMAT was more challenging than I had anticipated! It wasn’t that the material was too hard, it was more that I was out of practice, and did not approach the exam with the best strategy.

If I had to do it all again, I would give myself 3 – 6 months of preparation time, if working part-time or full-time. The GMAT books were very helpful and I purchased some online tools to facilitate my studying.

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This GMAT exam is 3 hour and 30 minutes (the GRE is 3 hours and 45 minutes), and without practice can be a long, tiring and challenging experience. While I was very happy with my performance in the analytical writing and verbal components of the test, I found the integrated reasoning & quantitative sections challenging – and I REALLY felt the time constraints here.

Tips for students writing the GMAT or GRE

  • Purchase a study kit
    • This should include: Practice Exams (Times & Scored), Textbooks, Practice Questions and learning materials
    • Here is the kit I purchased
    • Here are the books I purchased: 1. Math Workbook 2. Complete Study Guide
    • For students with english as a second, or third language I would recommend a Verbal Workbook as well!
  • The more “official” practice exams you can purchase and get your hands on the BETTER
  • Make sure you go through an exam properly, no pausing for breaks, otherwise you will not get the “real” experience of writing the test
  • Don’t be too stressed about the material, it is not too advanced but it is a challenging exam written in a GMAT or GRE centre which can be intimidating
  • Hire a tutor for material that you struggle with
    • In hindsight, I wish I had spent the extra money to review the data sufficiency questions with a GMAT tutor before the exam since that was the area I struggled most with

For those of you who decide to write the GMAT or GRE, good luck!


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