Why are standardised assessments a requirement?

Prospective students at the UCT GSB will need to submit a standardised assessment score as part of their application process. The purpose of these tests is to make sure that candidates have the required proficiency and aptitude to complete their chosen academic programme.

The assessment forms an important but only partial part of the application process. The Admissions Board will look at any individual’s application holistically, considering elements such as personal conduct, professional experience, evaluator reports, academic background, and application essays.

Our Executive MBA Programme also accepts the Modified Career Path Appreciation test. You can find out more about it here.


We accept scores from a number of internationally recognised tests as part of a candidate's application requirements, namely:

Assessments: GMAT

The Graduate Management Admissions Test has been a UCT GSB staple for years. Designed to measure the skills that are most relevant to business-related academic programmes, like critical thinking and verbal and quantitative reasoning.

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Assessments: GMAT Focus
GMAT Focus

The GMAT Focus is a shorter, sharper version of the Graduate Management Admissions Test, with a focus on business-related content and acumen.

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Assessments: NMAT

Created by the Graduate Management Admissions Council specifically for emerging markets, the Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test is a candidate-friendly exam with a flexible section ordering and no negative marking. It is widely used in developing nations such as India, Nigeria and Morocco.

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Assessments: GRE

The Graduate Record Examination is a standardized assessment that is primarily used for students seeking to further their studies in the social Sciences but is becoming increasingly popular among business students worldwide.

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Assessments: Executive assessment
Executive Assessment

This assessment is designed specifically for candidates with skills that have been acquired through experience in the workplace, and caters for busy professionals.

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Candidates will need to contact the Standardised Assessment providers on their own initiative, but the UCT GSB is committed to supporting them throughout the process.

GMAT GMAT Focus GRE NMAT Executive Assessment
Who it's for Candidates who want to put their business school readiness to the test and demonstrate exceptional commitment to a rigorous admissions process. Candidates who have less time to prepare for a test but still want to stand out in the admissions process and demonstrate their commitment and readiness for business school. While the GRE is used primarily for students looking to pursue postgraduate qualifications in the Social Sciences, they are increasingly gaining traction in the business field. Candidates who want to apply for business schools in emerging markets such as Africa, India, and Philippines, and for whom the costs of other tests may be prohibitive. Busy executives with less time to prepare but more institutional knowledge and experience-based workplace skills.
Format / Mechanism Item-level computer adaptive test Item-level computer adaptive test Computer delivered or paper delivered Item-level computer adaptive test Multi-Stage Test (MST)
Test time 3 hours 30 minutes 2 hours 15 minutes 3 hours 45 minutes 2 hours 1 hour 30 minutes
Score validity 5 years 5 years 5 years 1 year 5 years

You can contact the providers directly online here:

Find out more

For more information or support in booking your standardized assessment, feel free to contact our Admissions Office on +27 (0)21 650 7500


The GSB does not publish specific scores that candidates are required to achieve as we are committed to a holistic assessment of the merits of each individual application. We want to encourage applicants to develop the strongest application possible, which requires appropriate preparation time for the standardised assessment in order to obtain an acceptable score. The standardised assessment forms one part of a candidate’s application and it is equally important that candidate’s pay attention to all aspects of the application. 

No. We encourage candidates to select an assessment that suits their professional experience, personal acumen, and career level.

Yes. However, some tests – such as the GMAT – have a cooling off period that only allow prospective students to write one test per month.

Yes. The assessment is one of several steps that candidates need to take in order to complete their application. 

If you have written a GMAT, NMAT, or Executive Assessment use the code: 0837
If have written the GRE, use the code: 5011