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Don’t like your GMAT score? Don’t submit it

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The Globe's biweekly business-school news roundup.

Students concerned about their performance on the computerized graduate management admission test (GMAT) now have the option to review the unofficial results before submitting them for admission to a business and management program.

Under a recent change by the Graduate Management Admission Council, a non-profit association of business schools worldwide, prospective business students have two minutes after learning their unofficial scores (and before leaving the test centre) to accept or reject the results.

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Students who decide to retake the test will have the cancellation included in score reports sent to schools.

Cancelled scores can be reinstated within 60 days of the test date for $100 (U.S.), according to Reston, Va.-based GMAC, with scores not retrievable after that grace period.

In a press release announcing the change, GMAC vice-president of product management Ashok Sarathy advised students to think beforehand about what score they would find acceptable so as to be prepared, after the test, to make a decision to submit or cancel the results.

Sauder joins exclusive global network of B-schools

Business schools have long fostered ties with institutions in other countries to promote student and faculty exchanges, joint degrees and other opportunities for international experience.

Lately, as in the corporate world, schools are looking beyond one-to-one relationships to extend their international reach and gain an understanding of regional differences in economic, cultural and legal practices.

That's the thinking behind the Global Network for Advanced Management, an alliance of 27 top business schools that just added the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business in Vancouver as the only member from Canada.

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"Out of North American business schools, Sauder is definitely international in students [56 per cent of the current class is from outside Canada], faculty perspective, program experience and mobility of its MBA graduates," says Camino de Paz, director of global initiatives for the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Conn.

Two years ago, with aspirations to become one of the most global business schools in the world, Yale spearheaded the establishment of the alliance that now includes institutions from Europe, Asia, Africa and Central and South America. Sauder's Vancouver location helped its case for inclusion, too, she says. "It is the gateway to the Pacific Rim."

What makes the global network unique, adds Ms. de Paz, is the potential for "diffused reciprocity" among partner schools. For example, students from one school can spend time at an overseas institution without that foreign school having to send back an equal number of students, as is typical in bilateral exchange agreements. "It gives our students many more options than the ones we could potentially do on our own or by signing bilateral agreements or memorandum of understanding with multiple schools."

Laura Rojo, director of market intelligence, recruitment and admissions at Sauder, says her school was keen to join the network to "leverage the collective resources we can all put on the table."

For example, network-member schools with expertise in a particular field, such as behavioural science or supply chain management, offer virtual, for-credit courses that link students from across the network through an online platform and video conferencing. Students from multiple countries work on a project that, beyond the subject matter, develops their skills in virtual collaboration and leadership. This year, 190 students from various schools took half- or full-semester online courses offered by network-member professors.

As well, network schools host week-long modules that this year brought together 470 students from diverse backgrounds who attend classes, meet local business leaders and discuss regional business problems. Sauder plans to offer a course next year on creative collaboration among business, government and civil society that promote positive social impact and entrepreneurship.

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In a variation of the traditional case study, network members develop "raw" cases that draw on multimedia resources – print, video and online – with input from faculty members from multiple countries on the business problem to be solved.

"Companies now work all over the world," says Ms. de Paz. "We need to get those [international] perspectives."

Ms. Rojo says that, in joining the network, Sauder aims to strengthen its reputation for entrepreneurship and international activities. The school already offers a global immersion program, in partnership with counterpart institutions in China, Denmark, Israel and Chile, for full-time MBA students to spend two weeks abroad working on consulting projects with overseas business students, multinational companies and community organizations.

Participation in the network, observes Ms. Rojo, is a response to global competition among business schools.

"We are at the point in management education where the demands on business schools are very high and no one business school will be able to keep pace with innovation or [the need to] introduce the international perspective in the class," she says.

To that end, membership in the network is renewed (or cancelled) every three years, giving time for individual schools to make a contribution through new course offerings and multicountry faculty research. To maximize the benefits of membership, the network is limited to about 30 global business schools at any one time, though there is not an official cap.

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