Deciding to do an MBA is one of the most important decisions you make. You need to have proper knowledge of the admission procedure before applying to the schools. This will streamline your efforts along with saving time & other resources. Here we have made an attempt to provide all basic information on different components of the admission process & terminologies used in the process.
Application Forms: Each MBA program requires that you to fill out an application. Most business schools have an on-line application system except for few where you have to download the PDF/Word format application, then fill & submit to the school's admission office. The application fees vary from $50 to $ 250. Few schools do not charge any application fees, as they believe that anyone with the ability, intellectual curiosity and determination to succeed should apply. So we always recommend aspirants not to miss a chance to apply to such schools where their career goals are aligned with the speciality of the schools. Our search tool helps you to find and shortlist schools based on different criteria.
Transcripts: Business schools require you to provide your undergraduate & postgraduate (if any) transcript along with your application. Make sure your institutions forward your transcripts on time to meet the application deadline. It is always advisable to get few extra transcripts, as you may require them during VISA interview or other purposes. Many schools accept students who are not graduates, but are deserving business school student with exceptional career records & work experience.
GMAT scores: All most all top notch business schools require GMAT scores for applying to their programs. However, some schools waive the same under certain conditions. You need to check schools’ websites to get details on this. Make sure that you take the GMAT in plenty of time, around 45days days before the application deadlines of the MBA programs you intend to apply. This will allow you to retake the test if your scores are not satisfactory in the first attempt. GMAT scores are valid for a period of five years. And in the test, you can select five schools, where you want ETS to send your scores. GMAT scores are one of the essential elements of your application. Tips and recommendations for preparing for GMAT are provided in the GMAT preparation section on this website. Please visit www.mba.com forscheduling an appointment for GMAT & downloading free test-preparation software.
English language ability test: If English is not your native language then you require TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate your English proficiency. There are few other English language ability tests, which are also accepted by some schools. In general the scores are valid for a period of two years. You may get a waiver for the same if you have worked for a considerable period of time in an English speaking country or your previous mode of education had been English. For further clarification on this, please contact the admission office of respective schools.
Work experience: Your job experience is weighed highly by admission committees. So you should have minimum work experience of two years while applying. And you should use your essays carefully to portray your job experience in a unique & exciting light. A very small percentage of top B-school classes is comprised of students with two-years or less experience.
Essays: Most B-schools ask to write essays or personal statements, which is the most important component of the application. The number of essays varies from school to school. Essays are your greatest opportunity to make yourself stand out. Think long and hard about how you want admission boards to see you, and then think about how to get that image across. Be sure that you write an essay that is unique and truly descriptive of you. For this section, the ball is in your court, you can win easily if you strategize properly. In essay editing section of this site, we have provided a comprehensive list of tips and recommendations for writing winning essays.
Resume: Few schools ask for a resume. Your MBA resume provides admission committees a better way to rank your skills and abilities and it is often the only source of information for potential interviewers before meeting you.
Recommendations: Most schools ask for two recommendations, one from your professional supervisor and another from your previous academic supervisor. If you are not able to get a letter from your academic supervisor, then letter from another professional supervisor is also acceptable. Letters from relatives are not valued so avoid sending such recommendation letters. However, some schools ask for recommendation letters from peers.
Interviews: Most schools do require interviews. It may be in person or a telephonic depending on the time and circumstance. Interviews give admission committees the opportunity to know you better by assessing your career focus, communication skills, sociability & gravity and to determine whether you are who you say you are. Be sure to prepare for your interview well. Further it provides you an opportunity to know more about the school. Use our comprehensive guidance tips & sample questions list for your preparation.
Application deadlines: Most schools process the applications on deadlines, in which they process applications on a staged basis. You are always encouraged to apply in the early rounds, because with subsequent rounds the number of seats available gets lesser and lesser. So it is advantageous applying early, if all the requirements for the application are fulfilled. Some schools follow rolling application systems, in which applications are evaluated as they reach the admission office. In this system also it is always advantageous applying earlier.