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Last Updated: July 24, 2021

Getting Admission into MBA Schools

Candidates who wish to pursue their higher education by taking up MBA will find that the application and admission process for the same is tedious in nature. When most of the time candidates will know that they need to write the GMAT, other specifics relating to the application process and collecting the necessary documents required will remain will most likely remain obscure to them.

There are many factors that come into play during the application process. It is best for candidates to always start preparing to apply as soon as they fix their plan of doing an MBA at some point. This can be in the form of shortlisting colleges one wants to study in or in understanding the GMAT examination. But at the end of the day, there are steps that one can follow to obtain admission to their most desired institution. These steps or tips for enrolling in the institution of one’s choice have been listed below to help students navigate easily through the whole process of the college application.

Research on the Course and Institutions

Prospective students must always start their journey toward MBA by conducting proper research. This research should include the different kinds of MBAs that are offered by different institutions. It should also be done by remaining conscious of one’s own grades and credentials. Though it may seem ideal to research only about the top universities for MBA, candidates should easily be able to rule the universities whose eligibility requirements they won’t be able to reach.

It is also important that candidates look up institutions that provide financial aid since MBA is a professional course and often has a higher cost of attendance than other master’s degrees. It is also recommended that candidates personally visit the institutions they have shortlisted in order to ascertain the facts they could find during research. One of the ways in which this can be done is by contacting alumni and talking to the current students in the institution. Look up the best methods of applying to the universities once the final shortlist contains less than 10 institutions. Networking with alumni and current students can at the end of the day remain beneficial since recommendations or references from them will sometimes even provide candidates with fee waivers during admission.

Ideally, candidates should focus on the merit of the institution. But it goes without saying that they should look up the cost of attendance, eligibility requirements, living expenses in the locality, financial aids offered, employment opportunities, etc.

Prepare Early for Admission

Once the institutions one wants to apply to has been shortlisted, candidates can work on preparing a list of eligibility requirements that institutions have. Collecting the common documents necessary even before the application processes have started will be a good way to begin the preparation for college applications. At the same time, candidates can make a list of exams they have to clear and formats their certificates ought to be in order to avoid last-minute confusion.

Most institutions will require a GMAT score report as a requirement for admission. Candidates can then choose to look up the dates and take the examination as early as possible to have the score report on time. Though it may seem unnecessary to prepare for admission before the admissions have become open in universities, it is always better to apply as soon as the applications are out instead of being on the lookout for the deadline.

Apply to Multiple Schools

During the shortlisting process, candidates may come across one or two institutions that fit their credentials and requirements perfectly. Instead of applying to only a single institution that is a perfect match for them, it is important that candidates have backup options. It is recommended that candidates apply to at least 5 institutions where a few can exceed their expectations and a few that are below their expectations. This can be the backup plan for the candidate in case they cannot get admitted to the university of their choice.

Applying to multiple institutions will also let candidates increase their odds of being accepted at least in one university. At the same time, it is important that candidates do not apply to more than 6 institutions due to the time-consuming nature of the process. It is better to give perfectly filled college applications to 5 institutions than to do a shoddy job at applying to over 10 places. The application process can be both tiring and expensive considering the institution candidates are applying to.

Prepare for the GMAT

Almost all business schools provide the GMAT as an application requirement for students. It is important that candidates take this examination seriously since even colleges that do not require a GMAT consider the examination to be of merit if the candidate submits their scores. Candidates also have the option of taking GRE instead of GMAT. This is because GMAT is no longer considered to be a compulsory examination to be taken for MBA admissions. Choose between GRE and GMAT by weighing one’s strengths and weaknesses to know which examination will boost their college application better.

Taking a standardized test like the GRE or GMAT will help candidates cover up other aspects of their college application in case they lack in certain areas like their GPA. Candidates will be able to crack the standardized test by establishing a proper study plan and schedule and sticking to it until the day of the test. It is possible for students to enroll in online or offline prep classes if they cannot do self-prep for the tests. One other thing that candidates can do, is to continually practice will full-length practice tests since the content of the tests are generic and does not require detailed content-specific prep.

Ideally, it is recommended that candidates keep the option of taking the test twice before the college application deadline. This is for cases where the candidate might not receive the expected score in the first attempt and require a retest. More practice and fewer nerves often lead to a higher test score the second time around. Fortunately, schools evaluate the candidate’s highest score, so there is no need to worry about retaking the exam.

Use Professional References

While applying to MBA programs, it is recommended that candidates use professional references for their letters of recommendation. These provide schools with an insight into the candidate’s professional performance which will be absent in academic references. For this reason, candidates should use references from their current or recent employment space or at least get the information dated if it isn’t in the recent past.

Also, it is best to avoid using someone who hardly knows the candidate. Instead of selecting the individual with the most impressive title at the workspace, candidates should ask a person who has worked with them closely to be their reference. Someone who doesn’t know the candidate well will probably not be able to answer the recommendation questions properly.

In addition to securing professional references, it is important to manage the references closely. It is the candidate’s responsibility to follow the directions provided for the letter of recommendation and submit the letter on time.

Use Resume as a Tool

A candidate’s resume can both be used to underrepresent and overrepresent the candidate depending on the format used in the resume. Most often, interviewers only ask questions pertaining to the resume during the interview which makes it important for the candidate to include things in the resume that they want to talk about. Embellishing the resume by using accurate descriptions for their work experience will also be in favor of the student.

The resume should ideally focus on the candidate's work experience more than their academic achievements. But at the same time, it would be best if the candidate can incorporate their academic achievements into their work experience and highlight the events of their professional life in relation to their academic achievements. The resume must be written in short, crisp statements and they should also make sure not to exclude any vital detail from it.

Create an Impressive Essay

Although essays can be an intimidating part of the application process, they are a great opportunity to make oneself stand out. It is ideal for candidates to start preparing for their essays early on and save plenty of time to review and revise them. Candidates who enroll for MBA in the top business schools would always have added a personal element to their essay. They would also have had time to prepare and revise the essay as many times as possible before they could submit the perfect statement of purpose/essay that got them admission.

It is best to get a second opinion on the essay by asking mentors or guides to review the final draft of the essay based on which candidates can review the essay and work on them if required. It is important that candidates avoid grammatical inaccuracies and write in a language that is not too wordy but conveys the content in as simple a language as possible. Candidates can start writing the essay by noting down things and events that interest them from a very early stage until they can find the perfect focal point for the essay and build on it before submission.

Preparing for the Interview

Candidates who have been selected, and have made it to the interview will often be clueless as to how to prepare for and perform during an interview. They can always start by asking their mentor or friend to provide them with a mock interview to leave out the element of fear and focus on getting admission. Finding the general questions that are asked normally in interviews from alumni or current students will be useful during the interview. It is best if candidates prepare answers for these generic questions whether or not they will be asked during the interview.

It is critical for candidates to know what they seek from that particular institution they are being interviewed for. Candidates have to research the institution in order to provide answers that are unique. General statements about how the institution is the best or the like have to be avoided as much as possible.

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