How Many MBA Programs Should I Apply To?

Applying to MBA programs can be a hectic time. Many factors are involved in the application process, but doing a little research in advance can maximize the chance of getting accepted.

The best tool an applicant can utilize is an updated book or web site on MBA programs. These tools profile various programs and contain information about the number of applications received during the previous year, the number of applicants accepted, typical GMAT scores, and GPAs. This information is usually published annually, and applicants may want to follow trends over a couple of years before applying.

Once the applicant has decided on a number of programs, the list should categorized based on how similar the applicant is to others that have been accepted. Sending applications blindly to many schools is equally as detrimental as focusing on one program. Most people suggest applying to at least five programs and applying to as many as possible. This can be difficult for applicants with limited funds. Application fees can be expensive, especially combined with the price of score reports, transcripts, and mailing. Applying to schools that require interviews during the selection process should also be thoroughly considered. If money is an obstacle, it may be wise to reconsider applying to a school where attending the interview would be impossible and a telephone interview is not an option.

Most of the applications should target programs where the applicant is similar in scores and GPA to previously accepted students. Applicants may also consider applying to a couple of schools they are overqualified for, and a school where they fall below the typical accepted applicant. Investing too many resources on programs that are beyond the reach of the applicant is inevitably a waste of time and money.

GMAT scores can have a strong influence on admission decisions and applicants will want to maximize their score. The most popular and convenient option is an online prep course. They are beneficial in their ability to cover information as well as giving sample tests and test-taking tactics. If the applicant is not satisfied with their score, they will want to give themselves ample opportunity to study and retake the test.

I’m ready to go to business school, now what?

Applying to business school can be both exhilarating and challenging. The best approach is a well planned one. There are a several important requirements to fulfill when applying to business school. For example, applicants must possess an undergraduate degree. Business school applicants must also take the GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test. Online GMAT prep courses can prepare you for this important exam, helping improve your chances of admission to the business school of your choice.

One of the most important assets to possess when applying to business school is time. You’ll need plenty of time to research different business schools, visit campuses and speak with current students and faculty, ready yourself for the GMAT with GMAT practice tests, prepare your application, and ask for references. While studying for and taking the GMAT may initially cause you concern, there are several excellent online GMAT prep options that make studying more convenient than ever.

Another important asset is patience. Take the time to thoroughly research a number of business school programs. Consider whether you are willing to move far away, or whether it is important to you to stay close to home or your current job when attending business school. In addition to considering the ranking and reputation of different business schools, you’ll also want to get a first hand take on the program by speaking with current students. How satisfied are they with the program? What are some of the most common career paths for alumni? How well do they fit with your own professional goals? Take the time to meet with faculty as well. You’ll be working closely with them while attending business school, so you’ll want to get an idea of which business schools have faculty members whose interests best fit your own career goals.

The application and recommendation process also takes time and patience. Get started early and work little by little on your applications. This will give you time to ask for recommendation letters ahead of time. If you’re asking previous undergraduate professors for recommendations, make sure to avoid doing so near the end of the semester when they are busy with writing other recommendations and grading exams. The same goes for your application. Start outlining your response to the questions well in advance. Also be sure to thoroughly edit your application. You might even ask a friend to read your application over before your submit it to catch any orthographic or grammatical errors.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for GMAT prep. The best resources are online GMAT courses that offer you a wide range of studying options from GMAT practice tests to interactive training sessions. GMAT courses help you identify the best strategy for studying for and taking the GMAT test. GMAT courses are a great investment, particularly online options that allow you to study at your own pace and effectively prepare you for the computerized test. Applying for business school is certainly challenging, but the process is well worth it in order to reach your career goals.


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