2010 Business School Rankings

Choosing a good business school is an important decision for your education and career. It is important to take time to learn about various programs and review all of the information and rankings available. US News & World Report and Business Week are two reliable sources that rank the top business schools each year.

In 2010, Harvard Business School at Harvard University and Stanford University’s tied for first on the US News and World Report list. Third place went to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and fourth to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The University of Chicago’s Booth School and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School tied for fifth place on the list of top business schools.

Business Week also provides rankings of the best business schools in the United States, as well as the top international programs and part-time options. Business week ranked University of Chicago’s Booth School first, Harvard Business School second and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School third. Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania came in fourth on Business Week’s list and the University of Michigan’s Ross School placed fifth.

The Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario ranked first in Business Week’s list of top international business schools. Business Week also ranked the best part-time MBA programs with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts coming out on top. Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School placed first on this list in 2009. There are many excellent part-time programs that are designed to fit into each student’s unique situation and schedule. Through these programs, it is possible for students to continue to work or have a family while they are earning their MBA.

Admissions for the top business schools are extremely competitive. It is important to prepare an application that sets you apart from the pool of applicants. For business school applications it is important to highlight your unique experiences in work, education, and even travel. These are things that will shape how you perceive business and how your MBA will fit into your career plan.

Performing well on the GMAT is key for people who want to attend a top business school. The GMAT, in combination with the undergraduate transcript and work experience, will help to determine where you will be accepted. A solid GMAT test prep program will prepare you to excel on the GMAT. When preparing for the test, online test prep programs are a great option for people with full time jobs and hectic schedules. GMAT practice exams will help test takers to prepare for the unique format of the GMAT.

Designing a GMAT Test Prep Schedule

Designing a solid GMAT test prep schedule is essential to success on the exam. Most test takers plan to spend three to six months studying for the GMAT, but this is dependent on your personal study habits. All test prep schedules should consist of individual study time, GMAT courses, and taking online practice exams. The GMAT tests verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills, similar skill sets to the ones you studied when you were preparing for the SAT in high school. Yet this time around, the material will likely be more challenging and the test format will be significantly different.
One critical factor in deciding how long to study for the GMAT is how long you can devote to studying each day. For people who have full time jobs or are in school full time, it is best to set aside specific hours each day to fit study time into a busy schedule. In these cases, a six month GMAT test prep schedule is likely to be best. For people who can devote larger amounts of time to study, three to four months may be enough. Enrolling in a GMAT course is often a good way to stay motivated and be sure that you stay on track during your test prep.

The quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT are given in a computer adaptive format. This means that you will be provided one question at a time on a computer. After answering the first question, the computer will generate another. The difficultly level will depend on how well you score on previous questions. This format is likely different from anything test takers have faced before. For this reason, starting practice tests early in your test prep, or at least two months before the exam, will help you become familiar with the format. There are 37 quantitative questions and 41 verbal questions on the GMAT. Practice exams will also help you learn to pace yourself as you work through each section of the exam.

The analytical writing section of the GMAT contains two parts: an analysis of an issue essay and an analysis of an argument essay. Test takers are permitted 30 minutes to complete each essay. Reading sample essay prompts and practicing writing a solid essay within the time constraint will help you prepare for test day. There is no single correct answer to either writing sections. Piecing together a coherent analysis is more important than having prior knowledge of the topic.

By sticking to a test prep schedule, GMAT test takers can ensure that they are prepared for the test and familiar with the format. By this point in their academic career, they will benefit from a strong knowledge base and a high degree of self-awareness about their skills and study habits.

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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