MBA Application

Understanding The Business School Admissions Process

The GMAT is an important component of the business school admission process. To ensure a successful application, prospective business school students should balance studying for the GMAT with careful preparation of the other aspects of a business school application. Below are links to explanations of how business schools view GMAT scores as well as what they look for in application essays, GPAs and the other factors considered for admission.

Many applicants begin the initial planning stages of their applications 18 months before their anticipated enrollment date. Our timeline provides applicants with target dates of when preparation of each component of the application should begin. For applicants juggling demanding jobs or undergraduate course loads, it's important to plan time carefully. This includes getting the most out of campus visits and beginning the application process early enough so that tasks can be staggered over a longer period.

Future MBAs considering how pursuit of an MBA will fit with their curent career should also carefully consider the differences between full-time, part-time and executive MBAs. For those unsure about taking a two-year hiatus from work, part-time and executive MBAs have been growing in popularity. Yet there are advantages and drawbacks to each type of mba program that need to be weighed carefully.

Major Components of a Business School Application

The components of a business school application are intended to offer snapshots of different qualities such as quantitative reasoning, competitiveness, communication skills or versatility. Theoretically, they should fit together like a composite picture. The links below provide tips on how applicants can maximize the impact of each of aspect of their applications.


The GMAT's standardized format provides business schools with a common measure for applicants from different undergraduate programs and experiences. Applicants should understand which parts of the GMAT score schools value most and what scores will be acceptable for their target schools.


If done well, the essays on a business school application can be a candidate's best opportunity to speak directly to the the admissions staff and communicate experiences and goals.


Letters of recommendation provide an admissions office with an outside perspective. It is important that MBA applicants choose carefully who will best speak on their behalf.


Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) is a factor in business school admission. Applicants concerned that their undergraduate GPA is a weak point on their application should take steps to mitigate that weakness.

Extra Curricular Activities

Extracurricular activities can make an impact. Understand what type of extracurricular activities can help an application stand out from the stack.


Many begin laying the groundwork for applying to business school a year before sending in their applications. Our timeline outlines tips for staggering the components of a business school application in a manageable way.

Visiting Campus

Visits to business schools are important for helping applicants narrow down their list of top schools. If planned carefully campus visits can also have a positive impact on an application.


A business school interview should be approached much like a job interview. Be comfortable with your story and be prepared to articulate your strengths and goals.

Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA

For those concerned that stepping away from their career for a full-time MBA program might be problematic, part-time and executive MBAs have been increasingly in popularity. Learn the benefits and drawbacks of the different types of MBA programs.

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