Step-Wise Guide to U.S MBA Admission
Step 1: Check the GMAT/GRE Requirement of top 50 Business schools in U.S.
To get an idea of the GMAT mean score check the average for the top 50 or 100 schools. You should have an idea before embarking on your MBA journey what type of school you want to go to: state schools, private schools, IVY league, top 5, top 10, top 20, funded programs, etc. The range for GMAT scores for top-20 schools is usually 690 – 730; top 10 would be 700 – 730 (average +715).
You can use the conversion tools online to check how much these scores will translate to GRE, if you are planning to take GRE exam.
Step 2: Check the application DEADLINES
This is very important to plan your application and overall preparation time for GMAT/GRE.
Always aim for round 1 (R1). You’re setting the benchmark of the incoming class so DO NOT miss this round.
Typical R1 in U.S Business Schools (B-Schools) starts around August/September.
Step 3: Prepare For Exam
Once you have an idea of what GMAT/GRE score you’re aiming for and the deadlines, it’s time to get started your preparation.
If you have already taken GMAT/GRE exam, based on your score determine if you want a retake or would like to go ahead with the scores y0u already have.
Step 4: Reviewing B-Schools
If you go ahead with the application (app) cycle choose your schools based on all the variables that are important to you: ranking, funding, geography, employment rate, top employers, alumni network, culture, class size, acceptance rate etc.
Step 5: Shortlisting
After you have reviewed business schools through their websites shortlist about 6 – 8 schools and research them in more detail and consider variables like class profiles, values, culture, employment etc.
While shortlisting schools and to increase your chances of admission, make sure your profile is better than the average class profile. Get a holistic picture of the school and try to stand out from the crowd by highlighting your skills and experiences in which you excel extremely well.
Narrow your search to at least 5 Schools.
Ambitious = 1
Realistic = 2
Safe = 2
Step 6: Check additional Requirements
Now check requirement of these schools to make sure if they need anything else such as IELTS/TOEFL and give that exam if needed (most schools would give students from universities where English was the medium, a waiver)
Other requirement can be essays, letter of recommendations, academic transcripts etc.
Step 7: Work on the application
Once you’ve planned the application, start with the one that you intend to submit first.
The first thing you need to do is to start is to sign up for the application you want to apply and then start working on the Recommendation letters and application Essays.
Step 8: Recommendation Letters
Do check in advance if school requires recommendation letters by email/online and how many of them. Talk to your recommenders in advance and ask for their recommendations. Try to convince them to write a strong letter for you.
Step 9: Application Essay
Application essays are one of the most important components of the admission process. Most schools look for students with strong leadership skills, teamwork, diversity, community work and other factors.
Some tips about Essays:
- Read through the essays several times and try to think of potential structures and answers
- Before you jump into writing the essay get your story straight: make sure you know what your story is i.e. where you’ve been, where you intend to be, and how does an MBA degree will bridge the gap
- Most business schools typically have two types of essays – a leadership essay and a goal essay
- Your story should tie in with the goals essay
- Leadership essays are supposed to demonstrate your cultural fit with the school
Step 10: Submit the application
Submit the application form along with the required documents. You can also waive off application fee, by requesting or persuading the admission officer if there is a need to do so.
Step 11: Interview
If you were shortlisted, you would be called for an Interview.