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MBA – Admissions

How do business school admissions work?

Business school admissions committees consider your GMAT scores, undergraduate performance, career experience (they want at least a few years, so you should not apply too early!!), essays, recommendations, and interviews, but not necessarily in that order.

A quick look at who's accepted reveals that without a threshold GMAT score, usually in the low to mid-600's, you will probably not be eligible for admission to top schools. Once you reach that threshold, though, the rest of your application becomes for more important than the difference between say a 680 and a 740. Take a look at our description of what the GMAT involves, and if you want more help than that, you should think about taking our comprehensive test-prep course.

Essays are probably your greatest opportunity to make yourself stand out among those truly being considered for top business schools (candidates with sufficiently high GMATs). You should not short-change yourself on this segment of the application. Think long and hard about how you want admissions boards to see you, then think about how to get that image across. If you know that your writing skills are somewhat lacking, let us help you. We are offering a special promotion in this, our first year of essay consulting. We want to accumulate a body of successful sample essays to use in the future. Take this opportunity to look at our promotion and let our professional, ivy league editors make your essay its best. Even if you consider yourself a strong writer, and do not think you need the help of a personal editor, have a look at our tutorial. Its free!!

Your job experience is weighted fairly highly by admissions committees, which is why you should not apply after only a few years of working, and why you should use your essays carefully to portray your job experience in a unique, exciting light. A very small percentage of top B-school classes are comprised of students with two-years or less experience. A surprisingly high percentage of top B-school classes are made up of those coming from non-conventional backgrounds. Take this as a tip off, even if you do come from a consulting or finance background (if you haven't guessed, those are the conventional ones), play up the aspects of your job experience that are unique--the type of work that not every consultant/invesment banker does in their first five years of work.

The GPA plays a surprisingly small role in your admission to B-school. Sure. If you graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, that will help you out, but if you didn't, or even if you partied your way through college, earning a modest 2.7, you are not out of the race. Use your essays to show why you deserve another chance, and be sure you get your GMATs to where they need to be.

Finally, the admissions committees look at recommendations and interviews. These provide the same kind of opportunity that the essay does, to provide a subjective picture of yourself, but they are not weighted as highly. Tips and recommendations for those are provided in the tutorial section on this website!

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