MBA: The Why, The Whats & The Hows

Business School Admission Process

Tumul Buch

Like any other admission process, admission to business schools, or B-schools, starts off with you giving entrance exams.

For B-schools, you need to give the GMAT exam. Some may even accept the GRE, but if you haven’t given either and only wish to apply to business school,  it’s better to give the GMAT exam. If you wish to apply to other courses that only accept GRE scores, then check whether your finalized business schools accept the GRE. If yes, then give the GRE.

In all cases, if you are an international applicant, you will need an english proficiency exam score. This means that you will have to give either the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE.

Note: The GRE and GMAT scores are valid for five years, whereas the TOEFL, IELTS and PTE scores are valid for two years.

The following are the general steps to be followed while applying to business schools abroad:

1. Research

Before you start applying, you should do a major amount of research. This includes deciding which universities you wish to apply for, their entry requirements, deadlines, application links, etc.

(You can read about the top 20 B schools in the world here)

You will find all the application deadlines on the university’s website. Now, let’s say that you want to apply for Fall. This means that by October, you should submit all your applications. Some top B-schools, like Harvard, have their Round 1 deadlines in September itself. Some schools in Europe, like HEC Paris, even have deadlines as early as June. So start researching early!

2. Exams

Once you have done your research, you know about all the application requirements. This includes all the tests scores that you might need.

For the GRE/GMAT you should give yourself six months of preparation. These exams require constant practice and learning.

For TOEFL/IELTS/PTE about two months of prep is generally enough, but it depends on your level of proficiency in the language.

In general trends, to get into top b-schools, you should score 730 on the GMAT and above 7.5 on the IELTS, 109 on the TOEFL or 75 on the PTE.

You can read our exam preparation guides here (TOEFL, IELTS,  GRE, GMAT)


3. Filling the application form

You can find the application form on the university’s website. You will require the following documents to submit the application form:

  1. Academic transcripts of all post-secondary institutes you attended.
  2. Exam scores and reports (GRE/GMAT and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE)
  3. Letters of Recommendation (2-3)
  4. Resume/ CV
  5. Personal Statements/ Essays. Each university has a different number of essays to be submitted.
  6. Application fees.

It is advised that you apply as early as possible!

After finishing this step, you have to just wait till your form gets reviewed by the admissions committee.


4. The Interview

This is the step in which you have the first direct interact with the admissions committee. You will be invited for an interview over Skype or on the telephone. You could also be given a list of questions that you need to answer and record yourself. It is different for different schools.

This is a very important step in the process. While it is great that you have been invited for the interview, it doesn’t guarantee admission. You need to further impress the committee to get admission!

You can read about frequently asked MBA questions here.

5. Post interview

Some colleges have a post interview reflection process, which will just be a form. You are provided with detailed instructions to fill the form.

Once all of these steps are completed, all you have to do is wait for the results to be declared. You can collect documents for visa and apply for an education loan during this time.

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