Top MBA Programs
If you are gunning for one of the top MBA programs (from a top 20 school), this information is specifically for you.
As you consider going to a top business school, you have to realize that getting in is very competitive.
Therefore, you must do certain things to enhance your chances.
It may surprise you which admission factors are most important when getting into the top MBA programs.
For example, the two most important factors are GMAT scores and application essays.
However, those two factors alone will not get you into business school. There are other ones to consider too. Each admission item is listed below in order of importance...
- GMAT Score- The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is an entrance exam developed specifically for graduate business education and all the top schools require it. While I will not go into the intricacies of the test, it is important that you score as high as possible. 800 is the top score and you usually have to be in the mid 600's to even be competitive. Make sure you prepare well for the GMAT. Take a class to prepare. If you do not like your score, take it over. Top MBA school usually only look at the best score.
- Application Essays - The number and type of application essays vary somewhat from school to school, but they ultimately ask the same things. I cannot over-stress the importance of writing good essays. This is where you can really show who you are and how you can benefit the MBA class. Take time to learn to write essays for MBA admissions. Have proficient editors help you polish your essays to increase your chances of acceptance at top business schools.
While the GMAT and essays are important factors, they are not the only factors. A top MBA program is interested in your past experience in school and in the workplace.
- Undergraduate GPA - As you know it is required that you have a bachelor's degree before you can even apply to an MBA program. Most schools indicate that the actual degree does not matter. Top schools want to know how you fared in your undergraduate studies - as indicated by your grade-point-average (GPA). Remember you are competing with the GPA of other applicants.
- Work Experience - Moreover, you should have meaningful work experience after you graduate. Schools want to see that you have had progressively increasing role in jobs you have held, regardless of industry. There is no real minimum, but do not consider applying until you have at least two years of work experience. MBA school continues to get more competitive, so you may need more years to compete.
Your educational and work experience are things you can focus on well before you ever apply to graduate school. If you are currently in school and/or working, now is the time to look ahead to business school.
- "Tipping Factors" - A few other considerations that may tip things in your favor are your letters of recommendation and possible interviews. Good recommendations are an important part of any application package, especially for top MBA schools. Interviews are not always used by all MBA schools. Nor is the format consistent among schools. However, interviews offer another chance to present yourself in a positive way.
While there are no secrets to getting into a top MBA program, there are things you can do to help your chances. Scoring high on the GMAT and writing effective application essays will go along way to help you get accepted. Remember, that there are other factors that will play into the admissions process too.