May, 2009 | Apphelp blog

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The journey to a Business School

A typical B school application process with timelines

B school aspirants ask us all sort of questions from “Do I need a coaching for GMAT” to “Is there a good month to take GMAT” to “Should I devote 15 days, 1 month or more to my essays” and so on.

Most of the applicants don’t even know why they want to do an MBA (apart from the fact that they will get a career jump).

The purpose of this post is not to make that cleared but to give you certain valuable insights tip etc to help you in your journey to a Business school.

GMAT

1) Registering for GMAT: Register for GMAT in atleast 2 months in advance. This will give you time to make a study plan and also allow to get a date and time slot of your choice.

2) Taking the GMAT: Since most of the schools start accepting applications in October time frame, make sure that you are done with your GMAT latest by July end. This will allow you enough time for your applications or enough time to retake the GMAT in case you haven’t performed well in the first attempt.

3) GMAT Preparation & coaching: Most students also ask us whether coaching for GMAT is necessary. GMAT coaching plays an important role in making you familiar with GMAT, getting discipline in your studies and providing you an easy access to some instructor who can solve your queries. If you feel that you have someone who can guide you and you are disciplined enough in your studies then you may actually not require a coaching ( but normally that’s not the case with most of us)

B school research and Applications

Most applicants don’t spend a lot of time in doing proper research on which B schools they should apply to. It a rat race largely. The attitude is “normally people with my kind of score and profile apply to ISB, Harvard and Chicago GSB kind of schools, so let me apply to these”.

In our opinion that’s not the correct approach. Spend time talking to B school alumni, checking out the schools website, attending admission committed road shows, webinars and events to see what the B schools are looking for. At the same time also figure our whether the B school offers what your are looking for. E.g. INSEAD me be a great schools for a consulting career but if you want to start you own venture then it might not be the best choice.

This research will also help you collect ample material for your application essays specially the “Why us’ and ‘Why should we take you’ essays.

Transcripts: While you are researching about the Business schools, make sure that you complete the task of getting transcripts from your undergraduate college. Make sure that you have atleast as many copies of duly attested and signed transcripts as the number of schools you are planning to apply to.

Essays: Again, when you start drafting essays make sure that you don’t just give the B schools the normal stuff. B schools want to know more about you and essays are the medium. Start writing down your strengths, weaknesses, your goals, what makes you different etc. Talk to people and take inputs from them. If you are going for professional Essay services make sure that you choose one with good reviewers and success rate. Give atleast 1 month to essays for one school. Don’t think that essays are a cut paste job and can be done in a matter of a couple of days.

Letters of Recommendations: Decide on who are the people from your professional life who can give you letters of recommendation. Make sure that you select atleast one supervisor (from any of your jobs) as a recommender. If you feel that you can’t tell your boss that you are applying, talk to a team lead kind of person. But we strongly advice NOT to take both recommendations from peers. Also, choose people who have given recommendation to applicants in the past so that they are familiar with the concept.

Start talking to these people well in advance so that they shell out sufficient time to write for you. Don’t just knock their door 2 days before the deadline.

Interviews: If you have written the essays well and have a strong profile, you will start receiving interview calls by late October or early November. If you get calls, prepare well by talking to alumni, getting mock interviews done and going through your essays and application again and again to make sure you know well what you have written in the application.

If you don’t get any calls, do a ding analysis – what was missing in your profile and application. Also, focus on the remaining schools you want to apply to.

This post is written from the experience we have in this domain to get the best results. Thanks for reading… Watch this space for more….

How most B schools evaluate applications

Most B schools evaluate the applications holistically. The various parameters on which applicants are evaluated are undergraduate Academic performance, GMAT score, Work experience (both duration and quality of it), extra curriculars and any other special achievements which can help the candidate earn brownie points.

On an average B schools assign the following weightage:

Undergraduate Academic performance : 10 %

GMAT score : 20 %

Work experience (both duration and quality of it as seen through letters of recommendation): 20 %

Application & essays : 20 %

Extra curriculars : 10 %

Interview : 20 %

Role of GMAT, work ex., essays in MBA admissions

Role of GMAT, work ex., essays in MBA admissions

As indicated, 40% weightage is on tangibles which can’t be changed in a short time or can’t be changed at all. Rest 60 % can be done better ( GMAT score, essays and interview ) and can increase your chances drastically.

When B schools evaluate applications they give marks on all the parameters and calculate the weighted score.e.g. if an applicant gets 80 on undergraduate Academic performance, 90 on GMAT score, 60 on Work experience, 50 on Application & essays & 30 on extra curriculars ( all out of 100), the weighted score is 80X0.10 + 90X0.20 + 60X0.20 + 50X0.20 + 30X0.10 = 60 ( out of 80 , interview score not added).

Now top N students are given interview calls based on these scores. After interviews, the interview scores are added to the above score to calculate the total weighted score and again top M ( # of seats) students are given admission offers.

Disclaimer: This above analysis is based on talks and inputs from adcoms and students of different schools and profile on inputs class for various years and not on data released by any school.


 

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