Tips for Getting Accepted to an MBA Program

MBA Admissions Advice from Knewton

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Getting Accepted

Getting into business school isn't easy - especially  if you want to attend a good business school. The admissions process for most MBA programs is extremely competitive. You will need to work hard to make sure you have a well-rounded application and the cred you need to stand out among everyone else who is applying to the same program. Remember, many rejections occur not because the student isn't worthy of acceptance, but because there are limited spaces in the program.

It is inevitable that some candidates will be left out in the cold.

To help you get accepted to your first choice program, the admissions experts at Knewton have drafted a few tips that everyone can use.

1. Highlight Your Work Experience

Business schools value your work experience a great deal because it illustrates your degree of commitment and practical understanding of the real world. Although the averages vary from program to program, it’s good to have at least three years of work experience before applying to an MBA program. To maximize the impact of your application, highlight how the MBA program you are applying to bridges your work experience with your long-term goals.

2. Tighten Up Your Resume

Most MBA admissions programs require a resume as part of the application package. The resume provides an opportunity not only to highlight your work experience, but also to illustrate your ability to present yourself professionally.

3. Establish a Consistent Narrative in Your Application Package

Make certain that your entire application package (the essays, references, work experience, etc.) tells a consistent story and ties together the elements of your profile. The narrative should highlight the qualities and skills that make the best case for you as an applicant.

Your references should know about your desires and reasons for applying to each particular school so they can be a part of this narrative. Your application is essentially your PR firm, and you’re the CEO. Build your brand!

4. Make It Personal

When selecting references (the people who will write your recommendation letters), choose people who know you well from business or academic settings, who have seen your strengths and accomplishments first-hand. Rather than attempt to impress the admissions department with letters from people with prominent titles (trust me, they’ve gotten letters from more impressive references than anyone you could get anyway), you should call upon individuals who can speak articulately to your performance, passion, and character. It can be helpful and appreciated to provide them with a summary of your plans, your resume, and checklist of ideas to possibly mention in their letter.

5. Ace the GMAT

To have a reasonable chance of getting into a top program, you’ll need a score in the upper 600/700+ range; scoring lower than that puts great pressure on the rest of your application package and can limit your chances of gaining acceptance to even a mid-level program.

In order to ensure you get the best score possible, take a course such as Knewton's GMAT prep course, which offers practice CATs designed by the developers of the actual GMAT, along with live online instruction, video workshops, thousands of practice problems, and more.