MBA Application Tips |

MBA Application Tips

By QS Contributor

Updated July 1, 2014 Updated July 1, 2014

Most business school admission boards are looking for candidates demonstrate excellent reasoning skills, resourcefulness and confidence in their abilities. Although the business school application process is pretty straightfoward, the number of components required and the fact that you are applying to more than one school can make things complicated. Here are some MBA application tips on how to submit a great application without going crazy during the process.

Choosing Schools

  • Start as soon as possible. Since business schools have a long admissions cycle (6 to 8 months), applying early in the cycle improves you chances of getting in. In addition, it shows that you are sincerely interested in going to that school instead of a procrastinator or someone who is only applying to that school as a last resort.
  • Apply to the right number of schools. If you apply to only a few schools, you run the risk of not getting in to an MBA program. Applying to a ton of schools, on the other hand, comes with the added stress of more forms and essays to complete. To figure out the right number of schools, look at their criteria and your qualifications.
  • Divide your top schools into three categories: reach, probable and safety schools. As a general rule it's a good idea for most of your applications to go to probable schools.
  • Don't apply to schools you don't want to attend. This may seem obvious, but since you may have to end up relying on getting into a safety school, make sure your safety schools are ones you can see yourself attending.

MBA Application

  • Showcase your work experience. Business schools see your career accomplishments as indicators of your commitment level and practical understanding of the real world. Work accomplishments should be addressed not only in your essays and resume, but also in your letters of recommendation. Make sure you show how getting your MBA will help you accomplish your long term goals.
  • Emphasize the qualities and skills that make you a good fit for that MBA program.
  • Be consistent. Make sure all the elements in your application complement each other and tell the same story.
  • Personalize your application by choosing references who have a good understanding of the work you've done.

Read more free advice on securing a place on an MBA program in our admissions section.

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This article was originally published in February 2012 . It was last updated in July 2014

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