There are many things that the applicants to MBA programs have to do during the application phase.
Of course, on top of the list for most aplicants is getting GMAT nailed. Whether one needs 750 or just 550 score, it still requires preparation. The reason is that the test itself is rather challenging, there is a unique type of questions that is not present in other tests – data sufficiency questions in the quant part. And the last, but not the least, taking standardized timed tests is stressful for most people. So regardless of aspirations or intelligence GMAT will require preparation.
Other things that are required by Admission Committees in most Business Schools are:
- Transcripts from undegraduate programs
Students from abroad also have additional requirements:
- TOEFL or equivalent test of English language proficiency
- Translation of undegraduate documents
- Evaluation of the undegraduate diploma and course work
All these things require time, there is no doubt about that. But there is one more thing which is easily overlooked because of all the demands of admission process. But in my experience, it is very crucial: visiting the Business School you are interested in. And it is more than just the information sessions offered by every school.
Find out what are the steps in order to arrange a class visit, and take advantage of that. This is a very invaluable experience. You will be able to evaluate the general atmosphere, some glimpses on the culture, the caliber of the students in the classroom. You will be able to ask the students questions which are important to you. You will also probably be able to meet other applicants to a particular MBA program and learn something from them too. Just don’t be shy to ask. I learned a good deal from visits to schools I was originally interested in. And these are all things which you will not be able to learn from the MBA program brochure, internet browsing or even information sessions, which are typically presented by the Admissions Office staff.
For me personally these campus and class visits beyond the information sessions were the tipping point when I was deciding between the Smith Part-time MBA and the GWSB Professional MBA program.
And if you are taking the part-time MBA route, it means that you already live near the Business School(s) of your interest anyways, therefore it does not involve long-distance travel.