Things to do in May when you are applying to MBA programs

May is a huge month for MBA applicants. For starters, this represents the best (and in some cases, last) chance to visit campuses before a round one application deadline. Students are usually in good spirits and very willing to talk this time of year and exploring campuses late in the spring is a great way to define a school search heading into the summer (when visiting is fruitless, because campuses are empty). Furthermore, this is the time to start assessing strengths and weaknesses in your candidacy, while you still have time to address them. Four months from Round One, you still have time to increase your GMAT score, showcase leadership and teamwork, to start a volunteer activity, to take a summer class, or even to pursue a credential like the CPA or CFA. Also, essay prompts and deadlines will start being released in May, and we’ll publish essay advice throughout the summer, so make sure you watch for those and keep up with us on social media (Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Instagram coming soon!).

 

Not only that, but (and this is going to sound crazy) your preparation for MBA interviews starts now. The goal over the next half of a year is to refine your own personal sales pitch to the point where you can deliver a one-minute version or a one-hour version, depending on the audience. You will be able to splice it up to answer different questions, figure out ways to bring up certain points yourself, and generally know how to get the whole message out in front of any interviewer. Such a sales pitch is made up of the answers to four questions: (1) why do you want an MBA? (2) why now? (3) why this school? (4) why should you be admitted over another qualified applicant? At some point, you are going to have to artfully answer (in so many words) those questions. So start practicing now! Every time someone asks you why you are pursuing an MBA, take advantage and work on your sales pitch. It will be easy to play it cool and make a joke or a passing comment, but that does you no good. That choice is part of a bygone era, where you could afford to stay aloof and still achieve success. Now? The hungry win. Survival of the fittest rules the day.

 

Hopefully, this blog post will light a fire under you to start working on your goal now – to start living your dream earnestly and passionately, with no room for procrastination and no scorecard for cool points.

 

It’s time to set your dreams in motion.

 

For more MBA admissions advice, give us a call at (800) 962-2069 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. You can also fill out this quick form to schedule a free MBA consultation, where we’ll review your applicant profile and give you actionable advice for your unique situation. At Veritas Prep, we’ve helped over 300,000 people take the GMAT, apply to their dream schools, and get admitted. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

What are MBA Programs Really Looking for In Applicants?

Veritas Prep recently hosted a free webinar about Improving Your MBA Application Odds. Read on for a recap of some of the highlights.

How admissions officers evaluate MBA applicants

Admissions officers start by evaluating your academic ability and your professional experience. To evaluate an applicant’s academic ability, they’ll look at your GMAT score and your undergraduate GPA. To evaluate an applicant’s professional experience, they’ll look at how much post-undergraduate work experience you have, but it’s not just about the quantity, they’ll also be evaluating the quality. The roles you have held, the level of responsibility you’ve been given, the projects you have worked on, promotions received, the impact you have had. Then there’s everything else – your career goals, why do you want an MBA, why do you want to attend that program, what will you contribute to the program. Some programs are interested in understanding who you are as a person, how you think and what drives you. A lot of applicants will have the same GMAT score as you or there may be a lot of applicants who have similar work experiences, but it’s the everything else that will differentiate you and help you stand out in the crowded and competitive applicant pool.

Improving your chances of admission

In order to improve your chances of admission, you must make yourself as strong an applicant as you can in these various areas. In addition, you must present as strong an application as you can. Note: there is a difference between being a strong applicant and presenting a strong application. You give yourself the best chance of admission if you do both.

Let’s start by talking about the GMAT because your GMAT score is super important. On one hand: your GMAT score is only one piece of your application. On the other hand: While a high GMAT score alone will not get you in, a low GMAT score can keep you out. So in order to improve your chances of admission, do everything in your power to get the best score you’re capable of. Once you’ve done that, move on to doing great in other areas of your application.

In the webinar, a member of the audience asked:
“Can you increase the gmat score by more than 50 points? Or is that usually not seen?”
It’s definitely possible to increase your score by more than 50 points. Veritas Prep students who complete the entire program improve their GMAT score by an average of 140 points. Our outstanding instructors and curriculum have helped thousands. You can also work with one of our tutors who can address your individual needs with personalized help.

Those are just some of the topics we discussed during the webinar. If you’d like to learn more you can watch the video or give us a call at (800) 962-2069 to speak with an MBA admissions expert. You can also fill out this quick form to schedule a free MBA consultation, where we’ll review your applicant profile and give you actionable advice for your unique situation. At Veritas Prep, we’ve helped over 300,000 people take the GMAT, apply to their dream schools, and get admitted. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

First Mover Advantage: Start Your MBA Applications Early & Improve Your Chances of Admission into Top Business Schools

At Veritas Prep, spring is definitely one of our favorite times of the year! Not just because of the warmer weather, but also because our admissions consulting clients are letting us know what top-tier MBA programs they’re hearing from and sharing their success stories with us. Along with help from their consultants, we know our clients put a lot of effort into their applications.  And for many clients who are heading to the most elite business schools this fall, they also started the application process months ahead of deadlines. Being admitted to a top-ranked MBA program requires much more than a high GMAT score and a set of grammar-perfect essays. Allotting yourself plenty of time ahead of deadlines gives you an opportunity to show business schools that you mean, well, business. Veritas Prep First Movers start the application process months in advance of their competition and capitalize on their head start in a number of ways. Here are just a couple of great reasons to get started early:

  • School fit that’s genuine: Veritas Prep First Movers don’t have to simply rely on rankings and school websites. They actually have time to visit campuses, network with alum, attend information sessions, and really understand each target school’s unique culture.  This allows a First Mover to not only find a program that feels right, but also effectively showcase to the admissions committee why they’re a perfect fit and will thrive in the program.
  • Improve application weaknesses:  First Movers don’t have to simply explain profile weaknesses in their application, but they have time to actually improve weaknesses.  This can mean leading a new project at work or in a volunteer organization, taking classes at your local community college or online, or strategically preparing for and retaking the GMAT.  Veritas Prep First Movers are taking action now so that no explanations are necessary!

To learn even more about the advantages of being a Veritas Prep First Mover, call us at 800-962-2069 to speak with an MBA admissions expert. Click here to request a Free MBA Admissions Consultation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and YouTube, and follow us on Twitter!

 

Does Round 3 Hold a Future For Me?

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This past week a lot of applicants learned their fates as many top MBA programs – including HBS and Stanford – released their Round 2 decisions. If you were admitted to your dream program – congratulations! If you were not – let’s take a look at some of your burning questions.

 

Is it too late to apply in Round 3?

No it is not, but you better hurry! Deadlines at most top programs are right around the corner.

  • April 1 – Tuck
  • April 2 – Wharton
  • April 3 – Stanford
  • April 4 – Booth and Haas
  • April 8 – Sloan
  • April 10 – Columbia and Kellogg
  • April 16 – Yale

I’ve heard there’s no chance of being admitted in Round 3. Is that true?

It is possible to be admitted as a Round 3 applicant. To have a chance of being admitted in Round 3, you’ll need to present a strong application. To give yourself the best chance of admission, check to see if your application measurables (GMAT score, undergraduate GPA, years of work experience) align with or exceed the class profile numbers at your target school. If you’re a strong candidate or have something unique to offer you may be just the person the admissions committees are looking to admit. Also, you may be applying to your backup schools or backups to the backups, so make sure you enthusiastically and convincingly convey why you’re excited about attending the school you’re applying to.

I’ve been waitlisted, what should I do?

One of the most common reasons applicants end up on the waitlist is their test score. If your GMAT is below your target program’s average, you should strongly consider retaking the test. If you really want to get into a school, then we recommend that you do everything in your power to get in.  If that means studying three hours a day for the next four weeks to improve your GMAT score, then do it! These programs are looking for driven individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Once you have something new to tell them, then be sure to communicate these updates to the admissions committee!

The other thing you’ll want to do, regardless of your test score, if the school accepts an update or supplemental essay, you’ll want to make sure you write a great one! Think hard about what weaknesses, if any, you want to address and what positive updates you have to share – a promotion at work, additional responsibility or big projects undertaken, perhaps you’ve taken steps and made progress towards the career goals you set forth in your application. Highlight activities, experiences, and accomplishments that add value to your candidacy.

Applying in Round 3 or being on the waitlist can be challenging. What other questions do you have? Veritas Prep has consultants who have helped applicants just like you get in during Round 3 or off the waitlist. Some of our consultants successfully faced the same situations themselves. Contact us today to speak with an admissions expert and find out how we can help you.

Give us a call at (800) 962-2069 to speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or fill out this quick form to schedule a free MBA consultation, where we’ll review your applicant profile and give you actionable advice for your unique situation: https://www.veritasprep.com/business-school/free-profile-evaluation/

Insights from the 2020 US News & World Report Business Schools Rankings: Wharton is #1

The 2020 US News & World Report Business Schools Rankings were published today. Most of the schools that are perennially in the top 10 are there again, however there were some changes in position. Wharton holds the top spot, alone, this year up two spots from #3 last year. Also, Harvard and Booth fell from tied for #1 last year to tied for #3 this year. MIT Sloan is also tied for 3rd. Yale’s back in the top 10, as is Duke.

2020 US News & World Report Business Schools Rankings

 

  • #1 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • #2 Stanford University
  • #3 Harvard University (tie)
  • #3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) (tie)
  • #3 University of Chicago (Booth) (tie)
  • #6 Columbia University (tie)
  • #6 Northwestern University (Kellogg) (tie)
  • #6 University of California — Berkeley (Haas) (tie)
  • #9 Yale University
  • #10 Duke University (Fuqua) (tie)
  • #10 University of Michigan — Ann Arbor (Ross) (tie)

Observations of note

Out of the schools in the top 10 this year, all of them, except for Duke, had an average GMAT of 720 or higher. Scanning the rankings, it wasn’t until you got to #15 Cornell University (Johnson) that the average GMAT score dipped below 700. The average GMAT score at 5 of the top 6 schools was 730+. Similar to rankings, we don’t want to place too much emphasis on the average GMAT score, but it’s worth noting that the average scores remain high and are continuing to go up for schools in the top 25.  You’re probably wondering, what you can do about it. Check out these articles on the Veritas Prep blog or contact us so we can give you some free advice.  

Acceptance rates at the top schools range from 6.1% (Stanford) to 27.1% (University of Michigan Ross). A school’s acceptance rate doesn’t tell you your chances of being accepted. The strength of your profile and application determine that, but we point out acceptance rates because it’s worth noting how competitive getting into a top business school can be and what the chances are and how much they vary, even among schools ranked in the top 10.

As we’ve stated before: for those of you hyper focused on attending a school in the top 10, we hope you remember that the top 10 varies from year to year and you should keep an open mind about applying to schools outside of the top 10.

The difference between a school being ranked in the top 10 and not is pretty small.  One year they may be in the top 10, the next year they may be out. Did the school change that much in 1 year?  Probably not. Is the school still a great school? Most likely yes. There can be so much focus on a school being ranked in the top 10, but there are a number of excellent schools which hover right around the top 10 and even crack the top 10 (as they say) some years that as an applicant, you should make sure you don’t overlook them.  So, while Tuck, Stern and Darden aren’t in the top 10 this year, as you consider which schools to apply to, take a look at these schools as they are perennially near the top 10 and sometimes included, if that’s important to you.

We constantly remind applicants, rankings are only one factor to consider when selecting which schools to apply to.  Regardless of which schools you decide are right for you, you’ll want to make sure you submit the strongest application you’re capable of.  Contact us today to discuss your chances of admission to your target programs, to get answers to your questions, and to find out how we can help you get accepted to the school of your dreams.

Do you have what it takes to get into one of these schools? Speak with an admissions expert at Veritas Prep. At Veritas Prep, we’ve helped over 300,000 people take the GMAT, apply to their dream schools, and get admitted. Interested in learning more about how Veritas Prep can help you? Give us a call at (800) 962-2069 to speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or fill out this quick form to schedule a free MBA consultation, where we’ll review your applicant profile and give you actionable advice for your unique situation: https://www.veritasprep.com/business-school/free-profile-evaluation/