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The MBA Application Process

In order to gain a place on an accredited MBA course you’ll have to go through a fairly rigorous application process. Business schools generally require the following if they’re to consider admitting you onto a course:

1) Undergraduate Degree

You’ll need to have an undergraduate degree. This does not necessarily have to be in a business related subject. In fact many schools aim to recruit a student body with a range of academic backgrounds. Be prepared to provide official transcripts as evidence of your degree.

Some schools will consider candidates without an undergraduate degree. Those candidates who do not have a degree will need to provide evidence of their academic prowess via other avenues. These can include A-Level results and professional qualifications.

2) Work Experience    

A further requirement is evidence of significant professional work experience. MBAs are viewed as a tool for career progression or change. It’s rare that schools will accept a candidate immediately following completion of their undergraduate degree. To that effect you’ll need to get at least one person who knows you well in a professional capacity to provide a reference letter. This should contain information about your personality, work ethic, leadership potential, academic record, professional experience and career accomplishments.

3) Admissions Essay

Your MBA application may require you to complete as many as three admissions essays. Essays may be in the style of a personal statement, or the business school may ask you to respond to a specific statement. Both styles of essay will serve to provide the school with information about how your values and goals have guided your professional and academic life so far.    

4) Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

MBA applicants must take the GMAT* and submit their score as part of the application process.

The GMAT is a test designed by the Graduate Management Admissions Council, often used by business schools as an admissions criterion for graduate management programmes. It assesses a person’s analytical, writing, quantitative and verbal skills. The test comprises four sections:

  • Quantitative – this section assesses the candidate’s ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems.
  • Verbal – this section assesses the candidate’s ability to read and comprehend written material from areas such as social sciences, history, physical sciences and business.
  • Integrated Reasoning – this section assesses the candidate’s ability to evaluate data presented in multiple formats from multiple sources.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – this section assesses the candidate’s ability to produce a written analysis of an argument, including a critique of said argument.

Your GMAT score will range between 200 and 800. It’s hard to say what score you need to get on to an MBA course as it depends on what school you’re applying to. The average intake of the world’s top business schools have a GMAT score anywhere upwards of 700.

*Graduate Records Examination (GRE)

Most schools now accept a Graduate Records Examination (GRE) score in lieu of a GMAT score. The GRE contains more of a focus on definitions and vocabulary as oppose to the GMAT’s emphasis on logic and reason.