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MBA Advice: Are you ready to apply to Business School?

Are you planning on going to business school? You will need to be highly organized and motivated to get your GMAT, applications and essay together in a timely fashion.

Here is a little guideline from MBA advice about when to get things done.

10 Weeks
Two to two and a half months before your first application is due is about the right time to start the process in earnest. There are several things that you should take care of in the next 4-5 weeks:

Schedule the GMAT and start spending an hour a day or so studying. Your target GMAT date should be about 4-5 weeks away (in other words, about halfway between now and your first application due date). Be sure that you take your GMAT in the calendar month before your first app is due, so that you can retake it once if necessary without delaying your application. If you plan on taking a prep course you should schedule that now as well.

Research schools and start narrowing down your choices. You will want a short list of candidates before you���

At some point you need to order transcripts from your undergraduate schools. You will need these by the time you take the GMAT, since you will start your applications soon after that.

Four to Five Weeks
At this point things are really getting serious. You should have your transcripts in hand, be ready for the GMAT, and have your recommenders all lined up. Additionally, you should have a solid idea of what schools you will apply to. Now you need to:

Take the GMAT. Don't worry, it won't be that bad. Just stay calm, and make good use of all those hours you spend studying. You did study the last four weeks, right???

A day or two after the GMAT you will need to start on your first application.

I recommend that you spend a day (i.e. 2 hours or so) on a draft for an essay, and then set it aside for a day or two and work on other essays. This "cooling off" period between drafts can really help, I highly recommend it.

Between essays you will also need to work on the application itself. Don't underestimate how long it takes to convert your motley resume into a polished application, that's largely why the first application takes so long.

With an organized approach, you should be able to get your applications in on time and have a better chance of getting in the business school or MBA program of your choice.


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