You decided: you’ll apply to MBA programs this year! Yes! The first thing you want to do is go visit those programs, each one’s website more enticing than the next. You’ll deal with other stuff, GMAT included, while you check out the schools.
A common approach, but not the wisest.
I came across a podcast on the website www.classycareergirl.com (guys, keep reading) on which Anna Runyan answers listeners’ questions. One person asked how to prepare for the MBA while balancing a demanding job. In her wise answer, Ms. Runyan describes how, once she decided to apply, she put aside everything except work and family and started studying for the GMAT every night after work for several months. Three cheers for common sense, focus, and self-discipline. This approach will enable you to (a) do your best on the GMAT, and (b) visit appropriate target schools – which you can’t do without knowing your GMAT score.
It’s painfully true. Probably every year for the 13+ years I’ve been working with MBA applicants, I’ve seen people spend time and money (and emotional energy) visiting Stanford, Wharton, and Harvard while preparing to take the GMAT, sometimes even starting the applications. Then they take the test, assess their overall qualifications, and conclude they are not competitive enough to justify applying to those programs. Not a great place to be as deadlines near.
Plan your MBA process logically; certain decisions and steps build on others. Here are some helpful resources for this process:
And here is a resource I prepared on creating a list of the right schools to target: Best MBA Programs – A Guide to Selecting the Right One.
Since you’ve decided to apply this coming season, why not start that GMAT prep ... now?
By Cindy Tokumitsu, author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her last thirteen years with Accepted. She can help you assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a winning MBA admissions strategy.
This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.