ApplicantLab On-Demand Admissions Guidance Tool Reviews

Admissions is a tough game; we teach you how to win it. ApplicantLab is an on-demand series of interactive exercises that walk you through everything you need to craft a winning application. Created by an HBS grad with almost 15 years of experience, ApplicantLab takes admissions consultants’ tools and puts them in your hands. Learn more.
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Based on 93 reviews
December 29, 2018

Joined: Nov 23, 2016

Posts: 187

Kudos: 120

Verified score:
770 Q49 V47

After coming off an unsuccessful application season, I wanted to make sure I utilized all avenues to not repeat my mistakes this time. After hearing some positive word-of-mouth, I signed up for Applicant Lab to see for myself. I used the Lab in addition to working with actual real-world consultants, and it turned out to be an immensely useful guiding tool through the application journey.

I must say that Applicant Lab was the most value-for-money item in my entire MBA application expense list. Maria's inputs and ideas often were the starting point for all my school essays. I did 8 applications in the entire season and utilized the Lab for all of them. Maria has a great understanding of the entire process and freely shares her knowledge through the Lab. Its almost like having a close friend who you can bank on in this stressful journey.

For the two additional questions posed by Booth after interview invite, the Applicant Lab team (hello Carin!) was quick to update the portal with their thoughts. Overall, I highly highly recommend this tool to everyone, even those working with consultants on full packages. The additional perspective, tips & guidance is worth much more than the cost.

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December 19, 2018

Joined: Nov 08, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

ie business school accepted

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

I got accepted by ie business school in 2017 because of Applicantlab, and I’d like to share my fantastic experience. Before I purchased her service, I’d done a lot of researches and saw a millions of great feedback about Applicantlab. However, I had a concern which was actually the unique application process used by my target school, ie business school. As you may know, ie's admission process is quite different than the other schools and you are tasked to create video content on top of an essay to answer questions provided by the school. Although I had the concern above, many good reviews had me purchase the service and it turned out to be the best service I've ever bought.
The well automated algorithm she created is indeed perfect. I was skeptical as to how it worked, but it’s very intuitive to go through all the required processes such as brainstorming, preparing for essays, and interviews. She embedded her own video explaining everything step by step in order for users to understand what to do on the tool. What amazed me the most was she also put her video specifically for each school including ie business school. There are more than 10 questions that ie asks you to write about (you need to choose 3 of them) and she basically covered everything in the multiple video. She even advised that which questions I should answer and shouldn't, and most importantly why I should answer them.
To me, the most useful part of the service was “how to prepare for interviews”. Based on her advice, I prepared for all the questions, and surprisingly 80 – 90% of the questions that I was asked during the actual interview were what she told me to prepare before the interview. Interestingly enough, the interviewer even told me that all the adcoms thought my video, which I created based on Maria’s advice, was the best among all the candidates in my intake.
Again, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning but now I cannot believe she is still providing applicants with this level of service at ultimately low cost. If you get scholarship at the end, the fee for this service would be almost nothing. I strongly recommend to purchase her service before you waste money on cheap MBA consulting service.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 15, 2018

Joined: Apr 18, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Self-reported Score:
740 Q49 V42


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Applicant Lab (“AL”) gives you the best bang for your buck without compromising the quality of advice that you receive. Like most applicants, I was initially hesitant to use the platform because my MBA apps were going to be one of the most important things I did for my career and I was willing to spend $ to get the best advice possible. However, AL was offering a one month free trial at that time so I thought, “What’s there to lose?”. Little did I know then, that it would be instrumental in getting my admits to M7 schools.

I think the strength of AL is that it provides you with all the guidance you need to develop a stellar application. It arms you with all the knowledge/expertise that you need without going overboard with the advice so that you can still develop an application that is unique and tailored especially to you.
The other strength is Maria herself, whose dynamic personality is very entertaining. It permeates her videos and even her written guides, which eases the otherwise serious burden of the B-school application process. She also seems to genuinely want all applicants to develop their best application possible, even if they have smaller budgets for consultants.

I think Applicant Lab is definitely a game changer because it makes top-notch admissions advice accessible to a broader base of people due to its affordability. It’s thrust of “Levelling the playing field” is quite admirable and I would recommend it to all my friends aiming to pursue an MBA. I won’t be surprised if online platforms like Applicant Lab would be the norm in the years to come.

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December 09, 2018

Joined: Aug 20, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
640 Q44 V34

Applicantlab helped me bag INSEAD and OXFORD!!!!


My journey to securing a spot at my dream MBA schools would not have been possible without Applicantlab!!!

I am a South African and was never exposed to the typical US/Europe Ivy league school application process. I had written the GMAT and scored 640, so I knew that everything would hinge on the rest of the application - seeing that my GMAT score wasn’t above 700. To put it simply, I needed the remainder of my application to be extraordinary!

I did my research and found that Applicantlab was the best on the market. It is extremely cost effective and very convenient because much of the work is done on a pre-established platform, eliminating complexities related to time zone and consultant availability.

I was skeptical at first and decided to signed up for the FREE trial. After a few short sessions I felt extremely confident in the product quality and decided to take the plunge and subscribe to all services. I have never regretted making that decision.

The platform is aesthetically appealing and very user-friendly. It takes the applicant on a journey and puts him/her in the shoes of the admissions committee member to ensure that you not only develop an authentic essay that speaks to your truth but do so without losing your targeted audience.

The platform is structured in such a way that by the time you get to finally writing the essay you already have a few anecdotes and key stories to help you answer that “daunting” essay question, which was extremely helpful for me. I’m an accountant by trade, so essay writing and storytelling doesn’t come naturally to me. The good thing about the tool is that you can revisit the modules as many times as you want at no extra charge. I revisited the modules a few times before I wrote my first draft essay.

I then booked an essay review session with Maria where she went above and beyond my expectations and not only provided written guidance on how to improve my essay but include an audio feedback recording where she explained her thoughts around her written mark-ups allowing me to fully understand how to action any amendments. Her turnaround time was phenomenal, always responding to every query within 24 hours.

I submitted my essays and when I got shortlisted to the interview stage I was able to progress to the interview module at no added cost. I did a mock interview with Maria and I can honestly say she is EXTREMELY thorough. She prepared me for all kinds of questions which left me extremely confident on the actual interview day.

Honestly, had it not been for Applicantlab (and Maria’s support) I would have never been accepted to neither INSEAD nor OXFORD. She not only helped me get into these schools but helped me write the essays that resulted in me securing a scholarship for both schools.

If you’re still not sold on the many benefits of Applicantlab, I highly recommend that you signup for the free trial. You won’t regret it! I only used Applicantlab for all my applications and my ordinary GMAT score + Applicantlab = an extraordinary application package.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
December 06, 2018

Joined: Feb 14, 2018

Posts: 2

Kudos: 1

Verified score:

When my friend, a Boothie, said that ApplicantLab is the single best investment he had ever made in his life, I thought he was overselling the service. A mere six months later, when I got three admits from the four schools that I applied to (still waiting for the other one school to get back), I knew he was RIGHT!

Coming from a developing country of Indonesia, few of my friends have gone through the MBA admission process, let alone top business schools’ admission process. I knew that I had to take GMAT, but I had zero knowledge on how to package my experience and “sell” my profile to the Adcom. I also knew that I could get help by paying some $5,000 money to MBA consultant, but given my Indonesia salary, surely I wouldn’t be able to make it.

At that time Maria and her ApplicantLab came as my life savior.

From the start, ApplicantLab guided me to categorize my experiences into buckets. I began to reflect on my character development, the reason I want to do MBA, and the path I want to pursue after my MBA. I like how ApplicantLab does not tell you to write what the Adcoms want to hear, instead, let you authentically portray your best side and be the genuine you!

Of course, as a normal human, there are times I felt that the whole admission processes are very exhausting. Luckily, Maria kept the entire process interesting using her humorous content and empathetic videos. Her story-based approach allowed me to stay engaged, and I imagined that my life is a book that the Adcom will very much love to read.
Overall, I would STRONGLY recommend self-motivated applicants to subscribe for ApplicantLab service for three reasons. First, the quality of content and the school research that Maria has done is second to none. The research will help you to understand deeply about the school and tailor your application. Second, the level of authenticity you will achieve in your application. After all, the Adcoms are not looking for uniform MBA essays done by professional essay-makers. They want to see the real you. Thirdly, a supportive friend throughout your ruthless MBA application journey ahead. Maria is wondrously responsive, and beyond herself, she cares that you succeed in your application.

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November 11, 2018

Joined: Oct 29, 2018

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
760 Q49 V44

Accepted to CBS with fellowship!


I strongly recommend ApplicantLab to anybody considering an MBA! I come from a fairly vanilla work background and was worried about differentiating myself among applicants in my "bucket". I utilized ApplicantLab for every aspect of my application (resume, essays, interviews, recommendations, etc) as the tool has advice for anything you could think of, as well as things you may not think of! Before using the tool, I had no idea that MBA admissions committees look for resumes that highlight experiences that generally aren't the focus of traditional professional resumes.

Within the tool, you are encouraged to map out experiences in your personal/undergraduate/professional life that demonstrated key traits that MBA programs look for in strong applicants (leadership, mentoring, innovation, overcoming obstacles, etc), and then allocate those experiences/stories to your essays, application boxes, as well as your interview question responses (especially useful for elaborating more on stories that you could not include within your essays). Most of this advice is included in extensive videos that Maria has recorded for each specific section of the application process.

In terms of essay advice, Maria includes specific advice (both written and videos, which often include much appreciated humor) for each required and optional essay for a school. I can't stress enough how detailed the advice is for these essays. Maria includes hyperlinks to specific offerings that each program is particularly proud of (and thus, very good to reference in your essays). There is advice for basically any top-50 program and Maria will add schools if there is interest.

I also purchased a mock interview with Maria. Maria’s advice was incredibly detailed and the interview itself simulated my actual interview to a tee. She spent about 1.75 hours speaking with me; she recorded the interview, and then discussed her feedback on the responses I gave to each question. I found the small tweaks she suggested to my answers particularly beneficial (putting less emphasis no my technical experience vs interpersonal experiences). I definitely felt like my interviewers were impressed with my responses.

Ultimately I was accepted to CBS + another top-15 program, and received interview invitations to the other 4 schools I applied to (withdrew my applications as CBS was my top-choice). Not only that, I received a generous fellowship from CBS, which most people told me was a significant reach for me!

I strongly believe it would be beneficial for every MBA applicant to utilize ApplicantLab; Maria has put a great service together, and the price is almost certainly cheaper than any other admissions consultant service.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
November 08, 2018

Joined: May 24, 2017

Posts: 7

Kudos: 2

Verified score:
690 Q48 V35

Could not have done it without ApplicantLab


Maria goes above and beyond for her clients and without her, I wouldn't be having the time of my life at business school (with a Consortium fellowship!)

I had no idea what I was doing when I was applying to business school, but working with ApplicantLab and Maria was so crucial to putting together a strong application. The whole process was made easier by Maria's extremely organized and straightforward approach. The ApplicantLab modules provided a guided way to really dig in to applications across all the schools I was applying to.

After going through the modules, Maria then personally reviews essay drafts and application questions. She was AMAZING. She's able to give out tough love, and then guide me to really telling stories with impact. She dug out some stories from me that I personally wouldn't have thought to tell (and that I am now using for behavioral interviews for consulting recruiting!). All of this takes time and energy on her part, but you can tell she cares so much about making sure you put your strongest application out there and its insanely motivating during the application process.

I was also able to do a mock interview with Maria, which was also incredibly helpful. She covered questions that were exactly what I was asked at the real interviews, so I was able to focus on telling my story instead of being nervous about what questions were going to be asked.

All told, I would work with Maria again in a heartbeat. She challenged me and guided me to put my best application forward and I could not be happier with the results!!

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November 05, 2018

Joined: Apr 19, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:

Best advice ever...!


MBA application process is really a stressful process. One of the key things you always look for is guidance and mentor. A mentor, who can help you introspect about strengths, weaknesses, journey so far, and what you want to achieve next. Also, you are already paying so much money in applications fees, GMAT, GMAT preparation, and if you get admitted a huge sum to the school. The last thing you want to pay more than $ 4000 to consultants who help you build a great story. Well, there are no free lunches but there is lunch option with great price value- Applicant Lab.

If I look back, the investment I made on Applicant Lab has given me the highest ROI during this entire process.

People who are looking for help to build a great story, do check out this platform, I think you won't regret.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
November 05, 2018

Joined: Sep 03, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

ApplicantLab Rocks!

REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by school email address [?]

ApplicantLab got me into Columbia Business School!

When initially considering applicant lab I thought it might potentially be a waste of money but that I'd give it a shot before a gave a consultants a couple thousand dollars or more to help me through this process. I never ended up using a one on one consultant because ApplicantLab helped me organize my thoughts and goals in a way that put together a compelling business school application.

Maria from applicant lab spent time helping me through the parts of the application process that I did not understand and even letting me know what parts of my career vision needed to be reshaped.

I would recommend ApplicantLab to anyone! Def give it a shot before shelling out thousands for a consultant.

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This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system or .edu email address and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
October 31, 2018

Joined: May 06, 2015

Posts: 4

Kudos: 5

Verified score:
750 Q49 V44

Exceptional value for money


Good day everyone.

Almost exactly a year ago (2017 October 2) I was rejected from CBS early decision, my dream school (since forever). I applied with what I thought were OK stats (e.g., 730 GMAT, 3.8 GPA from Southeast Asian Uni, MBB + PE). Dinged without interview.

So I did what any rational re-applicant would do and immediately hone in on a higher GMAT score (which I was able to bump to a 750). The NEXT thing I did was go on these forums and find myself an MBA admissions consultant.

At this point - we're practically on the same boat - and I found that Applicant Lab seemed to fit my needs (low risk $-wise, self-paced, school-specific help). I ALSO looked at these reviews myself (and thought that there was NO WAY these reviews were LEGIT). Funnily enough, upon writing this review, I realized that you had to submit a valid GMAT score to even WRITE a review (so yeah, these reviews must be largely legit). Now that we're past the whole fear of 'fake reviews', you have to believe that this is LEGITIMATELY THE BEST MONEY I HAVE SPENT ON MBA ADMISSIONS.

The lab (which is practically a web-based application dashboard) really sorts everything out for you from start to finish (YES, INCLUDING THE INTERVIEWS). The videos that accompany each stage per school were very insightful and really put things into perspective.

For me, the most useful part of the Lab was the interview preparation part. It combines external tools (where to find the likely questions) with internal tools (like what things would which schools be concerned about) and how to position your story to address those questions. It ensures that you have an excellent framework for dealing with the entire gamut of questions you can be asked.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Literally no one in my entire family has EVER attended an MBA program. In my country, only 10-15 people go to a top 15 MBA program EVERY YEAR. So there is almost NO ONE to ask advice from. Hence, almost everything in the Lab was news to me. I realized some very specific things that I would never have figured out in my lifetime (e.g., leave a lot of the point-blank bragging for the recommendation letters - so at least it's someone else saying you're the world's best at X; or don't focus on a SINGLE STRENGTH throughout your application).

I swear to God the Applicant Lab really fixed my re-application package. really fixed my interview prep. really helped me FINALLY get in CBS.

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