‘So, I just took the GMAT. How do I start with my MBA applications?’

This is a common question students ask after completing their GMAT. They start with their GMAT prep, devote 5 to 6 months to it, take the GMAT, and then wonder how to start with their MBA applications. Often, these students are left with so little time to create a strong application that even after scoring a 700+ on GMAT, they wonder if they will make it into their dream B-school or not.

So, how to ensure that you score high on GMAT and get into your target B-school? You must plan ahead and synchronize your GMAT prep with B-school applications. Let us tell you why –

5 Benefits of Working on Your MBA Applications Along with GMAT Prep

Working on your MBA applications alongside your GMAT prep is not just a mandate for students who are running on tight deadlines. Even if you have 5 to 6 months for prep, you can start working on the applications part right from the start. The key is to take things one step at a time. Let’s check out the many benefits of doing so –

I. Prepare your list of target B-schools & Save Money

Even if your plan was to find a school once you get your final GMAT score, it is better to do your research in advance and create a list. There are two reasons why we suggest this. One, you can choose to share your GMAT score with 5 schools for free just as you receive your GMAT score. Any school that you add later to the list will be done at a fee. And two, you will have better clarity of your target GMAT score so you can plan your prep accordingly.

II. Find the Right Consultant to work on your Applications

Since most students apply to multiple schools, they need adequate time to craft separate applications for each school. On top of that, if you are working full-time, the entire process can quickly become stressful. Working on your MBA applications alongside your GMAT prep will give you better clarity of whether you need professional help or not. 

Most good consultants are already booked months before the application deadlines arrive. If you begin looking for a consultant a few days before the set deadline, you will most likely have a hard time finding one who is available. Also, even if you are hiring a consultant, you need to give them time to build a story that adds value to your essay.

Manish’s Journey to his Dream B-school: Read Full Debrief on GMATClub

III. Get extra time to work on your essays

Our students often say that it took them a lot of time to create a timeline of all of their achievements – both educational and professional. You might need to reflect on your life journey to do justice to your expectations from an MBA. You must answer questions like your short-term goals, why MBA, your long-term goals post MBA, and incidents in the past depicting your leadership skills. We suggest you to give at least 10 minutes each day to work on these core questions. This will serve as a strong grounding ones you finally start working on your actual essays.

Take Productive Breaks

We always advice our students to be consistent with prep. Even if you study for 1 hour each day, the key is that you do it every day. To further make your prep productive, you must take short breaks in-between. You can work on your MBA applications during these breaks. This way, not only will you get a break from all the learning that you are doing, but will also prove to be productive when you are finally working on your B-school applications.

IV. More time to research the career options to mention in your application

There are certain standard questions like ‘Why MBA’, ‘Why this school’, ‘How will the school’s geography benefit you’, and ‘Post-MBA plans’, that are commonly asked in the form of essays. Each school you apply to will ask different questions with a similar objective. Starting sooner can help you carry out an in-depth research so you can answer these questions with utmost clarity. Only when you have a clear understanding of what you did in the past, what are your current goals, and what are your expectations of the future can you justify how an MBA is going to bridge the gaps between these goals and aspirations. Your essays should be able to deliver this thought process clearly and it will need time to create a fail-proof timeline and an engaging story.

Preparing ahead for the interview questions will also need its due research

B-school interviews can sometimes be scary. You have to interact with the adcoms which is different than writing an essay that you spent months perfecting. Preparing ahead for the interview questions and giving mock interviews to your mentor or friend can help. It will help mitigate fear, make you feel more confident, and will aid quick thinking.

Must Read: Interview Tips to Get Into Your Dream Business School

V. Better Research for Financing your MBA

Students take it lightly but MBA is an expensive investment. There are multiple options available to pay for it but you need time to identify the best options. It is not only your chosen college but also the region that will impact the cost of your MBA. For instance, if you are confused between a European MBA and American MBA, the cost can play big role in helping you decide. The cost of an MBA from the United States can be exponentially high compared to an MBA from Europe.

Therefore, if you are still figuring out how to pay for your MBA, your financial condition will greatly govern which school you go to.

Recommended Read: How important is your GMAT score in getting an MBA Scholarship?


Your MBA journey requires a lot of work. For example, preparing for the GMAT, retaking the test if required, preparing your MBA applications and applying for a student loan. Waiting to be done with your test and then taking up the application part can force you to cut corners. Even if you do make it just in time, you might need to compromise on the quality of your application. Planning ahead and taking your applications side by side is thus the right thing to do.

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