If you’re getting ready to apply to business school in 2019, then no doubt you are bombarded with dates and deadlines. Studying for the GMAT takes a lot of hard work and effort, particularly on the part of tracking important deadlines. Do you have a calendar on which you can write such important dates?
While paper calendars may be a thing of the past, having one around for this purpose alone can go a long way in terms of deadlines.
There are a handful of important dates to remember, but some of the more prominent ones fall around the test date and possible retake of the GMAT, your actual b-school application due date, as well as allotting enough time to gather all of your letters of recommendation. (And while it’s not included, it’s just as important to keep in mind GPA transcripts, a solid MBA resume, etc.)
Thankfully, a top tier academic services firm like Manhattan Review can help you keep track of all of these dates. Let’s dive into why they are important and how best to approach them, shall we?
GMAT Testing Dates
Clearly, the GMAT is an important exam regarding your application to business school. How could it not be? The GMAT has been the gold standard for MBA admission for decades. Thankfully, the GMAT can be scheduled at various convenient times, as it is an exam that is given year-round.
In all, there are 600 test centers across 114 countries around the globe offering the GMAT. India alone has 39 test centers spread across 34 cities.
Naturally, the best way to find out about GMAT exam dates in your city or close to it is to visit GMAC online, the creators and administrators of the GMAT. It’s important to note that registration can be done up to six months in advance and the fee is non-refundable.
You are able to take the GMAT up to five times in a year and eight times total. There is a mandatory gap between attempts of 16 days.
Have you begun to think about which test date suits you and your application deadlines? Take time to explore where and when you can take the test as it suits your schedule.
You are taking the GMAT for entrance to business school, right? This means all of your other deadlines must work around your official application deadline.
You must have the application deadline to your chosen school(s) marked prominently on your calendar. Also, it is not advised to wait until the very last minute with all of your application materials; better to get it in a little early than work down to the wire, which only creates anxiety and stress.
Many business schools in India, for example, have application deadlines in November and early December. The International Management Institute in New Delhi, for example, has an application window from the 10th of September through December 3rd.
While there is some overlap in terms of application deadlines, each school has its own. Do you have the dates marked on your calendar as to when your applications are due? It’s best to get them in two weeks before their due date, if not much sooner. That way—you’re not sitting around worrying about them!
Letters of Recommendation
Every application requires letters of recommendation. This often means contacting former employers or college professors and asking them to write one on your expertise and experience. This isn’t always easy, as it’s time-consuming and you’re relying on someone else to do work for you.
It’s best to select your recommenders as soon as possible to give them adequate time to write a high quality recommendation. These matter to admissions committees and weigh on your chances of admission.
For application purposes, it might be best to ask a handful of recommenders to write you various letters, recycling the same material for each one. That way, you aren’t asking 20 different people and spending time emailing and calling them about the deadline.
You have enough to worry about with b-school admission—you don’t want to be concerned whether or not your recommenders are doing their job. So get going on this early—in fact, if it’s one of the first steps you can do and make, put it at the top of your MBA application checklist.
All in all, it’s not a bad idea to give your recommenders two months’ time, if not more. And remember—they are doing you a favor, so make sure to express your gratitude!
In the end, applying to b-school requires staunch organization skills with all the various pieces, parts, and deadlines. Do your best to stay on top of these; after all, your chances of admission to the school of your dreams very well may rely on it!