MBA Application Timeline for the Fall 2016 Intake – Part 2

MBA Application Timeline

This is the second part of the application timeline for those who plan to apply for admission to US business schools for the MBA 2016 Fall intake.

Now is absolutely the right time to get things rolling. The earliest application deadlines of some top US schools may be as soon as early September 2015. Not much time left.

Here are the milestones for the MBA 2016 application timeline. Check the tasks for the period January – June in MBA Application Timeline for the Fall 2016 Intake Part 1 of this article.

June – July 2016

Review MBA 2016 application requirements

US business schools start announcing their admission requirements for the new intake in June. This is the time to check the new essay topics, guidelines for the recommendation letters and the application form. Put the application deadlines in your calendars.

Make your application action plan

You may have limited time to prepare the application package. For example, in 2014, Harvard Business School announced the new requirements in June and the first round application deadline was in the beginning of September. Second round applicants will have more time, as the deadlines are usually in the first week of January.

Anyway, an action plan with deadlines, excellent time management and tight discipline will ensure that you compile the application package on time.

One of your most urgent tasks is to select recommenders and ask them to prepare their recommendations letters. You need to give them enough time. Also, as soon as the essay topics are announced, start brainstorming. Essays usually take much longer to prepare that initially anticipated.

Finally, allow enough time for your official test scores to reach business schools. This may take several weeks.

Prepare to retake the GMAT (if needed)

If you are not happy with your GMAT score, you may decide to retake the test. You can do this 30 days after the previous test. However, the goal of retaking the GMAT is to improve your score by at least 50 points. This will certainly require an analysis of your performance and additional preparation. Plan for 2 months before you retake the GMAT.

It is important to check the new score reporting policies, as you may need to take a decision whether to report or cancel your score.

July – August 2016

Retake GMAT (if needed)

Retake the GMAT early in order to allow enough time for the score to reach the business schools on time. Another reason for retaking it as early as possible is to allow yourself enough time to focus on preparing the rest of the application package to a high standard.

Focus on Round 1 applications

Time flies and work on the application package takes brainstorming, drafts, edits, reviews and feedback from friends or consultants.

Round 1 application deadlines are between first half of September and the middle of October. Here is a priority list of the essential tasks when preparing your application:

–          Make an application strategy

–          Select recommenders

–          Work on essays

–          Work on the rest of the application package

August – December 2016

Focus on Round 2 applications

Round 2 applicants have more time to work on the application. Use the same priority list as above to prepare your application package.

November – December 2016

Prepare for Round 1 interviews

At this point you may expect to hear back from AdComs with interview invitations. The interview is a great opportunity to gain admission, but also a scholarship. Prepare well for the interview. Drill for it, make videos to see how you perform at mock interviews or work with an admissions coach.

The fact that you have been invited to an admission interview does not mean that you are admitted. This only means that your application has attracted the attention of the AdComs. However, the real competition has only just begun!

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4 thoughts on “MBA Application Timeline for the Fall 2016 Intake – Part 2”

  1. Hi. I plan on starting my MBA in fall 2016. But I have just started studying for GMAT. Am I running too late? I will be able to apply in round 2? Is it true that your chances of getting into a good college are brighter if you apply in round 1??
    Thanks

    1. Hi.

      The GMAT is important for your chances of admission, so you have to focus on your GMAT preparation and aim to achiever the highest score you possibly can. Round 1 application deadlines for top US business schools are in September-October. Sitting the GMAT by mid/end of August will be a stretch for you, so I would recommend that at this stage you plan to apply for round 2 (application deadlines in January 2016). If you have a good score, carefully selected schools and well prepared application, you have good chances for round 2 as well.

      So, now focus on your GMAT prep and feel free to let me know how it is going and what score are you likely to achieve and then we can discuss further.

      Best regards,

  2. Hi,

    I’m planning to take the GMAT on 15th November 2015. Am I too late for round 2. How long does it take for scores to be reported to schools after taking the test? I understand that some round 2 deadlines are in early December itself and not in Jan. Would I be missing out on good schools because of starting late?

    Thanks,
    Shilpi

    1. Hello Shilpi,

      This is really important for your planning. Here is how score reporting works according to the official GMAT website:

      “You will get an unofficial score report with Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning and Total scores immediately after your exam. You will receive an email with a URL to access your score report within 20 days of your exam. This email will contain a link with instructions to access your Official Score Report online. You may then view, download, or print your Official Score Report.

      On the day you take the GMAT® exam, but before you begin, you may select up to five (5) GMAT accepting programs to receive your Official Score Report. If you did not select any GMAT programs to receive your scores on the day of your exam, or if you would like to send your scores to more than the five (5) programs you selected on your test day, you may order Additional Score Reports to be sent to schools online, by phone, by fax, or by mail for a fee. When you order an Additional Score Report to be sent to a school, you will also receive a copy.”

      Source: http://www.mba.com/global/frequently-asked-questions/gmat-scores-and-score-reports.aspx#question1

      So, anticipate 3 to 4 weeks for the official score reports to reach the schools of your choice. They may be delivered earlier, but you can’t rely on that. You have to select the schools on the test day, but before you begin the test.

      This means that you will certainly get the score on time for business schools with Round 2 application deadlines after December 15.

      However, the risk is that you may not be happy with your score and then you will not have much time to prepare before the next retake. But let us hope you will strike your best score on the first GMAT.
      Many good b-schools have their Round 2 deadlines in early January, so you still have a chance, although your application schedule will be quite tight.

      I recommend that you select the schools very carefully, so that you have realistic chances of admission.
      Let me know if you need further assistance or advice. I will be glad to help.

      Best regards,
      Iliana

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