Going along with our post from yesterday where we alerted you to the fact that all the schools are asking really different essay questions in their MBA apps this year and the ramifications of that to your app strategy, we’ll further elaborate on some important cautions when you’re researching the schools. We had a very important WARNING! post many years back that talked about when to bother retaking the GMAT or not based on how much of an improvement you expect to be able to make. That post quoted the MBA admissions director at Yale with some scary advice.
When we saw that, we said, “!!!!!”
Dunno if he feels the same way today but he might — and to be fair, we understand where he was coming from. (Pro Tip: Read that original post we just linked to — oh hey here it is again!)
We’re offering this as an example to make a larger point.
Most certainly, the Yale director’s view about GMAT score improvement is shared with others, but it’s not a universal.
There’s an opposite school of thought among some admissions professionals where they appreciate every effort to improve, and the mere fact that you’re trying gets you some brownie points.
Our purpose today is not to discuss GMAT test strategies (you can find plenty of that in the ‘snarchive under the category of GMAT and GRE). Instead it’s to warn you to pay attention.
Because it happens every year and it’s happening again this year: Different schools have different requirements, which you probably know, but different admissions folks have way different philosophies and standards, too.
It makes sense, obviously. Everyone comes into a job with their own biases and priorities, and also every school has a different set of values and they tackle the task of evaluating candidates through different approaches.
This means that not only do you need to review carefully all the details that a school offers to you on applying, but you need to keep them straight and not assume that what applies in one place is translatable anywhere else.
So this is just a PSA for today.
Review those applications early! Read all the pages!
Keep notes! Make a spreadsheet!
Sweat the details!
Make sure you’re giving each school what they want!
Pay attention to what the admissions peeps tell you in the info sessions! But don’t think that every other school will have the same view!