Aringo helps MBA candidates prepare outstanding applications (essays, resume/CV, recommendations) for the world's top MBA programs.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Join Aringo at the QS World MBA Tour!

Aringo will be attending the QS World MBA fairs in Seattle on Saturday, September 20th and in Palo Alto, CA, on Thursday, October 30.

Register in advance and pay only $5 to get in, or $15 at the door
Come on out and meet Aringo staff and consultants!
BONUS: Meet HBS, Kellogg, and UCLA Anderson alumni and hear expert admissions advice at the Palo Alto fair

More details and registration info here:

See you there!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Harvard's 2016 Class Profile

Harvard published the profile of its 2016 class who will start their MBA studies over the next month.
The overall number of applications received by the school stands at 9,543, with 12% gaining acceptance and 936 registered students, giving Harvard a yield of 89% (this data calculates how many accepted students registered for classes, excluding deferrals).

The average age of the students is 27, they hail from 73 countries (35% international students), and 41% are women. The median GMAT score of accepted students is 730 and the average GPA is 3.67.

In terms of academic background, 40% come from an engineering and exact sciences background, while 41% hails from an economics/business background, and 19% from a social sciences background.

In terms of career experience, 18% worked in consulting, 17% in venture capital/private equity while 14% worked in the field of financial services and 13% in hi-tech and communication.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Friday, September 05, 2014

Update from MIT's Admissions Committee

MIT’s admissions committee published an update on its blog about the school’s process of evaluating MBA candidates:

“We evaluate characteristics on two dimensions:  Demonstrated Success and Personal Attributes.  For Demonstrated Success we look for evidence of academic abilities and professional success.  Personal Attributes we look for include; ability to work on a team, ability to challenge the status quo or solve complex problems, innovative ways to make an impact, and a drive to achieve goals.

Our evaluation process, which includes a required face-to-face interview by invitation only, helps us to get to know you and to give us a better idea of how you have acted, felt or thought in specific situations.  It also gives you an opportunity to get to know us better as well.

We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications.  We have a professional Admissions Committee (no students or faculty). They will read your entire application. We encourage you to respond to the optional question to tell us more about yourself.”

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How Does HBS View the GRE/GMAT?

Yesterday’s post on HBS’ admissions blog sheds light on the way their admissions committee views candidates’ GMAT/GRE scores.

First of all, Harvard emphasized that they accept both exams with no preference for either one, though candidates must choose one and cannot submit scores from both exams. Upon applying, candidates must enter an unofficial score, while the official score can arrive at the school post-deadline.

In addition, Harvard published statistics that of 935 accepted last year, 844 candidates applied with GMAT scores and only 81 with GRE scores, while 10 applicants applied with a score from both exams.

In terms of the score, Harvard focuses less on the general score and more on the different parts of the exam in relation to the candidate’s profile.  For example, an engineer with a strong quantitative background does not need a strong score in the test’s quantitative section to prove his or her mathematical capability, but a different candidate lacking an academic or professional quantitative background will need a strong score in the quantitative section to balance out his or her profile.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Harvard Update Regarding Scholarships and Loans

Harvard posted an update on its blog about financial aid offered by the school to its students. Last year the school offered 26 million dollars of need-based financial aid, and plans to increase the amount this year thanks to alumni donations.

Harvard emphasizes that they do not consider financial need in the acceptance process though the application includes a question about income. The financial aid is granted to students based on need, and also considers the student’s family status. A candidate can ask for financial aid only after being accepted to the program. The school does not grant full scholarships.

In addition, the school has a loan program for international students with no required American co-signer.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Essay Questions and Deadlines Published for LBS 2015

LBS published the essay questions and deadlines for its MBA program beginning in August 2015:

1. What are your post-MBA plans and how will your past experience and the London Business School programme contribute? (500 words)

2. How will you add value to the London Business School community? (300 words)

3. Is there any other information you believe the Admissions Committee should know about you and your application to London Business School? (400 words)

Round 1 – 10.3.2014
Round 2 – 1.5.2015
Round 3 – 2.27.2015
Round 4 – 4.17.2015

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Which Schools are the Most Popular?

An article on the site Poets & Quants reports the results of a survey included in The Financial Times’ global ranking of the best MBA programs, which aimed to check which business schools are the most popular.

The survey included 10,986 people at 153 schools and was conducted in September-October 2013. A school’s popularity was calculated by the number of alumni that recommend it (i.e. consider their studies beneficial to themselves and helpful in achieving their goals) and prefer to recruit graduates from their own MBA program.

At the top of the list was Harvard, followed by Stanford, Wharton, LBS, and MIT. Of the 25 top schools in 2014, 19 are U.S. schools. Of the top 100, 51 are in the U.S., 13 in the U.K., 7 in China, and 5 from Canada.

The rest of the ranking’s leaders:
6- Kellogg
8- Columbia
9- Chicago
10- Berkeley
11- Duke
12- NYU
13- Tuck
14- IIM
15- Michigan
16- IMD
17- Yale
18- IESE
19- Darden
20- McCombs

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Three additional Aringo clients were accepted to INSEAD (MBA).

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Economist’s free Online MBA Fair

If you could ask a business school admissions officer any question about the MBA process, what would it be? 
Register for The Economist’s free Online MBA Fair taking place September 10, 11 & 13 to chat with b-schools and enter for your chance to win a $5,000 scholarship to a participating business school. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Alternative Rankings of Business Schools

The Princeton Review published last month its ranking of U.S. business schools along various categories. This ranking diverges slightly from the popular rankings and offers an insider view of schools and their atmospheres. Candidates who are not only interested in a school’s prestige and graduates’ salaries can employ this ranking in their school selection.

Best Campus Environment
1. Columbia University
2. University of California (Los Angeles)
3. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
4. Dartmouth College
5. Sanford University
6. The University of Texas at Austin
7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
8. Vanderbilt University
9. The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa
10. Pennsylvania State University

Best Professors
1. University of California (Berkeley)
2. Harvard University
3. The University of Texas at Austin
4. Yale University
5. University of Virginia
6. Vanderbilt University
7. The Ohio State University
8. Rice University
9. Cornell University
10. Dartmouth College

Most Competitive Students 
1. Acton School of Business
2. Purdue University
3. Texas A&M University (College Station)
4. University of Pennsylvania
5. Bryant University
6. Howard University
7. University of Rochester
8. University of Miami
9. Texas Christian University
10. The University of Texas at Dallas

Greatest Opportunity For Women
1. Simmons School of Management
2. University of San Diego
3. Brandeis University
4. Pepperdine University
5. The George Washington University
6. University of California (Davis)
7. University of California (Berkeley)
8. University of Washington
9. University of California (Los Angeles)
10. Babson College

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Two additional Aringo clients were accepted to INSEAD (MBA).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kellogg's Essay Questions and Deadlines

Kellogg published updated essay questions and deadlines for its MBA program beginning in 2015.
For 2014-2015, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

1. Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)

2. Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)

Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

Video essays

The Video Essays provide applicants with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what they will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. Each applicant will complete two short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.

• After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.
• There are 10 practice questions which candidates can complete as many times as they like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool and help applicants feel prepared.
• There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions. We encourage applicants to practice so they are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions.
• Candidates will have 20 seconds to think about their question and up to 1 minute to give their response.
• We estimate the Video Essays will take 30 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.

Round 1 – 9/24/2014
Round 2 – 1/7/2015
Round 3 – 4/1/2015

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chicago Published Essay Questions and Deadlines

Chicago Booth published updated essay questions and deadlines for its MBA program beginning in 2015:

Presentation/Essay: Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you?

Presentation/Essay Guidelines

 • Be reflective. We’ve learned a lot about you throughout the application, but what more should we know?
 • Interpret broadly. “Who are you?” can be interpreted in many different ways. We encourage you to think critically and broadly about who you are, and how your values, passions and experiences have influenced you.
 • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.
 • Choose the format that works for you. You can design your presentation or compose your essay in the format that you feel best captures your response. However, please consider the specific technical restrictions noted below.
 • Think about you, not us. Rather than focusing on what you think we want to hear, focus on what is essential for us to know about you. Simply put, be genuine.

Technical Guidelines

 • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
 • Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word and Powerpoint.
 • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.
 • Preserve Your Formatting: We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting to ensure that everything you see matches what we see.

Reapplicant Question
Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

Round 1 – 9.25.2014
Round 2 – 1.6.2015
Round 3 – 4.7.2015

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MIT Asks Candidates to Write Their Own Recommendation

Last month MIT Sloan posted two essays questions for its MBA program beginning in 2015, with the second question asking candidates to write themselves a recommendation from the point of view of their last employer. A Businessweek article attempts to decipher what stands behind the surprising requirement.
MIT asks candidates to put themselves in the shoes of their employers and to write a recommendation letter with a 750-word limit, with creativity welcome:

Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself. Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: (750 words or fewer)

• How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
• How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
• Please give an example of the applicant's impact on a person, group, or organization.
• Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
• Which of the applicant's personal or professional characteristics would you change?
• Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

In addition to this essay each candidate is asked to provide two authentic recommendations. It is important to note that the questions for the essay are identical to those for the recommenders. According to an interview with the school’s admissions committee, the idea was inspired by a process businesses use in which they ask employees to rank themselves and their co-workers.  Perhaps it is also connected to the fact that in any case some MBA candidates write their recommendations themselves. An AIGAC survey published recently reported that about 36% of candidates were asked by their employers to write the recommendation themselves…

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Want to Increase Your Chances? Show Interest!

A Businessweek article reveals MBA admissions committees’ methods of tracking the interest showed by a candidate and the influence on his or her admission chances. For example, Fuqua Business School at Duke uses special software to trail the interest showed by the candidate for the program, specifically pointing out whether the candidate sent emails to the admission committee, how many times the candidate attended school events, etc. Other schools use even more sophisticated software to calculate data such as which candidates underwent alumni interviews or requested information about the program.  This data is calculated along with grades and essays to form the candidate’s profile and affects the committee’s decision.

This information influences the candidate’s admission chances since the admission committee wants to identify which candidates really want to get accepted, meaning the school prefers to accept a candidate who will in fact register for the program if accepted. This improves yield, so important for a school’s prestige. Chicago and Kellogg also began using similar software, marketed to maximize yield since applicants generally apply to a number of programs and often do not register at programs that accept them.

It is important to note that some schools claim that this data is not a significant factor in admissions decisions. Berkeley and MIT do not use such software to track candidates’ interest.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Your LinkedIn Profile

In recent years, social networks have become increasingly important in the admissions process. Some admissions committees check candidates' social network profiles (especially LinkedIn) and use them to evaluate their candidacy.

It is therefore recommended that you update and improve your social network profile before submitting the application - to confirm that the profile both fits what is written in the application (dates, employments, etc.) and that it is impressive and written in a qualitative manner (language and content).

Aringo offers a new service - you can work with Aringo's LinkedIn specialist to edit and improve your LinkedIn profile.
For additional details, please contact Chrissy Miller or Chaya Pomeranz.

Good luck!
The Aringo Team

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New to the GMAT: Preview Your Score

GMAC posted on the official site of the GMAT exam a significant change in the score report process:

“As a test taker, you are given the option of reporting or canceling your scores immediately after taking the test and before leaving the test center. Under the new process, you will see your unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether to accept them. If you do not make a choice, your scores will be canceled.

In addition, if you decide to cancel your scores at the test center, you will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a $100 fee. After that, scores will not be retrievable.

To get the most out of this new feature, we recommend that you:

Know what score you're willing to accept so that when asked whether you wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.
Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.

Analytical Writing Assessment scores are unaffected by the change. They are not included on unofficial score

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Some UK Business Schools Reject the TOEFL

An article on the site Poets & Quants reports that a number of UK business schools no longer accept the TOEFL exam as evidence of ability in English for overseas students. This follows the discovery of fraud connected with the exam earlier this year. The Judge School at Cambridge, the Durham University Business School, and London’s Cass Business School have stopped accepting the TOEFL from overseas students who need student visas in order to study in the UK.

The government suspended ETS, the company responsible for the TOEFL after fraud was found in connection with the TOEIC exam, also administered by the company. Since the TOEFL exam was not directly connected with the uncovered fraud, a number of schools will continue to accept the TOEFL – Oxford, Warwick, Henley, and LBS. LBS reported that they will continue to accept the TOEFL together with other exams, and that they use various methods to evaluate the candidate’s command of English (interviews are conducted in English and candidates are sometimes administered an English phone exam.)

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

MIT Posted Deadlines and Essays for 2015

MIT Sloan posted the essay questions and deadlines for its MBA program starting in 2015:

We are interested in learning more about you. In each of the essays, please describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did. Please draw upon experiences which have occurred in the past three years.

Essay 1:
The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Discuss how you will contribute toward advancing the mission based on examples of past work and activities. (500 words or fewer)

Essay 2:
Write a professional letter of recommendation on behalf of yourself. Answer the following questions as if you were your most recent supervisor recommending yourself for admission to the MIT Sloan MBA Program: (750 words or fewer)

• How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
• How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
• Please give an example of the applicant's impact on a person, group, or organization.
• Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
• Which of the applicant's personal or professional characteristics would you change?
• Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.

Optional Information
The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format. If you choose to use a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us the URL.

Round 1 - 9/23/14
Round 2 - 1/8/15

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Monday, June 23, 2014

2015 Duke Essay Questions and Deadlines

Duke published essay questions and deadlines for its MBA program beginning in 2015:

Three short answer questions and 2 essays are required from all applicants.

• Responses should use 1.5 line spacing and a font size no smaller than 10-point.
• Respond fully and concisely.
• Responses must be completed before submitting your application.
• Prepare your responses carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your answers important in the selection process.
• All essays are scanned using plagiarism detection software. Plagiarism is considered a cheating violation within the Honor Code and will not be tolerated in the admissions process.

Required Short Answer Questions
Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
2. What are your long-term goals?
3. Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize what alternative directions have you considered? 

First Required Essay

Instructions: Answer the following question — present your response in list form, numbered 1 to 25. Some points may be only a few words, while others may be longer. Your complete list should not exceed 2 pages.

1. The "Team Fuqua" spirit and community is one of the things that sets The Duke MBA experience apart, and it is a concept that extends beyond the student body to include faculty, staff, and administration. When a new person joins the Admissions team, we ask that person to share with everyone in the office a list of "25 Random Things About Yourself." As an Admissions team, we already know the new hire's professional and academic background, so learning these "25 Random Things" helps us get to know someone's personality, background, special talents, and more.

In this spirit, the Admissions Committee also wants to get to know you–beyond the professional and academic achievements listed in your resume and transcript. You can share with us important life experiences, your likes/dislikes, hobbies, achievements, fun facts, or anything that helps us understand what makes you who you are. Share with us your list of "25 Random Things" about YOU.

Second Required Essay (choose 1 of 2)
Instructions: Choose only 1 of the following 2 essay questions to answer. Your response should be no more than 2 pages in length.

1. When asked by your family, friends, and colleagues why you want to go to Duke, what do you tell them? Share the reasons that are most meaningful to you.

2. The Team Fuqua community is as unique as the individuals who comprise it. Underlying our individuality are a number of shared ideas and principles that we live out in our own ways. Our students have identified and defined 6 “Team Fuqua Principles” that we feel are the guiding philosophies that make our community special. At the end of your 2 years at Fuqua, if you were to receive an award for exemplifying one of the 6 Principles listed below, which one would it be and why? Your response should reflect the research you have done, your knowledge of Fuqua and the Daytime MBA program and experience, and the types of activities and leadership you would engage in as a Fuqua student.

• Authentic Engagement: We care and we take action. We each make a difference to Team Fuqua by being ourselves and engaging in and supporting activities about which we are passionate.
• Supportive Ambition: We support each other to achieve great things, because your success is my success. The success of each individual member of Team Fuqua makes the whole of Team Fuqua better.
• Collective Diversity: We embrace all of our classmates because our individuality is better and stronger together.
• Impactful Stewardship: We are leaders who focus on solutions to improve our communities both now and in the future. We aren’t satisfied with just maintaining the status quo.
• Loyal Community: We are a family who looks out for each other. Team Fuqua supports you when you need it the most. 
• Uncompromising Integrity: We internalize and live the honor code in the classroom and beyond. We conduct ourselves with integrity within Fuqua, within Duke, and within all communities of which we are a part. 

Optional Essay
If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them in an optional essay (e.g. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, or any significant weakness in your application).

• Do NOT upload additional essays nor additional recommendations in this area of the application.
• The Optional Essay is intended to provide the Admissions Committee with insight into your extenuating circumstances only.
• Limit your response to two pages.


Early Action – 9/17/14
Round 1 – 10/20/14
Round 2 – 1/5/15
Round 3 – 3/19/15

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Increase in Applications to Top U.S. MBA Programs

An article published by the Wall Street Journal reports an increase in the number of applications to the top U.S. MBA programs from last year. The data show that Harvard recorded a relatively high 9,543 applications to its MBA program beginning in 2014, an increase of 2.4% since last year. Berkeley listed an increase of 3.7% and Duke showed a significant increase of 9.6% in its number of applications.

The increase in applications is explained by a number of factors. First, the improvement in the economy gives applicants the confidence that they will succeed in finding a job upon graduation. Second, schools are investing effort in marketing to and recruiting candidates from around the world. This  combined with a slightly easier application process in recent years lead to an increase in applicants. For example, UNC efforts to recruit international applicants and emphasizes to them the school’s exceptional employment data for its international students. The school showed an increase of 44% in the number of applications from outside the U.S., which accounted for more than half of its overall applications and contributed to an overall increase of 28% in applications. There are a number of schools that did not report an increase- Darden and Yale showed decreases in the number of applications for this year.

It is important to note that while a higher number of applications is flattering to a school and helps it appear more selective, it also makes it harder for the program to predict which of the accepted applicants will actually matriculate. This affects the school’s yield data, critical to a school’s prestige. A number of programs aim to solve this problem by offering scholarships to accepted candidates.

In addition to recruitment efforts, MBA programs have been making the application process simpler, requiring less essays and recommendations.

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Some Top MBA Programs Moving to Common Recommendations

An article on the site Poets & Quants reports that due to the suspicion that MBA candidates often write their own recommendations, a number of top U.S. business schools plan to use a joint recommendation system with the intention to decrease the burden on recommenders and enable them to write their own sincere recommendations about the applicants. The schools behind the movement are Columbia, Wharton, Yale, Darden, Chicago, and Kellogg.

Last year a survey was published that found that 38% of MBA candidates were asked by recommenders to write or formulate their own recommendations, and some say the numbers are even higher. Candidates who apply to many programs find it difficult to expect recommenders to write so many recommendations. These findings surprised business schools, that until then had believed they were receiving real and honest recommendations, and therefore they proposed the new system that will allow recommenders to invest more thought in recommendation writing and candidates to apply to more programs in less time.

Although Harvard and Stanford reported that they will not participate in this group process, they published two identical recommendation questions early this year, and it seems the other schools will adopt these same questions (Wharton already publicized that they will use these questions.):

How do the candidate’s performance, potential, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)

Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicants. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Economist Ranks MBA Programs for GMAT Scores

Recent years have shown an increase in the average GMAT scores for students at the top MBA programs. This trend stems from tougher competition; candidates are investing more effort in preparing for the exam.  Schools also prefer to accept candidates with higher scores since a higher average enhances their rankings.

The Economist published a ranking of the top 10 MBA programs in terms of average GMAT scores among students:

1. Stanford – 729
2. Harvard – 724
3. Yale – 723
4. Chicago – 723
5. NYU – 721
6. Wharton – 718
7. Tuck – 717
8. Berkeley – 715
9. Columbia – 715
10. MIT - 712

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Businesst (applying in more than a year)

2015 Berkeley Essay Questions and Deadlines

Berkeley published the essay questions and deadlines for their MBA program beginning in 2015:
At Berkeley-Haas, our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles — Question the Status Quo; Confidence Without Attitude; Students Always; and Beyond yourself. We seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Please use the following essays as an opportunity to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.(Learn more about Berkeley-Haas' Defining Principles).

1. Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. How did this transform you? (400-500 word maximum)

2. What is your most significant professional accomplishment? (200-300 word maximum)

3. What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization? In your response, please specifically address sub-questions a., b., and c.
  a. How is your background compelling to this company?
  b. What is something you would do better for this company than any other employee?
  c. Why is an MBA necessary and how will Haas specifically help you succeed at this company?
(500-600 word maximum for 3a, 3b, and 3c combined)

Supplemental Information:

1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.

2. List in order of importance all community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each organization or activity using the format below:

• Name of organization or activity
• Nature of organization or activity
• Size of organization
• Dates of involvement
• Offices held
• Average number of hours spent per month

3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies, indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.

4. Please explain all gaps in your employment since earning your university degree.

5. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A. (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission.)

Optional Essays:

1. (Optional) Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven't addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)

2. (Optional) If not clearly evident, please discuss ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities, or plan to strengthen quantitative abilities. You do not need to list courses that appear on your transcript. (250 word maximum)

Round 1 – 10/1/14
Round 2 – 1/7/15
Round 3 – 3/11/15

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wharton Published Updated Essays and Deadlines

Wharton published essay questions and deadlines for its MBA program beginning in 2015 with just one required essay, following the recent trend among top programs of decreasing essays.

1. (Required) What do you hope to gain both personally and professionally from the Wharton MBA? (500 words)

2. (Optional) Please use the space below to highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy. (400 words)

Additional Question for Reapplicants:
All reapplicants to Wharton are required to complete the Optional Essay. Explain how you have reflected on the previous decision about your application, and discuss any updates to your candidacy (e.g., changes in your professional life, additional coursework, extracurricular/volunteer engagements). You may also use this section to address any extenuating circumstances. (250 words)

Round 1 – 10/1/14
Round 2 – 1/5/15
Round 3 – 3/26/15

Put Me in Business (applying in less than a year)
Put Me in Business (applying in more than a year)