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Are You Truly Ready for an MBA? 4 Things to Consider before Starting GMAT Prep

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Read time: 4 minutes

We speak to a lot of prospective MBA students who want to apply to business school, and are checking out their GMAT prep options.

For the most part, they’re looking for practical information, like what kinds of GMAT courses we offer, how much we can help boost their scores, scheduling options, special discounts, etc.

But every once in a while, we get calls from people who seem far less certain about their next move.

For example, when we ask which business schools they’re planning to apply to, they say they haven’t really investigated their options.

And when we ask about when they’re thinking of applying to MBA programs, it turns out they haven’t thought about a start date either.

The MBA is still a hazy, far-off dream—something they feel they should be aiming for, but haven’t fully committed to pursuing.

At this point, the conversation takes a different turn. We usually suggest putting off GMAT prep for now, until the business school plan becomes more focussed.

Studying for the GMAT, and successfully challenging the exam, is no small feat. It takes dedication, perseverance, time, and money. If you’re ambivalent about an MBA, is this something you should be investing in, right now?

In this post, we break down 4 clear signs that you’re truly serious about, and ready to pursue an MBA. Take a moment to consider whether you’re thinking along these same lines.

1.  You want more respect, responsibility & advancement options at work

Feeling “stuck” in your current professional position? Aren’t eligible for promotion without an advanced degree? Want to switch fields, but don’t have the training it takes to make a new start?

These are some of the most common reasons people reach for an MBA. They’re looking to bolster their resume and professional persona with cutting-edge skills, greater confidence, and globally recognized credentials.

A master in business administration is the first step toward more respect, authority, and opportunities at work.

If you want this badly enough, you’ll have the fuel it takes to power through GMAT prep, the admission process, and of course, the rigors of an MBA.

2. You’re passionate about starting a career in business

Always envisioned yourself becoming a business leader? Dream of starting your own company? Feel most at home when you’re connecting with like-minded, ambitious professionals?

Successful business people come from all walks of life, and every corner of the planet.

Some are creative visionaries; others are analytical problem-solvers. Some come from quant backgrounds; others were humanities majors.

But what all serious MBA applicants have in common is their passion for the unpredictable, dynamic, opportunity-rich world of business.

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Committed MBA applicants are determined to fulfill their potential as business leaders & change-makers

Even if you’re not certain what specific field you’re aiming for—marketing, finance, sales, accounting, entrepreneurship, not-for-profit—a strong affinity for business management makes you a good candidate for an MBA.

Business school is where you’ll finally find your “tribe”; individuals who are truly passionate about fulfilling their potential as leaders.

3.  You understand the commitment required to earn an MBA

Earning an MBA is a serious undertaking. Perhaps you’ll be studying while you work, and fitting courses in on evenings and weekends.

Or, maybe you’ll go full tilt with an accelerated MBA, and earn your degree in just one year.

Whether it takes you 12 months or 5 years, this journey requires total commitment, and very hard work.

On the plus side, you’ll get tremendous energy from the people you meet, the projects you tackle, the professors you admire, and the new confidence you feel.

Not to mention, the career opportunities and job offers that materialize for some MBA students before they’ve even graduated!

But rest assured, earning an MBA will involve making some sacrifices, which will impact your social life, partner, kids, family, etc.

Have you talked things over with those closest to you, and thought about how you’ll manage the increased workload?

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Many MBA students juggle school, work, and family. Consider how you’ll manage a busier workload.

4. You’re investigating prospective MBA programs & admissions requirements

Serious MBA applicants already have a target school in mind, or are busy narrowing down their options, by investigating prospective schools.

They’re attending information sessions, setting up advising appointments, and determining their eligibility for different MBA programs.

They have a timeline sketched out for completing the degree, and are looking into upcoming start dates for their top schools.

In short, there is a working plan in place, and the application checklist is taking shape.

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Meet with an admission advisor to discuss your eligibility for an MBA & application requirements

Is this about where you’re at? Let’s do a quick re-cap. You’re ready for the next step if you:

  • have identified a clear need for an MBA
  • feel passionate about pursuing the degree
  • understand the required commitment
  • are actively formulating an admissions action plan

OK! Now you’re ready for GMAT prep.

At this point, it definitely makes sense to look into a GMAT course, or start organizing your self-study plan.

A competitive GMAT score is a key component of your MBA application package—so it’s worth putting in the time, and aiming high.

Looking for your next step? We strongly recommend attending a free GMAT information session, or taking a mock exam to gauge your baseline quant and verbal score.

Click below to find links to these, and several other, free GMAT classes. Or, just give us a call, and we’ll find a GMAT prep program that fits your needs. We’re here to help!


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