What Admission Deadlines Do I Need to Think About When Applying to an MBA?

What Admission Deadlines Do I Need to Think About When Applying to an MBA?

Applying to university is one’s own home country can be a confusing and complex process, but applying to one abroad can be even more complex. In addition to providing US schools with scores from the GRE, GMAT and TOEFL tests, there are other admission deadline requirements that most American college students don’t have to think about. One such requirement is the student visa. If you plan to study abroad, there are dozens of documents you need to get in order if you hope to obtain a visa on time. Applying for a permit isn’t something they teach you in secondary school or even in your undergraduate studies, so most prospective study abroad students have to navigate the process on their own. Fortunately for you, we can help. This post details the many deadlines you need to meet in order to study in the USA, why they’re important, how you can meet them and when you should begin applying for them. Our goal in providing you with this information is to ensure that once summer rolls around, the only thing you will have left to do is pack your bags.

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

    The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an exam designed to test grad school applicants on their analytical, verbal and mathematical abilities. The test is computer-based, user-friendly and challenging. After all, the point is to sort out Master’s programs applicants who are unqualified or ill-equipped to pursue a higher degree. In addition to one cumulative test, this graduate exam also has subject tests. These subject tests help applicants stand out by highlighting their subject knowledge and skill level of a particular area of study. For instance, if you are a literature major, you may benefit from taking the literature subject test and showing potential schools that though you may not have done well on the mathematical portion, you are qualified for the department for which you want to apply. As of right now, subject tests are offered in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, physiology, mathematics and literature. The US does not have a deadline per say for GRE score submissions, and you can choose the date of your test based on what is most convenient for you. That said, applying for a position at a school in a different country takes a bit more time than applying for your local college. Also keep in mind that you may not achieve an ideal score the first time around. You should give yourself plenty of time to retake the test if necessary. Bearing all that in mind, you should take the test at least two months before your first application deadline. This gives you enough time to retake the test a month before the deadline if necessary.   The GRE costs $150 each time you take it. Though you should not psyche yourself out for the test by over studying, you should not enter the exam unprepared. Graduate’s Hotline provides the five best books for studying for the graduate exam and information on which subjects they help you with.

  • The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

    The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is necessary for those who wish to obtain their MBA while abroad. According to the official site of the GMAT exam, nearly nine out of 10 enrollment decisions were made using the exam’s scores. Though this test is the equivalent of the GRE, much like the ACT is the equivalent of the SAT, many business schools prefer applicants submit scores from this graduate test than from the GRE. Now that you understand what this test is, you need to know the ideal time to take it. Like its counterpart, you can take this test at any time. Also like its counterpart, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to do so. The test costs $250 each time you register. That means that if you fail, you must pay another $250 to retake it. If you don’t study, that $250 can add up. Cost aside, know that most test takers fail the test the first time around. Applicants are allowed to retake the test as many times as they would like (or as many times as they can afford), but they must wait at least 16 days between tests, during which they could (and probably should) study for their next sitting. It has been suggested that you take the first exam 32 days before the application deadline, though ideally, we recommend two months. This will give you plenty of time to prepare for and retake the test as many times as you need. As a final note: GMAT scores are good for five years, so you can never take the test “too soon.” However, the more time you give yourself, the better.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is precisely what it sounds like – a standardized test used to assess a person’s understanding of the English language. The exam tests you on your ability to read, write, speak and listen in English, and though you receive a score afterwards, there is no passing or failing. Each school determines what score prospective students must have and accepts applications based on its standards. The test costs $160 to $240 based on an individual’s test location. Students have the opportunity to retake the test as many times as necessary so long as they wait the mandatory 12 days between sittings. You should plan to take the test at least two to three months before the final deadline so as to give the testing agency plenty of time to send your scores out to the institutions to which you applied. You need to register three to four months before the respective test date to make sure that you meet all the requisite deadlines.   Scores are valid for two years. If you plan on studying abroad, your best bet would be to begin studying as soon as you make the decision to go and take the first test as close to the beginning of that two-year period as possible.

  • Student Visa

    Though this is the most essential requirement for studying abroad, it is the last one that you should take care of. Most universities send out admissions letters in March or April. If you applied for early decision, your letter should arrive mid-December. The visa application process takes approximately 60 days to complete, though you should allow time for error. That means that you should begin your student visa application right around the time you receive your admissions letter, but no later than May. In order to apply for your permit to study in the US, you will need a passport. The passport process takes six to eight weeks, unless you pay extra to expedite it, in which case it takes one to two weeks. You also need to fill out an I-20 form from your US school or institution, as well as a DS-160, which is an online form. You must bring both, as well as your passport and the requisite fee, to your nearest US embassy or consulate to present in your interview. Wait times vary for interviews, so you should begin the visa application process as soon as possible. Student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your start date, though you cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the start date. You may be required to show proof of eligibility for an F-1 student visa via transcripts, degrees, diplomas, certificates and test scores, which is another reason that you should not put off taking the GRE, GMAT or TOEFL. The thought of your interview may be overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s not so bad. The interviewer will ask questions that you should know the answers to and that you’ve likely answered dozens of times in your university applications. Questions may regard your study plans, university choice, academic capabilities, financial status and career goals. Your consulate may have questions about your plans to return home upon completion of your degree, which is why you should be prepared to explain how you plan to get back home after obtaining your degree and your motivation for doing so. Motivation may include family, property or a job offer.

  • Available Resources

    SchoolApply is dedicated to helping students apply for and gain admittance to international learning institutions. Moreover, we provide students with the resources they need to prepare for their semester, year or years abroad and to ensure that their time away from home is successful. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to explore different parts of the world, gain insight into other cultures and gain real-world experience. Even just a semester abroad can give one an advantage in a world where Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees are the norm and where experience is just as important as a degree. If you want advice on how you can make the most of your time abroad, reach out to SchoolApply today.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.