Through this video, you can learn how to effectively manage the timelines during the MBA Applications process. The guidance you will receive by watching this video will enable you to maximize productivity during the MBA Applications process.

How to Manage MBA Application Timelines

MBA application timelines are exacting and difficult to manage; it takes careful planning and attention to detail to be able to navigate these timelines. Many applicants find the timelines quite opaque but with a little forethought they can easily be managed. In this article, we will cover the different intakes, application cycles, common mistakes, and correct approach for MBA application timelines.

The Different MBA Intake Timelines

Fall MBA Intake Timeline

MBA Programs that have a fall intake usually begin in August or September; this is the most popular intake with the world's top 100 schools, by far, as ninety percent of them have fall intakes.

Spring MBA Intake Timelines

Comparatively far fewer MBA programs have spring intakes; only 15% of the world's top 100 schools have it. MBA Programs with spring intakes usually begin between January and March. Roughly 5 percent of the world's top 100 MBA programs have both fall and spring intakes.

Summer MBA Intake Timelines

MBA Programs that have a summer intake begin between April and June. Only a very small amount of the world's top 100 schools have summer intakes, only 5 percent. Summer intakes are mainly an Asian concept, applied in schools such as ISB and the Executive MBAs at IIMs (April), as well as the Singaporean programs NUS and NBS (June). Some peculiar western programs, such as the 18-month program conducted by TAMU; it runs from June to December.

MBA Application Cycle Timelines

We will now cover the application cycles themselves; having a clear picture of exactly when each schools cycle will begin and end is, naturally, vital to navigating the application timelines; you must make sure to look up and make a clear note of the application beginning and end dates, as soon as you have shortlisted the schools you wish to apply to.

Fall MBA Intake Timeline

Most schools have 2 to 4 application cycles. Programs that have a fall intake have the first round of their application cycles between September and December, with a high concentration of deadlines falling in October. The second round falls between December and February, with the majority of deadlines in January, and the third round falls between February and MAY, with most deadlines falling in March. At this point, it should be noted the virtually every MBA admissions consultant will advise international candidates to avoid applying in the third round, as it is far from ideal for them.

Spring MBA Intake Timeline

For programs that have a spring intake, the first round of applications runs from March to May, the second round runs from June to August, and the third round runs from September to November. Once again, it must be said that the third round is a poor time for international candidates to apply.

Another important point that must be raised here is regarding the Early Decision Round. Some schools have an additional application cycle in the timeline, before the first round of applications. What sets this application cycle apart is that it has a binding admission plan; this means that if you receive an admit in the early decision round, you must accept the offer and withdraw any other application that you may have submitted. This is why admissions consultants who are familiar with MBA applications will advise you to only apply in the early decision round if you are completely sure that you wish to attend that particular school.

Common Mistakes in Managing MBA Application Timelines

The biggest mistake that applicants make while organizing their application timelines is planning overoptimistically. The entire application process is highly creative and subjective and can easily take much longer than planned; so, it is a good idea to include some buffer time in your plans.

Another poor practice that many applicants follow is splitting applications between rounds. One should always apply to get admits, the practice that premium MBA admission consultants suggest is to have a portfolio of schools that includes dream schools, practical schools, and one safe school and apply to all the schools together. Doing so will ensure that all of your interview calls and final results will come in at the same time so you will be able to easily compare your options and make an informed decision. It is also important to understand that the chances of securing an admit are always a touch higher in the earlier rounds; this means that it is unwise to submit some applications later.

A third mistake that the MBA admissions experts hear applicants bring up in discussion is the erroneous idea that it is better to compromise on your GMAT score and the quality of your essays in order to apply early. While applying early does offer a slight advantage, that advantage is not enough to offset the harm incurred by a low GMAT score or substandard essays.

Finally, there is the question of what attitude you approach the application process with. Consultants with experience working with MBA applicants have found that the application process can be a very positive experience if undertaken with the right mindset. You should not consider the applications to be an obstacle to be overcome but rather an experience that can yield valuable opportunities. This is a point in your career where you can retrospect over your entire life and career, as well as your plans for the future and write everything down in a very organized way.

The Correct Approach

Now we shall cover the correct approach employ for each intake. Remember that in every case, the earlier you begin the better. Let us begin with:

Fall MBA Intake Timeline

Spring MBA Intake Timeline

You may have noticed that there are no Plan Cs, targeting the third round of applications, for either of the two intakes; this is because, as mentioned earlier, your chances of securing an admit will be quite low if you apply so late in the timeline.

With the information presented in this article you will be able to easily understand the MBA application timelines and plan your admissions process, accordingly. For more useful information on the MBA application process please see the other articles prepared by Experts’ Global’s MBA admissions consultancy team.

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