How Long Does It Take to Apply for an MBA?
The amount of time you should set aside to work on your applications really depends on you. Here are the questions you should answer to help you decide when to start on your applications:
- How much time do you have in your schedule?
- How difficult is it for you to write essays?
- How focused and motivated are you as an MBA applicant?
On average, it takes most MBA applicants three to four months to submit several MBA applications. Since individual is unique, however, you should plan to spend between 40 and 60 hours to complete between four and eight applications. If English is not your first language, you should plan on extra time, particularly when it comes to anything essay related. While you won't have much time to slack off, this is a realistic timeline.
What You Need to Know In Order to Map Out Your MBA Timeline
In order to structure your MBA application prep time wisely, you need to know what your work style is. Some people work best by dividing big tasks into up into smaller tasks, while others are capable of working for several hours non-stop. This is why MBA application scheduling is not one-size-fits-all and needs to be customized to your own individual needs.
What everyone should avoid, however, is saving everything until the week before the applications are due -- even if you've decided to take off work that week. Why? Writing a good MBA application requires you to do some soul searching, and self discovery usually can't happen within the confines of one week.
Planning Your GMAT Study Time
The amount of GMAT study time you need to set aside depends on where you are in the GMAT study process. If you haven't taken the GMAT yet, you should allot at least 100 hours for GMAT study. While it sounds like a lot, that's the average amount of time MBA applicants spend on the GMAT. Depending on where you are in the GMAT study process, you may also want to budget time for GMAT prep courses and retaking the GMAT.
Planning Your MBA Essay Time
Essays take time. That's why you should plan to write them when you can dedicate a few hours to them, instead of just a few minutes. Rushed written probably won't result in the polished, thoughtful essay you're looking to create.
Marathon writing sessions are also a bad idea. It's hard to remain alert and productive if you've been sitting in front of the computer for eight hours straight. If you need to catch up on the essay writing process, divide your time up by working in the morning and evening instead of doing everything all at once.