T Nation

Applying for MBA Programs

Don’t know how much feedback I’ll get on this but there’s a lot of people here so I’ll give it a shot.

I am probably going to get my MBA at nights while I continue to work but I have a couple of questions if anyone has gone through the application process or even better have their MBA.

  1. How much working knowledge of business is needed for the GMATs?

  2. It has been a couple of years since I have taken my last math class and I ended at precalc (didn’t need anything more difficult). Should I go take some more advanced math classes at a community college or some business math classes to brush up? If so what ones specifically?

  3. What’s the best preparation strategy for the GMATs? Books, software, taking econ or business classes at a local CC?

Thanks for any help in advance.

Also any additional info will be greatly appreciated.

  1. None

  2. Not necessary (see below)

  3. Books worked best for me. I always used Princeton Review for any type of test I took (SAT, ACT, GMAT). They have great information, give you some inside tips, and the whole book isn’t filled with practice tests. Solid information that can really help you. Most books come with a CD with practice questions and tests, so that is helpful.

In relation to question 2, all the math you need to know is in the books and software you choose to study with.

Taking prep classes are pretty expensive. I’ve seen them range anywhere from $500-$1200, and also pretty expensive for a private tutor.

Also, if you haven’t already, brush up on your essay writing skills. There will be two questions (usually the first part of the test) that you will need to do.

You get your verbal and math score immediately after the test (within 30 seconds on the computer screen) and your official scores come a few weeks later with your essay writing score on it (0-6 point scale, with 0.5 point increments)

Hope this helps.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:

  1. None

  2. Not necessary (see below)

  3. Books worked best for me. I always used Princeton Review for any type of test I took (SAT, ACT, GMAT). They have great information, give you some inside tips, and the whole book isn’t filled with practice tests. Solid information that can really help you. Most books come with a CD with practice questions and tests, so that is helpful.

In relation to question 2, all the math you need to know is in the books and software you choose to study with.

Taking prep classes are pretty expensive. I’ve seen them range anywhere from $500-$1200, and also pretty expensive for a private tutor.

Also, if you haven’t already, brush up on your essay writing skills. There will be two questions (usually the first part of the test) that you will need to do.

You get your verbal and math score immediately after the test (within 30 seconds on the computer screen) and your official scores come a few weeks later with your essay writing score on it (0-6 point scale, with 0.5 point increments)

Hope this helps.[/quote]

Thanks

So the scoring is just like the GRE by the sound of it

It’s been 20 years since I took them, but tomoney is on the money…I hadn’t had any math classes in like 5 years before taking them and bombed that part…I got turned down to my first choice school and asked to speak with the admissions board…I met with them and explained about the poor math skills and they let me in, but I had to agree to take Calculus my first semester…so…if you fuck up on the test make sure to keep pushing to get in.

tmoney1 pretty much nailed it. The only thing I would add is to contact your testing facility now and ask about the format. When I took it (about 8 years ago) you couldn’t go back to questions.

This screwed me up since I’ve always scanned tests first and answered questions that jumped out at me, couldn’t do that here.

The other thing I’d say for the math is use the prep tests as mentioned (local library should have a bunch of different ones). If the math is easy then don’t worry about it, just practice, but if it’s too difficult take a course or get a tudor.

Good luck.

Just consider if putting in the effort of getting an MBA is worth the amount of money to be made. If getting this advanced degree will only make you an extra 5-10k per year, you might want to rethink it.

People want MBA quality, but want to pay you as if you want a GED. I swear I have never seen such devious shady behavior by employers ever in my life.

Also…how good of a student were you? If you were a dunderhead in high school and undergrad, you’re probably going to be a dunderhead in Business School…not saying you won’t be able to do it…just suggesting you scratch Wharton off your list of schools to apply for if you got your undergrad from East Fort Wayne Univ…and if that’s the case…you don’t really need to sweat the test too much.

[quote]sen say wrote:
…just suggesting you scratch Wharton off your list of schools to apply for if you got your undergrad from East Fort Wayne Univ…and if that’s the case…you don’t really need to sweat the test too much.[/quote]

That brings up a good point. Think of the schools you want to attend and find out their min/avg scores for the past few years. Make sure you’re in the ball park with the sample tests.

As for the content of an MBA, the experiences of my coworkers and myself is that MBA’s are not so much difficult, but they are training you to work under pressure by giving you unrealistic time lines to get things done.

[quote]sen say wrote:
Also…how good of a student were you? If you were a dunderhead in high school and undergrad, you’re probably going to be a dunderhead in Business School…not saying you won’t be able to do it…just suggesting you scratch Wharton off your list of schools to apply for if you got your undergrad from East Fort Wayne Univ…and if that’s the case…you don’t really need to sweat the test too much.[/quote]

LOL you had me laughing here at work… haven’t seen dunderhead used in a loooong time!

  1. Zero

  2. As you enter your MBA, you may want to have some calc backround to help in some econ classes, but that’s it. If you dont, you can still probably get by. If you feel like you need to take classes to brush up before entering an MBA program, take accounting, stats, and econ. However, you won’t NEED these for the GMAT. Remember, your getting an MBA, not a Masters in Mathematics. My MBA is a finance concentration and even there, I needed little more than a good knowledge of Algebra and statistics. If I didn’t know it going into the program, I was forced to learn it…fast.

  3. I used a book from Kaplans. The GMAT is pretty much everything you learned or were supposed to learn in High school. Quantitative, verbal, and analytic. Get a book, read through the problems, find out how the GMAT is scored, and take the practice exams. DON’T CRAM for it. Take 30 minutes to an hour every night for a couple weeks and you should be set. I found the practice exams most valuable to me.

[quote]AssOnGrass wrote:
Don’t know how much feedback I’ll get on this but there’s a lot of people here so I’ll give it a shot.

I am probably going to get my MBA at nights while I continue to work but I have a couple of questions if anyone has gone through the application process or even better have their MBA.

  1. How much working knowledge of business is needed for the GMATs?

  2. It has been a couple of years since I have taken my last math class and I ended at precalc (didn’t need anything more difficult). Should I go take some more advanced math classes at a community college or some business math classes to brush up? If so what ones specifically?

  3. What’s the best preparation strategy for the GMATs? Books, software, taking econ or business classes at a local CC?

Thanks for any help in advance.

Also any additional info will be greatly appreciated.[/quote]

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Just consider if putting in the effort of getting an MBA is worth the amount of money to be made. If getting this advanced degree will only make you an extra 5-10k per year, you might want to rethink it.

People want MBA quality, but want to pay you as if you want a GED. I swear I have never seen such devious shady behavior by employers ever in my life. [/quote]

This is a pretty limited perspective. I remember people telling me that my MBA wouldn’t change anything in my career. I got my MBA anyway, and I’m making MBA money. Everyone in my group has at least an MBA or equivalent degree, except for the admin asst.

An MBA, by itself, doesn’t guarantee success, nor is one necessary for success in business. But, there are certain doors that cannot be opened without an MBA, just as there are doors that can’t be opened without a BA/BS/PhD/GED/CFA/CPA etc.

DB

Thanks for the input everyone

I did well in my undergrad so I know it wont be a problem getting into a program. I was just looking for advice on streamlining the process.

I am not looking to get an MBA in hopes of “landing a better job” but as a way to grow professionally and network. Earn “X” amount more per year isn’t my goal. It is my ultimate goal to use my skills to excel in whatever I choose to venture into. Whether it’s opening my own business (fitness related most likely) or working in a corporate headquarter I am confident I’ll do well but I feel I still lack many of the tools that could accelerate this process greatly. The money will follow.

I know it sounds like my admissions essay so I’ll stop now.

[quote]AssOnGrass wrote:
2) It has been a couple of years since I have taken my last math class and I ended at precalc (didn’t need anything more difficult). Should I go take some more advanced math classes at a community college or some business math classes to brush up? If so what ones specifically?
[/quote]

The only thing you may want to look into are the requirements at the schools themselves. You’ll be fine for the GMAT without it, however I know all of the schools I’ve looked into in the US have a requirement where you must prove you have a certain level of math knowledge through courses you’ve taken or “other quantitative measures”. I’ve found that these schools just require you have it by the time you begin your program though, so once you’ve been accepted you can speak to them about your best course of action.

My program had like 5 or 6 CORE courses that if you had taken them in Undergrad you didn’t have to take at the Graduate level…these were basic business classes…I was an English major so hadn’t taken any of these classes…some other people I talked to had taken the classes at community college and they still counted towards the degree…not sure if this will be the case at the school you’re looking into, but you could save a few thousand by taking accounting 101 at the community college.

On the other hand…I think I learned more from the classes than I would have and they were more geared towards later work in the program…

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
MaximusB wrote:
Just consider if putting in the effort of getting an MBA is worth the amount of money to be made. If getting this advanced degree will only make you an extra 5-10k per year, you might want to rethink it.

People want MBA quality, but want to pay you as if you want a GED. I swear I have never seen such devious shady behavior by employers ever in my life.

This is a pretty limited perspective. I remember people telling me that my MBA wouldn’t change anything in my career. I got my MBA anyway, and I’m making MBA money. Everyone in my group has at least an MBA or equivalent degree, except for the admin asst.

An MBA, by itself, doesn’t guarantee success, nor is one necessary for success in business. But, there are certain doors that cannot be opened without an MBA, just as there are doors that can’t be opened without a BA/BS/PhD/GED/CFA/CPA etc.

DB[/quote]

DB, do you have your CFA? Do you mind me asking what area of finance you work in?

Thanks,

Revo