How MBA Admissions Works

Skyline College students talk to a recruiter during a job fair in San Bruno, Calif. How can you stand out to MBA programs? See more college pictures.
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Since 2005, administration of the GMAT, the standardized test for graduate business school admission, has steadily increased, and in 2007-2008, the number of times the test was administered reached an all-time high [source: VanderMey]. In the 2006-2007 academic year, more than 150,000 Americans earned MBA degrees [source: Boston Globe].

An MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is a degree for people who want to enter the business world. In an MBA program, you'll take classes such as marketing, accounting, management and human resources. Once you've earned your degree, you'll have obtained all the skills you'll need to enter the business world at the management level.

With the levels of competition for admission to MBA programs mounting, you'll want to make sure that your application stands head and shoulders above the rest. In order to make an excellent impression on admissions committees, you'll need to know how to best present yourself throughout the admissions process.

Before you begin applying to MBA programs, you'll first need to explore more than 1,000 schools worldwide that offer the degree [source: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business]. You can narrow down your choices based on areas of specialization, location or rankings. It might be helpful to consult with your college career center or a contact in the business world to find a program that would be a good fit for you.

Once you've settled on a list of potential schools, you can then begin gathering materials necessary to complete the application process. In order to apply to an MBA program, most schools will require that you send them an application form, essay, GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a curriculum vitae or resume. They'll also want you to visit for an on-campus interview.

In this article, we'll discuss how you should prepare to apply to an MBA program and what's most important about your application. On the next page, we'll take a look at the ins and outs of the GMAT.