Follow these steps below to prepare for your online MBA degree.
1. Make sure an online MBA is right for you
Are you motivated enough to learn online? Are you comfortable taking classes online? Do you have enough time to dedicate to the studies? The general rule of thumb is to allocate at least 2-3 hours of study time per course. How many courses can you take a semester? Are you also working? Be honest with yourself and understand your limits before seriously pursuing an online MBA.
2. Take the GMAT
The Graduate Management Admission Test is required in order to begin an online MBA program. This computer adaptive test is intended to assess your analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English. You can take the test up to five times a year, but your attempts must be at least 16 days apart. The test takes just over three hours. Your score will be between 200-800 in an increment of ten, and knowing what score you need for your school is the first step to your success.
3. Research Your Online MBA Schools
You only want to apply to an online school when you know it’s the right online school for you! Of course, you’re looking for an online school, but the quality of online schools is going to vastly differ. Ask yourself some questions to make sure the degree is right for you:
1. How much is it?
2. What GMAT score is needed?
3. How do they rank amongst other online schools?
4. What experiences have previous students had?
5. How are their reviews?
6. What are their online classes like?
7. How involved is the faculty?
4. Narrow down your school selection and doing research
After figuring out what schools you like, you’ll want to narrow it down to the schools you’re going to actually apply to and do extensive research on those schools. Figure out the application fee, the deadline, what documents you have to submit, and how those documents are submitted. Keep good track of each of these things. Remember to tailor each of your documents to the each school by changing any specific information related to addresses/school names.
5. Get your application materials ready
This process will take time! Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get together all of your materials! You’ll need to consider things like who your recommenders are going to be and you’ll want to contact them. When contacting them to ask for a letter of recommendation, make sure to outline the qualities of yours that you want them to highlight, especially as they line up with what the schools you selected look for. Keep separate folders for each school you apply to in order to make your life easier, and save all of your documents to the each specific school’s folder. Make sure you fill up any gaps in your resumes, construct a well-developed cover letter, and understand any of your own philosophies so you can develop answers as needed for each individual school.
6. Revise, revise, revise, and apply!
Once your application materials are finished, you’ll want to revise them to make sure they are perfect. Consider getting others to overlook them; many hire professional reviewers to give their materials the extra touches they need. Once you are finished, apply! Remember, online MBA programs often require application fees, so make sure to account for that.