B-School Chart of the Week: Which Part of the MBA Application Process Is Hardest?

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. Each week, we bring you a chart to help you decide which of the schools’ strengths speak to you.

We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. Now the results are in, and for those who are curious about their fellow applicants’ views on business school, we will be sharing some of the collected data in our B-School Chart of the Week blog series.

One question we posed this year was “Which do you think is/will be the hardest part of the MBA application process?” Not surprisingly to us here at mbaMission, “essays” was the most common response, with 41.0% of survey participants indicating that this written component of the application would be the most challenging. However, this percentage was significantly lower than the 59.0% we saw last season when we asked this same question. The GMAT again stood out as the second most difficult application element, according to our respondents, 35.9% of whom selected it as their primary concern. This percentage was notably higher than the 19.4% we saw last year for this response. The remainder of our applicant responders noted that they expected to encounter difficulty with their recommendations (10.2%), choosing which schools to target (5.0%), interviewing (5.0%), and the short-answer portion of the application (2.5%).

Chart Screenshot

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2020–2021 MBA Essay Analysis

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