We’re going back to the basics this time to answer two frequently asked queries that we get related to international MBA admissions requirements:
1. “What are the eligibility requirements for an MBA abroad?”
2. “What are the entrance exams for overseas MBA colleges?”
Foreign MBA requirements are quite different from Indian MBA programs. However, for all the diversity in MBA entrance exams that we see in India, when it comes to international MBA programs there’s a lot of similarity – irrespective of the country that you are targeting.
MBA abroad requirements and eligibility
Applications are evaluated by a team called the MBA Admissions Committee. Here’s what they look at before deciding whether to admit you into their elite class.
Academic requirements for MBA
The first and foremost eligibility requirement is to have completed a basic bachelors level graduation degree. This could be an engineering degree (B.E, B.Tech), B.Sc, B.Com, B.A. or in any other discipline. A Masters or doctoral (PhD) degree is also fine. Many who’ve gone abroad for a Masters work for a few years and then take up an MBA after MS.
A full-time degree from a reputed university is preferred. However, some MBA colleges may also accept correspondence and distance education.
The primary evidence that you’ll submit to prove your credentials are your academic transcripts. These include semester-wise marks for each subject that was covered in your degree.
Here are some perspectives on managing low academic grades (GPA) in MBA applications.
Work experience requirements
Unlike a 2-year MBA in India, MBA colleges abroad expect students to have had substantial exposure to the working world. Here’s why work experience is important for MBA abroad.
In fact, they’d expect not only technical skills (that are easier to gain in junior roles), but also managerial skills (like team leading, planning, coordination). This allows the graduates of foreign MBA colleges to get mid and senior management level jobs that pay high salaries.
Here’s the average MBA starting salary in USA, India.
Some top MBA schools are willing to look at exceptional applicants who don’t have any experience, but this is rare. Read this post – Top MBA in USA without work experience for freshers.
MBA application requirements and procedure
If you were expecting a simple one page MBA application, you’d be in for a shock. MBA applications are more elaborate and time-consuming than job applications. They require a lot of introspection and preparation before you start filling in the application.
The MBA application form consists of the following main sections:
This is the easiest part where you fill in the objective data about yourself – Name, age, bio-data, experience (many may ask for a separate resume as well), overall academic grades (the transcripts will have the details and the breakup), entrance test scores, languages known etc.
Some forms may ask you to fill the GPA, though you’ve got a percentage. This should help – GPA calculators for Indian Percentage to GPA conversion.
Writing MBA Essays
The MBA application will include several questions (ranging from 1 to 10+) focussing on what you’ve done in your career so far, why are you thinking about an MBA at this stage, your post MBA career goals, your strengths and weaknesses, and other questions that allow the Admissions Committee to see you as a real person and not a bunch of statistics.
There may be a word-limit (usually 200-400 words) or it may be open-ended. Here are some tips to write MBA essays.
Apart from all that you’ve shared, Adcoms also want to know what those you’ve worked with think of you. They ask for 2 (or 3) recommendations from supervisors, managers or colleagues who’ve known you well professionally and can talk about various aspects about your skills and potential.
Every bschool has its own recommendation formats. Which means you can’t have a single letter that you email to multiple bschools. It can be a pain in the neck for your recommenders, specially when the number of applications goes up.
The next requirement is to have a good score in the MBA entrance exams. This part gets a lot of attention from MBA applicants and for legit reasons. So, we’ll cover this in the next dedicated section.
This is the ultimate hurdle to cross. However, in most cases, MBA interviews are by invitation only. Adcoms will decide based on all the other submitted material (application, transcripts, test scores, essays, recommendations) whether they should give you the final opportunity to prove your mettle.
Here’s a list of MBA interview questions for the top business schools.
Apart from the questions related to your career and aspirations, you may also get behavioural questions. Here’s what to expect in situational or Behavioral Interviews.
And finally, here are some tips on how to prepare for MBA interviews for free.
Entrance Exams for MBA abroad
There are two kinds of entrance exams for overseas MBA programs. The first category is designed to test your aptitude for business management. The second category is meant to test your comfort level with the English language, as that’ll be the mode of communication in the business school as well as the international corporate & business world.
Business Management Aptitude Exams
The two primary exams are GMAT and GRE. Traditionally GRE was more popular among MS applicants and GMAT was the de facto standard for MBA courses. However, things are changing and many MBA universities have also started accepting GRE scores. Read this post to find out which is better: GRE or GMAT.
If you’ve already applied to MS programs in USA, you may have a GRE score. Here’s how you can convert GRE score to GMAT and get an idea of how competitive you are.
We’ve got a fair bit of GMAT related content on our site. You could kickstart your test prep by referring to these GMAT study resources.
Language Proficiency Exams
There are two popular exams that are accepted by international business schools across the world – TOEFL and IELTS. Both of them are similar in the sense that they cover reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Unlike the aptitude exams (GMAT, GRE) which are completely automated, for certain English proficiency sections (like speaking) you’d be interacting with a human being.
If you are just starting out, bookmark this page: Tips to crack into the best MBA colleges in the world.
Over the years, with our professional MBA application counselling services, we’ve helped many applicants just like you crack into the best schools and often with scholarships.
If you’d like to get an edge over the other MBA applicants, send us an email – info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.
MBA Abroad requirements & eligibility