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1. Get the EA, GRE, or GMAT out of the way first.

From an admissions perspective, there is no preference for a specific test. When deciding between the EA, GMAT, or GRE, we recommend taking a look at the structure of each and trying some sample questions. It’s possible that one of the formats will align best with your unique skills.

Since your test scores are valid for five years, we suggest focusing on the exam first, then the rest of the application. It is common to take the exam more than once, and we always consider your highest score. We appreciate applicants retaking the exam when they feel they can improve. The average GMAT score is 680, mid 80% range is 620-740. We look for GRE scores that convert within the same range.

Secret #1: Practice early and often! When it comes to test preparation, everyone has different needs. Whether or not you end up taking a prep class, we'd recommend taking practice exams online, which can give you some insight into how close you are to your desired score. Guides for both GMAT and GRE are also widely available. While the test material is updated every year, older guides borrowed from a friend can still be relevant (and cost effective) study tools. In the end, make sure to choose the right test for you.

2. Apply to the quarter that works best for your personal and professional timeline.When applying to the Evening MBA Program, you can apply to Autumn, Winter, Spring, or Summer quarter. For the Weekend MBA Program, you can apply to Autumn or Spring quarter.

Secret #2: Your chances of admission are the same regardless of the quarter you apply.

Secret #3:  No matter if you are deadline driven or a skilled procrastinator, no need to worry. Your chances of admission are the same whether you are the first or last application to be submitted.

3. Get to know Admissions and the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA community.

Stay in touch with your admissions contact. If you are unsure who your contact is, email us and we’ll get you connected. Your admissions contact is happy to answer your questions and connect you with students and alumni. We also suggest attending Information Sessions or a Masterclass if your schedule allows. See here for upcoming events. This is a huge decision and investment, and we are here to help!

4. Fill out all sections and answer all questions within the application.This may sound obvious, but we sometimes see applicants leave sections blank or provide information that doesn’t match supporting documents—for example, dates of employment on your resume don’t match what you put in the application. Make sure your uploaded transcripts show all courses, grades, degrees earned, and the dates degrees were conferred for all degrees earned (undergraduate and graduate).

Secret #4: When reviewing applications, the Admissions Committee may interpret leaving sections blank as inattention to detail.

Secret #5: Take advantage of the optional essay. The following advice should be considered within the context of your overall application, but here are a few situations where you can introduce information about yourself that you don’t know how to incorporate elsewhere.

  • Address any academic weaknesses

  • Address employment gaps or major career changes

  • Address any challenges or unforeseen circumstances due to COVID-19

  • Convey information that adds to your candidacy

5. We are looking for consistency and authenticity during the interview.For Chicago Booth’s Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs (including the Chicago Booth Civic Scholars program), admissions interviews are by invitation only, and are conducted after submitting a completed application through the online application system. Interview decisions will be released within 10 days of submitting your completed application. If you are invited to interview, you will receive information about scheduling your interview at that time. For the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) Program, you are guaranteed an interview. 

At this time, all interviews will be conducted virtually. Please find a quiet space with a stable internet connection, and be conscious of any distractions in your background. Your student or alumni interviewer will not have read your application, they will have simply reviewed your resume a few minutes before the interview. Be sure the answers you provide in the interview are similar to what you wrote in your application—we look for authenticity and consistency from our candidates.

Secret #6: Many applicants interview after the deadline (remember secret #3?). The timing of your interview has no impact on your chances of admissions. Our interviewers can typically be flexible to fit your scheduling needs.

We hope these tips and secrets help you navigate the application process. We look forward to getting to know you and helping you throughout the process!

Looking for more application tips? Watch app advice from Boothies »