By Chicago Booth September 26, 2013 Leave a Comment

The Round 1 application deadline is approaching quickly on October 3rd!  As we travel the globe meeting prospective students,  we often hear many misconceptions about MBA admissions. As many of you are preparing your 2014 application to Chicago Booth, we offer a bit of truth to balance some of the myths.

MYTH: We prefer a GMAT score over a GRE score.
TRUTH: We do not have a preference for one over the other. Given that we offer the option of submitting either exam, we leave it up to you to decide what makes most sense.

MYTH: You must have a minimum GPA or GMAT/GRE score to be considered for admission.
TRUTH: The admissions committee has no minimum required GPA or GMAT score used to make admissions decisions. No applicant is defined by any one portion of their application and your standardized test score or GPA is just one piece of information that can help us gauge how you will perform in rigorous academic environment.  We invite applicants to view our class profile to get a more realistic sense of our current class.

MYTH: If you do not have a business background, you will be at a disadvantage.
TRUTH: Booth is a community that values diversity and the individual.  Only 33% of students came to Booth with a Business undergraduate major. Our holistic evaluation process assesses an applicant’s for fit with Booth and what he can bring to the community, which extends beyond one’s educational and work background.

MYTH: You should visit campus if you expect to be admitted.
TRUTH: Simply put, we do not require applicants to visit campus to be considered for admission.  We understand that not everyone will be able make the trip to Chicago before applying. For this reason,  we provide other resources (i.e. live chats, country captains, The Booth Experience and worldwide events, just to name a few) where applicants can interact with our community and better understand the culture, values, and student experience at Booth.  

MYTH:  An interview with staff is viewed differently than an interview with a student or alum.
TRUTH: Applicants invited to interview have the choice of interviewing on campus with an Admissions Fellow, or in their city with a Booth alum. In some instances, a staff member may interview on campus or in certain cities. All interviews will be evaluated equally. The different interview options are offered for your convenience and there is no preference for which you choose.
MYTH: It’s impossible to be admitted during Round 3.
TRUTH: We offer three rounds of admission, and each year we admit students in every round! The way we evaluate applicants does not change across rounds, though you can imagine that the process does in fact become more competitive in round three, because most of the class has been admitted by that point. While there can be advantages to applying early, our advice is to apply when you feel you can present the strongest application. For many, that doesn’t mean a Round 1 application, and that’s okay.

MYTH: A letter of recommendation from an influential or well-known person would increase my chances of being admitted.
TRUTH: Our advice is to always go with the person or people who know you best. We consider the letters for quality of the information shared rather than the title of the person who wrote it.  Read our latest blog on letters of recommendation for more insight and tips.

MYTH: I should try focus on my work experience when responding to the essay questions.
TRUTH: Consider each piece of the application as an opportunity to share an aspect of your candidacy. You should use your best judgment about what you convey and where.  The most important thing will be making sure that you are responding to the questions being asked.  Read our blog on creating an application strategy for additional insight.

MYTH: The optional essay is another opportunity to tell my story.
TRUTH: The optional essay is there when applicants have the need to share information that wasn’t appropriate or relevant to share in other areas of the application. The optional essay can be a great place to address issues such as a gap in your work history or the reason(s) for not having a supervisor or recent manager write your letter of recommendation. Ask yourself if what you’re sharing in the optional essay is necessary and adds value to your application. This is not meant to be a window to submit additional essays,  so use your judgement!

Hopefully our explanations for these most common myths are helpful as you work on your application. For more, you can always check out our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any additional questions that have not already been answered here or on our website, feel free to comment below, or reach out to us at @Booth_Insider using #boothmba.

Much luck to all of you in the application process!

About Chicago Booth

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Since 1898, Booth has produced ideas and leaders that shape the world of business. Our rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education transforms our students into confident, effective, respected business leaders prepared to face the toughest challenges.

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