Should You Reapply This Year?

If you applied to MBA programs in the past and were not admitted, you may be considering reapplying to your top choice program. If you are, here are five factors to consider.

1. In what ways have you grown since the last time you applied?

MBA admissions officers like to think they made the right decision the first time, so it’s critical that you show them how you are different since your last application. Have you faced different challenges? Do you have new responsibilities? Did you lead something new? Can you demonstrate fresh results? If you can’t answer yes to any of these questions, wait at least another year before you reapply.

2. Consider your test score.

Was your GMAT score a factor in the last decision? Think twice before retesting. If you believe that you prepared to the best of your ability (i.e. you actually did the test prep homework) then it will make sense to retake the test only if your actual score was 40-50+ points below your practice scores. If you prepared to the best of your ability and scored similar to your practice tests, your time would be better spent on essay preparation than further testing.

3. Don’t recycle your recs.

Many reapplicants reuse their recommendations. Don’t make this mistake. Recommendations are a primary source of information on how you’ve grown. If you plan to use the same recommenders this year, encourage them to tell new stories about you and emphasize new ways you’ve developed.

4. Check your school’s rules.

Some programs require reapplicants to submit applications during a particular round. Double check the application instructions today.

5. Reflect on your essays.

Now that you have some distance from your essays, reread them. How well do they support your original application strategy? What do you think about your application strategy now? Is it time for new key messages? Have an admissions coach, ideally an experienced MBA admissions officer, look over your application and provide you with feedback.

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