MBA (The Master of business) is a highly recommended master’s course that can be a great stepping stone for your career. However, preparing for and completing an MBA program can be daunting, especially because this course requires students to invest a lot of time, money, and effort. With more and more people getting interested in the MBA, competition and demand for such courses are also increasing rapidly.
One way to ensure your admission to a competitive MBA program is to prepare yourself beforehand. This is critical as good preparation can help you during the admission and the course duration. In this blog, we’ll review some preparation techniques for MBA that you can employ and use to get admitted to the best colleges available.
Tips to prepare for MBA
In order to start MBA preparation, every student needs to devise plans to finish the huge syllabus and ace other aspects of an MBA entrance Exam. No one can stop you from getting into your favorite MBA colleges if you prepare beforehand with effective planning. Several online courses exist today that aim at giving you the best MBA placement preparation.
In this blog, we’ll talk about the most popular entrance exams for pursuing an MBA, some tips for the different test sections, and a preparation guide for such different sections and the MBA as a whole. Let’s go over them below!
Types of MBA Entrance exams
Your MBA preparation depends mainly on the type of entrance you appear for. It depends on many factors. Let’s take a look at them.
- Desired MBA colleges
- Type of exam patterns
- The difficulty level of these entrance exams.
Let us now take a brief look at the most popular entrance exams that you can sit for to get into the best MBA colleges in India:
1. Management aptitude test (MAT)
This test is a nationwide examination that’s managed by the (AIMA) All India Management Association. Sitting for this examination is ideal if you want to join tier-2 and tier-3 MBA colleges. Additionally, It is conducted four times throughout the year, making it easier for students to sit for the exam only when they are prepared.
2. Common Admission test (CAT)
CAT is another national examination managed by the (IIM) Indian institute of management. CAT is one of the most popular exams in India and is widely accepted by the majority of colleges offering MBA. However, most people sitting for CAT aim to join Tier-1 colleges in India.
3. Common management aptitude test (CMAT)
CMAT is yet another country-level aptitude test that is managed by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Students who want to get into AICTE and UGC-recognized MBA can sit for this exam. Many colleges that accept CMAT results also provide MBA placement preparation to students.
4. Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
GMAT is a national-level entrance exam for getting into an MBA college. It’s conducted by the government body of the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). Students who generally sit for this test have an alternative approach to cracking an MBA. However, compared to the other forms of entrance exams, the GMAT is accepted by a lesser number of colleges offering GMAT.
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Tips while preparing for MBA
Let’s go over some tried and tested methods that you can use to prepare for MBA perfectly.
1. Read books
A lot of what an MBA teaches you is problem-solving skills and being efficient in leadership roles. Therefore, picking up books about these subjects can help you find clarity and build your expertise. Professor Joe Fuller from HBS Online recommends “Loon shots” and the “George Marshall Biography” who want to pursue an MBA.
Loomshots is amazing at portraying the multiple facets of problem-solving, creating efficient group dynamics, and the impact of thought and reflection in the most amusing way. At the same time, George Marshall’s biography discusses the best practices a manager must possess.
2. Consider taking online courses and tests before enrolling in an offline program:
There are countless online courses related to MBA that you can choose from to get ready for MBA interview preparation. Several leading colleges worldwide offer online courses for students who want to prepare for an MBA. The majority of these courses are for a period of 10 weeks to 17 weeks. By enrolling in such programs, you can gain vital ideas and concepts that aid you significantly while pursuing MBA.
Alternatively, you can also take online mock tests to help you understand where you stand. Several toppers in Entrance examination tests admit that mock tests allowed them to be aware of their weaknesses. Such tests will enable you to work on your weaknesses and score better grades. Typically, Mock tests are very similar to entrance examinations as it features questions that are likely to pop up on the examination date.
3. Optimize your CV, recommendation letters, and references
Every applicant who wants to be admitted to an MBA from a good university needs to submit their resume and letter of recommendation. An outdated or disorganized resume can cost you admission to reputed colleges. Here are a few tips to consider while optimizing your resume, references, etc.
1. Make sure to keep a strong focus on your most recent work experience. No one considers old and irrelevant work experiences.
2. Top Business colleges and universities prefer students who actively participate in extracurricular activities. Therefore, consider enrolling yourself in some extracurricular activities if you haven’t participated already!
3. Consider putting in volunteer work in your resume, as it will show the college administration that you care about the community that you live in.
4. While going for references, consider getting thoughtful messages that demonstrate your influence on their lives.
4. Upscale your networking skills:
Several people enroll themselves in MBA programs as it opens up opportunities to connect with future business leaders. Naturally, networking skills are one of the most valuable skills that MBA students can acquire. Consider making conversation with other people at corporate and social events at college. Utilize websites like LinkedIn to find desirable networks.
Making connections with your peers and college teams can give you a detailed plan on how you grow your networking skills. Studying for an MBA is challenging, but the upside is that you can prepare in your own way to ace this exam.
5. Manage your time wisely
Managing time does not mean spending all your time on something that fits your requirements. To start with, analyze your requirements for MBA preparation. Create a routine that considers the timing of all your general activities. It will help you to identify unnecessary activities and get rid of them. This way, you can create a lot of free time daily to prepare for MBA.
One of the toppers from last year’s MBA entrance examination, Abhipsa Panda, passed with a 99.88%. As a piece of advice for aspirants, she mentioned that practicing four mock papers every day helped her understand what types of questions she could expect during the exam. Additionally, she added that reading daily news can boost applicants’ knowledge.
We suggest prioritizing subjects according to your preference and then making a timetable. Pay more attention to sections that you are weaker in than areas you’re confident about.
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Best books to prepare for an MBA entrance examination
Here is a detailed list of books covering various sections of an MBA test:
1. Reasoning section
R.S Agarwal: A modern approach to verbal reasoning
Disha experts: A complete guide for MAT and various other MBA entrance examination
2. Verbal Ability section:
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by
Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhayay
Wiley’s ExamXpert Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by AK Kalia
3. Quantitative section:
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S Agarwal.
Things to do before starting your MBA preparation
Start with basics
Most of the students will not belong to a management background like BBA or BMS. Starting with the basics is a good idea for those types of candidates; also, even if you belong to a management background having the opportunity to go through the basics helps identify the left and new concepts. So when you are on your journey to figure out how to start MBA preparation, beginning with the basics is the way to go.
Do a short-term course
It is better to do at least one certification course before you start your MBA prep journey. You might not be able to find the time once you begin your courses, but it serves as a good idea to do a course before you begin. But make sure that you enrol in a reputed course before you begin your journey towards how to prepare for MBA exams.
Acquaint yourself with excel
Excel is widely used in the industry for various purposes. It would be great if you already get acquainted with excel before starting out your MBA journey. The basics of excel would be useful in learning the formulas, pivot tables, to analytics. It is an important step that must not be missed in how to prepare for the MBA guide.
Prepare your CV
A CV that would help you get into a B-school is quite different from a CV that is useful in placements. It is important to start working on your CV as soon as possible. It is important to put your relevant work experience, extracurricular activities, and other achievements before you start your MBA journey. When you reach your interview stage in the MBA process this CV would come in handy. This acts as a majorly important step in how to prepare for an MBA interview.
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MBA interview preparation is hectic and tiring. Students need to stay determined for a long period of time to score good grades and, in turn, crack the entrance exam. However, several students struggle while preparing for an MBA entrance examination. By keeping the tips in mind, you can easily ace the examination to get admitted to your favorite university.
When should I start studying if I want to crack an MBA entrance Examination?
Applicants need to be serious and determined if they want to crack this exam. Being consistent while studying is the key to this. The sooner you start, the better it is.
Is there any specific subject that I should keep in mind?
No, because MBA entrance examinations attempt to analyze your overall capability instead of focusing on your mastery of specific subjects.
How many Mock tests should I take to ace the MBA entrance exam?
You should complete at least 30 mock tests to gain valuable insights and clarity. However, solving mock tests is not enough. Pay attention to mistakes and always improve your skills.
Which skills to build before starting out MBA preparation?
Before starting out your MBA preparation, it is important to build data analysis and excel skills.
Is coding needed for MBA?
Ideally, coding is not needed for MBA. But if you have coding skills and want to get into the tech industry with MBA as an advantageous degree supporting your career growth, then it is useful.
What are the top skills for MBA graduates?
The top skills required for MBA graduates are Leadership, Problem-solving, Critical thinking, Analytical, and Communication.