• Management Masters

MBA in the Times of Corona

Over the past few days I have received hundreds of messages from prospective Indian MBA and MIM applicants regarding how the COVID-19 crisis will affect future applications, job prospects and on a bit more urgent note - admissions in the last rounds of Sep 2020 intake since most schools have either extended their deadlines and relaxed their GMAT / GRE guidelines.

This post is an attempt to tackle all these questions, highlighting the key issues and potential solutions ahead of us, and to share our view on the current situation. In order to tackle the topics we will follow the below structure:

  1. GMAT / GRE Relaxation

  2. Round 3 / Round 4 Admissions for Indian candidates for Top B-Schools, Sep 2020 intake

  3. Future Outlook: Applying for an MBA in 2020

Applying for an MBA program for Sep'21 intakes might be a great option.

1. GMAT / GRE Relaxation

Due to the outbreak, many schools have started allowing candidates to submit their applications even without valid GMAT / GRE scores. However, this relaxation is temporary only, since any such candidates will only receive a conditional admittance to the MBA program - which will be confirmed only after they have submitted a valid score to the school.

Another issue that candidates are facing is that they are simply unable to take their tests because of the widespread lock-down. Both, GMAT and GRE, are coming up with alternative solutions to this predicament.

In fact, GRE has already started providing the option to take the test at home for candidates.

GMAC, the central body which organizes the GMAT, made the announcement recently that the GMAT will be online by mid-April.

You can read more about the notification from GMAC here.

To summarize, you will be able to take either of the tests at home, quite soon.

International candidates may not be helped much by the extended deadlines from Top Business Schools.

2. Round 3 / Round 4 Admissions for Indian candidates for Top B-Schools, Sep 2020 intake

Given that many B-Schools have extended their deadlines for their last rounds of admissions, and provided the relaxations in GMAT / GRE scores, many candidates want to take advantage of the situation.

You can read about the different schools and extensions on Poets & Quants.

There are multiple reasons for which such an extension is deemed valuable by the candidates:

  1. Since GMAT/GRE scores are out of the picture (partly), many candidates who have struggled with these standardized tests in the past want to grab hold of the situation. Truly, this is an unprecedented event and one may never find a similar situation ever again.

  2. There is an expectation that many admitted candidates might want to defer the start of their programs - either forcibly due to the pandemic or the global shutdowns, or willingly to join the classes next year when the situation has been controlled (hopefully). In such a scenario, when many admitted students decide to defer, the obvious solution will be to waitlist or provide an admit to more candidates in the last rounds compared to previous years.

However, we have reason to believe that these increased chances, and the relaxed criteria, might not be very useful for Indian candidates. Below you will find our reasoning for believing so.

  • Almost all schools in the US / Canada and Europe usually explicitly ask International candida