When Do I Apply? When Do I Actually Take the GMAT?

I graduated undergrad (I come from a no-name non-target school think southern school) and started full-time at a small no-name IB shop based out of ATL in December of 2020. My shop pays street and the hours are not awful, but I still want to go to bschool for a career shift/personal goals(I can explain more if you would like). I have not been able to find a good timeline for the next steps...This is where I need your help.

Obviously, everyone will say take the GMAT as soon as possible, but I need to learn/focus as much as I can on banking for the next 6 months. After that, I plan on taking the GMAT. Is taking the GMAT in ~August of 2022 too late for me? When should I start to apply for bschool? I have a good college GPA 3.7+ and I got a 35 on the ACT, I think I will do alright on the GMAT. (Thinking Fuqua, Tuck, Darden, Maybe Yale SOM just an FYI)  

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Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Oct 17, 2021 - 5:16pm

Here is a comment I posted couple of months ago which answers your questions about timeline.


Aug 22' is not late at all. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years - so this really depends on your timeline of when you want to go for your MBA. Usually you should have 4-5 years at Matriculation. Since you graduated in Dec 20' you should be aiming for 24'-25' intake. Everyone will say focus on GMAT now - and they are not wrong about it. But you do have some time. I will advise to start as early as possible - after focusing on banking for the next 6 months. 

Oct 18, 2021 - 11:35am

Average age of the start class at most top business schools is ~27. Take your time, you're young. Learn what you can at your current job. Business school particularly and graduate school generally is the great career reset and 99.9% of people only get one shot at it so get your career started and see how you grow and learn before you decide to commit the time and money.

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Oct 18, 2021 - 9:25pm

You have tons of time. Absolutely take the next 6 months to focus on banking, or even the next 12 months. You can certainly wait until you get out of banking and have more time to put into it. The GMAT is also pretty correlated with SAT, so if you did well on that you should have a head start. Give yourself enough time pre-application to really study and take it a few times if needed, but it certainly doesn't need to be ASAP.

The advice to take it right out of school is solely that you are already in learning/studying mode and will still have good study habits from college. If you can come up with a schedule or some other way to make yourself really focus when the time comes, it's not an issue.

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Nov 19, 2021 - 2:22pm

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