Highlights from Kaplan’s 2009

Business School Admissions Officers Survey
To ensure that prospective MBAs receive accurate information on key trends in the business school
admissions process and relevant issues, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions annually surveys admissions
officers and other key officials from the top business schools across the U.S. Following are the
highlights from our 2009 survey:

What Business School Admissions Officers Say On:
✓ Standardized Testing

✓ Admissions Trends

✓ MBA-Related Issues

✓ Social Networking

About the survey methodology: For the 2009 survey, 260 admissions officers from the nation’s top business schools – as compiled from U.S. News &
World Report’s America’s Best Graduate Schools 2010 edition – were surveyed by telephone in July and August 2009. Respondents included 17 of
the nation’s most selective MBA programs, with “selective” as defined by acceptance rate of 20% or less and/or average GMAT score of 670 or higher.
Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

On Standardized Testing
Some business schools have recently begun giving
applicants the option of submitting a GRE score instead
of GMAT * score. Is this an option your school currently
offers?
No............................................... 76%
Yes.............................................. 24%
(For schools that responded “No”) And is giving the
option of submitting a GRE score instead of a GMAT
score something your school is considering?
Definitely not............................... 62%
Definitely yes..................................1%
Most likely not............................. 26%
Most likely yes................................4%
Not sure..........................................7%

What would you most consider to be an
application killer?
A low GMAT score . ..........................44%
A low undergraduate GPA ................27%
A lack of relevant work experience....10%
Poor letters of recommendation.........6%
Poorly written essays.........................6%
Other.................................................6%

44% of admissions officers say a low
GMAT score is an application killer.

*GRE is a registered trademark of the Educational Testing Service. GMAT is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®. Kaplan materials do not contain actual
GMAT items and are neither endorsed by nor affiliated in any way with GMAC. GMA04803

On Admissions Trends
Comparing this year to last year, would you say the
number of applicants applying directly from college has:

Comparing this year to last year, would you say the
number of applicants who report they are currently
unemployed has:

Increased.................................... 49%
Decreased......................................4%
Stayed about the same................ 39%
Don’t know.....................................9%

Increased.................................... 51%
Decreased......................................2%
Stayed about the same................ 21%
Don’t know.................................. 26%

Comparing this year to last year, would you say the
number of applicants you are accepting directly from
college has:

Comparing this year to last year, would you say that the
number of accepted students who decline admission for
financial reasons has:

Increased.................................... 28%
Decreased......................................7%
Stayed about the same................ 53%
Don’t know.................................. 12%

Increased.................................... 28%
Decreased......................................4%
Stayed about the same................ 44%
Don’t know.................................. 25%

On MBA-Related Issues

On Social Networking

Generally speaking, have you fielded more or fewer
questions about the value of an MBA in the past year,
as compared with previous years?

When it comes to visiting applicants’ social networking
pages and factoring these into the admissions
equations, does your school have official guidelines
or policies?

About the same number.............. 45%
More............................................ 43%
Fewer..............................................6%
Don’t know.....................................6%

No............................................... 80%
Yes.............................................. 16%
Not sure..........................................5%

In light of the current economic situation, is your
school re-evaluating or re-tooling your curriculum
this year?

(For schools that responded “No”) Is your school
considering developing any kind of policy concerning
social networking sites in the near future?

No............................................... 64%
Yes.............................................. 30%
Don’t know.....................................6%

No............................................... 68%
Yes.............................................. 20%
Don’t know.................................. 12%

(For schools that responded “Yes”) Which of the
following would best characterizes the changes your
school is exploring?

(For schools that responded “Yes”) And what is your
school’s policy on social networking sites and the
application process?

Courses addressing the economic crisis........... 13%
More emphasis on leadership skills................. 24%
More focus on long-term thinking skills ........... 11%
More focus on social ethics ............................ 11%
Other............................................................... 40%

Not permitted to view applicants sites . ........... 89%
Permitted to view applicants sites,
with guidelines or restrictions ........................... 3%
Permitted to view applicants sites,
with no restrictions ........................................... 9%

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