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Curiosity - The Only Tool that you need for MBA Admissions

Our innate curiosity has made us a species that is dominant over all the animals. The “Why”, “When”, “What”, “Where”, and “How” questioning is useful not only for our daily lives but extremely useful for MBA Admissions. Each stage of the admission process requires us to ‘ask questions’.

Evaluating Business School Ranking


Business School ranking is one data that MBA applicants look closely before picking their top 5 schools. Unfortunately, applicants tend to switch off their curiosity when it comes to published ranking from leading news sources without questioning the data collection methodology, ranking criteria, and response rate.

One data that applicants have always assumed to be valid and thorough is the response rate. Most surveys get anywhere between 20-30% responses from the entire alumni pool. This is much worse than the average voter turnout in leading democracies – United States (48%) and India (58%). Citizens in these countries are vocal about the apathetic state of the election process, and quality of candidates. However, when it comes to a $75,000 to $200,000 decision, our ability to question data seems to be suppressed by the constant PR articles about Business School ranking.

Handling Questions in GMAT


A common challenge that applicants face during early GMAT preparation is answering the critical reasoning and data sufficiency (DS) questions. Process of Elimination in DS might help us to a certain extent but our antennas should be always up when it comes to these two-question types.

We are used to problem solving, reading comprehension, and sentence correction to a certain extent through SAT, and other competitive exams, in pre-undergraduate years. But our ability to question assumptions, look at data in isolation, and find fallacies in arguments will be handy to master critical reasoning and data sufficiency questions.

Discovery Process in MBA Tours

MBA Tours are an interesting set of events where applicants get the opportunity to ask any questions. Often, applicants don’t find the need to attend these events since all the answers are available online with expert sources, or through Business School website. But this is the best time to ask questions about the validity of the data, and fallacies in their projections. Before going to MBA tours, take the time to read MBA employment reports, and learn about recent trends.

We have a collection of preparation strategies and best practices for MBA Tours. In all these articles, a point that is often reiterated is the need to avoid standard questions, the answer to which is easily available in Business School websites. This would be one of those rare chances where you can evaluate whether the school is exaggerating data. By asking probing questions, and analyzing how the school representatives respond, you can save over $100,000.

Approaching MBA Application Essays


One strategy that we have demonstrated in our essay guide is the ability to list life events, people, and circumstances that were influential in molding who you are. The second step in the process is analyzing the list, and picking relevant ones for your essay. To pick the right set, you have to question everything, even the life events that seemed influential during the first iteration.

This is not easy, and requires looking at life events as a third person with minimum biases. Curiosity is in-built, but in certain circumstances, they are hidden behind our assumptions, and biases. Never assume anything when it comes to MBA application essays. Learning by definition require making assumptions based on knowledge acquired but with the right questioning process, you will be ready with a true representation of yourself that is different from the run of the mill essays polished by expert reviewers, and admission consultants. Download F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide to learn how it is done.

Preparing for MBA Admission Interviews

With MBA Admission interviews evolving from the standard Q&A to a more conversational format, the importance of active listening cannot be reiterated more. You can’t fake active listening. There should be genuine interest in what the other person (interviewer) or group (in case of group discussions) is saying.

For those narcissists and self-obsessed millennials, the solution lies in listening carefully to understand the intent behind the conversation.

“What is the main point that the speaker is trying to convey”

“What is the intent behind the conversation?”

“What it says about her world view”

“What meaningful insight can I give, supporting or contradicting her statements?”

“How can I include my experiences, and learn to carry forward the conversation to a different direction?”


The level of curiosity that each of us has will define our ability to learn new concepts, but this skill can be developed with the right attitude towards learning, meeting new people, and finding opportunities.

Walt Disney has wonderfully summarized what curiosity means to us as a species:

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”


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Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour


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IMD vs. INSEAD MBA    
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IIMA vs. ISB   
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Harvard vs. Stanford MBA (2017)

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Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

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