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Before Selecting an MBA Program - Sleep on It

MBA Research and Sleep DeprivationSleep Deprivation is an increasingly common phenomenon for a professional in 21st Century. With a 24x7 connected world, the constant communication and pressure of work creates a situation where an average sleep is limited to 6 hours, 2 hours short of an ideal sleep cycle. Short-term sleep deprivation will impair your decision-making, especially selecting top MBA programs that require shortlisting a large list of schools, revising the list, and finally picking the top five.

High Optimism

A feeling of Optimism is essential for putting the hard work necessary to pursue a goal. But a recent study by two neuroscientists at Duke University Medical Schools have shown that Sleep Deprivation can lead to the activation of brain regions that analyze positive outcomes, and suppresses the part that process negative outcomes. This leads to a situation where the individual is more likely to make choices that maximize financial gain, in our case, picking MBA programs offering higher ROI without analyzing multiple factors that influence the return. Effective decision-making involves utilizing attention, memory, and responding to an integrative feedback mechanism; all of which get impaired in a sleep-deprived environment.

Rigid Thinking


Apart from making optimistic choices, MBA applicants will be making them from a limited set of factors as sleep deprivation lead to rigid thinking. What influence the change in thought process is the inability of the applicant to process additional information, and changes in external factors. In a booming economy, applicants hardly evaluate the viability of an industry for post-MBA opportunities but with data on this front changing every quarter, applicants should play close attention to factors that influence job opening in each industry. They are not stagnant. With Sleep Deprivation, the curiosity to analyze job data, and make sense of them will be inhibited. By looking at MBA Employment Report without comparing the trends for the past two years, applicants are selecting schools with incomplete information.

Less Trusting

Another impact of sleep deprivation is the lack of trust. We had advised applicants to analyze multiple Business School Ranking Publications, Employment Reports & School Profiles before selecting an MBA program. But this does not mean questioning the veracity of all the data sources. That would be time consuming, and often extend the MBA research to 5-6 months, which would be a stretch if you have 1-year for the entire MBA Admission process. An overtly critical applicant might question everything leading to delay in picking the right MBA program. In the end, there are no perfect decisions. Tweaking your choices as you go along is one way to handle vast information.

Emotional Decisions

The best decisions are made with less emotion and more rational choices. Sleep Deprivation will lead to a situation where the applicant’s ability to regulate emotion is weakened. In such a state, the applicant will be reactive to external circumstances. In MBA Admission process, the external factors are meeting Deadlines, and getting a competitive GMAT score. We have often seen applicants with GMAT score, 10 point below the school median, getting ready to pursue a 2-month GMAT retake schedule. This is often reactive, and although we can’t blame sleep deprivation entirely on this irrational choice, the applicant in most case is juggling a 10 hour work schedule along with 3-4 hours of daily GMAT preparation. Sleep deprivation during GMAT preparation is a reality for working professional but make all key decisions early in the year. If your GMAT score is below the median, take a 2-3 day break, sleep well, and then analyze the result with a fresh perspective.

The 12-Month Plan

We have created the 12-Month plan with 3-Months allocated for MBA research, in order to handle sleep deprivation during GMAT Preparation. Even if you get a below average GMAT Score, postpone your decision whether to retake the GMAT, pick other schools, or continue with MBA Application after a well rested 3 to 4 days. Sleep on it.

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Define Post-MBA Goals
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Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
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Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour


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Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee (2018)  
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index    
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Top MBA Destination: By Economy    


+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)  
MIT vs. Stanford MBA   (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA    
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Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    
IMD vs. INSEAD MBA    
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IIMA vs. ISB   
(2017)

Harvard vs. Stanford MBA (2017)

+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

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  Ranking   
  Class Profile   
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  Curriculum   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 


+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

  Location   
  Ranking   
  Class Profile   
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Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2019)




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