Business schools around the world have been quick to adjust their admission requirements and recruiting methods to the new circumstances. Thus, they offer MBA prospects alternative ways to find the programmes that suit them best and remove obstacles to the application process.

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Admission tests, deadlines, and recruitment events are of topmost importance for applicants for the 2020 and 2021 intakes.


Test centres have been closed in many regions because of safety regulations. Providers swiftly launched at-home versions of the exams. The GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and IELTS test can now be taken remotely.

Meanwhile, schools have adopted more strategies. Some offer applicants the choice to either take an at-home test or submit a test score when centres reopen.

INSEAD (France) is among the institutions that allow applicants to initially apply without a test score, but expects to receive a score as soon as testing becomes available again. At IMD (Switzerland), admissions officers assess applications based on the strength of all other information while waiting for the test centres to reopen. MIT Sloan (US) also allows applications without test scores. This form of conditional admission is a widely used strategy during the coronavirus outbreak.

School-specific at-home tests are another alternative that some schools provide. Some business schools have been using their own in-house test for MBA and EMBA admissions, while others are developing such tests now. 

MBA application timeline

If you apply to an MBA programme now, you will most likely be able to take advantage of more flexible admission deadlines, although there are some exceptions. In addition to extending application deadlines, many institutions have also moved the application interviews fully online.

IMD’s traditional assessment days, during which it conducts personal admissions interviews and has candidates complete a series of other tasks, have been moved online. The Swiss school, however, has not changed its application deadlines for the full-time MBA programme at this time.

Focus on the right MBA fit

Deadlines extensions are not only meant to help aspirants submit their papers in time, but also to give them more time to assess their options in these uncertain times. “The only thing we can do is give people the time to make the decision that is right for them,” Greta Maiocchi, chief customers management officer and former head of the MBA division at MIP Politecnico di Milano (Italy), told the Financial Times.

So, how can students find the right programme if they cannot attend physical MBA events or visit university campuses? Currently, there is a wide range of online events prospective applicants can choose from.

School-organised events

Travel and in-person activities such as on-campus information sessions, class visits, tours, and chats with students have been shifted online. These virtual events enable prospective MBA applicants to receive information and engage with the business school communities.

Read: Win a Campus Visit with the Access MBA Tour

Immersive opportunities vary from frequent admissions chat Q&As to online class previews and webinars and video campus tours of campuses. You can now easily step into the shoes of MBA students at top schools such as Stanford (US) and London Business Schools (UK) among many others.

Read: Virtual Campus Tours? Yes, Please

Virtual One-to-One events

Students also have the opportunity to meet business school representatives online for free. Business school recruiters are meeting carefully-matched qualified prospects individually on a proprietary meetings platform integrating a variety of communication channels for face-to-face interaction.

Some of the highly personalised Access MBA and Masters One-to-One events have been conducted online since 2017 alongside their worldwide tours. Currently, all events are delivered on the fully-interactive in-house online events platform, until circumstances permit onsite events again. In fall 2020, the Access MBA and Masters Tour will be held both online and onsite at the choice of applicants and business schools.

School selection platforms

Specialised school selection platforms have also been in the aspirants’ toolset for shortlisting MBA programmes. One such platform that has quickly gained traction is Unimy. AI-powered MBA matching and a novel business school culture mapping are just two of the unique features that guide applicants to their best schools based on in-depth analysis of their background and preferences.

On Unimy, MBA seekers connect live to alumni and school selection consultants. Masters degree applicants will be able to use the platform from fall 2020 onward.

The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly created hurdles for MBA applicants at the moment, but business schools and test providers are helping to overcome them. There are enough options at applicants’ disposal to avoid putting their career progress on hold.