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GMAC Research Chart of the Month: Candidate Decision-Making Timeline

Posted by GMAC Research
The premier provider of market intelligence for graduate management education

Posted on Jun 5, 2018 11:00:00 AM

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Understanding when the average candidate makes major business school decisions can help optimize the timing of your messaging.

GMAC Advisor_IMAGE 13_February 2018-1

Timing is everything. It’s not enough to have a compelling messaging to share with your prospective students. To have the desired impact, the message needs to be delivered at the right point in their decision-making timeline.

This is the focus of our Chart of the Month for June. As a part of the Prospective Students Survey, last year we asked nearly 10,000 about the timing of important decision-making milestones on their journey to business school. Understanding when the average candidate makes these decisions can help optimize the timing of your messaging. Displayed in this month’s chart is the average timeline of candidates considering a full-time two-year MBA.

GMAC Advisor_Chart of the month_June 2018

On average, candidates considering full-time two-year MBA programs first consider business school seven months after completing their undergraduate degree. Seven months after that they register on, the website of the GMAT exam, and just one month after that they settle on their list of preferred programs. Seven months after that, they submit their first application. This means, on average, these candidates go from completing undergrad to submitting a business school application in just under two years (22 months).

What’s the average timeline for different types of candidates? Professionals from business schools that accept the GMAT exam can use the Prospective Students Survey Interactive Data Research Tool to explore the dataset for themselves, using the ‘configure report’ menu to apply filters and compare the timelines of different types of candidates. For example, candidates considering Master in Management programs on average first think of applying to business school eight months before graduating from undergrad, meaning these programs need to begin their marketing efforts earlier than full-time MBA programs if they want to impact their choices.

For more details on business school candidates, read Demand for MBA and Business Master’s Programs, the first in a series of topical reports based on the results of the 2018 Prospective Students Survey.

Read the report  

Topics: Prospective Students, Research Insights

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