Friday, July 23, 2021

How to Get into Harvard Business School- A Detailed Perfect Guide!

Any student or professional who is interested in the field of business and interested in studying the field would have come across the Harvard Business School. HBS is an institute that is incredibly well renowned and is considered to be one of the best globally. It is an institute that has topped the ratings for the Best Business Schools in the World consistently.

Harvard Business School is a dream institute for many individuals. It is an institute that attracts talent from all around the world, and only a small percentage of those who apply are actually chosen in the Institute. Many students would find themselves asking the question “How to get into Harvard Business School?”

The University itself can be incredibly intimidating for a student who may not know how to get into Harvard Business School, as you may come across individuals with perfect scores and good work experience who seem to have been rejected. These stories can often scare people off, and we hope to demystify this situation and remove the fear. 

Harvard Business School is an institute which is known for its MBA and other graduate programmes. It is a popular choice for students and within the last few years has received over 9000 applicants annually. Only 10% of these applicants are chosen and admitted to the institute, which is a clear indication of how difficult it is to get into Harvard Business School. 

So, how to get into Harvard Business School? To answer this question we will take a very close look at the basic eligibility criterion needed, the tests we must score well at, and at last, we will see how we can go above and beyond the basic requirements. 


How to get into Harvard Business School- The Eligibility Criterion:

So, the first question to be understood and answered to learn how to get into Harvard business school is to understand who can apply to the institute and is eligible for the programmes that are being offered by them.

The base requirements for any student are as follows:

  • Bachelor’s Degree Or Work experience: Most postgraduate universities require a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a recognized college or university. Some business schools also have work experience as a requirement to join the institute. In Harvard Business School work experience is not a compulsory requirement and students can choose between a degree or work experience. The college score is required to be above 3.7
  • GRE/GMAT Score: Tests such as GMAT or GRE scores a required for Business schools. Harvard Business School accepts both tests and does not have a preference for one over the other. There are no recommended scores but it is advised to score over 710 for GMAT as the university boasts a Median GMAT score of 730. 
  • English Language Proficiency Test: These are tests that prove a degree of skill and proficiency in the English language, and these scores are required to apply in any business school located on the English speaking side of the world. Tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, PTE are accepted. This is a compulsory requirement for students. 
  • Recommendation Letters: These are an incredibly important element for the admission process. For recent graduates, these recommendation letters can be written by university professors which detail the student’s work ethic and student’s ability to learn and good qualities. For working professionals, this may come from a direct superior who knows the role that you have played in the organization. 
  • Resume: Students are also required to prepare and submit a resume to the university which indicates their achievements and successes so far. It should also detail internship and work experience along with the Education level of the student. 

These were the basic eligibility criteria any student who hopes to join the Harvard Business School need to fulfil. 

Beyond fulfilling the basic criteria a student should begin their admission process as soon as possible, as the earlier they begin, the better their chances. This means that it is important to plan for the future so that the student can collect all of the required documents they need to begin the process as soon as possible. It is important to remember that Harvard business school is a premier institute and it is good to make use of any and all advantages possible. 


GMAT or GRE- How to get into Harvard Business School:

The choice between GMAT or GRE is an important one for any student who is thinking of pursuing a postgraduate in the Business field. Anyone who wishes to understand how to get into Harvard Business School should understand this choice and make the proper one. There are some important differences between these two tests and the choice can be a very important aspect of the admission process. 

The most important difference between GMAT and GRE is applicability. GMAT can only be used to apply for business school and it is accepted by thousands of business schools around the globe. GRE on the other hand is a more general test that can be used at several graduate courses such as literature or science. This makes GRE more versatile as a test as it opens up many options for students, even outside of the field of business. GRE however is not as widely accepted by many business schools and only a few hundred schools recognize the test.  

There are other very important factors when it comes to making this choice. The consensus often is that you should always choose GMAT if you are certain you wish to apply at a business school. GRE is better for students who are undecided when it comes to the subject of the graduate programme they wish to pursue.

 However, there is another aspect to consider when making this choice. This is a question of natural ability and preference. Generally, the GMAT/GRE syllabus is similar, however, both these tend to test different areas of ability. The GMAT test is designed for business schools and tests quantitative and mathematical ability and logical reasoning and problem-solving. The test focuses on those elements more and they are harder.

GRE on the other hand is a more general test and hence focuses more on the ability of students to comprehend information and more on the verbal sections. This test is easier for those who may not have a strong background in mathematics but are confident in their language skills. 

This can be a very important choice to make especially for those who are aiming to learn how to get into Harvard Business School as HBS does not discriminate between these two tests. This means it is beneficial to choose the tests which are better suited for your abilities. If you are unsure of which test to pick, it is recommended to do the available diagnostic and practice tests available online. These tests will tell you where you are lacking. If Harvard Business School is your defined goal, it is best to give the test in which you can score best,


How to get into Harvard Business School- The Preparation for GMAT/GRE:

These tests are one of the most important variables when it comes to success in getting into Harvard Business School. These tests are designed to test the abilities of college graduates and working professionals. They exist to create a metric of compression where admission boards can compare all the applicants. So while this test is not the only metric, it is an incredibly important one for admission. Here are some basic practices and tips to ace the GMAT and GRE examinations:

  • It is best to begin the test procedures with a good amount of time before the test results need to be given to the university. It should be at least 6 months before the due date, but you can also begin earlier. These tests are valid for up to 5 years which means it may be a good practice to give these tests much earlier to avoid some last-minute issues that may come up.
  • The material tested in these tests is often high school level mathematics, a good level of English language and comprehension and some analytical reasoning questions. 
  • For mathematics, it is good to have a great deal of practice with a variety of questions. The concepts tested are at a basic high school level so it is important to study them before the test occurs.

These questions often test the application of concepts so having a deep understanding of the concepts can make the questions easier. GMAT is considered harder when it comes to the mathematics section, while GRE is considered easier. GMAT does not allow the use of a calculator while the GRE does allow the usage of a calculator. 

  • For the Language parts of the Tests, both require a good level of understanding when it comes to reading comprehension. They both also test the writing skill of a student so it is important to prepare for those as well. The GMAT tests the grammar and reasoning skills of the students and focuses more on that, while the GRE tests the Vocabulary and linguistic abilities of a student. Practising for these is incredibly important as students who are not very strong with language can suffer and get confused when it comes to such questions. 
  • It is a good study practice to study and review a single section of the test and divide the work. This makes the learning process much more efficient and easier. 
  • There are a large number of practice tests available online and on the market which the students can utilize to grasp the types of questions that are asked in the Examination and they can also track their progress. 
  • It is recommended to try the previous year question papers as they can provide insight into the types and forms of questions which will be asked. This can help in preparing a test-taking strategy which can be very useful in such examinations.


The Essay Question:

After the GMAT/GRE choice is made, the next thing to understand in how to get into Harvard Business School is the essay. The essay is a question that is a part of the admission process and writing such an essay is often a common element of many business schools. This is the most important part of the Harvard admission process. While the GMAT/GRE test scores are important, and the work experience plays a role in the admission process, the most important part of the admission process is the Personal Essay in the application procedure. This is for many reasons. 

Harvard is an institute that is always looking for the extreme talents of the world, and it is looking for exceptional people to join the university. This means that simply having some work experience and good test scores do not guarantee entry into the university. You will often come across individuals who were rejected even though they had very good test scores and had brilliant resumes with a great deal of experience. This is because they may lack certain unique qualities, or they may not have shown these qualities. 

The personal essay is an opportunity for students to represent their true self, their ideals and how they wish to live their life. The topic for this is often very broad, but what the admission committee seeks is clear to some degree/. They wish to find how inspired or purposeful your choice is. They wish to know why you want to pursue this course and how you seek to benefit from it. They wish to give spots only to the most talented and the most inspired individuals so that they can find success. These essays can discuss your motivations and previous achievements over the years. 

The most important thing to keep in mind while writing the essay is to create a compelling and interesting narrative. This should be a personal narrative that has an underlying theme and gives meaning to your actions. This personal narrative should help in creating a personal brand that is attractive to the admission committees, and it should be representative of who you are.

Your personal brand can be focused upon leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation or any ideal that you feel is important to you. You can also talk about learnings in life, mistakes overcome, challenges faced and so on. 

There are no word limits to this essay as it is an open-ended question, however, most essays are around 500 – 750 words, with longer one’s going up to 1000. If done well, a very compelling essay can be written 



This is the entire process about how to get into Harvard Business School. It can be a very complex procedure, and there will be many transcripts to submit and many forms to fill. However, as long as you make the right choices when it comes to the test you wish to give, create an acceptable resume, and write a moving, inspiring essay for your college admission, nobody can stop you from getting into Harvard Business School.

The process can be long but it is worth the time. Harvard Business School is an institute that will put you in the same room as some of the brightest minds alive today and it will provide you with many opportunities to utilize. The experience it provides is invaluable.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles