PRIME for MBA
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Frequently Asked Questions

The PRIME for MBA Process

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1. Is PRIME for MBA just for people who can't write?

We find that those who think of themselves as "writers" tend to have the worst time of it in this process. Writing bschool admissions essays is very different from any other type of writing. Even if you write for a living, do you write essays for a living?

2. But it sounds remedial.

Not at all! We assume that a qualified candidate to bschool is able to put a sentence together. We don't teach you to write; we teach you to write betterorganize your thoughts and express them more clearly. We offer a step-by-step process to guide you through the development of strong essays that present your profile in the best light. You must have the basic English tools of grammar, spelling, and punctuation already at hand (though we will also offer edits to correct those types of errors that may creep in).

3. I think I'm a pretty good writer. What's in it for me?

The PRIME for MBA process is designed to further develop and refine skills, regardless of where you're starting from. If you're already a decent writer, it will make the overall process go faster. If you're an OK writer, we can help you submit solid essays that have a real chance of success. And if you're a great writer, we can help you seriously stand out from the crowd.

The PRIME for MBA COMPLETE process offers direct, business-relevant feedback on your writing style that can improve a writer at any level. However, if you feel that you don't need the skills coaching and just want feedback on your essay content, you can avail yourself of one of our targeted a la carte consulting options such as the unique PRIME for MBA GO/NO-GO evaluation.

4. How do I know my essays will still be my own? If you're doing all this coaching, won't it change my voice?

Good question — but the answer is "no". There's no risk of that, based on the methods we use in providing feedback. Essay critiques come in the form of a written report that discusses the merits, and possible disadvantages, of the approach you took in conveying your ideas in that draft. We do not simply correct the content errors in your original, and we definitely do not tell you what to write about; we point out where the problems exist as we see them, reacting to what you present. It's up to you to incorporate our feedback into your next revision. So, all the ideas, and all the writing, are your own.

5. What if I simply don't know what to write about? What then?

Brainstorming. Exercises. Assignments. We'll give you writing tasks that can stimulate ideas.

Our structured process guides you through developing your ideas from nothing, to completion. You're given tools and techniques so that you don't waste time staring at a blank screen.

The bulk of the process is taken up by the foundational stages of ideation and platforming. You'll go through specific exercises to identify relevant and appropriate stories to use in your essays. Your PRIME for MBA consultant will help you evaluate which are best for each school. Only after all this is done will you begin to write. By then, the writing should come easily, since you already know exactly what to say.

6. How long does all this take?

Plan for six weeks for the first application — if you have a deadline coming up sooner than that, we can still make it work, but you'll gain less from the overall process if it's rushed. If it's still early in the admissions season, we can weigh the pros and cons of possibly delaying your application to a later round (though usually we recommend applying in the earliest round you can). Or, instead of PRIME for MBA COMPLETE, you might benefit from the PRIME MINI-PACK or one of our a la carte consulting options.

7. Honestly, it sounds like a lot of work.

You're right, it is. And we have two responses to that: One, bschool is a lot of work. Getting back into the habit of "homework" can help you a lot as you get ready to go back to school. Two, this is not a trivial task. You're going to do a tremendous amount of self-reflection, brainstorming, and strategizing—and of course, writing—and all of that takes time. You have significant advantages to get a tour guide, coach, and expert to take you through the process. You'll likely discover new things about yourself along the way. In the end, our clients say that they appreciate the work and that it was worth the effort—particularly when they end up with offers at their schools of choice. If you're not ready for that, then we're probably not the right resource to retain.


Admissions Consulting

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1. You say you have an 88% success rate. Shouldn't it be higher?

We wish it was 100%—and we're doing what we can to make it so! Many of our clients come to us with real challenges in their profiles: low GMAT score, low GPA (sometimes both); unusual background; etc. And, some of our clients are bound and determined to apply to the most competitive schools, regardless of these blemishes. We do what we can to help them create the strongest application they can, however sometimes, clients just aren't willing to act on all of our advice where we think it could help (e.g., sometimes they do not retest the GMAT, or they don't take a class to offset a low GPA, or take the other corrective actions we may advise). So, we try our hardest for everyone, and there's a lot out of our control. We hope to be able to report a higher admission rate soon! And we encourage you to ask other admissions consultants what their stats are. Any consultant who's been doing this for any time, who is willing to take a risk on challenging client profiles, is unlikely to have a higher acceptance rate than ours.

2. Is MBA admissions consulting ethical?

It is the way we do it! Just like you'd consult a lawyer before forming a business, or an accountant to help reduce your tax liability, your PRIME for MBA admissions expert is a trusted advisor who will discover what your priorities in a bschool education are and suggest options you may not have considered — and who will examine the details of your profile in the "big picture" of MBA trends and the current admissions climate. You will be advised on both strategic, and tactical, approaches to your candidacy. We explain what the schools are looking for; you do the work in positioning the facts of your background and experience in the best way possible so that the admissions committee sees your strengths. Many admissions directors have expressed appreciation for the value that good consultants add in helping candidates select appropriate schools for their goals and submit relevant, polished applications. You can read more about our policy on ethics here.

3. You mean you won't write my essays?

All PRIME for MBA admissions consultants have already gotten their MBAs. Why would we write admissions essays? It's your turn to get in, and we'll help you craft a good message to do so. But sorry, no, we don't write essays (we don't think you'd really want that, anyway).

4. What exactly do you do when you review an essay, then?

We give guidance, coaching, and offer editing of drafts. Editing means that we fix spelling and punctuation errors and point out grammar problems. And, you'll get detailed, actionable feedback about what works, and what doesn't, in each draft. We will tell you when a sentence, or a section, or an entire essay just doesn't make sense, and we will evaluate the entire presentation of stories and topics across all the essays you've written for that school. Of course, it's up to you to fix those problems, and to keep moving through the revisions until the writing — and the content — are solid.

5. Who is PRIME for MBA really for?

We show applicants to the very best MBA programs how to take control of the process. If you are struggling with writer's block, if you need answers to your questions about what the schools are looking for, if you need guidance on how you personally can present the facts of your story in the best way possible, then we're here to help.

6. What if I'm a reapplicant?

Did you know that a large percentage of applicants with GMAT scores over 750 are REJECTED from bschool? A reapplication needs special handling. Your approach should be different based on what category you're in: high GMAT, low GMAT, low GPA, younger applicant. We are experts in helping reapplicants find success. In fact, we're offering a free GET PRIMED! consult to reapplicants for a limited time.

7. I'd like to try you out but I don't know if I want to commit yet. What can you offer?

We know that it's a leap of faith to hire an admissions consultant, and that it is also a big investment. We want to earn your trust. You can start with a low-cost yet (we are told) incredibly useful GET PRIMED! Profile Review and Strategy Session which entails no further commitment. During that consultation, your PRIME for MBA admissions expert will do everything possible to set you up with a plan to tackle your applications on your own. Or, if you decide to engage further services from us, the price paid for the initial Strategy Session will be applied towards your COMPLETE or UNLIMITED package. We also offer significant discounts and referral bonuses. We are confident in what we offer and we know what we're talking about when it comes to MBA admissions. We invite you to do your research and contact us with any questions about our methods or results.


GMAT/GPA Questions

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1. Is my GMAT score high enough?

That's a really tough thing to answer in a vacuum. We need to get a sense of all the components of your profile to make a recommendation. As a rule of thumb, if your GMAT score is over 700, you're in the running to apply to the best schools. However, just because your score is lower than that doesn't mean you have no chance of success at your dream school. Call us today to speak with an admissions expert who can help you weigh your GMAT score in the context of the other details of your profile against your target schools.

2. Is my GPA good enough?

It depends. Frankly, we are often more concerned about a low GPA than a low GMAT score, though again, we'll need to know the details of your profile before we can make a recommendation. There are ways to counter a problematic academic record; it depends on if it's just blemished, or truly troubled. Your PRIME for MBA admissions consultant will offer specific recommendations for how you can address these types of issues if they exist in your profile.

3. Do people really get into [Harvard/Stanford/etc.] with a GMAT score in the 500s?

Yes, but it's unusual. If your score is that low, and you want to go to a Top 20 school, we recommend that you re-test. The GMAT is highly correlated with success in business school. Fair or not, it's a way for the admissions committee to know if you'll do well in their program. Remember, the best business schools are academically rigorous. The admissions committee only wants to admit people who they know will be successful. The GMAT is one way for them to judge this. The best way to address a low GMAT score is not to get creative in your essays or look for reasons to offer to the adcom about why the score is low. Instead, you'll want to simply retake the test.



You can get answers to all the specific questions you have about your profile and your chances at your target business schools by talking to a PRIME for MBA Admissions Expert. Use one of our GET PRIMED! packages for an affordable way to get answers fast! Start building your strategy with PRIME for MBA today.

Increase Your Chances — and Your Skills

PRIME for MBA not only guides you towards developing the strongest MBA application possible, but along the way, you will also get feedback on your strengths — and weaknesses — as a writer. You will get critiqued on how you communicate, on how you express yourself with the written word, in ways that are concrete and actionable. You will be guided through a structured process for developing your ideas on the page that you will take with you to business school, and to business.

The PRIME for MBA COMPLETE methodology is designed to maximize your chances for success in MBA admissions — while giving you a boost in bschool and beyond by helping you to write better and think more clearly.

"It must be satisfying to do what you do so well and see candidate after candidate realize their dream of getting into a top school."

2010 admissions client