Live Updates: Coronavirus Impact On Business Schools

What is the impact of coronavirus on business schools? We bring you the latest updates including campus closures, changes to MBA admission requirements, and more


Latest features:

Coronavirus: GMAT Test Center Closures In India

March 22 Roundup

GMAT testing suspended in India

GMAT testing in India has been suspended in multiple locations including:

Bangalore: M.S. ENGINEERING COLLEGE  testing suspended through April 1 

Bhubaneswar:  KIIT University – testing suspended through April 1 

Gurugram: Ansal University – testing suspended through April 1 

Kolkata:  Brainware University – testing suspended through April 1 

Vellore: Vellore Institute of Technology – testing suspended through June 1 

See the full list and latest global GMAT testing updates

Survey shows US universities fear admissions crisis

Indian School of Business closed as students start social distancing

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Coronavirus: 6 Things Every MBA Candidate Should Do

After my brother died, I threw myself into studying for the GMAT

I had PTSD from eight months of trauma while he battled cancer. The GMAT, in all its complexity, gave me something else to think about in the car, between my desk and the printer at work—in all those in-between moments when I needed the distraction. 

I knew that life is unfair and uncertain and messy, and the logic of the GMAT was somehow reassuring. As a friend of mine told me this week: ‘Anxious people need something to do.’cara skikne shares tips on coronavirus mba application

It’s in this spirit that I want to look at how to use your time in self-isolation to prepare yourself for your MBA application. This is not a trite to-do list, but something to focus on in this time of uncertainty. 

If you’re prepping your MBA application during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, here’s six things you should do:

1. Get GMAT or GRE test prep out of the way

Do it now. Your scores are valid for five years. There is enough complexity in these tests to keep your mind active (and hopefully not overthinking). 

Get the latest live updates on GMAT testing and GRE test center closures.

2. Reach out to people

There could be no better time to reach out to alumni for your business school research. Everyone is craving a bit of human connection right now, and many people have a bit more time on their hands. 

It’s also a good time to reach out to professionals if you have questions about what its like to work in different industries, or what advice they might have for you. You should be genuinely curious about another person’s experience and advice.

Be authentic and specific when you reach out and look for commonality. It’s easier to reply to someone who says, ‘I also have a background in Journalism and was wondering if you’d recommend the Oxford MBA?’ than ‘I’m thinking about an MBA. What advice can you give me?’. 

3. Explore online courses

This is also a good time to explore. Perhaps you might be interested in social impact investing, or want to learn more about case study interviews, or crisis coms. Use your time now to dabble in different areas, to get a sense of whether they are for you. 

For those worried about not being able to demonstrate quantitative skills on their application, it’s also a good time to prove yourself with a quant-heavy course.

Check out: Are Coursera courses worth the effort?

WATCH: Coronavirus Update | Applicant Bulletin

4. Think about your essays

Try this one on days you are feeling a little more optimistic. MBA essays require a lot of introspection. You want to consider the defining moments in your life, who you are, what is important to you and what sets you apart. Keeping a journal could help you think through some of these prompts.

5. Flex your leadership muscles

I wonder if next year’s MBA interviews will include the question ‘What were you doing during the Coronavirus crisis?’ It is hard to pitch in from self-isolation, but it’s possible. 

At work, you’ll be adapting to new ways of doing things. In your community, a bit of kindness can go a long way. Step up into leadership roles during this time of crisis. Be a thought-leader for your industry. 

6. Stay the course

Your desire for an MBA may seem out of touch amid this crisis, but it is not. The skills you will gain from your MBA will be needed in a world that may look nothing like the world we have seen. 

Getting an MBA is not (or it shouldn’t be) a frivolous or vain box-ticking exercise. It’s not only for those who are career obsessed. It’s about having more leadership tools at your disposal, to make more of an impact in whatever industry you are in. 

The economic repercussions of this virus are unprecedented, and this world will need people like you to solve new problems.

Read: 50 Reasons Why You Should Get An MBA

Coronavirus: Stanford GSB Dean Message For Students

March 24 Roundup

 Stanford GSB dean with a reassuring message 

“With the first weeks behind us, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on our shared situation, and to express my appreciation and gratitude for the GSB community,” writes Stanford GSB dean Jon Levin  

“We have faced the disappointment of losing the traditional experience of spring quarter, long-planned events, and even commencement. The world looks less friendly to students looking ahead to the job market, and to those of us anxious about family members. All of us are deeply concerned about the health and economic costs being borne across the country and the world. 

In the midst of this uncertainty and anxiety, I have been inspired continually by the resilience and creativity of GSB students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We do not get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose our actions. In this historic moment, I am excited to see what together we will accomplish, and contribute to the world. 

Update: GRE Test now available online!

You can now take the GRE at home, as ETS offers an online GRE test in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story.

gre test online due to coronavirus

GMAT Online Test will be available by ‘Mid-April’

As coronavirus shuts down GMAT test centers, there are plans to move the GMAT exam online. Find out more.

gmat to go online due to coronavirus

Canada travel concession for international students

Canada makes a concession to its travel ban for international students, as long as they have a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit before March 18. Foreign students are anticipated to travel to Canada as planned for spring-term (May) enrolments.

How MBA candidates can make the best of their time in self-isolation 

Cara Skikne is something of an admissions expert, and has a lot of advice for MBA candidates preparing their applications while in isolation. She's put together six top tips for our readers. Make sure to check it out!

AACSB finds the silver lining for business schools 

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has reached out to business schools around the world with a survey to find the positives at this difficult time.  

School responses include:  

The crisis will act as a burning platform to encourage more faculty to rethink their approach to technology and to see how it can be used to provide a more engaging student experience. It will also force us to consider alternative forms of online assessment. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has perhaps accelerated the rate of change necessary to move the business school in the right direction, particularly with respect to the development of online and blended degree programs and short courses (micro-credentials). 

Hopefully [we] will avoid worst of the impact of COVID-19. Also, [we] will have more faculty exposed to teaching on-line which, if they have a good experience, may increase the variety of courses offered on-line in the future. 

Coronavirus: Online GMAT Test Available By 'Mid April'

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner and administrator of the GMAT, is working to launch an interim online alternative to the popular business school admission test. The decision comes as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced many GMAT test centers to close. 

Online GMAT Test

GMAC are targeting a mid-April release of the online test. With the exception of not having the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) section, the test will have the same structure, number of items, time, and scoring to the exam delivered in test centers. 

'Our focus is on maintaining a valid and rigorous assessment, with the relevant security practices and protocols in place, to evaluate a candidates’ ability to succeed in a graduate school business program,' GMAC said in a statement. 

GMAC will prioritize the availability of the alternative assessment as they seek to support test takers and schools in all impacted markets, outside of mainland China. The company are continuing to work with the Chinese government authorities to present appropriate alternative solutions for test takers in mainland China as well.

The interim alternative will be offered at a lower price point than the current exam. The current cost of the GMAT in the US and Canada is $275—GMAC increased the cost in North America by 10% earlier this year. It was the first price increase in North America for 15 years. 

'We look forward to helping candidates and schools with an alternative that upholds our high standards for validity and reliability for the world’s most widely used assessment for MBA and business master’s programs,' GMAC said.

Live Updates: Coronavirus Impact On Business Schools

coronavirus impact on business schools


To check if test centers are still open in your area, you can follow our live updates on GMAT testing and also GRE test center closures.

The GRE, an alternative admissions test that can be used for a variety of postgraduate degree programs, has also moved online in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Although coronavirus has disrupted the admissions process at many schools, the speed at which test providers are offering online alternatives to candidates shows how industry bodies are coming together to support each other through the crisis.

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