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Our Favorite MBA Application Tools

last updated February 2022

After 10 years advising over 3,500 MBA applicants, we recommend the following: 

1. GMAT / GRE Prep

2. MBA Admissions Consultants

3. MBA Admissions Books

4. MBA Admissions Courses

5. MBA Student Loans

6. Business School Research & School Selection

7. Brush Up / Demonstrate Quant Skills

8. Career Resources


1. GMAT / GRE Prep

  • MBA.com Practice Exams (free) & GMAT Official Guide Book ($29) – many listeners found the practice exams the most helpful
  • Target Test Prep ($149/month to $499 for 6 months) – is #1 rated on GMATClub, #1 most recommended GMAT test prep on Poets & Quants, and it’s hard to beat their +110 point guarantee for the GMAT and +8 point guarantee for the GRE. Affordable monthly subscription. 

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2. MBA Admissions Consultants

Need intensive one-to-one consulting help? We’ve secured discounts for you with the two of the world’s top admissions consultants. Each has been on the Touch MBA Podcast and we can vouch for their admissions expertise.

  • Paul Bodine & Admitify – Paul wrote the classic book, Great Applications for Business School, and his company has a strong placement record at US schools for over 20 years. Mention Touch MBA to get $100 off 5-hour packages, $150 off 10-hour packages, and $250 off school packages. 
  • Tyler Cormney & MBA Prep School – Tyler is a HBS grad who has been helping MBA applicants for 10 years and his company has a 90% success rate for top-ranked US schools. Mention Touch MBA to get $250 off school packages. 
  • Darren Joe & Singapore MBA Consulting – Darren, a former MBA Admissions Director and host of the Touch MBA Podcast who specializes in Asia and Europe’s top business schools, takes a handful of clients each year.

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3. MBA Admissions Books

  • How to Apply for Top MBAs by Tyler Cormney & Chris Aitken ($9.99) – Tyler and Chris break down the daunting application process into 10 manageable steps. I like that half of the book is focused on “preparation” steps which are often ignored or left to the last minute. These are 1) Understanding the MBA Application Process 2) Discover your Strengths 3) Define Your Career Goals 4) Select Your Schools and 5) Identify Each School’s Fit Qualities. You’ll find questions and frameworks to derive your strongest positioning from these chapters. To get an edge in the admissions game, read it sooner rather than later.
  • MBA Admissions Strategy by Avi Gordon ($15.99) – simplifies what MBA Admissions Directors are looking for and how to make their jobs easier. Also has evergreen tips on story selection and essay editing. A classic that has stood the test of time.

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4. MBA Admissions Courses

  • Touch MBA’s Admissions Edge ($99) – a 2.5 hour online course covering every aspect of the MBA application that has helped members get admitted to over 40 top-ranked MBA programs worldwide.
  • Applicant Lab ($349/year) – we’ve heard from a number of our listeners that Maria’s online course offers great value.

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5. MBA Student Loans

  • Juno – for the best private student loan interest rates in the US, guaranteed. Juno uses the power of group buying to negotiate with banks to get members better deals on their student loans
  • Sallie Mae and Common Bond – if you’re an American attending a US-based school or an international student with a cosigner, your first priority is likely finding a loan with the lowest possible interest rate. We recommend these two based on their low loan fees and interest rates.
  • Prodigy Finance – it can be difficult for international students to get student loans without a local cosigner. Prodigy Finance offers loans to citizens of over 150 countries. Though the interest and administrative rates with Prodigy Finance are higher than other offerings, this remains a strong option for international students who could not otherwise receive student loans.
  • See our comprehensive guide to Financing your MBA & The Best MBA Student Loans

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6. School Research & School Selection

For Business Schools & MBA Programs in the United States:

  • US News MBA Ranking ($29.95) – the most respected US MBA ranking; has useful data on acceptance rates, average GPAs/GMATs and starting salaries
  • Poets & Quants (free) – year-round coverage of the top US MBA programs and MBA industry

For International Business Schools & MBA Programs Outside the United States

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7. To Brush Up / Demonstrate Quant Skills

  • MBAMath.com ($149/year) – many of the world’s top business schools require or recommend MBA Math to their students. Why not get a head start? You can also send your transcripts to up to 10 business schools.

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8. Career Resources

  • Career Leader ($95) – designed by Dr. Timothy Butler, Director of Career Development Programs at Harvard Business School, this career test is used by 96 out of the top 100 global business schools. The self-assessment is built on identifying the interests, motivators, and skills that will drive your future career success and satisfaction. Take this test before you apply to strengthen your career goals. Contact us, mention “Career Leader Discount,” and we’ll send you a payment link the next day so you get $10 off.
  • The 2-Hour Job Search ($11.99) & The Job Closer ($9.99) – written by Steve Dalton, a long-time career consultant for Duke Fuqua, these books distill the best advice you would get from MBA career services into simple, yet effective steps. Steve’s job search success “recipes” have been used (and refined) by thousands of MBA students over the past decade.

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Let us know your favorites!

What are your favorite MBA tools? We value the experiences of our readers and listeners. Let us know in the comments below!

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