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How closely is TOEFL linked to the MBA application process?

Posted on November 27, 2012

Consider this situation…you are all set to apply to various B-schools you have decided upon. You browse through their websites, typically the full-time MBA section, where you find another sub-heading such as Admissions criteria or Eligibility or even FAQs.
You read through them and find various application requirements such as transcripts, work experience, GMAT/GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and so on.
Amidst all these, in most of the official websites of top B-schools you will come across a separate section or paragraph on ‘International Students’.
The rationale behind this section is that each year B-schools receive applications from more countries that you could even think of. There are several issues that emerge with international students such as visa requirements, correct names on the passport, English as a language of instruction, etc.
All these international applicants may or may not be well-versed in English which will be the language of instruction at B-schools and even in the real business world once they graduate.
Thus, it becomes crucial for the Admissions Committee to evaluate your familiarity with English if it is not your native language or if you have never studied or worked in an English-speaking country.

But, what is TOEFL all about? What is a good TOEFL score? How to prepare for TOEFL?

Instead of me replicating this answer from the official website of ETS, you can browse the link! 🙂

Generally, if you glance through the websites of most of the B-schools, they have the following policy for international students:


“International students whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL exam unless:


You have earned an undergraduate degree or master’s degree in an English-speaking country
You have earned an undergraduate degree or master’s degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction”
Most Indian applicants fall under the second category! B-schools that allow this include Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago Booth, and many more. On the other hand we have schools such as Haas and Kelley which do not waive the TOEFL requirement for Indians. And there also schools like MIT Sloan that do not require TOEFL at all!
In a nutshell, TOEFL requirement is very specific to each B-school and similarly your preparation for TOEFL will follow.
Even the minimum TOEFL score varies from school to school. But unlike GMAT, most of the B-schools are explicit about the minimum TOEFL score requirements.

Here is a compilation of B-schools with their specific TOEFL requirements!


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