Recommended online and offline resources for MBA applicants in general and Israeli applicants in particular, arranged by the following categories:

Books | Web sites | Language Tools | For Israelis


What do HBS Students Read? My post with the list of books given to us by HBS.


I wouldn’t recommend on buying a whole plethora of books. Each one of them is usually so packed with material, exercises, online exams and so on that it’s better just to buy 1-2 and really stick with them, i.e. go over all of their theoretical material and complete all of their exercises. This is what I did with Kaplan.

  • Kaplan GMAT 2007 – This is the only book I used to prepare for the GMAT (an older version, of course). The book itself is great for learning and reviewing the theoretical rules for all sections (essays, verbal and quantitative), and for initial paper practice of each subject. It’s complemented by a personal website and a CD allowing online practice and exam-taking in the format of the real test. For me this combination has proved itself to be very helpful and successful. Highly recommended, and quite a bargain for 25$!
    For Israeli applicants – this book is also available in bookstores in Israel (Dyonon for example).
  • The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition – from GMAC, the official body administrating the GMAT (and the one that writes the real questions…). I haven’t used this one, but I do recommend it. As I did online exams from Kaplan, Princeton and other sources, I noticed that none of them completely resembled the style, ‘character’ and level of difficulty of the actual tests from the GMAC (available online for free – click the link to download them). Had I known it earlier, I might have bought this book in addition to the Kaplan one, as it contains ‘the real’ practice exercises. Kaplan however is much better in explaining and reviewing the material. In addition to this general book, two other ones are also available from GMAC: The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review and The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review.
Disclaimer: I got a 700+ score.

MBA – General

There are many books dealing with various aspects of the MBA experience: researching schools, applying, interviewing, matriculating and life during the MBA itself. From my personal experience, I found myself drawn to them in two different phases of the application process:

  • In the very beginning, when I started to seriously think about the idea of an MBA and knew practically nothing about the different schools, the costs and the application process. I had only basic, general questions, not anything particular or specific to one school. During this phase, these books can help by generally describing the degree itself, the application requirements, and of course the schools. Eventually I ended up not buying any particular book, but it was mainly due to lack of time – I started the entire process very late (July, and applied in October), and preferred studying for the GMAT instead of reading books. Had I started the process earlier, I would have definitely bought a book or two for the research process.
  • Right now, after the application process is over, I have matriculated with HBS and about to start school in a few months. Why now? Well, because I have relatively more time on my hands, and find myself curious again about life in school and post-MBA career possibilities. During my last visit to the US I spent a few hours in a bookstore and read a few MBA guides.

So here are the books I recommend for both phases:

Books | Web sites | Language Tools | For Israelis

Web sites

  • Schools websites – in addition to browsing the schools websites, almost each school allows you to register through their website in order to get newsletters, brochures and information about events in places near you (for Israelis, this means schools receptions being held in Israel). HBS allows you to create a profile with your contact information and interests.
  • Clear Admit – MBA admission consultants that offer a very useful blog – with essay analysis and tons of MBA news and info. Every Friday the blog features “Fridays from the Frontline”, where they refer to posts of various MBA-related bloggers (applicants and students). Their MBA wiki contains a lot of information about schools, MBA programs and the application process, contributed by the applicants themselves.
  • – another resourceful site of MBA admission consultants. Especially helpful are their MBA chat transcripts – every year they conduct online chats with MBA admission officers and students of different schools, and keep the chats transcripts. Another extremely useful resource is the MBA interview database, a searchable database with thousands of interview reports written by applicants themselves. A must before going to an interview…
  • mba Mission – another admission consultant with a nice blog, including good essay writing tips. In addition, this company has quite a few Israeli customers and its founder Jeremy Shinewald visits Israel several times a year. I attended such a visit, where Jeremy gave a good presentation about the application process and was available for personal, free of charge 30 minutes meetings. In my meeting he read my resume and gave me some useful feedback and profile assessment (more info is available from him or from Fulbright, see below). In an interesting interview with him he talks about GMAT, essays and other things that may interest an applicant beginning the process.
  • My own HBS essay analysis, for 2006 (when I applied, and was admitted…)


  • BusinessWeek MBA forums – get ready for hours of joy in the infamous BW forums. Discussions range from pretty informative “who has already received an interview invitation and where” to “which MBA program has the best looking students” (really). Especially recommended is the “Ask Sandy” thread, where a blunt admission consultant gives ALL UPPERCASE ADVICE ABOUT HOW MUCH YOUR PROFILE SUCKS to fearful applicants. Warning: bw forums might be addictive!
  • Wharton Student2Student – administered by the Wharton itself, this forum mainly contains Wharton related discussions, but really *everything* about Wharton. Adcom members and current students also participate, and may be good sources of information.

Blogs – see my blogroll.
Books | Web sites | Language Tools | For Israelis

Language Tools / Writing Aids: (useful for essay writing)

  • FreeDictionary – dictionary, Thesaurus, phrases, terms and much more, all rolled into one.
  • Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: another robust dictionary / thesaurus.
  • – one stop shop for Wikipedia, Dictionary, proverbs and more.
  • Babylon – the homepage of the excellent Babylon software, a lightweight utility that translates a word or a phrase on the screen with a single mouse click. Wikipedia, Britannica, bi-directional translation with English and most popular languages, professional dictionaries (finance, business, technology and many other topics, including user-defined dictionaries) and other nifty features make this software a must.

Books | Web sites | Language Tools | For Israelis

In Hebrew / For Israelis:

  • Kidum GMAT itself contains a lot of interest material about MBA abroad in general and the GMAT in particular.

Feel free to post comments and contact me with any questions or comments you may have!

11 Responses to “Must have links for MBA Applicants”

  1. CS @ HBS » Blog Archive » 3… 2… 1… Disco! Says:

    […] Resources for MBA Applicants! […]

  2. CS @ HBS » Blog Archive » Application Timeline Says:

    […] Resources for MBA Applicants! […]

  3. CS @ HBS » Blog Archive » Choosing Recommenders Says:

    […] Resources for MBA Applicants! […]

  4. Sridhar Oruganti Says:

    A nice list…
    Chanced upon your blog based on Google’s recommendation and definetely don’t regret subscribing to it.
    Thanks for the info

  5. cs@hbs Says:

    Sri – My pleasure :D

  6. Rahul Says:

    Awesome blog! Especially on the essay analysis. Thanks.

  7. cs@hbs Says:

    thanks Rahul! That’s really nice to hear. Good luck!

  8. Penny Says:

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would definitely benefit from some of the information you provide here.
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  9. cs@hbs Says:

    @Penny, that’s fine, as long as you link back here.

  10. Faith Says:

    Gottfried Leibniz is one of the greatest SOCRATICS buaesce he challanges everyday common sense notions of causality and of life. Significantly, Kant teaches us in the Introduction to his Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics that common sense is a meaningless answer to the puzzling arguments of David Hume. Rather, one must approach such puzzles in terms of justified true belief theory. The perspectives and conclusions of Leibniz constantly challenges the taken-for-granted justified true beliefs which prevent one from thinking creatively. Leibniz and Schopenhauer have the most unique metaphysical systems, in my opinion. According to David Dilworth in Philosophy in World Perspective (1989), [The four-by-four matrix composed by Dilworth has four hermeneutical variables in the horizontal plane. They correspond to Aristotle’s Four Causes. In the vertical plane are the four “core” ancient Greek philosophical “profiles”: the school of Aristotle, Plato, Democritus, and the Sophists.] Schopenhauer has the most unique concatenation of four hermeneutical variables in the history of philosophy. Dilworth describes Leibniz as an atomistic Platonist, or a Platonic Democritean. Leibniz somehow finds the elusive middle terms (sensus de communis) between these contradictory philosophical approaches! He thereby Socratically leads such everyday folk as myself to search for the wonders found in […] Was this answer helpful?

  11. CS @ HBS - HBS Blog by a (former) Israeli MBA student Says:

    […] Resources for MBA Applicants […]