A Prep Service For Wharton’s New Test

Even before Wharton has officially announced a new team-discussion admissions test, an admissions consulting firm is introducing a new service to help applicants prep for the novel addition to the school’s MBA application.

The MBA Exchange, one of the largest MBA admissions consulting firms, said it would essentially recreate the interactive sessions before applicants would face the real test on campus.

Poets&Quants disclosed last month that Anthony Penna, Wharton’s associate director of admissions and financial aid, told a group of about 150 people at the Harvard Club in San Francisco that it is “98% confirmed” that Wharton will make a team-based discussion among applicants a new part of its admissions process. But the school has yet to officially announce the change.

If Wharton extends the pilot they completed this past spring during third round, small groups of applicants will participate in self-led, interactive discussion sessions in an MBA classroom environment. Wharton described its test as an “opportunity to interact with fellow applicants in a lively and thoughtful discussion based on a real-world business scenario.” Wharton Admissions Director Ankur Kumar had told PoetsAndQuants that “applicants will not only be able to present how they approach and think about certain situations, but will also have a chance to experience, firsthand, the team work experience and group learning dynamic that is central to our program.”

Chicago-based The MBA Exchange said its new prep service features password protected, fully encrypted video conferences for groups of four to six applicants. To ensure privacy and anonymity, participating applicants identify themselves with nicknames.

Lasting approximately one hour, the scheduled video sessions would be led by MBA graduates and former admissions professionals with prior experience assessing, advising and/or interviewing Wharton applicants.  The firm said its consulting team includes a former Wharton associate director of admissions as well as seven Wharton alumni with admissions backgrounds.

As with the anticipated Wharton test, The MBA Exchange facilitator presents a discussion topic and then steps back so participants can interact freely. The admissions consultant observes the session carefully and afterwards provides actionable one-on-one feedback to each participant via a confidential scorecard. The MBA Exchange said the new service is being offered to its Wharton applicants at no additional charge as part of the firm’s comprehensive admissions consultation package which costs $6,800 for applicants to four schools.

“By participating in our simulated team sessions with their peers, applicants will develop greater skill and confidence before entering what’s likely to be a stressful environment in the actual Wharton admissions test,” said Dan Bauer, managing director and founder of The MBA Exchange. “As with the guidance and support we provide on all other aspects of the admissions process, our experience and objectivity are valuable resources for applicants anticipating Wharton’s proposed test. This is an exciting opportunity for our clients to distinguish themselves and maximize their chances for admissions success.”


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