Strategies for Success in Integrating into HEC After a "Small Preparatory" (Without Repeating and Coming From Behind)

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Oct 12, 2023

4 min read


Strategies for Success in Integrating into HEC After a "Small Preparatory" (Without Repeating and Coming From Behind)


Integrating into prestigious business schools like HEC, ESSEC, or ESCP after a "small preparatory" can be a challenging task. However, with determination, targeted efforts, and effective strategies, it is possible to achieve this goal. In this article, we will explore the experiences and advice of successful candidates who managed to integrate into top-tier schools. We will discuss various aspects, including preparation before and during the preparatory program, organization, study techniques, and tips for interviews. By following these actionable advice, you can increase your chances of success in integrating into HEC and similar institutions.

Preparation Before the Preparatory Program:

Before starting the preparatory program, it is essential to lay a strong foundation. Here are three actionable advice to consider:

  • 1. Assess Your Weaknesses and Strengths: Conduct a self-evaluation to identify your areas of improvement and areas of expertise. Start working on your weaknesses during the summer before entering the preparatory program.
  • 2. Read Classic Literature: Engage in reading the great classics of literature. This will not only enhance your cultural knowledge but also prove useful in the general culture section of the entrance exams.
  • 3. Improve Language Skills: Focus on improving your language skills, especially English. Attend oral exams of schools like ESCP and HEC to gain exposure and practice.

During the Preparatory Program:

Once enrolled in the preparatory program, it is crucial to adopt effective strategies to maximize your chances of success. Here are three actionable advice:

  • 1. Targeted School Selection: Identify the schools that interest you the most and consider them as your top choices, as well as having backup options. This will help you stay motivated during challenging times.
  • 2. Study Group Formation: Create a study group comprising serious and like-minded students who aspire to enter the same schools as you. Collaborating with others can enhance your learning and provide support during difficult moments.
  • 3. Time Management and Exam Strategy: Tailor your study routine based on the weightage of different subjects in each school's entrance exams. Develop time management skills during exams to prioritize questions and identify "quick wins."

Organization: Study Time and Lifestyle:

Maintaining a balanced study routine and a healthy lifestyle is crucial for long-term success. Here are three actionable advice:

  • 1. Distinguish Between Long-Term and Short-Term Subjects: Identify subjects that require consistent long-term effort, such as languages and general culture. As the exam date approaches, allocate more time to subjects with higher weightage, such as mathematics.
  • 2. Utilize Memory Techniques: Make use of memory techniques to enhance retention. Associating historical dates and theories can aid in memorization. Reviewing your daily learnings before bed and periodically refreshing your memory can strengthen your knowledge.
  • 3. Stay Motivated: Focus on the progress you have made rather than the distance remaining. Attend inspiring events, such as alumni testimonials and conferences, to envision your future and identify areas of interest.

Mathematical Strategies for Success:

Mathematics plays a significant role in the entrance exams. Here are some tips specifically for excelling in mathematics:

  • 1. Create a Math Tricks Notebook: Develop a personalized math tricks notebook where you can quickly jot down formulas, shortcuts, and problem-solving techniques. Organize it by themes and refer to it during revisions.
  • 2. Solve Past Exam Papers: Practice solving past exam papers under timed conditions. Use these papers to identify areas where you struggle and add relevant tricks or solutions to your notebook.
  • 3. Maintain a Neat and Organized Notebook: Keep your math notebook clean and legible. Avoid making excessive erasures and use white-out when necessary. This will make revisions easier and help you remember key concepts.

Interview and Oral Exam Strategies:

The interview and oral exams are crucial stages in the admission process. Here are some tips to excel in these areas:

  • 1. Prepare an Elevator Pitch: Develop a concise and compelling introduction that highlights your background, academic interests, and career aspirations. Be prepared to adapt your pitch based on the interviewers' interests.
  • 2. Research the School: Familiarize yourself with the school's associations, specializations, and international academic partnerships. Ask thoughtful questions about these aspects during the interview to demonstrate your genuine interest.
  • 3. Stay Updated on Current Affairs: Stay informed about general news and developments in your field of interest. Be prepared to discuss current events with a balanced perspective, highlighting the pros and cons of different viewpoints.


Integrating into top-tier business schools like HEC after a "small preparatory" program is a challenging but achievable goal. By following the actionable advice mentioned throughout this article, you can enhance your preparation, study techniques, and interview skills to increase your chances of success. Remember to assess your strengths and weaknesses, create a supportive study group, prioritize time management, and stay motivated throughout the journey. With dedication and strategic planning, you can overcome obstacles and secure your place in the school of your dreams. Good luck!

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