“Do I need to take the TOEFL if I attended an English-language undergraduate institution outside the United States?” “Do I need to provide a separate transcript from the institution where I studied abroad for my junior year, even though these grades show up on my ‘home’ university’s transcript?” “I completed military service before my undergraduate education. Can I still count these years in my ‘full-time work experience since graduation’?”

These are just a few of the technical questions that can arise as you (depending on the nature of your candidacy) complete the short-answer portion of the application. The reason these and many other questions can be so bewildering is because there is often no clear answer in the school’s application materials and also because there can be tremendous variation from one MBA application to the other.

Generally, candidates tend to think of the MBA Admissions Office as an impenetrable black box, but the truth is that these offices are available and indeed want to clarify the small technical problems that may be occurring. While a candidate should not be a pest and should definitely not continuously call the Admissions Office, if you have a small question or two without a clear-cut answer in your case, you should not be afraid to make the call. Why not take the guesswork out of the equation and be certain of your responses?