The decision to apply for an MBA is a major milestone in your career. But it’s not just the number of applications that matter – how you choose where to apply is equally as important.

The first step in the process is to determine what your priorities are and how an MBA fits into your vision for your future. Crafting your vision brings your goals and next steps into focus, allowing you to narrow down the qualities you want in a program and school. Once you’ve established a clear list of priorities, start examining schools’ websites. Read through the curriculum, alumni profiles, and faculty bios to understand what you’re getting yourself into.

In addition, you’ll need to make sure your target schools accept the GMAT or GRE. Check the websites to find out which test is preferred by each MBA program. And once you have a short list of schools, ask colleagues, family members, and friends who have an MBA about their experience at the programs on your list. Also, look for online forums and social media groups where you can talk to current students or alumni about their experiences at different business schools.

If you’re on a tight timeline (perhaps you need your MBA to secure a job in your desired industry) or if getting accepted to a certain school is non-negotiable, you may want to apply to more business schools. But, in general, it’s better to submit fewer stand-out applications than a crowded stack of mediocre ones.