Should you sprint for Round 2 or wait until Round 1 next year?

That’s the question facing many MBA applicants at this time of year. The Round 2 deadlines are just around the corner in January (only 5 weeks away!) but waiting until Round 1 next year means delaying matriculation until fall 2018. So which timing is right for you? As with all aspects of the MBA application process, it depends. To help you make the right decision foryou, we’ve included a list of questions below to ask yourself. If you answer NO to any of them, then it could be worth delaying until Round 1 of next year.

  1. Have you taken the GMAT? If so, do you plan to apply with your current GMAT score?If you plan to take/retake the GMAT in the upcoming weeks, you will most likely need to dedicate additional time to study and prepare for the test. Naturally, this competes with the time you need to spend on your essays and other application components.
  2. Have you started on any other part of the application process? What about researching your target schools including attending info sessions, scheduling campus visits, connecting with alums and/or current students, etc.?These are the steps in your MBA journey that may be more challenging to rush, particularly with the upcoming holiday season.
  3. Do you have enough time outside of work and your other commitments to dedicate to the application process over the next 5+ weeks?In our experience, you should plan to work on 5-6 drafts of your resume and 8-10 drafts of each essay to put together a stellar application. Depending on how many schools you plan to apply to, that could easily take 40+ hours.
  4. Do you have >3 years of work experience?Note that the class profiles of the top MBA programs have 4-5 years of work experience on average.
  5. Have you ever been promoted in your career or received any formal increase in responsibility?Evidence of career progression and leadership are top-of-mind for the adcom as they evaluate candidates – and a promotion is an ideal way to showcase that (although certainly not the only way).

The decision of when to apply is ultimately a personal one that should take into account your individual situation and circumstances. We always advise our clients to apply when they are best prepared to submit their strongest application. If you can get it all done in the next 5 weeks and believe that now is the best time for you to apply, then that’s amazing!

And we’d like to help you make the most of your time with our best offer of the year: the Procrastinator’s Special :), which gives you 25% OFF any of our Comprehensive Packages. For a 4-school package, that’s a savings of $1,938! Sign up for a free consultation today!

(Please note that this applies to Round 2 applicants only, in recognition that you may not be able to take full advantage of the unlimited nature of the service due to the impending deadlines. Of course, your consultant will remain fully available to you within the terms of our service but the fact is that your timeline is condensed – and we fully acknowledge that.)

What about Round 3? We typically don’t advise our clients to apply Round 3 for any of the top 10 programs unless there are extenuating circumstances in play. Chances of admission go way down in Round 3, unfortunately, as most of the class has been formed at that point.

Have you decided that Round 1 next year is better timing for you? That’s great too! It’s never too early to get started. We’re accepting 2017-2018 applicants at this time so feel free to take advantage of our free 30-minute consultationand find out what you could be doing now to strengthen your application!

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