MBA | Write Track Admissions

Time will Tell: Does applying earlier REALLY Help?

mba calendar
Time will Tell: Does applying earlier REALLY Help?

Reading Time: 4 minutes – 

Every MBA program as its own timeline and number of rounds. Though most have 3, some have more, and almost all of them operate on a different schedule. Some schools, like HBS, have their first round deadline set as early as September 4. It is imperative that as an MBA applicant, you do not force yourself into a later round because you were disorganized or unprepared. However, waiting to apply during a later round can also be a strategic move. Here at Write Track, we have broken down the most commonly used 3 Round Process for you!

mba timeline from poets & quants

(Acceptance rates by round. Limited sampling of GMAT Club Users. Source: https://poetsandquants.com/2015/12/19/how-acceptances-rates-vary-by-round/)

MBA Round 1

Applying during the first round exemplifies just how serious you are about a particular school. It implies that you have planned on attending the school, and believe your request for their consideration is strong. Statistically, first round applicants see the highest chance of acceptance, as schools typically take the largest percentage of applicants from the round 1 pool, which is also most often smaller than the round 2 pool. According to a former Duke Fuqua Admissions Committee Member

In the end, there are more slots available in round one and more opportunities to be placed on the waitlist if that’s the route the admissions committee decides to take”

So first round applicants have identified their top choices and are prepared to submit their application before the majority of other applicants do. 

 

Write Track Recommendation: If you have a great GMAT score, solid Letters of Recommendation, and a unique profile, or you identify as a weaker candidate that wants all the advantage possible… APPLY ROUND 1!

MBA Round 2

Round 2 is almost always the largest applicant pool – but the odds of acceptance are relatively similar to the first round. Furthermore, a solid GMAT score can usually ensure that the increase in competition is not too huge a deal. Through research and experience we have found that some applicants utilize this round to apply to schools that are lower on their list, while others will purposely wait to apply until this round because of a nontraditional background and a sparkling personal statement, which in most cases will shine extra bright. Taking the extra time to polish your application to perfection can also work to your advantage. 

 

Write Track Recommendation: If you need to wait to (re)take the GMAT to get a solid score, spend time getting that stellar Letter of Recommendation, and work on an outstanding application to a wide variety of programs (Reach – Target – Safety) … APPLY ROUND 2!

MBA Round 3

A highly unusual background or sheer desire to attend an MBA program are really the only reasons to wait until the third round to apply. The odds of acceptance are lowest in this round, and there is typically less scholarship money to be given out. Extremely strong candidates may still have a fair chance of acceptance, but the third MBA round is the most competitive and by all measures will limit optionality. Most people applying during this round only have a chance if they have used MBA Admissions Consulting services.

 

Write Track Recommendation: If you are eager to go to business school, regardless of the rank and can not wait another year … APPLY ROUND 3!

 

If you find yourself stuck in a later round, contact Write Track Admissions for cutting-edge MBA application assistance. We’ll ensure your application is at its strongest point so you can remain competitive even in the third round.

 

Aly Hartman | Write Track Communications Officer

Write Track Admissions

group discussing mba admissions
6 Pro Tips to Get Ahead for Round 1 MBA Applications!

Reading Time: 6 minutes – 

 

1) Ask yourself: Is MBA right for you?

Choosing to undertake an MBA program is an arduous adventure. It is time consuming and can take a toll financially in the short term, but the long term benefits of having an MBA under your belt are insurmountable. Furthermore, certain companies, such as Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., or BCG almost universally expect their hires to have an MBA background. It is important to research MBA programs thoroughly, visit schools, and see if it truly speaks to you, because when it comes down to it, admissions committees can easily tell whether or not you are applying with a true desire to study business at an elevated level. 

 

2) Figure out which MBA Round you want to apply to and plan accordingly.

Schools that utilize MBA admissions rounds typically host three rounds. It is recommended that you apply in the first round as applicants usually have a higher chance of acceptance in this round. While it is by no means detrimental to apply during the second round, the applicant pool is larger, and thus less applicants are accepted. Experts advise against applying in the third round unless you have an insurmountably unique application due to your professional experiences, identity, or diverse background. Note, even if you submit your application right before the end of a given round deadline, you are still okay.

Schools that utilize MBA rolling applications review should be applied to sooner rather than later since the later you apply, the higher the risk that the class seats fill up.

 

3) Study, Study, Study For the GMAT!

Though low test scores will most certainly keep you out of the school of your choice, stellar test scores won’t necessarily get you into that school, either. A number of other factors, such as your essays, Undergraduate grades and classes, Undergraduate school prestige, Undergraduate GPA, MBA program interview, Resume, and letters of recommendation all have a hand to play in your admissions review. If your GMAT score is well above average, you’re already halfway there. You just need to round out your application with the aforementioned “other factors.” However, the same applies if your GMAT score is sub-par. You can tailor your MBA application to fill out that particular weakness. If you are really struggling with the GMAT, try taking the GRE! Though it is not as widely accepted, it is still a viable standardized tests. Either way, you need to be wholly aware of how your test scores measure up to other applicants at the school you are applying to. 

 

4) Review your resume and recommendations!

Your resume will be compared to every other resume in your applicant pool. It is important to be cognizant of where you stand in this realm. The typical 2-year Business School applicant has 3-6 years of professional experience… How do you measure up? Does your resume speak to your leadership skills? Volunteer experiences? Quantitative accomplishments?

Further, your letters of recommendation are like the structural support of your application – they validate and reinforce all of the other elements that you have submitted. It is imperative that you find a recommender who has known you for a substantial period of time, that can substantiate your accomplishments with examples, and showers you with praise as a your #1 cheerleader. So make sure you choose your recommender wisely… If you are unsure of who to ask, Write Track Admissions offers top tier consultations for this specific issue!

 

5) Craft your story…

Your MBA essays are your pivotal point – it is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge of business, express your passion for further education, and round yourself out as an individual who will be a positive addition to the classroom. “…connect the dots and showcase why who you are, what you’ve studied, practiced and dreamed and how that makes you the ideal candidate for business school and how will ALL this play out in the future,” says Write Track Founder, Hamada Z. Essentially, you need to be sure to find your brand, make sure you have a plausible story that connects who you are, what you have practiced, what you want to do in the future, and how the MBA can get you there. 

 

6) Schedule your interview, ASAP

The MBA interview is utilized by some schools to find out who you are beyond your test scores and written application. Some schools require interviews in order to evaluate all of their applicants, while others will request interviews on a case by case basis in order to weed out the top applicants. It is imperative that if an interview is required or requested of you, that you schedule it immediately. Otherwise, you risk delaying your application decision and possibly being placed in a later application pool, thus lowering your chances of getting into your dream school.

 

If you are still unsure if an MBA education is right for you or if you are feeling lost at any point with your MBA application, contact Write Track Admissions for a consultation!

 

Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer

Write Track Admissions

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