This post has been marked as OLD. EssaySnark's advice and strategies for winning MBA applications don't change from year to year, but some of the school-specific admissions policies, essay questions, or other information covered in this article may be outdated.
Brave Supplicants, we know the question you’re struggling with:
Should I apply now? I don’t feel like I’m ready. Maybe I should wait till Round 2?
The advice that almost all the schools give is, “apply when you’re ready.” Most of them* say that your chances are the same whether applying in Round 1 or Round 2.
EssaySnark definitely agrees that you need to have a well-crafted application with water-tight essays in order to make it through the admissions obstacle course and secure an offer.
BUT: What makes you think it’s going to be any easier to get your act together for Round 2?
You do realize, don’t you, that Round 2 deadlines for most schools come in the first week of January. Right after the holidays.
Do you really want to be writing essays in December when everyone else you know is galavanting?
And only you can answer this: Will you really truly be in a better position preparation-wise on, say, December 26th than you are right now? Or will you have procrastinated and frittered away all the months and days in between now and then?
Because here’s the thing, Brave Supplicant:
EssaySnark has tracked outcomes of our clients for some time now.
And *almost all* of our Round 1 clients have gotten offers. At, like, top 10 schools. (Because hardly anybody applies to lower-ranked schools in Round 1. Because, like, why would you?)
We most certainly absolutely positively canNOT say this about Round 2 clients. (And Round 3? Fuggetaboutit.)
Now, this is not citing causation. These Brave Supplicant clients of ours did not make it in because they applied in Round 1. Likely, their Round 1 applications actually reflect the fact that they were pulled-together, buttoned-up, accomplished overachiever-types who had themselves organized in time to pull it off. Not to say there was no last-minute scrambling the night before the deadline, ‘cuz that happens in every round. But bottom line is, these folks managed to get that baby done in time, and for nearly all of them, it paid off famously.
One factor for sure: There are fewer apps coming in in Round 1. It’s easier to stand out from the pack. And, the adcom is fresh. They’ve come back from their summer vacays and made it home from their MBA Tour traveling and what have you, and are rested and ready to go. Inspired even.
We cannot imagine what it must be like in the dregs of Round 2 app reviews. (Well, actually, we can. We have to live through the month of December when our lives are all essays, all the time.)
Are you getting our message here?
*A notable exception to this is MIT. MIT has just two rounds, and they admit half the class in each — yet they get a gazillion billion more apps in Round 2. Do the math.