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Application Round Strategy

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Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 10:40
What are the differences between Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3 application strategies?

Do you really have the same chance during Round 1 and Round 2?
With a list of 6-8 schools, how should you apply based on round and strategy?
Round1: Reach, Competitive, Safety, or Reach Reach Competitive, etc or Round 2 Competitive Competitive Safety, or any combination.

Any insight??
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 10:43
terp26 wrote:
What are the differences between Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3 application strategies?

Do you really have the same chance during Round 1 and Round 2?
With a list of 6-8 schools, how should you apply based on round and strategy?
Round1: Reach, Competitive, Safety, or Reach Reach Competitive, etc or Round 2 Competitive Competitive Safety, or any combination.

Any insight??


I have 7 schools on my list currently. I have heard that R1 is easiest, so I'm putting my most desired schools in that bucket.

R1: Wharton, Chicago, Kellogg, UCLA, Haas

If I get into any one of these 5, I won't apply R2 at all. If I don't get into any of the above 5, I will apply to

R2: Yale, Columbia, Duke (pick 2)

If I have no dice at any of these 7 - I'll try again next year.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 10:54
Common AdCom speak is that there is an equal chance in Round 1 vs. Round 2.

There are two schools of thought here that I have heard among applicants -

1. It's easier in Round 1 because there are typically less applicants.
2. It's easier in Round 2 because AdComs are more likely to accept a "let's wait and see what R2 brings in" attitude towards middle of the road R1 applicants.

I am going to be pushing full bore to get 4-5 apps in R1, and maybe 1-2 Round 2 if it doesn't look good in R1. I personally think R1 offers the best chance. I know that if I was a member of the AdCom I would sure as hell be bored after reading through hundreds upon hundreds of apps and may suffer some burn-out/lack of interest as R2 starts to roll around.

Just my two cents!

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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 10:57
Two Terps?! Am I going mad?!

terp06 wrote:
......

terp26 wrote:
......
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 11:07
I think that will be the strategy of several people who are well organized although I dont know whether the same benefits will come of it as in years past. I am still working on getting the schools shortlisted.

sam77sam7 wrote:
Common AdCom speak is that there is an equal chance in Round 1 vs. Round 2.

There are two schools of thought here that I have heard among applicants -

1. It's easier in Round 1 because there are typically less applicants.
2. It's easier in Round 2 because AdComs are more likely to accept a "let's wait and see what R2 brings in" attitude towards middle of the road R1 applicants.

I am going to be pushing full bore to get 4-5 apps in R1, and maybe 1-2 Round 2 if it doesn't look good in R1. I personally think R1 offers the best chance. I know that if I was a member of the AdCom I would sure as hell be bored after reading through hundreds upon hundreds of apps and may suffer some burn-out/lack of interest as R2 starts to roll around.

Just my two cents!

~Sam

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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 11:22
I have the exact same strategy as sam. I'm looking to put in 4-5 round 1 apps at my top choices and then I'll get to work on putting in 1-2 round 2 apps if I get some early dings in R1.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 11:22
First difference is in quantity of applications - for a class of 450 there could be 300-400 applicants in the first round, from which about 150-200 will be selected in this round, giving selectivity of 50% and in the second rounds will be 700-800 applicants from which about 200 will be selected or 25%. So, chances are much greater of getting in during first round. From the other point of view, applicant pool in Round 1 is much stronger than that in Round 2 because applicants started their preparations in advance, had time to get a great GMAT score and had time to craft their essays and, the most important, they apply in Round 1 because they fill the best fit with this school.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 12:12
This is what I plan to do: Rank my schools based on my preference 1-6. Apply to 6, 2, and then 1 in R1. Then leave 3, 4, and 5 for R2. The reason I do this is because I will use the application for 6 as a "warm-up" for the rest of my applications. The first application is always most difficult, so by the time I get to applying to my top choices I should have a better understanding of the application process as a whole than I did before I started. I think/hope that makes sense, LOL.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 13:20
Just as an FYI: a lot of schools reported much higher increase in R1 apps this year leading me to believe that a lot of people are jumping on the R1 bandwagon. Even then, apply at the earliest but do not compromise the quality of the app and definitely avoid applying in R3.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 13:40
R1 is definitely the best round for applications. However, you should also consider the following:

1) A fully thought out and complete R2 application is better than a rushed R1 application
2) In a really weak year, R1 could end up being harder than R2 because adcom feels that there will be more good applications coming but that ends up not happening. However, I feel that this probability is pretty low and at worst, you'll probably get a wait list on R1 and you'll get in for R2 anyway so nothing is lost.
3) In a very strong year, R1 is definitely easiest. The trend seems to be that the applications are getting stronger year by year.

In the end, I think most schools get the fewest applications in R1 but they also tend to get the strongest applications in R1. When all is said and done, you should apply R1 if you have the time to get your application done.

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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 13:57
First of all I recommend a max of 6 schools, and 3 or 4 for R1 at most. Don't underestimate how much time a solid application takes to put together. Yes the more you do the easier they get since you have more essay material to pull from....HOWEVER most applicants burn out towards the end. Heck I only did 3 R1 apps and was dreading the R2 application process.

While schools say that R1 and R2 are equal thats not true and one look at any data point available online backs that up. Sure the people applying in R1 may be more prepared and stronger but they admit a higher percentage. If you are borderline they will WL and then if you would make it in during R2 you will get in. Schools tend to know who can cut it and wont cant from years of experience and getting an idea of how many apps they get in R1 can tend to give them an idea of how the rest of the season will play out. Personally I think R1 is marginally easier, plus if R1 sees a 10% increase from this year to next but R2 sees a 20% they wont know that so you might make a cut you otherwise wouldnt...if it goes the other way they will just pull more heavily from the WL. This year HBS pulled significantly more from the WL than the past several according to some sources (sandy the HBSguru).

My advice:
R1: Your top 3, go for all reaches if you want in this round...though I think 1 dream, 1 reach, and 1 fairly competitive is a good idea.
R2: 3 more...1 competitive, 1 highly competitive, and 1 safety

How you decide where you are competitive...BE REALISTIC. GMAT, GPA, age, and years of work experience arent what will make you competitive. Its what you do, who you do it for, where you went to school, whats unique about you, your extra curriculars...pretty much are you really going to fit in with the resume book. Some are available online if you look and its shocking to see how impressive almost every student is at all the top 5-10 schools.

If you are considering Kellogg, trust me apply R1. They roll out admits very early in the process. I was admitted on November 27th last year...I didnt have to stress about R2 apps at all. I enjoyed the entire month of december and holidays completely stress free. Now some of us found out well before christmas and others were admitted on the last day...so its not a sure bet you will get accepted in November and not December but if you want Kellogg go early.

Now I know that some demographics are more competitive than others but some schools definitely seem more accepting of those. Take a look at Ross and Duke if you are an Indian. Both are top 15 schools and the Indian members cleaned up at those schools. Indians go to all schools but sorry to say the bar is going to be higher. I must say at the top 5 schools the indians I met were absolutely amazing folks...definitely the cream of the crop.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 14:01
MIT - Apply Round I & definitely visit if you are in the US.

In general, apply R1 for your top 3 or 4 schools, assuming the app is at a decent state.

About desis applying to duke and ross: yes, both these schools take a significant number of desis, but also be aware that there are a huge number of desis targeting these 2 schools. So, dont expect it to be easy.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 15:08
hmm this is all getting a little dejecting and we are only in May 08 ... sigh
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 15:32
I'm also following the "earlier is better" strategy. Most of my schools will be Round 1, with a few Round 2 applications. Then again, I'm also applying to a lot of schools
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 16:24
sm332 wrote:
hmm this is all getting a little dejecting and we are only in May 08 ... sigh


just think of how glorious it will be when you get your first acceptance...only 8 months until R1 decisions!!
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 16:30
think positive ..... i agree

msday86 wrote:
sm332 wrote:
hmm this is all getting a little dejecting and we are only in May 08 ... sigh


just think of how glorious it will be when you get your first acceptance...only 8 months until R1 decisions!!

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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 06 May 2008, 22:24
The general thought is Round 1 for the tougher schools since the app volume is lower (though that is changing) and Rd 2 for backup and schools around your range. This year the Round 2's saw HUGE numbers (1400 for UCLA's Round 2, out of 3000 apps usually!) and most schools got some crazy numbers in Rd2. Round 1 saw the most increase, but that's because Round 1 is traditionally a smaller round, so most of the increase came from people who prepared early (like us here at GMATClub).

Again, if you can get it done by Round 1, DO IT. But if you have to rush and turn in something sub-optimal, DO NOT DO IT. It's better to turn in an awesome application later (in Round 2 for 3 round schools and Round 3 for 4 round schools) than a not-so-good one earlier. I turned in my Kellogg app in Round 2, but I think it was my most polished app, and even with the increase in applicants and 2 other people with very similar profiles already in during R1, I still got in.

I strongly recommend you get all the schools you really want to get into done in ROUND 1. Why? You really don't want to wait for results in March instead of January, when everyone on BW and here start posting their admit results. I'm VERY glad I got most of them out of the way and found out my top choice in January. And even then, waiting for Kellogg by end of March was still tough. i can't imagine if all my eggs were in the Round 2 basket. I would be a nervous wreck! :P

So apply to 2-3 reach schools, add 1 competitive school and 1 safety in round 1 (at most 4... any more than that you'll get burned out)

For round 2, maybe apply to 1-2 competitive and 1-2 safeties. For a max of 4 (2-3 is ideal).

Why safety in Round 1? Because it'll save you a LOT of grief knowing you got into a b-school in January (see my point above), even if it's not your top choice.

Speaking of which, make sure you will GO TO the safety school. Otherwise there's no point in applying to a school you won't go to.

Alright, my time is limited here in Taiwan's internet cafe, so I'll stop here. :)
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 14:55
Good tip about applying to a safety in round 1 kry. I think with all this increased competition, some of us may only get into our safety. This is something I am making amends with, so I'm choosing safety schools wisely.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 19:07
ncprasad wrote:
MIT - Apply Round I & definitely visit if you are in the US.


True. The only school where it definitely makes a difference whether one applies R1 or R2.
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Re: Application Round Strategy [#permalink] New post 07 May 2008, 19:24
Stanford suggests R1 as well...

From the MBA admissions website:
---------------------------------
If you are considering applying in either Round 1 or Round 2, we encourage you to consider Round 1. Over the past few years, we've noticed more applicants applying in Round 2 and, as a result, this round has become bigger and a bit more competitive. You should never rush your application. But on the margin, earlier is better.
---------------------------------
Re: Application Round Strategy   [#permalink] 07 May 2008, 19:24
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