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application time

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application time [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 13:05
Hello bschool applicants...

I am currently focusing on the GMAT, and have only gone as far as filling out my name on the online forms for the bschools which I plan to target (top-20, standard issue...). Since it is already October and I have not yet taken the GMAT (I plan to by the end of the month), I'm concerned whether I'll have enough time to put together my applications for the January deadline. I plan to apply to some 8 schools in all.

For those of you that have already applied for first decision round...

1. How long did each application take you?
2. How much overlap did you see between the essays, etc?
3. What was the most time consuming part of the application process?
4. What tips would you recommend for planning the application process given I'm starting end of October and would like to get everything in time for Jan 1-5 that is typical for R2.

Thanks!!
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Re: application time [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 13:54
DISCLAIMER: You will find greatly varying responses to these questions. In a complex process like B-school admission, others' experiences do not directly map with yours. Moreover, most of us are applicants just like you, and know only as much about the admission process as you do. So do not take our answers as some strict guidelines.

1. How long did each application take you?
Almost one month. Sometimes I do not work on the applications for a few days (Just hang around at GMATClub), and sometimes I spend 3-4 hours a day.

2. How much overlap did you see between the essays, etc?
Not much. Even if there's an overlap, I like to work on the essay all over again -- taking cues from the previous school's essay. This way I can ensure that my essays do not deviate from the question asked even slightly.

3. What was the most time consuming part of the application process?
Writing and modifying essays and researching about the schools for those essays.

4. What tips would you recommend for planning the application process given I'm starting end of October and would like to get everything in time for Jan 1-5 that is typical for R2.
Because you won't have the safety of another round with you, first of all, know which schools you are going to apply to, and in which order you want to apply. Then start on the goals essay as soon as possible. A weak goals essay means a straight ding irrespective of which school you are applying to (Well that's not true. Golden Gate University will still take you).

Hope this helps.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 14:44
I have been working on essays since the beginning of August and still am stressing about getting them done in time for the first few deadlines in mid Oct. Honestly I could send them as is and they would be good but like most people on here I am striving for the best quality I can. Right now I am in the never ending tweaking process.
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Re: application time [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 15:14
Hyperstorm wrote:
Hello bschool applicants...

I am currently focusing on the GMAT, and have only gone as far as filling out my name on the online forms for the bschools which I plan to target (top-20, standard issue...). Since it is already October and I have not yet taken the GMAT (I plan to by the end of the month), I'm concerned whether I'll have enough time to put together my applications for the January deadline. I plan to apply to some 8 schools in all.

For those of you that have already applied for first decision round...

1. How long did each application take you?
2. How much overlap did you see between the essays, etc?
3. What was the most time consuming part of the application process?
4. What tips would you recommend for planning the application process given I'm starting end of October and would like to get everything in time for Jan 1-5 that is typical for R2.

Thanks!!


I took the GMAT mid September, applied to 2 schools in R1 (end October) and then spent November and December on 4-5 R2 apps of which I only finished and submitted 3 (because I run out of time and energy).

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Re: application time [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 21:12
Hyperstorm wrote:
Hello bschool applicants...
1. How long did each application take you?
2. How much overlap did you see between the essays, etc?
3. What was the most time consuming part of the application process?
4. What tips would you recommend for planning the application process given I'm starting end of October and would like to get everything in time for Jan 1-5 that is typical for R2.

Thanks!!


mNeo is right, everyone is different here, so here are my answers:

1. Hard to tell, since I flip flop between researching schools, talking to alum/students, filling out the app form, working on recommender packages, and the essays. I would probably say if I worked on one school at a time, it's roughly 3 weeks for each school, with 2-4 hours on weeknights, and 8-12 hours over the weekend.

2. For my schools, I found there to be quite a bit of overlap. UCLA only required me to write one new essay, the other three were up to 75% re-use from Haas. Haas had 7 essays, and that took me 2-3 weeks to write. Stanford took me the past 2 weeks of at least 4 hours a day non-stop to get to its final state. Kellogg will require me to write one brand new essay, and 4 essays that I can probably reuse 50%.

3. Essays, school/student/alum research, recommendation packages, digging through all your past history figuring out what you've done (and still remembering random things as of last week!)

4. work on it every single day if you can. I've had many Saturdays in a row where my friends had weddings or birthdays (darn friends!) so that set me back a little. If it helps, I took my GMAT early August, spent 3 weeks in August to get my Haas essays done. Spent 2 weeks in September working on recommendation packages and my work/extracurricular history, 1 week on UCLA essays, and 2 weeks on Stanford. I'm submitting end of October.
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Re: application time [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 22:10
Hyperstorm wrote:
1. How long did each application take you?
2. How much overlap did you see between the essays, etc?
3. What was the most time consuming part of the application process?
4. What tips would you recommend for planning the application process given I'm starting end of October and would like to get everything in time for Jan 1-5 that is typical for R2.

The final decision to move on with MBA was taken in May, so I spent June, July and first days of August to prepare for GMAT and TOEFL.
Then, I spen almost two weeks researching schools, downloading Clearadmit guides, BW Insider comparisons, school information and researching all of them, all along with settling my long-term goal. For schools made several nice tables comparing rates for employment in consulting and academics across the schools of my interest. As the result I was armed with the schedule of which applications when to write. From the end of August I started preparing applications.
1. Application for Kellogg took me about 3 weeks to write essays, a week in total to fill in the application form and to make the translation of transcript along with its approval at the university. Also, this time was spent for getting from university a copy of my grades with the split by each term. My recommendations for Kellogg will take another week and I'm going to fill in the second part and submit it.
At the same time, essays for Tuck took me about two weeks, recommendations were written in a week by recommenders as I asked them to pay attention to the upcoming deadline.
Resume/CV took me about a week to write it in a good form and bring in ACR approach :)
I estimate that by this weekend I finish the application for Tuck, then, in a week - for Kellogg and then have another couple of weeks for Michigan. This should be a bit easier, as I have a friend from there and after Tuck's essays I feel that all my examples are chewed and I have the finals to be used in essays.
2. Earlier I thought that essays are quite similar as every school asks for the same things. But process of writing essays for Tuck pushed me for another approach - I rewrote completely my essays, using as a supporting element my findings in Kellogg essays and personal organizer (thanks Montauk for this great form with questions) due to difference in accents at each school.
3. Most of time in every application I worked with essays, making drafts, rewriting, rethinking, revising.
4. Have to say, that application forms also take a while and paying for them only one day after you are finished with essays is not the best option. I filled in the application forms in the process of writing essays, taking pauses between rewritings. Also, you have to approach your recommenders ASAP to have your recommendations to be written in time.
If you have 5 schools to apply for by the end of October, it will be really hard time... Don't know how the situation is in your industry, in mine time from October to December is when everyone starts pushing every day, customers place lots of orders and it becomes more complex to use fresh brains for writing essays and critically revising them.
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thanks! [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 10:49
thanks for the quick reply guys, keep 'em coming!

Anyone specifically applied to Harvard, Stanford, Kellog, Wharton, NYU, Darden, UNC? How long did those take? Anything you found especially time consuming?
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 10:51
Stanford = EVIL...

Even after completing two sets of essays, with reviews from people, Stanford's essays still took 2 full weeks of all the free time I had and I'm still working on them.

Allocate 3-4 weeks for Stanford alone...
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 16:19
kryzak wrote:
Stanford = EVIL...

Even after completing two sets of essays, with reviews from people, Stanford's essays still took 2 full weeks of all the free time I had and I'm still working on them.

Allocate 3-4 weeks for Stanford alone...


What specifically takes so long? Their essays average length, no?
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 16:21
no, the essay length is too SHORT. I need more space. It's evil because of the questions they ask. Take a look at them and see if you can answer it easily. :)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 17:43
kryzak wrote:
no, the essay length is too SHORT. I need more space. It's evil because of the questions they ask. Take a look at them and see if you can answer it easily. :)

Actually, all the questions seem quite easy at first sight. But when you think on each of them for a day or two, you stuck with some peculiar turn given in question... The more you think, the more hidden levels you find in questions :)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 19:34
R.E.D. is dead on. And then you write something, and realize it's total crap... I've done more revisions on the Stanford essays than any of my other ones.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 20:05
I think I am on draft 15 of my Kellogg #1, including some very thorough rewrites. I spent 10 hours today on essays. Reworked three in an effort to make sure that if you read all three in a row they work together.

I am sure I could have put together decent essays in a much more reasonable time frame but knowing that they are probably going to be the make or break part of my application.

Honestly give yourself as much time as you can, do not underestimate the importance of the essays. Unless you have an amazing profile they really are going to be the key to your application. So many people have similar stats and careers, it is one sure fire way to set yourself apart.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2007, 16:49
kryzak wrote:
no, the essay length is too SHORT. I need more space. It's evil because of the questions they ask. Take a look at them and see if you can answer it easily. :)


You're right, I gave up on R1 for Stanford because I can't handle the "What matters for me" question in time. I do know what to write but it have just been total craps my attempts so far. Anyway R2 is "almost" the same as R1 and I would rather have a good job done by R2 than a total mess at R1.

Another essays I'm having big trouble is MIT, man, those 4 essays about situations are also PURE EVIL!

However, I'm happy that I'm finished with GSB, everything more than one week before, now I'll have time to fight another battle!
  [#permalink] 07 Oct 2007, 16:49
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