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# Apply in round 2 with 720-750 or round 3 with 750-780?

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Intern
Joined: 01 Jun 2010
Posts: 23
Location: United States
Schools: Harvard Business School (HBS) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 730 Q47 V44
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Apply in round 2 with 720-750 or round 3 with 750-780? [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2011, 23:12
Hello, forum. I'm trying to decide if I should rush my GMAT to make the round 2 Harvard deadline or take my time and wait until round 3. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

I'm fortunate in that my verbal is in the 99% with no study, but I've never spent much time on math so need a little work (I'm in the 70-80% range). If I blitz the math over the next few weeks and take the test early January, I think I can hit 750 or maybe 760 with the right luck, but my failure case would be 720. If I wait until March, I can most likely study my max up to 780 with a failure case of 750.

Is the score difference worth waiting until round 3? Due to work commitments I didn't think I could start an MBA next year (was going to be out of the country on an expat assignment for a year, but the duration was recently cut to 6 months) so I have a good excuse for applying late...but I'm not sure how the late application will affect my chances.

I feel that my work experience and background is solid, but my biggest fear is that I just turned 30 and might be considered too old for a top tier program. I'm only looking to go to a top 5 school and don't want the window to close on me. Is a worst-case 720 good enough, or do I need the 750+?

Here is my background:

Work Experience: 5 years
Job: Manage a product mktg group at one of the largest tech companies in the world
Misc: Co-founder of a non-profit that raises tens of thousands of dollars yearly for local high schools
Extensive international experience
Speak multiple languages
Division 1 athlete
Can get letters of recommendation from heavy hitters in the tech industry
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HBS Class of 2014

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Re: Apply in round 2 with 720-750 or round 3 with 750-780? [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2011, 10:46
Hi alphastrike,

Kaplan NEVER recommends waiting till round 3. Round 3 admissions are extremely selective, so you will almost certainly increase your odds of admission by hitting the round 2 deadlines, even with a slightly lower score.

Eli
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Schools: UC Berkeley (Haas) - Class of 2010
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Re: Apply in round 2 with 720-750 or round 3 with 750-780? [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2011, 11:33
Based on your profile, I'd recommend applying in round 2. A 720-750 score is very good and from my experience the difference between the two ranges you discussed will have minimal impact on your admissions. You've basically checked the checkbox for GMAT score and should now focus on other parts of your application, such as essay and creating a coherent story about why Harvard is the right school for you and why now is the right time for you to get an MBA.

As Eli mentioned, round 3 also tends to be much more selective than round 2. Though for someone with a different profile, round 3 might make more sense (say if your score was sub 650).

Bhavin
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Re: Apply in round 2 with 720-750 or round 3 with 750-780? [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2011, 14:45
alphastrike,

You make it sound as if 720 is a low score and that your estimated score range is 720-780. Be careful as there are many factors that play into the GMAT exam including psychology and timing strategies on the day of the exam. In my experience, I've seen students with 800s on the SATs and struggle to get beyond the low 700s - so certainly don't underestimate a mistake here and there.

Once you get past the threshold, don't worry about getting a higher score. Your application background and story will matter more - and it seems solid for you. What you are looking to get out of the bschool experience will also be important.

A 750 vs 780 is really only the difference of a few questions - perhaps 2 or 3 depending on when you made the mistake in the test.
Re: Apply in round 2 with 720-750 or round 3 with 750-780?   [#permalink] 25 Dec 2011, 14:45
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