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Is round 1 that much better than round 2?

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Is round 1 that much better than round 2? [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2009, 10:05
Hey Alex, I was hoping to get your honest assessment of my situation...

Essentially, to be brutally honest with myself, I have grossly underestimated the time and prep required to score 700+ on the gmat. I was halfassedly studying for the last month and a half and have done some practice tests and I am nowhere near where I need to be in terms of timing and accuracy. If I clamped down and studied hard over the next month, I am still not comfortable that I would be a lock for 700+. I think what I need is a prep course, however all the live courses I have come across are 2 month courses (8 classes, a day a week). This would make it virtually impossible to get my application in for first round given the timing of the courses.

The question boils down to this:

a) Do I absolutely need 700+ to crack the top 5 schools?
b) Am I better off applying in the second round with a higher gmat (700+) or should I take my chances, potentially get below 700, and apply in the first round (where I assume there's less competition)?

An interesting note from the HBS admissions' director blog (HBS website):

"What is the difference between applying in round one and round two?"

Not much. We'll make roughly the same number of admissions offers in each round. While we have a smaller number of applications in round one, I will generalize and say that they historically tend to be a very organized and eager group who want to know where they stand as soon as possible.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: Is round 1 that much better than round 2? [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2009, 18:07
To answer your questions:

(1) Yes. Sure, if you're at 680 or below, you can still get in (10% have scores below 680) -- but it's not because they're amazing applicants - they're LUCKY (plenty of others who are also amazing got dinged as well, even with 700+ scores). Anything below 700, and you're gambling.

(2) Yes. There is no real difference between rounds 1 and 2. Yet, year after year some applicants microanalyze the differences between both rounds.

Retake the GMAT and apply in Round 2.
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Alex Chu
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Re: Is round 1 that much better than round 2? [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2009, 20:43
Thanks Alex, appreciate it.
Re: Is round 1 that much better than round 2?   [#permalink] 13 Jul 2009, 20:43
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Is round 1 that much better than round 2?

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