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Is round 1 that much better than round 2?

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Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 88
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 8

Is round 1 that much better than round 2? [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2009, 10:07
Hey Paul/Linda, 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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Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1702
Location: San Diego, California
Followers: 14

Kudos [?]: 167 [0], given: 0

Re: Is round 1 that much better than round 2? [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2009, 09:17

A 700 score is not absolutely essential for all applicants to top 5 schools, underrepresented minorities being a case in point. But for most applicants, yes, you need to clear at a minimum the 700 (or 80th percentile in both Q and V) threshold. Most schools say the same thing as HBS regarding the difference between first and second rounds, and I don't doubt them. The benefit of applying first round over second is that in the first you don't have to worry about whether someone with a "profile" similar to yours has already been accepted--if you're from a typical applicant pool you can be better assured that you will be one of the dozens of qualified applicants from that pool that the school accepts.

But definitely take the time to get the best GMAT score possible.


Paul Bodine /
Author, Great Applications for Business School and Perfect Phrases for Business School Acceptance

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Senior Manager
Status: Yeah well whatever.
Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 347
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 660 Q42 V39
GMAT 2: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.49
WE: Analyst (Insurance)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 58 [0], given: 17

Re: Is round 1 that much better than round 2? [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2010, 11:26
Hi PBodine,

It's interesting that I'm now talking to you through two mediums (facebook & gmatclub). I only know who you are because of your gmatclub name and the book you wrote that I purchased. I've never heard anyone give a number for the question that I'm about to ask. What is your educated guess for what that general floor of GMAT scores is for URM's? I'm in a similar situation as the original poster but I'm also an AA male. So I’m particularly interested in the point you raised above. After months of self study and several practice tests I took the real thing and got a 660, which isn’t bad but I want to do better so that I not only am in the running for where I want to go but also receive as much non-loan financial aid as possible. I start a prep class with mgmat tomorrow and my goal is to move 50 points.

Wish me luck.

Bruce (yeah I used my real name)

He that is in me > he that is in the world. - source 1 John 4:4

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Is round 1 that much better than round 2?

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