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Thanks That answers my 1st question.. Would it make a difference if one applies in cycle 2 instead of cycle 1??
There are usually the same number of admits in both rounds. But the number of applicants in round 2 are generally more. So that increases the competition. That being said, you should apply when you think your application is ready. With a just average application, don't apply in round just for the sake of being in round 1. But since there is more time now for round, target round 1 and start working on your essays now. _________________