If you're asking whether applying early or late in a round affects your chances, the answer is usually know. Most schools don't start reviewing applications until after the round closes. So, there's no advantage. I say "usually" and "most" because this does NOT apply to schools that work on a rolling basis (such as Columbia). In that case, it has been said that applying earlier in the round is better, although I have never seen hard stats to back this up.
If you're asking whether it makes more sense to cram to get in an application at the last minute before the R1 deadline or wait until R2, I almost always advise clients in this situation to wait until R2. If waiting means that even just one of your application components -- such as your GMAT score, essays, or letters or recommendation -- will be even a little bit better, then it's worth waiting.
This is a certainty. Improving your application is always WAY more effective than coming up with a clever timing strategy.
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