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Retake GMAT and application round [#permalink]
27 Jul 2012, 11:44
I couldn't decide whether to retake gmat and also how to decide which round to apply.
First of all, my background. I have a BS and MS in engineering and I have been working for a medical device startup for 4 and half years. I took gmat last year and got 720. I did apply earlier this year, however I was denied. I only applied for Duke in 3rd round.
First of all, I am not sure if I should retake gmat.
Secondly, how does the admission rate of round 1 compare to that of round 2? My understanding is round1>round2>>round3, is that true?
Unless your GMAT score is very unbalanced (i.e. 50th percentile Quant/99th percentile Verbal) I wouldn't retake the GMAT. A 720 alone isn't going to keep you out of programs even if you come from an over represented group. My guess is that you didn't get in last year due to applying in R3. Since Stanford is on your list you may want to retake just to bump your score to their average (730), but retaking the GMAT for 10 extra points is kind of a waste of time and I doubt it would measurably improve your chances at Stanford. They tend to care a lot about undergrad GPA and prestige of undergrad and employer/job. If those aren't there then even a 780 isn't likely to gain you an admit. I guess my point is that the ROI on retaking the GMAT is pretty low. You can do it if it makes you sleep better at night, but I wouldn't expect it to be the difference maker.
As for which round to apply in, I'd say that it doesn't matter if you apply R1 or R2. The only school that encourages applicants to apply in R1 (if they are ready) is Stanford. Other than that admissions rates are basically the same b/w R1 and R2. The majority of the class is admitted in R2, but that's simply because that's when the most applications come in. R1 has fewer applications and all of the spots in the class are open. However, the applicant pool tends to be very strong and schools like to WL people in order to see who else they will get in R2 and R3. I would say to apply when you are ready. If that's R1 then go for it. If it's R2 then that's cool too. I would just avoid R3 because it's a scary land where people who would have gotten in during the first two rounds wind up as reapplicants next year.
I would pick your top schools and those you think might be a stretch to try and apply to in Round 1. You still have plenty of time until October (most schools Rd1 deadlines are beginning of Oct) to get probably 4 good applications together. Then you will have an idea if you've gotten any interview invites or acceptances prior to the Rd 2 deadline and you can readjust your sights if needed.