I am planning on applying to MBA school in 2012.
The real question I have is--Do you highly recommend applying to all schools in Round 1? Additionally, do schools in the EU function the same way?
The easy answer to that is, yes. The earlier you apply, the more seats you have available for admission. If you are waitlisted, the more opportunity you have to get off it in subsequent rounds. If you are dinged, you still have time to assess your application for weaknesses and apply to other schools with a better strategy.
Since you are planning early this may not apply but, it is always better to apply when your application is the strongest. For example, if you have done a rush job on your essays, or think the GMAT score is not indicative of your abilities, don't apply in an earlier round at the risk of compromising on the strength of your application.
Best thing is, plan ahead. Get your GMAT out of the way early, so you have summer and part of the fall to prepare and polish your application and get it in front of the AdCom in the best shape you can get it.
For more tips on what to do before you apply, take a look at http://gmatclub.com/forum/advice-for-graduating-senior-90198.html
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