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USC Part-Time MBA Round 2 vs Round 3 (4 Rounds)

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USC Part-Time MBA Round 2 vs Round 3 (4 Rounds) [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2009, 17:31
Hello,

I know the "last round" is always the most difficult to succeed in as there are fewer seats available, and the last round has always been considered round 3. But what about round 3 in a 4 round rolling application system? Is there much of a difference that should outweigh an attempt at a higher GMAT?

USC MBA PM program has 4 rounds and I need to decide between rushing round 2 with a 610 gmat/3.1 gpa and taking a shot at round 3 with a potentially higher gmat score. Using MGMAT Practice Exams (after exhausting GMATPrep early), I had scored 700, 720, 670, 680, 680, and 720. I expected a higher GMAT score!

My hope is that round 3 is not far different from round 2 at USC so I can use the extra month to attempt at a much higher GMAT (680-700), making myself stand-out on "paper" in addition to my essays.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for reading this!
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Re: USC Part-Time MBA Round 2 vs Round 3 (4 Rounds) [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2010, 09:45
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You're right that the best way to think of it is not "The third round is the hardest," but rather "The last round is hardest." As you mentioned, Marshall's MBA.PM program actually uses a rolling a rolling admissions calendar. This is taken right from their web site:

USC Marshall MBA.PM uses a rolling admissions process: we evaluate complete applications in order of their receipt. Therefore, it is beneficial to submit your application early. Our application will open on October 1, 2009, and will remain open until May 1, 2010.

So, you're not forced to choose a specific date. I think your instincts are correct: You should plan on taking the GMAT again and trying to get up around 700 (like you had been doing on the practice tests), to offset that relatively low GPA (3.1). You don't want to wait until May 1, but waiting a few more weeks is smart, assuming that you get a better score.

BTW, if you're looking for more GMAT practice, Veritas Prep offers a really good free practice test here:

http://www.veritasprep.com/gmat-prepara ... tice-GMAT/

Good luck!
Scott
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USC Part-Time MBA Round 2 vs Round 3 (4 Rounds)

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