1. The Signals
- Good planning skills: I know the typical B School application calendar and I have planned my tests, application, recommendations well in advance. I have my GMAT score, language test scores, have shortlisted schools that I want to apply to and have completed the application packet – all in time.
- You are my first choice: Your school is among the top schools in my list. I am very keen on joining your school.
Applying in a later round could be interpreted as a no admit in the earlier round.
2. Early bird…
By the time a school reaches Round 3 of the application cycle, it would have admitted over 3/4th of the class. So, the school can tend to be more selective and might focus on ensuring diversity of the class. All else being equal, you might lose out on diversity. But when you apply in R1, the prospective class is practically empty and your chances are that much better.
3. You can exercise your plan B
If you have one or two admits in R1, you can have a plan B for R2.
Let us look at the scenario where you have secured an admit at a reasonably well ranked school with little or no financial assistantship. You could apply to a few more schools that are more generous, in R2 and try to secure an admit with better assistantship thrown in. The admit in R1 gives you the confidence to negotiate better in R2.
Conversely, if you had aimed too high in R1 and did not secure an admit, you could make amends and apply to relatively safe schools in R2.
This blog is written in mid June. If you have already started your GMAT prep, you will be able to take the test by the end of August or early September. In fact, this calendar gives you just enough room to catch the R1 cycle of of US B schools – provided you maintain the tempo of your preparation.
If you have not yet started your GMAT preparation, it is high time you started. You will need at least 2 months to do justice to your preparation. Whether you prepare with a classroom program or an online gmat course or through self study, gear up for a 350 to 400 hour intensive preparation. So, start today!.