With Harvard kicking off the R1 deadlines, the question that most applicants are dealing with is whether to make a sprint for R1 or wait and apply in R2.
While there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, let’s look at certain factors that can help you make this decision.
1. You have conviction and clarity around your goals and understand which schools are the best fits for you considering your profile and goals.
Not all MBA programs may be a good bet for your professional goals. If you have significant clarity around your short term goal to begin with it helps in picking the right schools. It doesn’t make much sense to apply to an MBA program that may be high ranked but won’t do a good job of getting you where you want to be. However, if you’re still unsure on where you want to apply, then getting the sage advice of a consultant may help you refine and finalize your target list. You could reach out to us for a free expert evaluation of your candidacy. Our global affiliation ensures that we have collective perspective of having helped nearly 5000 applicants target their dream MBA programs.
2. You have a GMAT or GRE score that is above average or in middle 80% for your target schools. The impact of Inflation isn’t restricted to emerging economies only. Its impact is being felt in rising GMAT and GRE scores. If your scores are significantly lower than the average for the school then maybe you could look at a retake. You are the best judge of how much time may be needed to get a score that does justice to your potential. While GMAT and GRE scores is only one criteria used by schools and can be compensated by other aspects for schools evaluating your complete profile, going in with a score that reflects your best performance on GMAT and GRE allows you to compete on even terms
3. You have demonstrated evidence of traits that MBA adcoms look for. You have done your research around traits that different MBA programs are looking for. If your resume is filled with clear and impactful results in your professional and non-professional roles then you have made a good start. And if you have reflected on these traits and know how they will add value to MBA programs then you are more than half-way there. MBA4India knows what is needed to for a candidate to stand out and can help you fill in the gaps wherever there are vulnerabilities using its proven methodologies.
4. Your recommenders are on board to provide timely, relevant and “gung-ho” recommendations.
Have you identified recommenders who are fully committed to see you succeed? If so, it’s a good strategy to provide your recommenders a significant heads up so that they have the time to craft a winning recommendation. One way to motivate them to do this is to provide them basic framework on the traits and examples that will improve your candidacy. And therefore ensure that all aspects of your application from resume, essay and recommendations is aligned and presents a consistent and compelling portrait of you as an applicant.
We often encounter candidates who either 1) apply before they are really ready and therefore submit a rushed application or 2) they procrastinate and miss an opportunity to apply early when most places are still available. Reach out to us to get our view on when may be the best time for you to apply. We have helped hundreds of Indian applicants “punch above their weight” and get stellar results by picking the right application round. As in life, for MBA applications sometimes “timing is everything”.