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Starting TODAY, You Have Enough Time to Build an AWESOME Round 1 Application
Many Business School applicants enter into the overall process of taking the GMAT and applying to Business School without realizing how much time and effort everything actually requires. Whether you’ve just recently decided that you want to earn an MBA or you attempted to rush through everything and just couldn’t make the application deadlines, you’re in the perfect position for this year’s Round 1 deadlines. Since many Round 1 deadlines are in September or October, you have the perfect amount of time to build an awesome application and hit the Round 1 deadlines.
Let’s Start With the Obvious: The GMAT
The immediate issue for most applicants is the GMAT score. Beyond the obvious value of that score (the higher the score, the greater the ‘range’ of Business Schools that you can reasonably apply to), there are some benefits that you might not even be considering right now: scholarships and career opportunities later on. While scholarships vary from Program-to-Program, they almost all involve a GMAT-score ‘component.’ With a high GMAT score (along with whatever other prerequisites are required), you could receive a scholarship worth tens-of-thousands of dollars (and possibly a hundred-thousand dollars or more). Some companies (notably high-end financial-services firms) are known to partially assess job applicants on their GMAT scores, so if you plan to go into that sector, having a higher GMAT score is a must.
Considering the importance of your GMAT score, any inkling that you might have to ‘limit’ your studies (to just books, for example) is remarkably short-sighted. The 700+ score (which is what many Test Takers are after) is approximately the 90th percentile, meaning that 90% of Test Takers either CAN’T or WON’T do what it takes to score at that level. Investing in the proper resources and planning out a reasonable, consistent study routine can get you to your ‘peak’ performance in about 3 months. Since we’re still in the first quarter of 2016, you HAVE the necessary calendar time to commit to that task.
Assembling the Necessary ‘Pieces’
Each of your applications will require a number of different components, including undergrad transcripts (GPA), Letters of Recommendation and Essays. Each of these pieces requires a certain amount of time and effort to assemble/create, so you have to give yourself enough time to gather them all. Letters of Rec can often take weeks or months to acquire (since you have to give the ‘writers’ enough time to write those letters – remember that you’re asking those people for a favor). The type of well-written essays that you will want to craft will also take time… and brain-storming…, and rewrites. You certainly don’t want to have to ‘juggle’ working on all of these items while you’re studying for the GMAT and dealing with all of the other areas of your life (work, family, etc.), so it’s important to plan ahead and set aside the necessary time to work on each of these areas later on.
The Value of Admissions Expertise (and the Best Time to Seek it)
Given the competitive nature of many MBA Programs, every applicant should seek out admissions advice (even if it’s just ‘general’ advice) from a reputable source. If you plan to apply to a highly competitive Program (a Top10 School or M7 School, for example), then the level of competition is SO high that you absolutely have to consider working with an Admissions Expert on your applications.
Schools such as Harvard and Stanford receive so many high-quality applications that the Admissions Committees can really only accept about 6%-10% of applicants. Now imagine if you were perfectly qualified to attend one of those Schools, but you made an error on some part of your application and were rejected as a result…
To be fair, this type of admissions service is NOT cheap, but you have to decide if spending that money is worth the improved chance of receiving an invite to a top-ranked Program. While no Admissions Expert can guarantee success in that regard, they can genuinely help you to craft the most effective applications possible.
Crafting a Reasonable Timeline
If you were prepared to commit the next 3 months (or so) to studying for the GMAT, then you could conceivably be done with that part of the process by the end of May or early June. THAT time of year is actually a great time to work with an Admissions Expert, since those Experts likely won’t be too busy yet (by the time August and September occur, most Admissions Experts have a full slate of clients, so those Experts will be spread somewhat ‘thin’). By engaging that service earlier than most of the other applicants who’ll want it, you can likely save some money and receive a more dedicated experience. Over the course of a couple of months, you would create a well-crafted overall application without feeling the stress of trying to rush to complete everything before the Round 1 deadlines.
It’s important to remember that EVERY part of the application process is predictable, so they can all be planned for. Finding the proper Experts to work with is essential though, so you shouldn’t wait too long to contact them. To that end, we’re here to help.
GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,