Considering Round 3? Here’s Why You Might Want to Wait

Considering Round 3? Here’s Why You Might Want to Wait

MBA admissions are approaching the final round, where admissions committees seek out the most remarkable applicants to admit before closing out the admissions season.

Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently discussed what round three in MBA admissions is like and offered three crucial considerations for applicants who may be interested in applying during the final round.


Round three is commonly described as the most competitive round in MBA admissions. Experts say the highly competitive nature of round three is simple supply and demand.

“Business schools have a few seats left and they are willing to offer it to you if you have a highly compelling application,” Suheb Hussain, of e-GMAT, writes.

Blackman encourages applicants to try applying in round one or two as the competition is generally lower. She says the viability of getting admitted to a top B-school in round three really comes down to “remarkable” points in a candidate’s profile.

“In some cases, it may mean unusual work experience, substantial community service, or compelling leadership examples,” Blackman writes. “Or, it might mean having a diverse background, unique interests outside of business, or entrepreneurial success of some sort.”


If your GMAT or GRE score isn’t aligned with the range of your target business school, it may be best to hold off on applying in the final round. Like it or not, Blackman says, exam scores matter in admissions.

“Each year, we hear of that miracle case where someone gets into HBS with a 650 on the GMAT,” Blackman writes. “Keep in mind, that person’s profile was likely so extraordinary in every other way that it offset the low score. Devote ample time to test prep this spring and bring that crucial application component in line with what the admissions committee expects to see from successful candidates.”


Experts stress the importance of taking ample time to ensure each component of your MBA application is strong. Rather than rush to put together your application for round three, Blackman suggests taking the time to get every piece right for round one.

“This extra time will allow you to approach the application more strategically and undoubtedly yield a more positive outcome than a sloppy last-round application,” Blackman writes.

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, Stacy Blackman Consulting, e-GMAT

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