Round One Vs. Round Two: When Should You Apply?

Round One Vs. Round Two: When Should You Apply?

The Round Two deadline for most M7 B-schools is coming up in January. While that’s still a few months away, applicants should start preparing now—especially if they missed out on Round One.

Dr. Marlena Corcoran, founder of Athena Mentor: International University Admissions Counseling and contributor at Forbes, recently explained some of the key differences between the two rounds and offered a few tips on how to get ahead of the Round Two deadline.


One of the biggest differences between Round One and Round Two is an applicant’s chances of admission.

“Acceptance rates tend to be slightly higher in Round One, but it’s hard to say whether that’s because Round One applicants are better qualified or just better organized,” Corcoran says. “Their GMAT scores, if applicable, are lined up well in advance of the September and early October deadlines, and they may have been working on their applications months in advance.”

Experts say strong candidates should go ahead and apply to their top choice school in the first round. If you could benefit from extra time and experience, consider holding off and applying to your top school in Round Two, while applying to a couple of other schools during Round One as backup options.

“The reason for this is simple,” Eliot Ingram, co-founder of Clear Admit, says. “There is a learning curve involved in the application process, and your first application is rarely your best application.”


For most schools, the Round Two deadline is the first week in January. While that may seem like plenty of time, there are many hidden factors to be aware of.

“If your target programs require documentation of your bachelor’s degree, or a transcript of your grades in college, you may find that the office that issues such documents is closed as of mid-December,” Corcoran says. “It takes time to send your GMAT, GRE or TOEFL scores, if official score reports are required.”

“The holidays do get in the way for those who save it for later in Round Two,” Krithika Srinivasan, a past president of the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants, says. “I would advise clients to give recommenders at least 1-2 months’ time, along with all the details they would need.”

Sources: Forbes, Clear Admit

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