Should I Apply to an MBA Programme in Round 2?

If you missed applying to your most preferred business school in Round 1, don’t lose hope. You can always apply in Round 2. While you may think that applying in Round 2 will negatively impact your chances of admission, the reality is that Round 2 is a great option.

Here’s all you need to know about the MBA rounds and how they affect your chances:

How many application rounds do business schools have?

Almost all competitive business schools in the US and Canada invite applications in at least three rounds, with a few exceptions like Harvard Business School, which only has two. Most business schools in Europe, Singapore and other parts of the world typically have multiple rounds of admissions. The deadlines are usually every month, or every couple of months, so you have some flexibility to plan your applications. Some of these schools include London Business School, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the UK, INSEAD and HEC Paris in France, IMD in Switzerland, Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands and IESE Business School and ESADE in Spain. Also, some schools like Columbia University in the US, IE University in Spain and the University of Mannheim in Germany have rolling deadlines.

Is there a difference between MBA application rounds?

While most applicants apply in Round 1, there is no difference between the acceptance rates of Round 1 and Round 2. There is a common misconception that admissions officers differentiate between rounds, but they don’t! However, if you plan on applying to US and Canadian business schools in Round 3, it is advisable only to do so if you have no other options. It might make sense for you to wait until next year, as the acceptance rate in this round is very low.

In which round should I apply?

So, now that you are clear that there is no difference between Round 1 and Round 2, you should apply to business school at the right time with a strong MBA application. This matters more than a rushed application in Round 1, so buckle down and start preparing your applications for Round 2.

How can I make the most of my time before Round 2 deadlines?

Think of these additional months between Round 1 and Round 2 as bonus time to perfect your MBA application. You’ve already completed the hardest part of the process–starting your application and reflecting on your goals and motivations. Now is the time to tackle what’s left. Speak to current students and alumni of each school, learn more about each programme, visit the campus if you can and even reevaluate your school list. If your GMAT/GRE score was lower than what you expected, retake it and reach out to recommenders who may not have been free when you were applying in Round 1.

Applying in Round 2 does not change anything; you still have a great chance of admission to your dream school. If you need some assistance with the MBA application process, read our 9-step guide to MBA applications here or get in touch with us for any other questions.

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