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GMAT Study Plan for R2 admission deadlines

MBA Admission: Is Applying in Round 2 Disadvantageous?

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You may have heard in the MBA admission context of US B-Schools (or any other international business schools) that applying in Round 2 of the MBA application deadlines is worse than applying in Round 1.

Let us test the veracity of this claim. Let’s also explore the advantages and disadvantages, if any, of catching Round 2 of the MBA admission deadlines. Not just that, we have presented a GMAT study plan so that you can catch R2 deadlines.

What’s covered in this Blog?

  • Advantages of Applying in Round 1 of MBA Admission Deadlines
  • How do you know you are ready to apply in Round 1 of MBA Admission Deadlines?
  • What are Round 2 MBA Admission Deadlines?
  • When is Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines for select US Business Schools?
  • Who should I apply in Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines?
  • GMAT Study Plan for catching Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines

Advantages of Applying in Round 1 of MBA Admission Deadlines

Applying in Round 1 of MBA Admission is a statement of intent. You’re signalling that you have your GMAT score, your essays and LORs, and overall, your application ready. You’re signalling to the school that you consider them a priority and that you’re intent on joining them.

If you fit the description of an ‘over-represented’ profile, in Round 1, you have the first-mover advantage.

What do we mean by that?

For example, if you’re a male Indian engineer with 3-5 years of work experience in the tech industry, with a GMAT score of about 675, chances are, you’re not alone. B-Schools get applications from a lot of such people, and so it becomes harder for you to stand out if you apply in Round 2. In Round 1, when schools may not have got too many people similar to you, you have a better chance of making your case for an admit.

How do you know you are ready to apply in Round 1 of MBA Admission Deadlines?

There are a few scenarios in which you should definitely catch Round 1 MBA Admission Deadlines.

  1. You’ve already taken the GMAT, have a 675+ score and the score is above the median score of the Business School (it’s enough for most Business schools) you’re targeting.
  2. Alternatively, if you are taking the GMAT in the July – August window of the year and are getting a 655-675 score in your mocks and are confident of ramping it to a 705+.

If you find yourself in any one of these scenarios, start your applications, get your LORs (Letters of Recommendation), start writing your essays, and apply in Round 1.

Conversely, if you’re someone who is in the middle of your GMAT Prep in the months of August-September, the Round 1 MBA Admission Deadlines are just out of reach for you. Trying to catch the Round 1 MBA Admission Deadlines at this point may result in you not doing justice to your GMAT Exam and/or your application.


What are Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines?

Typically, for most US Business Schools, the Round 2 MBA Admission Deadlines for a fall (September) intake fall in the first week of January. However, some schools may have their Round 2 MBA Admission Deadlines all the way at the end of January or the first week of February.

When is Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines for select US Business Schools?

The Round 2 deadlines for select US B-Schools for Fall 2024 intake.

Name of Business SchoolRound 1 DeadlinesRound 2 Deadlines
Harvard Business SchoolSep 6, 2023Jan 03, 2024
Stanford Graduate School of BusinessSep 12, 2023Jan 04, 2024
Wharton School, Univ of PennSep 06, 2023Jan 04, 2024
Yale School of ManagementSep 12, 2023Jan 04, 2024
Haas School of Business, UC BerkeleySep 14, 2023Jan 04, 2024
MIT Sloan School of ManagementSep 27, 2023Jan 17, 2024

Who Should Apply in Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines?

If you have just started (Mid September) preparing for the GMAT you have another 60 to 75 days to prepare for the GMAT and get a GMAT score of 675 to 705. Yes, 75 days is adequate time to do justice to your GMAT preparation and reach that magic 675+ number.

Many of our students who applied in Round 2 made it to the top Business Schools in the USA and that too with a scholarship. A few of them got a full tuition fee waiver and also received a stipend for the duration of their course. While full tuition fee waiver with stipend is more the exception than the rule, 30 to 50% tuition fee waiver is a more common theme among those who had applied with a good GMAT score.


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Sign up for a demo class at https://wzko.in/demo, and begin your GMAT Preparation now!


GMAT Study Plan for catching Round 2 of MBA Admission Deadlines

Here is a 5-phase GMAT study plan for taking the GMAT in time to catch Round 2 Deadlines.

I’m assuming you’re at the very start of your GMAT Preparation and will recommend a plan accordingly. For those of you who have advanced a bit, ensure you’ve completed what you should have at this stage, and move forward from here.

Phase 1 – Diagnostic Test

The first step is to take a Diagnostic Test. You should do this before you start any preparation for your GMAT. This is to understand what level your baseline is at. Don’t give too much importance to the score you get at this point. It’s only to show you how much work you have ahead of you.

Take this free Full Length GMAT Diagnostic Test at Wizako.

When taking the test, take the full test. It should take you 2 hrs 15 mins without breaks. Make sure this is continuous. This is to give you an idea of what is in store for you in the actual exam.

Now that you know where you stand, you can set a realistic target.

If you answer at least 60% of the questions in each of the three sections in the GMAT diagnostic test, you’re already a fair bit along with your GMAT Prep. All you need to do is polish and refine your prep. You’ve got more than enough time to turn that into a 705+.

If your accuracy is anything below 50%, don’t fret. It is absolutely possible to go from this stage to 705+ in a matter of months. Work towards it religiously.

Phase 2 – Concepts & Practice

For this phase, we’d recommend signing up with a GMAT Test Prep company. We have some skin in the game in this regard, but no matter who you choose, choose wisely.

Preparing on your own using free resources is okay, but often, that approach lacks structure and rigour.

Being your own supervisor means that you can give yourselves time off, days off, without consequence, and your prep may suffer. You’ll also have to spend time searching for the best possible free questions, tests, videos, etc instead of doing the only thing you need to do – study.

A test prep company can take care of all of that for you.

We at Wizako have some of the most comprehensive GMAT courses that are also one of the most affordable.

Check out our GMAT courses, take a free trial, and get that GMAT score you’re aiming for. We also have a GMAT Live Online Classroom Program which simulates the interactive environment of a real class well. Sign up for demo classes here.

GMAT prep Courses are available from Rs. 4000, all the way to Rs. 80000 in the market, so regardless of where you go, it’s an investment that won’t exceed $1000, approximately. And when we say investment, we mean it. With the right GMAT score, even if you get into a mid-ranked school, the median salary is likely to be $110000. Your return on investment in upward of 100 times in the very first year.

So, during October and the first half of November, all you do is learn, and practice. At this stage, no question/doubt is a bad one. Ask, get them clarified, and consolidate your prep. What you internalize now, is going to help you when you get to solving so-called ‘tougher’ questions.

Phase 3 – Practice & Official Guide (OG)

In the second half of November you’d be approaching the final third of your GMAT Preparation.

When you’re done with the basics, the concepts, and the tests, go full-fledged into practicing questions, and start with the GMAT Official Guide.

The GMAT Official Guide, and the supplementary Quant Review, Data Insights Review, and Verbal Review, are a vital tool in GMAT preparation, as it contains questions that are the most representative of the GMAT questions you will get in your exam. All of these questions are retired real GMAT questions.

In this phase of preparation, it’d be good to solve 40 to 50 questions a day, and when you move on to solving OG questions, take it to 60 questions a day. It is the equivalent of taking one full mock each day (The GMAT exam comprises 21 quant, 23 verbal, and 20 data insights questions – adding to 64 questions)

Phase 4 – Mock Tests and the GMAT

If you follow the given GMAT study plan diligently, by the first week of December you should be ready to take mock tests. The mba.com has 6 tests (free+paid) which you can avail of.

Taking a mock is good, but you get value from having taken the mock only when you diligently analyze the mock tests. Find the areas where you need improvement, see what sort of mistakes you have made, and work on those concepts / type of questions.

After every mock analysis, address the low-hanging fruit (areas which you’re strong at, but made a minor mistake in).
Take another mock a few days later, keep iterating, and building on this process.

When you find yourself consistently getting scores in the same range, which is 10-20 points more than your target, you’re ready to take the GMAT.

Sign up now to take the real GMAT by the third week of December. This simple act of registering for the test will give you the needed pressure to drastically improve your score, cut out unnecessary distractions, and keep you focused on the upcoming test.

Phase 5 – Apply to Business Schools

If you have completed your GMAT before Christmas of this year, start working on your application essays, get LORs, and catch the deadline. It is likely to be a photo finish. But it is possible and certainly worth all the adrenaline rush.


This blog was adapted from a YouTube video we’d published a few weeks prior.
You can watch the video here or from the embedded block below.


At this point, we’d also like to announce our Admission Consulting and Essay Assistance services for the 2025 Fall intake.

We’d intend to focus on 8-10 applicants and help them with their applications to numerous B-Schools. We’re consciously limiting the intake so that we can do justice to each and every one who signs up for our essay editing and application assistance service.

If this is something you’d be interested in, take the GMAT, get in touch with us at learn@wizako.com, and we’ll help you with your applications from there.

As ever, we wish you the best for your GMAT Prep.

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