The number of essays for INSEAD is on the higher side compared to other schools, and I wanted to plan for the application accordingly.
As per my schedule, I plan to give my GMAT in the first week of October which should give me about 3-4 weeks at a stretch for my applications. Considering that I’m applying to 3 other schools, would you advise applying to 2nd round or giving more time to essays and applying in 3rd round?
What is your ethnicity/citizenship? Because there’s a rule that they will only allow 10% per country and those slots get filled up fast if you are Chinese or Indian. And so, if that’s the situation that you want to do whatever you can to apply and Round 2.
Frankly, despite what admission says I believe that applying to earlier rounds does give you a significant advantage. It could play less of a role if you are from an underrepresented country.
I’m afraid that you’ve gravely underestimated the amount of time you will need for your applications. I work with people 3 months, and at least 2 months on these applications and that’s just for INSEAD. If you are applying to several other schools, you’re going to need at least 2 months and that’s given that you don’t have crazy work hours.
Is there any way you can speed up the process with your GMAT or take the GRE or something? If you’re trying to achieve perfection with your test score, then it might be a better investment to put time into your application because if your application isn’t interesting then your test score is irrelevant. It’s a risky way to allocate a whole month if that is the case.
If this is not the case, if I were you I would try to work on both at once. There’s a lot of introspection that is needed for INSEAD as well as research; I think that you trying to cram and jam that into 3 weeks with other applications is just going to be certain failure.
There’s generally a point of diminishing returns with studying for the GMAT and your brain is ready for some other type of work.
So, I would start with the applications immediately if you would like to go for Round 2 which I would recommend.
Make sure to be really focused in your studies for the GMAT, maybe get a tutor to accelerate things…also, I recommend you get up an hour early every day so that you’re giving it your best energy.
Don’t try to study all night after work when your brain is fried.