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The Perils of Round 3 Admissions: A Risk Worth Avoiding


Welcome, aspiring MBA candidates! Today, we delve into a topic that often lingers in the shadows of the admissions process—Round 3. With three rounds of admission processes at esteemed institutions like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the Indian School of Business (ISB), it is crucial to understand why venturing into the third round may not be the wisest choice. Let's embark on a journey to unravel the disadvantages that await those who take this path.

Round 3: A Struggle Against the Odds

As the curtains rise on Round 3, it becomes evident that this stage of the admissions process is a treacherous one. Here, we shed light on four compelling reasons why navigating through this round may prove to be more challenging than one would expect:

  1. Rising GMAT Scores: An Uphill Battle Candidates applying in the earlier rounds often have the advantage of retaking the GMAT, subsequently improving their scores. Consequently, the average GMAT score of applicants in Round 3 tends to be higher, creating a formidable hurdle for latecomers. With the bar set higher, aspiring candidates must ensure their scores stand out amidst the heightened competition.

  2. Limited Spots: A Race Against Time By the time Round 3 commences, most seats have been filled during the preceding rounds. Admissions committees have already identified a significant portion of the incoming class, leaving a reduced number of spots available for Round 3 applicants. As a result, the chances of securing a seat become significantly slimmer, making it a race against time for those who apply late.

  3. Seeking Elusive Profiles: A Quest for Uniqueness Colleges, in their quest for diversity and distinctiveness, often reserve a few spots for specific profiles that were not found in the earlier rounds. Consequently, Round 3 applicants must not only demonstrate their exceptional qualifications but also possess qualities that differentiate them from the existing applicant pool. The hunt for these unique profiles amplifies the competition within this round.

  4. Waitlisted Competition: A Battle on Two Fronts Round 3 applicants face an additional challenge: competing against waitlisted candidates from the previous rounds. These candidates, who have already displayed their potential, further add to the fierce competition. The battle becomes even more arduous as Round 3 applicants must surpass these individuals to secure a coveted seat in the program.

Seeking Success:

The Optimal Path Considering the formidable hurdles and intensified competition faced in Round 3, it is crucial for candidates to strategize their application process effectively. While exceptional scores may tip the scales, it is advisable to apply during the first and second rounds, whenever possible. By doing so, candidates have a higher chance of securing their place before the seats are largely filled. However, if your scores substantially exceed the college average, Round 3 may still be an option worth considering.


In the world of MBA admissions, timing can play a significant role in one's success. Round 3, with its inherent challenges and limited opportunities, may not be the most favorable route for aspiring candidates. The higher average GMAT scores, the limited availability of spots, the search for unique profiles, and the competition from waitlisted candidates from previous rounds make Round 3 an uphill battle. By planning their applications meticulously and aiming for Rounds 1 and 2, candidates can position themselves more advantageously. Remember, the path to success lies in making informed decisions and seizing the right opportunities. Good luck on your MBA journey!

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