MBA candidates often ask us whether they should complete one application and then move on to the next or whether they should attack all of their applications at once. Although there is no right answer to this question, we generally advise candidates who start early to make significant progress on their first application, before taking on their second or third. Why? Simply put, candidates can learn a tremendous amount from their first application and can prevent themselves from making the same errors twice or three times - not simply mistakes in terms of grammar and style, but in terms of approach.

For example, as a candidate starts writing, he/she might ultimately discover that he/she struggles with balance in his/her essays (the appropriate number of words to dedicate to the introduction, body and conclusion) or managing stringent word counts. In this case, this candidate would benefit from battling through the first few essays and using them as an opportunity to refine, instead of attacking nine to fifteen essays at once.  After working through these issues, with a set of essays completed, the candidate can progress with more than one application thereafter and can do so with the confidence that he/she is not making the same mistakes over and over again.

This is a simple recommendation, but, if followed, it can save a tremendous amount of time, especially for candidates who intend to start early and make steady progress.