- You haven’t taken the official GMAT or GRE—or you have taken it and have not been able to get a competitive score (The lowest score I would recommend submitting an application with would be a GMAT equivalent of 620 and that’s only if you have outstanding essays, recommendations, and leadership experience)
- You still have a lot of supplemental coursework you need to take. If the degree you are applying to requires that you have coursework in certain areas that you don’t have, and you plan to take more than just one or two classes before matriculation, you may want to hold off on applying and just give yourself time to take those classes.
- You haven’t started on your essays. You want to give yourself plenty of time to draft and revise your essays. Once you’ve leapt over the hurdle of GPA and test scores, your essays are the most important part of the application.
- You haven’t been at your current job for at least 9 months. You want to give yourself enough time to accumulate lessons and accomplishments from your current job and if you’ve only been there a few months, you likely won’t be able to get the best recommendations as possible (or maybe any recommendations) from your supervisor(s).
- You feel extremely rushed and harried. The application process is stressful but if you are feeling an extraordinary amount of pressure, confusion, and anxiety you should probably not channel that energy into throwing together an application and hitting submit with one eye closed. Give yourself the gift of enough time and proper guidance to put together the stellar application you deserve.
- You really don’t want to have to reapply. If you’re already a reapplicant and you identify with some of the points above, you may want to wait and think carefully about whether this year is truly the best year for you to reapply. It’s rare for schools to admit third-time reapplicants so you want to make that second time really count.
If you identify with two or more of the points above, it’s probably a good idea to consider waiting to apply until next year—or even several years later. It’s better to wait to submit an outstanding application than to rush and submit a so-so application. Even if you hate your job and desperately want to get out of there, don’t submit a shoddy application to buy yourself a ticket out of a bad job.