You don’t want to feel rushed (stress can lead to mistakes) and you don’t want to miss your deadline. So what can you do to stay on top of your game and submit your applications before the buzzer?
1. Set yourself a schedule and work backwards from your deadlines. Allow time for holidays, sleep, exercise, and of course work.
2. Focus first on the applications with the earliest deadlines. It wouldn’t make sense to work on the application with the further deadline first when you have a looming deadline for another application right around the corner!
3. Work on applications one at a time. Adapt essays from your first application, when possible, to later applications. However never merely paste in an essay because the question is similar. Customize it for this application and this program. Trying to write more than one application at once will only lead to confusion, not to mention unintentional overlapping of material – forgetting to change just one Harvard to Stanford shows a level of sloppiness that Stanford just won’t stand for!
4. If you fall behind, consider dropping/postponing an application to maintain quality overall. Pushing off an application to a subsequent round or the following year is better than submitting a subpar application.