Is post-interview acceptance rate strongly correlated with how early/late in the cycle the II is sent?

Oct 22, 2019
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For background, I was verified in early June and complete at most schools within 0-2 days of receiving their secondaries. I have been lucky enough to get a couple interview invites. That said, there are a number of schools I was really excited about and haven't heard back from. Some of those schools have sent out hundreds of IIs already (as far as I can tell). Hypothetically, if I got an invite to one of those schools now or later on in the cycle, would I have a significantly lower chance of getting admitted than someone who was sent an II in the first wave or soon after? It seems to me like schools interview their favorite applicants first, so I'm basically wondering how different post-II acceptance rates are between, say, first and last wave of interviews.

I am aware that some schools prioritize interviewing URM applicants first (I am not URM), but there are also many many ORM applicants getting interviews to these schools at this point. I guess this is an academic question since I don't even know if I will get late IIs, but please indulge me if you have any thoughts.
 
Sep 19, 2019
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Real question: how will this information change what you do? Will you benefit in a material way by knowing? Will you not go to a T5 interview in January because it’s “late”?
 
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Oct 22, 2019
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Real question: how will this information change what you do? Will you benefit in a material way by knowing? Will you not go to a T5 interview in January because it’s “late”?
You're right, it likely won't change my behavior. That said, I do like knowing as much as I can about whatever situation I might be in, and I also like having informational in general, even if not strictly useful. This is also something I've been curious about for awhile, and my friends who have yet to receive any IIs are also wondering about it.
 
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KnightDoc

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You're right, it likely won't change my behavior. That said, I do like knowing as much as I can about whatever situation I might be in, and I also like having informational in general, even if not strictly useful. This is also something I've been curious about for awhile, and my friends who have yet to receive any IIs are also wondering about it.
We all do! I don't think anyone publishes this info. I'm sure there's a correlation, but "strong" would be in the eye of the beholder. Some very strong candidates submit late and then receive IIs late, but are as likely to receive an A as anyone because, well, they're strong.

In the aggregate, though, you're right. IIs are not random. Applications are stratified, and those they prioritize go first. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it other than do your best when and if you get your shot. It seems unproductive to dwell on it.
 
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Oct 22, 2019
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We all do! I don't think anyone publishes this info. I'm sure there's a correlation, but "strong" would be in the eye of the beholder. Some very strong candidates submit late and then receive IIs late, but are as likely to receive an A as anyone because, well, they're strong.

In the aggregate, though, you're right. IIs are not random. Applications are stratified, and those they prioritize go first. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it other than do your best when and if you get your shot. It seems unproductive to dwell on it.
Sure, at the end of the day I'd appreciate an adcom's input at least giving a rough idea, but if not, oh well.
 

KnightDoc

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Sure, at the end of the day I'd appreciate an adcom's input at least giving a rough idea, but if not, oh well.
Yup, but they'll never give it because they don't want us to psych ourselves out.

Common wisdom is that they wouldn't waste time calling anyone in who didn't have a real shot. What would an adcom have to gain by stating the obvious and causing someone with an early II to have an inflated ego, or needlessly depress someone receiving later IIs? You basically know the answer to your question.

The correlation probably isn't as strong as you fear, both because really good candidates sometimes apply late and because less strong candidates sometimes over perform at the interview. Beyond that, we all know they review the files they prioritize first, and while they all save some IIs and As for whatever will come through the door later, it only stands to reason that the people they prioritize and bring in first likely have an advantage over those not prioritized and brought in later.

How much of an advantage? I'm sure they won't tell. And, it doesn't matter for any one of us, because that's just an aggregate number. Once you have your shot, within reason, and subject to whatever luck of the draw is involved in who reviews your file and interviews you, your outcome is dependent on your individual performance, not whatever correlation may or may not exist involving the timing of IIs.
 
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