Be aware of deadlines
Deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you. I recommend taking a look at the deadlines and working backward. If you want to submit your application by December 1, for example, you know that gives you approximately four months or sixteen weeks from now until then. You need to be aware of how long each item will take to be completed and submitted to us. Examples include but are not limited to:
GMAT/GRE: About two to four weeks will go by from the time you take the GMAT to the time we get your scores. And it usually takes longer for us to receive official GRE scores. Accordingly, if you want your scores to be here by December 1, you should plan on taking the GMAT no later than November 15. If you’re submitting GRE scores, November 1 or earlier.
References: How long will your references take to prepare their recommendations for you? Work backwards from December 1 and add an extra couple of weeks or more as “cushion” in case anything unforeseen and unpredicted occurs.
It is OK to submit things “out of order”
You do not need to wait before everything is complete before submitting your application materials. For example, you can submit GMAT scores before submitting your application. Conversely, you can submit your application before taking the GMAT. You can submit your application before all your references are received. You can submit your transcripts to us before you submit your application. And so on.
Be very aware of how long things will take to complete/submit when compiling your application materials – and assume it will take longer than you plan
As mentioned earlier, we will not receive your GMAT scores the day after you sit for the test. Plan for the lag time. Also, your references will need (on average) at least one month to prepare your letters of recommendation.
Transcripts can take a long or short time to get to us – it all depends on the university issuing the transcripts. And sometimes colleges “forget” to send them. Advice: Find out from your school how long it will take to issue your transcripts. Plan accordingly. Build in a margin of safety. And follow up with your school to ensure it sent them to us.
Bonus –> SPECIAL NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
TOEFL scores can take a long time to arrive at Ohio State. How long? It varies. It can be anything from several weeks to several months. The delay is almost always due to the TOEFL test administrator. If you are an international student and need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, be sure to keep in close touch with the TOEFL or IELTS test administrator.