Application essays

Admissions committees consider the essays the clincher, the swing vote in the admit/deny issue. Why? Because the essays offer the most substance about who you really are. The GMAT reveals little about you, only that you won't crash and burn. Your work history provides a record of performance and justifies your stated desire to study business. But the essays tie all the pieces of the application together and create a summary of your experiences, skills, background, and beliefs.

The essays do more than give answers to questions. They create thumbnail psychological profiles. Depending on how you answer a question or what you present, you reveal yourself in any number of ways - creative, witty, open-minded, articulate, mature - to name a few. Likewise, your essay can reveal a negative side, such as arrogance, sloppiness, or an inability to think and write clearly. In essence, the essays don't just complete the picture. They are the inside picture.

What makes a good essay?
While there is no formula for writing a good essay, all good essays do have certain things in common. First, they are well-written and organised. Second, they contain arguments that are well-supported with specific examples from either your personal or professional life that are relevant to the topic of the essay. Third, they reveal something unique about you, something that makes an admissions officer believe that you have something valuable to add to their mix of students.

Deciphering the essay questions
Each school has it’s own set of essay questions. Although posed differently, all search for the same insights. Take your time to decipher what the admissions committees are really after and craft your essays accordingly.

Source: The Princeton Review,
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