At University of Michigan Ross, for example, after removing application questions from prior years about applicants’ goals and reasons for pursuing an MBA, the Admissions Director’s blog requests that applicants NOT use the optional essay to write about these topics.
Instead, Ross prefers to discuss career goals and reasons for an MBA in an interview where they can ask follow-up questions and get a deeper understanding of each applicant’s plans in person.
Applicants are eager to share unique information about themselves but now due to word count constraints there’s less space to communicate this kind of information.
While in some cases we can easily determine whether or not to write an optional essay, in other cases the answer requires more thought and discussion.
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Optional Essay Gmat Score
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Like a lot of other business schools, Babson offers you the opportunity to submit an optional essay, that is, an essay to the three required. What is constantly surprising to me, though, is how few applicants really use this essay to their full advantage. Don’t use this essay just to explain your low GPA, or why you did poorly in your major, or why in one semester you earned 3 D’s, an F, and a Withdrawal. Or, conversely, have some stupendous successes on the job?
Here are five ways in which you can successfully use this option, plus: a stylistic tip and a few examples of how misusing the optional essay can diminish your prospects as well as potentially alienate a very busy Admissions Committee. Use it to explain what happened, how you overcame your performance. All these points can be masterfully addressed in a pithy, example-laden essay. Special circumstances College, test taking, work settings—your performance in all of these settings can easily be affected by a major life crisis or personal challenge.
It’s important that you use good judgment in what you write about and ask yourself if this information is worth another ten minutes of time by the person reading your application.
Do you think that this information cannot be garnered from other parts of your presentation?