When working in admissions departments at top MBA programs, some of the questions that we were asked each year were whether a candidate should write an optional essay, and what kinds of topics should be addressed in the optional essay space.
In the last few years, as many MBA programs have reduced the number of required essays and essay count, the answers to these questions are less clear-cut.
It’s important to read the information presented for the optional essay at each school since some schools can treat this application component differently.
Do your research and read postings on the schools’ online admissions pages and blogs as these can sometimes provide suggestions for how to handle the question.
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Optional Essay Gmat Score Uts Assignment Cover Sheet
Please login to view this content or purchase a membership.Overall, we suggest that you be judicious around what you include or omit in an optional essay since this can send a signal to Admissions about your personal judgment.If you have questions about your own presentation and how to approach your optional essays or other admissions questions, we are happy to provide a free 30-minute consultation. “Grey area” topics Some topics are not as straightforward and in these cases, we suggest you run your ideas by someone you trust.In some situations, what you consider a weakness might not be an issue and writing about it in an optional essay might draw more attention to something that wasn’t even noticed.Wharton’s instructions for the optional essay invite applicants to use the optional essay (up to 400 words) to “highlight any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about your candidacy.” Judith suggests that applicants not use the optional essay to reiterate content covered in other parts of the application for this section.If, however, there’s something that you could not fit into the first essay which you believe is integral to help demonstrate a clearer picture of who you are, this could be the place to include it.Topics to include in most optional essays There are some topics that a school will expect you to address in the optional essay.Examples of these are poor grades in college (or in masters degree programs), low GMAT score (particularly on the quant section), breaks in education or employment, and recommenders who may not be considered your managers.The crushing numbers of applicants has forced schools to streamline the evaluation process and they simply do not have the staff or time to read 1000 word essays from everyone.Of course, whether you're applying there or not, you likely know that Harvard, as an extreme example, actually has no required essays as part of their application!