Are you are planning to pursue MBA or a related course from a university abroad? As the title of this article suggests, Admission Essays are essays sought by universities abroad to consider your candidature for specific courses. While there is no rule of thumb for the kind of essays that universities might ask for, we will discuss the question-answer type essays in this section.
To elucidate further, universities abroad, for specific courses, often, but not mandatorily, require you to answer a few specific questions/prompts, and usually stipulate a word/character/page limit for each answer. They have a wide range of contexts and might be aimed at further elaborating different facets of the applicant’s personality, as per the university’s specific demands for that course. For instance, universities might believe that as an MBA applicant, the candidate must possess effective leadership qualities, or a university, for its highly acclaimed MIS program, may require the agility of mind and aptitude for innovation. In such scenarios, a simple Statement of Purpose might not be enough. To counter the limitations of asking for just one central and generic essay (or SOP), universities decide to instead break up the essay, by asking a few relevant questions. These are widely known as Admission Essays.
In character, Admissions Essays are written essays, but unlike an SOP, there is no standard format. Universities usually provide the applicants with a list of required questions or essays. These vary as per the requirements of the university and the program and are created carefully to ascertain the eligibility of the applicant. More importantly, they are designed to prune the list and find the candidates that would be the correct fit for their program.
Download this guide to read it offline
Types of Admission Essays
It is important to recognize the different types of admission essays that the universities ask for, before starting to draft them, as the content depends greatly on the type and essay prompt/question. The Admission Essays can be classified on the basis of
- Word Limit - the actual length of the essay.
- Very Short Answer Questions/ Write-ups (30 – 200 words)
- Short Answer Questions/Essays (200 – 500 words)
- Long Answer Questions/ Essays (More than 500 words but less than 800 words)
- Full-Length Essays (More than 800 words)
- Content - what are the questions about?
- Goals Essay
- Leadership Essays
- Career Progression Essays
- Ethical Dilemma Essays
- Achievements Essays
- Failure Essays
- Situation Essays
- The 'Why' Essays (why this program/course/university?)
- How to write a Leadership Essay
- How to write a Goals Essay
- How to write a Career Progression Essay
- How to write a Scholarship Essay
How to write winning Admission Essays
When the application is to a top MBA program or B-school, it becomes important to ensure that your essay gives the edge to your application. With more competition, an admissions essay is perhaps the only document, which would help you stand out from the others. However, one needs to understand what all to include and how to write a winning essay.
There are no definitive answers to these questions, as many admissions essays are based on the question, which can vary from university to university. It, therefore, becomes all the more difficult to answer them. What a student ought to do in such cases is to understand the basic fundamentals of essay writing as well as clearly understand the nuances of the question asked. Keeping the word limit in mind is as crucial so that one discusses whatever is most important to showcase in his/her profile.
Shiksha Guidelines for Admission Essays
While there are separate guidelines given by the universities for admission essays, a few universities have no set instructions. For such cases, Shiksha has drafted a separate set of guidelines that any student can refer to while drafting their admission essays. Along with the correct format, you should also be aware of how to answer a certain essay topic with the right formatting and context. To know more, read Shiksha Guidelines for Admission Essays.