Admission essays vary in tone, tenor and context as per the program the student is applying to. There is a different set of admission essays for undergraduate, graduate and MBA programs. While the undergraduate admission essay focuses more on the applicant’s positive and protean personality traits, the graduate admission essay accentuates the academic excellence and research aptitude of the student. On the other hand, an MBA admission essay emphasizes the problem solving, leadership and teamwork skills of the applicant, particularly in a professional ambiance.
Irrespective of the program, the applicants are more often than not given a prompt or question, which they need to answer in their own language. It may be related to a personal experience that has shaped their persona, an achievement or failure in any sphere, a challenge they might have overcome, an ethical dilemma or a problem they might have solved in course of their academic, professional or social existence.
The key points to remember, while writing any successful admission essay are:
• Read the essay prompt carefully, as all admission essay related questions have a hidden meaning.
• Answer the essay question, keeping in mind the hidden meaning.
• Use your own language; avoid quotations and references.
• Keep your answers short, crisp and contextual.
• Use action verbs, instead of passive voice.
• Do some research about the University/College/B-School for which you are writing the essay.
• Please remember, it is not always about what you say, but sometimes what the other person wants to hear.
• Avoid self-boasting and be humble; as you are applying to learn, not to teach.
• Cross-check spelling, grammar, and syntax, once you have finalized the essay.
• Finally, check the flow of the narrative within the essay, to make it eminently readable.