Admission Essays: What they are?

If you have landed on this page chances are you are planning to pursue MBA or a related course from a University Abroad. As the name suggests, Admission Essays are essays or documents sought by universities abroad to consider your candidature for specific courses. While there is no rule of thumb for the kind of essays the universities might ask, we categorise the question answer type essays in this section.

To elucidate further, Universities abroad (often but not mandatorily) for specific courses require you to answer a few specific questions. They have a wide range of context and might be aimed at further elaborating different facets of the applicant’s personality as per the University’s specific demands of the 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 require the agility of mind and aptitude for innovation. In such scenarios, a simple Statement of Purpose might just not be enough. To counter the limitations of asking a one central and generic essay (read SOP), Universities decide to instead break up the essays into relevant questions. And these are widely known as Admission Essays.

In character, Admissions Essays are very much a written essay but unlike a SOP, there is no standard format. Universities would provide the applicants a list of required questions or essays. They usually vary as per the requirements of the University’s program and created carefully to ascertain the eligibility of the applicant. Also, and more importantly they are designed to prune the list and find the candidates that would be the correct fit for their program.

Types of Admission Essays

Broadly the Admission Essays can be classified on the basis of
1. 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)

2. Content – what are the questions about?

  • Goals Essay
  • Leadership Essays
  • Career Progression Essays
  • Ethical Dilemma Essays
  • Achievements Essays
  • Failure Essays
  • Situation Essays

How to write winning Admission Essays

When the application is to a top MBA program, it becomes important to ensure that your essay give the edge to your application. With more competition, an admission essays is perhaps the only document which would help you stand out from the many. But what all to include? How to write a winning essay?

There are no definitive answers to these questions. As many admission essays are based on question which can vary from university to university, it becomes all the more difficult to answer them. What a student ought to do in such cases is understand the basic fundamentals of essay writing.


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