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How to Avoid Common B-School Essay-writing Mistakes
By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe

Before you write your own business school admission essay, you need to know how to avoid some of the most common mistakes. While there is no single "right" way to write an essay, there are some errors that will doom almost any essay. These are blunders that you need to avoid like the plague.

It's hard to get accepted if your essay is a bomb. These ten mistakes are committed by applicants every year and have a disastrous effect on their chances of getting admitted to business school. Learn from past applicants' oversights so you don't commit any of these errors in your own essays.

Be sure to actually answer the question.

It may seem like an obvious mistake, but many applicants don't answer the question. Or they answer part of the question but not all of it. If you are asked about a time that you've been a leader and the impact that your leadership had, don't just describe an instance where you were a leader. Make sure that you also address the second part of the question, i.e. the impact of your leadership. Writing an incomplete answer is something that many students do when recycling their essays or adapting an essay written for one school to send to another. If you do recycle your essays, edit them carefully to make sure that they completely answer the question asked.

Don't parrot back what's on the web site or in the brochure.

To try to show their knowledge about a particular business school, some applicants go to the school's website or brochure and summarize them in their essays. Admission officers are oftentimes the ones who write this material and it does not impress them to see their own descriptions in applicants' essays. You need to do your own research. Visiting a school and talking to some of its students and faculty is critical. By doing so, you can include in your essays what you have learned from sitting in on classes, interacting with students or observing an activity. This kind of insight demonstrates that you have taken the time to research the school and understand what it has to offer you.

Don't take on a false persona.

Some applicants try to be who they think the admissions officers want them to be. They may say that they want to go into a field that they are not excited about, exaggerate strengths that they think will impress the school or even try to flatter the admissions officers by declaring that their school is the only one for them. Unless you mean it, the admissions officers will see through hyperboles such as these. It is better to reveal your honest intentions, strengths and opinions. You will produce more genuine and believable essays that will ultimately help you get admitted to one of the business schools you have selected.

About the Author

Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

Accepted! 50 Successful Business School Admission Essays

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
With fierce competition to get into business school, your admission essays are one of the most important factors in whether or not you are accepted. This book helps you craft essays that market your strengths to b-schools while avoiding the most common mistakes.

Learn More