Articles published in Business School

NYU Stern Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - NYU Stern Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough NYU Stern essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


New York University’s Stern School of Business has simplified its application essays this season, dropping last year’s “Program Preferences” prompt, which asked candidates to choose which of the school’s MBA programs they would attend. We imagine this deletion may have been so the admissions committee can focus more fully on the information it is getting from its other, more revealing essay prompts and its intriguing EQ (emotional intelligence) endorsements, which Associate Dean of MBA Admission Isser Gallogly told Poets&Quants have delivered “some very interesting and useful information about people—things that people don’t necessarily talk about themselves.” At NYU Stern, you have a mix of the old and the new. The admissions committee has kept the somewhat classic personal statement and maintained the somewhat forward-looking “Pick Six,” which is truly an “essay” for the Instagram era. In your application, you should have a broad opportunity to offer the best of your professional and personal self. Our NYU Stern essay analysis follows… Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Worry Because My Coworker is Applying Too!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Worry Because My Coworker is Applying Too! by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


You look around your office and think to yourself: “I wish my coworker were not applying to the same school as I am. They can’t take two people who sit at the same desk. Also, his GPA is 0.15 higher!” On the surface, this reasoning may seem logical, and it can thus cause anxiety for some candidates—especially for those who are in positions for which an MBA is virtually a “must have” to move forward, such as in consulting and banking.

However—not to worry—this thinking has two significant flaws: Read more

Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 3)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 3) by Stacey Koprince

Welcome to the third installment of Fast Math for the Executive Assessment! If you’re just joining us now, you might want to go back to the first part and work your way back here. Read more

Mission Admission: Set the Tone Early and Use Active Verbs in Your MBA Application Essay

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Set the Tone Early and Use Active Verbs in Your MBA Application Essay by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


As any good journalist will tell you, the key to writing a good newspaper story or opinion piece is to make sure the very first line grabs the reader’s attention. Many authors employ this tactic when writing books. Perhaps few of us have actually read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, but many know that the novel begins with three famous words: “Call me Ishmael.” A powerful first line can stick with readers long after they have finished reading—and sometimes even when they have not read something firsthand. For example, we all likely recognize the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night,” but few of us may know that it is the opening line of a book by an obscure writer (Paul Clifford by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton). Read more

Join us at The MBA Tour U.S.!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Join us for The MBA Tour U.S.! by Manhattan Prep

This is your chance to meet Columbia, MIT Sloan, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Stanford, and more top business programs. Connect in person to ask MBA questions, learn about program offerings, and discover how a graduate business degree can boost your career. Read more

Michigan Ross Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Michigan Ross Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Michigan Ross essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan must have liked the essay questions it used last year, because it has made only the smallest of tweaks to them for this season. Previously, the school gave applicants nine options for its 100-word short answers—this year, candidates have just six. One has to wonder whether the admissions committee received an abundance of responses to the prompts that were kept, while those that were largely ignored by applicants were discarded. Similarly, Michigan Ross has maintained a second 300-word career goal essay but has refined it, dropping verbiage about long-term goals and asking only about applicants’ short-term goals. Again, we will make an inference here: Michigan Ross is saying that most long-term goals are so vague and prone to change that it is interested in learning only about the short term, which the school can more directly influence. Anyway, those are the tweaks; our Michigan Ross essay analysis follows… Read more

Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Columbia Business School essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


Columbia Business School (CBS) has just released its essay questions for this year, and the admissions office is offering applicants “a little bit old and a little bit new.” Its micro essay (really just a goal statement, to be fair) and first essay remain unchanged, while its second essay is a repackaging of a prompt from two years ago, and its third is brand new. In the past, for its third essay, Columbia Business School applicants could choose from two prompt options, generally pertaining to their personal lives and passions; now, candidates must respond to a question about a team failure instead. In short, this year, applicants have less choice with their essays (though the word counts have not changed), and the topics involved skew slightly in favor of the professional and academic and away from the personal. Let’s jump into our Columbia Business School essay analysis… Read more

Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 2)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 2) by Stacey Koprince

Last time, I gave you a couple of questions to try and then we discussed how to minimize your work on the first one. (If you haven’t read the first installment yet, go do that now.) Today, we’re going to review the second problem. Read more

How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays by mbaMission

Longer and more complex sentences often require parallel construction. Simply put, parallel construction ensures that any given longer sentence has a standard rhythm or construction. With parallel construction, each pronoun corresponds with another pronoun, each verb corresponds with another verb, each adjective matches with a corresponding adjective, and so on. Parallel construction can certainly be found in shorter sentences as well, and to great effect. Read more

Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 1)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 1) by Stacey Koprince

The Executive Assessment (EA) shares a lot of roots with the GMAT, GMAC’s flagship graduate business school exam. In certain ways, the Executive Assessment feels almost like the GMAT on steroids—it’s even more stereotypically GMAT-like than the GMAT itself, if that’s possible. Read more