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Mission Admission: How to Show Rather than Tell and Write with Connectivity in Your MBA Essay

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mission Admission: How to Show Rather than Tell and Write with Connectivity in Your MBA Essay by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


You may have heard the old journalistic maxim “Show, don’t tell,” which demands that writers truly illustrate the actions involved in an event or a story rather than simply stating the results of what happened. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Real Options

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Real Options 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 GRE 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.


In the late 2000s, Harvard Business School (HBS) made a change to its application essay questions that surprised many. Its previously mandatory “long- and short-term goals” essay prompt changed its focus more broadly to “career vision” and became one of four topic options from which applicants could select two. Immediately, MBA candidates tried to read between the lines and decipher HBS’s hidden agenda behind the change. As a result, many perplexed applicants called us, asking, “Every other school asks about goals, so HBS must want to know about them, too. I need to answer the essay question option about career vision, right?” Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1)

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Need to Tell It All! (Part 1) 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.


In your pursuit of acceptance to business school, you are competing against thousands of other applicants. Because you do not actually know these individuals, you may naturally assume that you need any and every edge available to stand out. As a result, you may feel compelled to provide every single detail of your life, exploiting your MBA resume in particular to do so. We want you to maximize your opportunities, of course, but we also want to be sure you do not jeopardize your application by offering too much information. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same MBA Essay for Multiple Schools

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Can Use the Same MBA Essay for Multiple Schools 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 GRE 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 have poured your heart and soul into your business school applications and taken the time to craft the perfect essays. Now, you are eagerly looking forward to finishing up a few more applications to your target schools. You have heard that you can expect to spend as much time on your second, third, and fourth applications combined (!) as you did to produce your very first one. Encouraged by this claim, you might scan your third application and think, “Oh, look—here’s a ‘failure’ question. I can just adapt my Harvard ‘mistake’ essay to answer that one!” or “There’s a question about leadership. I’ve already written an MBA essay on that, so I can just reuse it here. It’s all so easy now!” Read more

What to Do If You Are an Overrepresented MBA Candidate

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - What to Do If You Are an Overrepresented MBA Candidate by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


These days, the applicant pools for the top MBA programs are overfull with talented and experienced investment bankers, consultants, and software engineers. As a result, these candidates are considered overrepresented MBA candidates and may have a much harder time standing out from the crowd. However, if you fall into one of these groups, do not lose hope. Although you cannot alter your work history, you can change the way you present yourself and your candidacy to the admissions committees. We at mbaMission can offer a few suggestions for ways to ensure your essays grab an admissions reader’s attention. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Your MBA Program is the Sole Determinant of Your Future

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Your MBA Program is the Sole Determinant of Your Future 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 GRE 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.


Human nature dictates that amid a competitive MBA program application process—exaggerated by the pervasiveness of rankings and the chatter surrounding them—some MBA students will perceive that they are ahead of others because they were accepted at a top school, while others will perceive that they are behind their peers because they gained acceptance from a lower-ranked school. What is often lost amid all of this worrying is that you, not your business school, are the independent variable. You, not your school, will determine your success. Read more

Securing Effective Letters of Recommendation

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Securing Effective Letters of Recommendation by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


Letters of recommendation are a vital element of every MBA applicant’s profile, because they provide a school’s admissions committee with its only truly objective insight into what the candidate has to offer. For this reason, recommenders can play a significant role in helping an applicant gain admission to his/her target business school, but only if the letters they write are credible and compelling. Fortunately, even though your letters of recommendation are technically in someone else’s hands, you still have some measure of control over them. Here, we explain where some of these opportunities lie—and where they do not—to help you navigate this portion of your application with less anxiety and better results. Read more

Mission Admission: Ask for Last-Minute Feedback

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - Mission Admission: Ask for Last-Minute Feedback by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


As most business schools have recently released their deadlines for the 2016–2017 season, we thought we would share a piece of advice that might help alleviate some deadline-related stress. After you have completed (but not yet submitted!) your application(s), find one individual you trust—whether a professional consultant or someone with insight into the application process—to read your essays one last time and give you last-minute feedback. However, we strongly suggest that you limit yourself to requesting last-minute feedback from just one or two individuals. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am Too Old to Get into Business School

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Am Too Old to Get into Business School 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.


We at mbaMission often receive panicked phone calls from applicants in their late 20s, asking if they are too old to get into business school. Why does this happen? Read more

When to Submit an Optional MBA Essay

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Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - When to Submit an Optional MBA Essay by mbaMission

Taking the GRE for your business school application? You’re in luck. Each month, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


Virtually all the top business schools offer applicants the opportunity to address anything unusual or problematic within their profiles, using either the additional information section of the application or the optional MBA essay. This way, MBA candidates can proactively explain any irregularities or inconsistencies so that the admissions committee understands the circumstances behind these issues and is not left to guess or make assumptions. Commonly, applicants will write an optional MBA essay to explain or reveal one of the following kinds of issues: Read more