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Optional essay?

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Intern
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Joined: 06 Jan 2012
Posts: 32
Location: United States
GMAT 1: Q48 V30
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Optional essay? [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2012, 10:33
Hi All,

I am trying to create my application UCLA and I was wondering if I should use the optional essay.
I do have little low verbal score but my gmat is within the middle 80% range though on the lower end.
Should I address my low verbal score in the optional essay?

What else could I put in optional essay. I have strong academic score and good work experience. What else could I put in optional essay.

Thanks
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Joined: 12 Sep 2011
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Concentration: Finance, Finance
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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Re: Optional essay? [#permalink] New post 10 Apr 2012, 18:09
Well I wouldn't do the optional essay just to make an excuse about your verbal score. If you are within the 80% range, you should really concentrate on other aspects of your application, b/c these are going to have to be slightly above average to help your cause. UCLA should give you descriptions of the type of things that should go in an optional essay. The question is do you have any of these "red flags" so to speak in your application? Just remember, this isn't a place to highlight your red flags, but to instead acknowledge them and continue to sell yourself. For instance, if you had an F in an undergraduate course, then address it, and talk about how much you learned and how it made you a better person, blah blah... Don't use the essay as an excuse b/c it will only point the adcome to the weakest part of your application. If your essays are perfect then they will know that your english/verbal is strong. Did you have to take the TOEFL? Then maybe that shows your strength. Have you considered taking the GMAT again? I think these are all questions you should ask yourself, but just remember, if you do decide to do the optional essay, KEEP SELLING YOURSELF. This isn't a time to put your tail between your legs and try to make excuses for poor performances. Hope this helps you decide

Just remember though, the quant portion of the test is more important, so your Q49 will be a bonus. The V30 is not horrible, so it might not evn be worth mentioning. I'm guessing the overall score was a 660?
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Status: schools I listed were for the evening programs, not FT
Joined: 16 Aug 2011
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Location: United States (VA)
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Re: Optional essay? [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 11:17
I agree with GMATLA. In an optional essay, if you have to hit you red flags, hit things aside from GMAT if at all possible, like a bad semester in college, etc. If your GMAT is in the 10-90 range (preferably within the 25-75 range or the middle 50%, check Business Week for that), then if you get waitlisted, at least you know that the GMAT is likely why you didn't get accepted. Assuming UCLA will take another GMAT you can take it one last time and kick butt then.
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Re: Optional essay? [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2012, 15:53
Thank you for the response.

I have strong academic background and good work experience so I do not have much to talk about there.
So I was wondering whether I should leave the optional essay. At the same time I do not want to look lazy by not attempting the optional essay.
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Re: Optional essay?   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2012, 15:53
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