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Re-using essays from the past application

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Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 11:28
how much material can you rehash from the essays you wrote last year for a school..

I believe not every applicant may undergo a transformational experience in a year to be a able to write in his/her essays .. there has to be material which has to be re-used from past applications. especially for schools that make very little changes in the essay questions (eg Ross)

Any re-applicant/expert who can throw some light on this.
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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 14:53
jumsumtak wrote:
how much material can you rehash from the essays you wrote last year for a school..

I believe not every applicant may undergo a transformational experience in a year to be a able to write in his/her essays .. there has to be material which has to be re-used from past applications. especially for schools that make very little changes in the essay questions (eg Ross)

Any re-applicant/expert who can throw some light on this.


I assume you're a reapplicant because you didn't get in. So why would you reuse material that obviously didn't work last time? You can recycle content (what and why) but I would not recycle any paragraphs or phrases. You need to show you are better off for this extra year of work and that you have refined your goals! Some schools do a side by side comparison and they'll wonder if you don't care if you reuse...
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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 15:05
machichi wrote:
jumsumtak wrote:
how much material can you rehash from the essays you wrote last year for a school..

I believe not every applicant may undergo a transformational experience in a year to be a able to write in his/her essays .. there has to be material which has to be re-used from past applications. especially for schools that make very little changes in the essay questions (eg Ross)

Any re-applicant/expert who can throw some light on this.


I assume you're a reapplicant because you didn't get in. So why would you reuse material that obviously didn't work last time? You can recycle content (what and why) but I would not recycle any paragraphs or phrases. You need to show you are better off for this extra year of work and that you have refined your goals! Some schools do a side by side comparison and they'll wonder if you don't care if you reuse...


One can never tell if essays did not work or something else in the profile.

So what if someone has a lower work experience and gets a feedback from the adcom that you might be better applying next year because from your pool applicants have much higher exp. ( or on those lines)

Agree, that somethings might get reflected in the essay. But what if I still feel what I wrote last time was the most impactful story of when I was frustrated (Ross' eg)

So, as a rule of thumb, we should never rehash the same stories/examples in our essays?

P.S: I'm not a re-applicant. But this can be my story next year :)
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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 16:43
I am assuming that you are a re-applicant who did not get into the school(s) of their choice. As for re-using the essays that did not work last year, why on earth would you want to use the same essays again this year. Also, although schools say they will not reference your application from prior years - do not believe them. Admissions will pull your entire application from last year to see what is different in your candidacy between the two years and if they see the same essays, then they will assume that nothing has changed. Further, it will send the message to admissions that you did not care enough to re-write your essays (in other terms that you were lazy).

As a general rule, if you are re-applying to a school - write the entire application over again and make sure you showcase what is different between your candidacy last year and your candidacy this year. It is actually a lot harder to apply as a re-applicant so you will have to put in a little bit of extra time, effort and energy.

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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 22:20
ManhattanReview wrote:
I am assuming that you are a re-applicant who did not get into the school(s) of their choice. As for re-using the essays that did not work last year, why on earth would you want to use the same essays again this year. Also, although schools say they will not reference your application from prior years - do not believe them. Admissions will pull your entire application from last year to see what is different in your candidacy between the two years and if they see the same essays, then they will assume that nothing has changed. Further, it will send the message to admissions that you did not care enough to re-write your essays (in other terms that you were lazy).

As a general rule, if you are re-applying to a school - write the entire application over again and make sure you showcase what is different between your candidacy last year and your candidacy this year. It is actually a lot harder to apply as a re-applicant so you will have to put in a little bit of extra time, effort and energy.

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I disagree with this specific quote As for re-using the essays that did not work last year, why on earth would you want to use the same essays again this year. . Firstly, a person may have not made it to a program because: a) the class was just too competitive and they lost out, b) The essay themes were fine but not deeply probed, OR c) The essays were good but the GMAT/GPA/Work Experience etc. made them less attractive than someone else. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and one of the other core reasons could be that your essays sucked.

However, the quote above is an extreme. You may just need to rewrite your essays much better or may need to explore new themes - both are plausible cases. As per the suggestion above, you should then specify new goals also - how do you think the school will interpret that then, especially if there is no strong evidence as to why your goals changed. In my opinion, and I too am a reapplicant at a couple of schools, you should recylce your essays - not reuse them. The latter means using an essay as is once again, and that won't fly. But if you strongly believe in a particular theme for an essay, recycle it - write the essay better, delve deeper and include more examples, connect it better to your goals etc. Also, recycling all 3 or 4 essays is probably not a good idea - bring a whiff of freshness in your app. However, if there is that 1, even 2, essay theme that you want to write about again, by all means go ahead and do it.

Hope this is helpful.
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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 03:26
As pointed out already, it would be difficult to justify a change in goals.

Also, if your short and long term goals are the same from previous year, it would be very difficult to change 'why this school' essay because essentially you will be leveraging the same stuff (courses/clubs/locational advantage etc.) to accomplish your goals.
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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 06:01
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jumsumtak wrote:
As pointed out already, it would be difficult to justify a change in goals.

Also, if your short and long term goals are the same from previous year, it would be very difficult to change 'why this school' essay because essentially you will be leveraging the same stuff (courses/clubs/locational advantage etc.) to accomplish your goals.


First point agreed - second not necessarily. Are you saying that when you applied, you knew everything, or rather wrote everything, that appealed about the school to you. Essentially, the school EXPECTS you to provide even more in depth understanding or WHY THIS SCHOOL when they see your reapplication. They may even have liked your goals + why school essay the first time round and not the other essays, yet, adding more meat on why this school will only benefit you not decrease it.

Main message - that one essay won't break your case. If there are 4 essays, and you keep your first one similar to what you submitted last time, but substantially improve your 3 other essays + the reapplicant essay, dont you think you are submitting a solid reapp package? Of course if your goals never ever made sense, the entire exercise, and this thread, is futile :)

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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 07:26
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jumsumtak wrote:
As pointed out already, it would be difficult to justify a change in goals.

Also, if your short and long term goals are the same from previous year, it would be very difficult to change 'why this school' essay because essentially you will be leveraging the same stuff (courses/clubs/locational advantage etc.) to accomplish your goals.


First of all you definitely CAN change goals from year to year, especially if in the previous application your goals didn't make sense. Writing "I have reconsidered my goals in light of my rejection" is something that Adcoms hear all the time, and it's totally acceptable (as long as you are IMPROVING upon your goals :) )

Secondly, if your short and long term goals are the same you can likewise have a LOT to write about this year. You can make the link between them more clear, connect them to your past better, show more precisely what you wish to do, and connect it better to the school.

Sooo LOTS of work to be done, even if it seems like there isn't all that much.
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Re: Re-using essays from the past application [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 08:17
JonAdmissionado wrote:
First of all you definitely CAN change goals from year to year, especially if in the previous application your goals didn't make sense. Writing "I have reconsidered my goals in light of my rejection" is something that Adcoms hear all the time, and it's totally acceptable (as long as you are IMPROVING upon your goals :) )

Secondly, if your short and long term goals are the same you can likewise have a LOT to write about this year. You can make the link between them more clear, connect them to your past better, show more precisely what you wish to do, and connect it better to the school.

Sooo LOTS of work to be done, even if it seems like there isn't all that much.



makes sense!

I just read Ross' re-applicants guide. It states if you have applied in the last one year, you do not need to write the whole application again but just submit a cover letter and/or re-applicants essay (dont remember now) explaining how you have improved your candidacy. And if the candidate wants he may submit that year's essays as well. (essays are optional)

I'm not sure about other schools (haven't checked on their websites) but this approach makes a LOT of sense to me. Giving applicants an option to re-submit any of the essays and explaining rest of the stuff in the cover letter is probably the best thing for both: the applicant and the adcom. Again, this might be because Ross' essays are more or less the same each year.
Re: Re-using essays from the past application   [#permalink] 10 Oct 2012, 08:17
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