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Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Tuck Application 2015-2016

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Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Tuck Application 2015-2016 [#permalink]

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New post 01 Apr 2016, 11:54
From Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts),, email:

Interested in learning if we think you can be successful as an applicant or re-applicant?

Feel free to sign up for a FREE Profile Evaluation directly from Dr. Shel Watts, a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 25 years of work with MBA applicants, fill out the form on our homepage at


Sign up for a Ding Analysis, in which we can review your prior application and give you detailed feedback about how to improve your next application. Current Special Pricing: $265. For a Ding Analysis, send an inquiry to or visit

Ask about our current specials – Comprehensive packages beginning at $1495 (Compare with our competitors who charge $4,400!); Basic editing of one application for $925. Valid through April 10, 2016. Opt to work directly with Dr. Shel on your MBA applications!

Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Tuck Application 2015-2016

Given Tuck’s full-time MBA essay topics, relatively long essay lengths, space on the application form and resume, and recommendation form questions, candidates should employ a solid strategy to present their best achievements and a compelling case for admission. Many applicants fail to strategize excellently and based on the candidates we have conducted Ding Analyses for thus far, here are the three most common mistakes that were made with the Tuck application this 2015-2016 admission cycle:

Mistake #1: Failing to take great advantage of the ample essay space offered in the Tuck application. The very structure of the Tuck application tells us a great deal. While other top MBA programs have moved to shorter essays in recent years – with schools like Wharton only offering two 400-word essays in which you can make your case for admission – Tuck has stayed with three longer essays, totally nearly 1500 words available for your use (nearly twice the amount of content as compared with Wharton). In some ways, this signals to you that they are open to considering you seriously as a candidate even if you have a shortcoming or two, but you should address those shortcomings well through the application, even if doing so indirectly rather than directly.

You should have made certain to use that “prime essay real estate” to present a very strong, compelling portrait of yourself, including your passions, skills, talents, greatest achievements, personal story and vision for the future. Be certain to articulate why Tuck is ideal for you. Because Tuck’s essay #2 focuses on a leadership example, you should choose your topic carefully and showcase your leadership skills and knowledge to the admissions committee. Indeed, while in some cases an extracurricular example might be fine for essay #2, some candidates shy away from writing about their leadership in the workplace and choose a weak extracurricular leadership example for essay #2 instead, making for a much less compelling application. Failing to make great strategic use of the essays can reduce your odds of success in Tuck’s admissions process.

Mistake #2: Failing to maximize use of the recommendations. Unlike many other top MBA programs, Tuck has not adopted the use of the “common recommendation form” – a recommendation form that offers three standard recommendation questions to which recommendation writers are to respond. Those who offer the common recommendation form make it easier for candidates to apply to multiple schools, since they can use the same recommendation at multiple schools. But Tuck has not only kept its own unique recommendation form, it has also kept a large number of recommendation questions, several of which are completely distinct from the questions asked on the common recommendation form. The take away? They don’t want it to be easy for you to simply apply to Tuck as a backup school. They want to see you put effort into the application. If your writers simply cut and paste text from the common recommendation responses that really do not fit the Tuck form, it will convey to the admissions committee that you did not speak with your writers enough to underscore how important Tuck is for you and encourage them to give their best effort. If your recommendation content is not shining and the grid marked well, your chances for admissions will be hurt.

Mistake #3: Failing to maximize use of the resume. It is important that you maximize the information you present in your resume. You should present your best credentials and sell them to the committee. You should make sure to pack your resume full of action-oriented and results-focused information, as well as descriptions of awards and your best extracurricular activities, so that it provides a valuable snapshot of your overall candidacy, strengths and assets. Wherever you have demonstrated leadership, make it shine through your resume. Awards and distinctions should be prominently displayed. (Whenever a school allows you to submit up to a two-page resume for an MBA application, you should do so. Some candidates don’t want to do the extra work to create a two-page resume, since other top MBA programs restrict them to a one-page resume. But it is usually worth your effort.)

Write your resume with care as it must go a long way in selling your candidacy. Written excellently, the resume can help sell the committee on your candidacy even before they read your first essay!

We welcome you to sign up for our FREE informative Newsletter, which provides useful tips, insider information and guidance for applying to top MBA programs. Sign up on the right hand side of our homepage at

Best wishes,
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA

Dr. Shel Watts, the Founder of MBA Admit,.com, is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with Harvard admissions experience and over 26 years of work with MBA applicants. Clients can opt to work directly with Dr. Shel in the admissions process.

Direct email address:


Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Tuck Application 2015-2016   [#permalink] 01 Apr 2016, 11:54
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Top 3 Mistakes Made with the Tuck Application 2015-2016

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