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Recommendation letter questions

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Joined: 26 May 2009
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Schools: Ross 2012
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New post 27 May 2009, 08:39
Hi, I'm thinking of applying to 5-6 schools for 2010. It appears to me that many schools nowadays ask their own recommendation questions instead of accepting generic, one-fits-all recommendation letters. Obviously, this will add to the amount of work that your recommenders will have to do, and I think it would probably be too much to ask the recommenders to tailor their recommendations to each individual school. I was thinking of giving my recommenders a list of most likely questions, so that when it's time to fill out the recommendation forms, they can just copy-and-paste whatever's relevant.

I was looking for past recommendation questions online, but I can't seem to find them, as most past online applications have already expired, and I can't even view them. Does anyone know where I can find such a list of questions? The schools I'm interested in are HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Sloan, and Ross.

Thank you in advance!
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New post 27 May 2009, 09:08
To get you started there is some great information on this site if you just search for it. Try the Google search bar up at the top right of the page or try the Knowledge Vault. http://gmatclub.com/forum/recommendation-letters-recommenders-and-gifts-guide-58750.html#p422567

http://gmatclub.com/forum/on-letters-of-recommendation-20730.html
http://gmatclub.com/wiki/Recommendations
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New post 27 May 2009, 14:08
Great! Thanks!
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New post 28 May 2009, 06:51
If you read each individual school's questions for recommenders, it's clear that most of them ask more or less the same stuff. Thus, since my supervisors are busy people, I asked each of them to write a single, thorough LOR and had them send it to my undergrad university's career services office, where they keep letters like that on file. I then had the career office send them on to each school, all confidentially.

I called each school to which I applied to check if this was kosher. Kellogg was kinda queasy about it and Stanford said they'd really prefer their own form (or "matrix"). (I later decided not to apply to Kellogg.) I pointed out that their forms were pretty much the same as everyone else's, and that given that most applicants are applying to 4-6 schools, it was unreasonable to expect us to burden our recommenders with that much work (especially when we pay so much money for each application).

Duke and Darden specifically said that submitting a LOR in this way, in lieu of their "matrix," wouldn't be a point against me in admissions. As it turns out, I guess they were right. I don't see any adcom actually dinging you because you turned in a good LOR instead of their standardized form - they understand the position many of us are in. In the long-run, these schools really need to move to a standardized application format, as in other professional schools.
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New post 28 May 2009, 12:25
I would recommend finalizing your school list first.. Collate the reco Qs of all the schools together.. U'll find that for most of the schools, stuff is almost the same.. However, u need to take care of some peculiar ones.. like Tuck's.. One is their traditional Q on constructive criticism and 2nd is they ask for 3 weaknesses (most of the schools r satisfied with one)

I won't normally suggest submitting a generic LOR to any school.. In particular, even if u r going by that route, make sure that it's a truly a generic one.. If a school finds that u have submitted an LoR that specifically answers the Qs of some other school, they would not be too happy at being ur 2nd choice.
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New post 28 May 2009, 16:03
shobhit wrote:
I would recommend finalizing your school list first.. Collate the reco Qs of all the schools together.. U'll find that for most of the schools, stuff is almost the same.. However, u need to take care of some peculiar ones.. like Tuck's.. One is their traditional Q on constructive criticism and 2nd is they ask for 3 weaknesses (most of the schools r satisfied with one)

I won't normally suggest submitting a generic LOR to any school.. In particular, even if u r going by that route, make sure that it's a truly a generic one.. If a school finds that u have submitted an LoR that specifically answers the Qs of some other school, they would not be too happy at being ur 2nd choice.


Thank you for the reply. I'm going to go the route of providing my recommenders with a list of most common questions. Now my question is how do I formulate that list? I looked on the schools' websites, and I've only been able to find HBS's recommendation questions for 2010; all the other schools don't seem to have the list available.

The schools I'm interested in are HBS, Wharton, Kellogg, Sloan, and Ross. Should I call the schools and ask them about recommendation questions?
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Re: Recommendation letter questions &nbs [#permalink] 28 May 2009, 16:03
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