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# Which schools essays are the toughest?

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Manager
Joined: 25 Aug 2007
Posts: 70
Schools: HBS '10
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Which schools essays are the toughest? [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2007, 20:07
I'm applying to 4 schools: HBS, Kellogg, LBS, and INSEAD.

And in my opinion, the HBS essays are by far the most difficult. Like it's head and shoulders more difficult.

I know that Stanford's "What matters to you the most and why?" is a killer.

What are other people's thoughts?
Director
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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14 Nov 2007, 20:55
I only applied to LBS and Kellogg in that bunch...to be honest I think the hardest essays are your first set. I did Tuck first and it was awful (both the experience and the essays)...my suggestion is to follow Kyrzak's example if you have time. Finish one set (either HBS/Kellogg since they cover most of the topics) and then move on to the rest. Then come back and revise your first set.
Current Student
Joined: 21 Mar 2007
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14 Nov 2007, 21:11
I would definitely recommend doing the Kellogg essays first. They cover pretty much all the questions asked.
Director
Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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14 Nov 2007, 21:30
The toughest ones are the schools with essays that never change from year to year.... like Harvard and Stanford among others.

They've read thousands of these essays year in, year out. They've seen it answered from every possible angle. It's hard to wow them in that way.
Senior Manager
Joined: 08 Feb 2007
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15 Nov 2007, 02:20
I think Chicago's PPT essay is deceptive. Sound interesting and all, but it's really hard to do.
VP
Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: New York, NY
Schools: Chicago Booth Class of 2010
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15 Nov 2007, 03:31
I think Chicago's PPT essay is deceptive. Sound interesting and all, but it's really hard to do.

I agree, from the first idea to the final result I really took a month. Off course I was doing other things together...

But the Stanford essay A is by far the hardest I've seen...
Director
Joined: 03 Mar 2007
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15 Nov 2007, 03:55
CBS essay # 2... it was a classic WTF

Darden... .3 choices... and some really interesting choices

UCLA/ Duke... family/ diversity essay. There is no way you can predict whether you are right or wrong

Cornell.... writing essays in 400 words.. nothing is as lopsided or ridiculous when you have to force every thought into 400 words.,...and add to that a 35% increase in apps, no end to the "waiting for review" app status and evil emails about blog reading invites....I vote for Cornell
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Joined: 10 Apr 2007
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15 Nov 2007, 04:05
MIT. Very specific, pretty short, and the questions can overlap so you have to be very clear during your writing. They say that they want experiences from the last two years unless its something life altering.

Pretty much everyone who applied there said the were the worst. I have met a few people who didn't apply because they didnt think they woudl be able to put a good set of essays together because of the question.

That said if you are applying to Kellogg, start there. They cover all the ground other essays build off of and they aren't too short or too long so you can expand them for the 1500 word essays or edit them for th 500 word essays.
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Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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15 Nov 2007, 13:17
Anyday Stanford Essay A is the toughest. if one can spend enough time and get this essay right, all the other essays feel like a walk in the park.

After doing Stanford application, I am now motivated to doing Harvard essays.
Manager
Joined: 14 Jan 2007
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16 Nov 2007, 09:29
aviroop wrote:
CBS essay # 2... it was a classic WTF

Darden... .3 choices... and some really interesting choices

UCLA/ Duke... family/ diversity essay. There is no way you can predict whether you are right or wrong

Cornell.... writing essays in 400 words.. nothing is as lopsided or ridiculous when you have to force every thought into 400 words.,...and add to that a 35% increase in apps, no end to the "waiting for review" app status and evil emails about blog reading invites....I vote for Cornell

I vote for CBS #2 ...I changed it inside out zillion times for 2 months ....
Darden's questions just fit my profile really well ..so had a nice time completing them !
and Duke's family question turned me off, so much so, that I dropped it from my R1 list ..
And Cornell . ,,man I can relate to every bit of what you say for Cornell ..from essays to waiting and what not ..
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16 Nov 2007, 16:56
shmegs wrote:
my suggestion is to follow Kyrzak's example if you have time. Finish one set (either HBS/Kellogg since they cover most of the topics) and then move on to the rest. Then come back and revise your first set.

Wow, an endorsement! Yay! Thanks shmegs! (I will get you the \$20 I promised you when I come back, hee hee ...)

Anyway, for me, "What matters most" from Stanford was the hardest by far. After that one, I really understood my life motivations and was able to use the self discovery to revise my other essays.

I am glad I am not applying to MIT or HBS, as those essays sound difficult too!

The ironic thing is, I will be doing Kellogg last, but I think with Haas, Stanford, and UCLA, I have most of the topics of Kellogg covered.
16 Nov 2007, 16:56
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