Write a Graduate School Essay that Will Knock Their Socks Off

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Your graduate school personal statement may initially get only five minutes of an admissions officer’s attention

Writing an amazing graduate school essay is probably far more straightforward than you might think. Graduate school admissions officers aren’t looking for gimmicks. They’re looking for passionate, motivated, and prepared applicants who are ready to hit the ground running in their program. Read on for more details in creating your best graduate school essay. If you’re looking for one-on-one assistance, check out Topadmit.com.

Know what the admissions officers are seeking

Don’t make assumptions about your graduate school personal statements. Many programs simply ask you to submit a personal statement without any further guidance. Other programs will tell you exactly how they want the essay structured along with word count limits and formatting requirements. Review the prompt thoroughly and plan your essay before you begin writing to ensure that you create an essay that will be an effective and persuasive addition to your application package.

What should you do if the program doesn’t give you any specifics? With greater numbers of applicants to graduate programs, the trend is toward shorter essays. This is especially true of graduate programs in the STEM fields. Unfortunately, longer essays tend to be skimmed rather than read thoroughly, and most any admissions officer will tell you that the best essays that they’ve read are always shorter essays. Think about what is absolutely essential, and write about those aspects of your experience with passion.

Personal, personal, personal

Did we mention personal? Some graduate programs will ask you to write an additional essay about an issue within your chosen field. However, your personal statement should be about you as an individual. Write about issues only if they relate specifically to your personal experiences. For example, ‘In Africa, a child dies every minute. This stark statistic prompted me to join an NGO aimed at providing nutrition and healthcare for children in Namibia.’

Keep your anecdotes focused on your life after you began college

It is common for graduate school applicants to start their personal statements with an anecdote about something that happened during childhood or high school. On the surface, this makes sense because that event was what started the journey that has culminated in an application to the program. However, graduate programs are for professionals, and writing about your childhood is more appropriate for an undergraduate essay than one for graduate school. If you feel that you absolutely must include something from your childhood, use it as the starting sentence of your concluding paragraph.

Know your program and make connections

Securing acceptance into a graduate program is more about being the best match than about being the most highly qualified. Among applicants who meet the program’s minimum requirements, they’ll choose an enthusiastic and informed applicant over one with higher test scores and a better GPA who doesn’t seem to know much about their program.

During your graduate studies, you’ll likely do research, and graduate programs want to know that you can both participate in ongoing research as well as find a mentor for your own project. In your essay, write about professors in the programs whose work interests you and why. Also, there is life outside of the classroom. Does the school have a close-knit traditional college campus? Is it located in the heart of the city? Especially if you will be moving with your family, show the admissions officers that you will thrive in their environment.

Finish with a strong statement about why the school is your top pick

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the school is your only pick. However, generic essays have no place in the graduate school application process. Form letters aren’t persuasive, and generic essays won’t help your application package. If you can’t sincerely write that the school is a top pick, then why are you applying there? Instead, focus on creating stellar essays for the ones that actually interest you. Help the admissions officers understand your overarching vision for your future career and how your time at the school will prepare you to realize these goals.

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UT McCombs School Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips

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The UT McCombs School of Business is a globally recognized MBA program, located in Austin, Texas, a center of technology and business for the region.

When approaching these essay questions think about the reasons you are pursuing an MBA, particularly at McCombs. Thorough school research will help you come up with specifics, by taking to current or former students, visiting campus, or attending admissions events.

Stacey Kammerdiener, Senior Texas Full-Time MBA Admissions Officer advises, “While it may be tempting, do us (and yourself) a favor and avoid the snooze-fest/shock-factor extremes. Instead, approach your essays genuinely and with reflection.” More advice can be found at the Texas MBA Insider blog.

ESSAY ONE

Introduce yourself.
Select only one communication method that you would like to use for your response.

• Write an essay (250 words), OR
• Share a video introduction (one minute)

For an open-ended essay with a creative option (the video) it can be daunting to think of a topic. Rather than focusing on how you are going to communicate, start thinking about what you want to communicate to the Texas MBA admissions committee by introducing yourself to your new study group.

The best essays will dive deep into your motivations and aspirations, perhaps getting into your cultural background, formative moments in your life and friends, family and colleagues who have influenced you. To identify one or two key stories you may want to tell, think about those pivotal moments of change in your life.

For many people the transition from high school to college and from college to work led to personal change. Others had formative childhood experiences or experiences that led to shifts in perspective like travel or living outside your home country. Any one of these moments could be a good way to illustrate who you are and what motivates you.

Once you have identified the content of your essay you can decide how to present it. A video could give you the opportunity to add elements of emotion, such as humor, that are harder to convey in writing. A video also allows you to include graphics, photos or other visual elements. If your story fits better into a written narrative you may choose the written essay instead.

If you choose a video essay you will still want to write a script for your video. Think about the bullet points you want to cover, and any important points you need to convey. If you decide to talk into the camera, rehearsing will be especially important, and consider having a friend or family member there so you can talk to a person instead of the camera. If you are able to edit the video after you record footage it will be easier to keep it smooth and on topic. Either way, make sure you take the time to record several takes of the video content so you can choose the best one to submit to McCombs.

ESSAY TWO

Picture yourself at graduation. Describe how you spent your two years as a Texas MBA student, and how that experience helped to prepare you for the post-MBA world. (500 words)

This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate strong fit with the Texas MBA program. As part of your homework before starting this set of essays you have hopefully learned as much as possible about the school, now you can bring in your own aspirations and goals. Use your imagination to think about how you might describe your MBA experience at graduation. You’ll likely have experienced both professional and personal growth, and met interesting people who will be part of your lifelong network.

To help you get started, research some of the unique opportunities at McCombs like the Venture Labs, if you have entrepreneurial dreams, and The MBA+ Program, with opportunities to work with influential companies through a variety of touch points. Being part of the city of Austin is another unique benefit to the program that you may want to consider in the context of your background and goals.

For example, perhaps you were interested in working for a major technology firm to learn product management skills to use in starting your own business. While at McCombs you might have tested ideas with the Venture Labs, and also consulted for major companies like Adobe or HP to learn how large companies worked. These experiences were likely formative as you made career plans.

Don’t forget the personal – McCombs has an active and engaged student culture with many student organizations you likely joined. And your classmates and friends you made in the program were definitely an influence as well.

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Top Tips for Writing a Strong Admission Essay

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What is an admission essay? And why is it so important for US colleges and universities?

While most European universities offer their future students to take several exams, US teachers and professors ask their entrants to prepare and present an admission essay. An admission essay is a piece of writing, which shows your ability to write well, your attitude towards education, and your fit to the chosen university or college. This essay will help the committee understand your personality, intellectual curiosity, and educational achievements. In this essay, you can explain what your main positive features and unique skills are.

So, how can an average entrant create an admission essay, which will be powerful enough to be accepted at the desired University? You can use the main tips described in the paragraph below or you can go to topadmit.com for professional advice and support. The choice is yours. Adjust your expectations and make the first step.

5 Tips for a Strong Admission Essay

  1. Focus on one thing. Don’t try to describe everything in one essay. Choose one preferable theme, issue, or person to start with. When a student tries to write about many things in one small piece of writing, he/she tends to make it too boring, flat, and watered down. Always use the method of brainstorming before writing your essay. Choose only a few good ideas.
  2. Avoid perfection. This means you shouldn’t describe yourself as an ideal person without flaws and weak sides. Be objective. Feel free to describe what aspects are more difficult for you than others. No one expects you to be a perfect student.
  3. A clear thesis. Your admission essay should contain a clear thesis, describing what you are going to tell about.
  4. Proofreading. Never neglect additional proofreading and editing. Give your admission essay to someone else who knows you a little bit more than others. Ask them to read your essay aloud and to tell what impressions they have after reading it.
  5. The simpler the better. Many students write about too difficult things to make their essays stand out. And those essays become complex, even for themselves. In reality, the essays that stand out the most are about simple things and everyday topics. The simpler your essay the better. What is important is that your essay should express your personality, experiences, and perspectives. The main aim of the admission essay is to help the committee to know the applicant.

So, the main components of the strong admission essay are focus, realness, clear thesis, good grammar and spelling, and simplicity. And keep your essay short. Don’t try to make it as long as a novel. Just avoid common mistakes, carefully consider what you are going to write about, and present your personality to the committee in the best way possible.

Credit: The global dispatch

TopAdmit Community Response Survey – Enter to win!

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topadmit-community-response

Dear students,

As a valued member of the TopAdmit community, we’d like to invite you to participate in our online Community Response session! We want to hear about your expectations so we can keep improving our services. It should not take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Go to survey: http://bit.ly/2htyJUy

Your contribution will not go unnoticed – every form entry qualifies to enter a lucky draw! You will have a chance to receive a voucher for TopAdmit services valued up to $200, so fill in the form now!

  •  1st prize x 03 winners: 200$US
  •  2nd prize x 10 winners: 100$US

Form entry time: 14 Dec 2016 – 14 Jan 2017 GMT+8 The winner will be announced on 18 Jan 2017 on TopAdmit’s Facebook page. Thank you for your time and feedback. The TopAdmit Research Team

University of California Admissions 2017

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cover-photo How to tackle tricky personal insight questions ASAP, even as you’re overwhelmed with SAT or ACT preparation. What to do for the best outcome?

Introducing UC Admissions Premium Package

  • Two one hour in-depth brainstorming sessions
  • A sum of three turns of editing of 4 essays!

How The Package Works

Step 1 : Fill out the order form and make your payment. Step 2 : Schedule your preferred timeslots for the consultation session. Step 3 : After the first session, an essay outline will be sent for you to draft your work. Step 4 : Send us your first drafts and schedule your the next session. Step 5 : Second session will work on the fundamental weaknesses. Step 6 : Two more revisions on the four essays until 11/28 23:59 PT. ​

Who should try? No matter if you are a transfer student; or an upcoming freshman

  • If you have doubts on how to express your exceptional background concisely 
  • If you have written a draft, but would like to PERFECT it 
  • If you are not sure which of the 8 questions you ought to pick 
  • No idea where and how to begin with

The UC Admissions Premium Package will definitely suit your needs!

Why TopAdmit?

  • Our Goal: Provide more resources to students who have limited access to college application counseling resources.
  • The Aim: To assist students to effectively express themselves, giving them equal opportunities to the best education by conveying their achievements.
  • We Guarantee: Your writing meets its fullest potential. If you are buried in application essays, TopAdmit is here to help as your best essay editing choice.

Original price : $2000 Apply before OCT.31 : 15% discount!

FOR MORE INFO: http://www.ucessaycoach.com/

Using the Active Voice

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by Ellen Smith (Senior TopAdmit editor)

Admissions committees are always on the lookout for confident, capable applicants. One of the best ways to demonstrate these qualities in an essay or personal statement is through the use of the active voice. By using the active voice when sharing personal stories, goals, and future plans, your essay will take on an assertive, confident tone.

active-passive

Active versus Passive Voice

Simply put, whether a sentence is written in active or passive voice depends on the subject. When the subject of the sentence performs the action, the sentence is written in the active voice. For example, “I led a campaign to end world hunger.” In this sentence, the writer led the campaign. However, when the subject of the sentence receives the action, the sentence is written in the passive voice. For example, “A campaign to end world hunger was my first leadership experience.” The emphasis is on the campaign rather than on the writer’s leadership.

Why should I use the active voice?

Using the active, rather than passive, voice is most common in English writing and speaking. The active voice is generally more straightforward and gives the writer a more confident and assertive tone. It’s especially effective to use the active voice when you are sharing stories from your personal life, explaining your goals, and naming your plans for the future. Below, we’ve included examples that show how using the active voice can make a big difference in conveying confidence.

Sharing personal stories
When giving details about your personal experiences, using the active voice can help you emphasize that you used the experience to learn and grow. Look at the difference between the examples below.

1. ACTIVE: As a young child, I was impressed by my father’s work ethic.
PASSIVE: My father’s work ethic impressed me as a young child.

2. ACTIVE: When I was an undergraduate, I saw a shocking example of social injustice.
PASSIVE: An example of social injustice shocked me when I was an undergraduate.

As you can see, the examples written in the active voice focus on the writer’s experience. These statements set the expectation that we are going to learn more about how these experiences shaped the writer’s goals and motivation. The examples written in the passive voice make less of an impact.

Explaining your goals and future plans
The active voice is also appropriate when explaining your plans for the future. Using the active voice is a subtle way to emphasize that you are taking control of your future and setting goals for yourself. Look at the difference between the examples below.

3. ACTIVE: I plan to start my own business and positively impact the community.
PASSIVE: Starting my own business and positively impacting the community is my plan.

4. ACTIVE: I hope to make connections at my internship site and continue working in the field after graduation.
PASSIVE: Making connections at my internship site and continuing to work in the field after graduation is my hope.

In the examples that use the active voice, the writer appears proactive and confident. When the same sentences are rewritten in the passive voice, the writer appears more tentative and wistful.

Confident-Pose

While the difference between active and passive voice is a matter of grammar, the impact of using the active voice is a matter of confidence. Particularly when sharing examples of personal experiences, goals, and plans for the future, using the active voice conveys a positive, proactive attitude. For admissions committees looking for the best applicants, a self-assured tone can go a long way.