Articles published in mbaMission

Mission Admission: Waiting Patiently for B-School Interview Invitations? Consider What to Expect

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Waiting Patiently for B-School Interview Invitations? Consider What to Expect by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


As b-school interview invitations begin to roll out, do your best to remain calm and let the admissions committees do their work. Although becoming a little apprehensive is natural if you have not yet received an invitation, you will certainly not increase your chances of receiving one by calling the admissions office and asking if the school does indeed have all your files or if an interview decision has been made. In fact, such calls can actually have a negative effect on your candidacy, inadvertently making you seem pushy or even belligerent. Read more

Mission Admission: Finding “Safe” Writers for Your MBA Recommendation Letters

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Finding

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


MBA recommendation letters are an important part of your overall application package—they provide the only outside information the admissions committee receives about you. However, one of the most stressful parts of the application process can be choosing your recommenders. Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


You finally took the GMAT, and though your score was not bad, it was not what you had hoped—not your best score, but certainly not so low that you need to take the test again. With a score just below where you think you should be, should you risk it all and take the test again? The truth is that there is actually no risk in taking the GMAT a second—or even a third—time in pursuit of a better outcome. Read more

Wharton Team-Based Discussion 2017: What to Expect and How to Prepare

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Wharton Team-Based Discussion 2017: What to Expect and How to Prepare by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania sent out Round 1 interview invitations on October 31, and once again, the school is using its team-based discussion format rather than a traditional admissions interview to evaluate its candidates. Understandably, Wharton applicants get anxious about this atypical interview, because the approach creates a very different dynamic from what one usually encounters in a one-on-one meeting—and with other applicants also in the room, one cannot help but feel less in control of the content and direction of the conversation. Yet despite the uncertainty, here are a few things that Wharton team-based discussion interviewees can expect: Read more

Dartmouth Tuck Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Dartmouth Tuck Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Dartmouth Tuck essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has remained largely constant with its first essay question this year, making just a slight change in wording that does not appear to affect the content requested—the candidate’s career goals, why an MBA is needed to achieve them, and his or her reasons for targeting Tuck. The school’s second required essay prompt has changed notably, however. Applicants are now asked to share the story of a difficult time and to explain how they responded and how the incident altered their understanding of themselves. An optional essay is also available to allow those who truly need to to address any weaknesses in their candidacy. Although none of the essays should exceed 500 words (approximately three times the length of this introductory paragraph), we feel that together, they give candidates sufficient opportunity to provide the admissions committee with a multifaceted impression of themselves for evaluation. In our Dartmouth Tuck essay analysis, we offer our advice for approaching each of Tuck’s prompts for this season… Read more

Mission Admission: Why a Personalized MBA Recommendation Matters, but Details Sometimes Do Not

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Why a Personalized MBA Recommendation Matters, but Details Sometimes Do Not by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


If your supervisor is writing your MBA recommendation and you are having trouble ensuring that he/she is putting the proper thought and effort into your letter, you are not alone. Because of this asymmetry of power, a junior employee can only do so much to compel his/her supervisor to commit the necessary time and write thoughtfully. So, before you designate your supervisor as a recommender, you must first perceive how committed this person really is to helping you with your business school candidacy. In particular, your recommender needs to understand that using a single template to create identical letters for multiple business schools is not okay. Each letter must be personalized, and each MBA program’s questions must be answered using specific examples. Read more

mbaMission Releases INSEAD Insider’s Guide and Updated Interview Guides for 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - mbaMission Releases INSEAD Insider's Guide and Updated Interview Guides for 2017-2018 by mbaMission

We at mbaMission are proud to announce a new addition to our extensive trove of free Insider’s Guides: the INSEAD Insider’s Guide! Informed by firsthand insight from students, alumni, program representatives, and admissions officers, the INSEAD Insider’s Guide offers detailed descriptions of the following: Read more

Duke Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Duke Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Duke Fuqua School of Business essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


Unlike a number of the top U.S. business schools, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business has made no changes at all to its application essay questions this year, meaning that it is again posing its rather unique “25 Random Things” prompt. This decision will likely make some candidates happy but dismay others. If you are among the dismayed, we encourage you to view this submission as the generous opportunity it is to provide a comprehensive picture of yourself as a well-rounded candidate. Few application essays provide such a broad platform through which to share your most meaningful values, experiences, interests, and accomplishments. Fuqua’s second required essay focuses on candidates’ expectations of their role within the school’s MBA program. You must discuss how you anticipate engaging with and being a benefit to others in the Fuqua community. The school also poses a few short-answer goal questions concerning the basic professional elements of the applicant’s profile. In our Duke Fuqua School of Business essay analysis, we offer our advice for approaching each of Fuqua’s prompts for this season… Read more

Northwestern Kellogg Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Northwestern Kellogg Essay Analysis, 2017-2018 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Northwestern Kellogg essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University has made minimal changes to its application essay prompts this year. The school’s required first essay has maintained its focus on leadership, but gone is the reference to teamwork, replaced by a request for evidence of “lasting value.” Kellogg also no longer stipulates that the incident candidates share be “recent,” thereby allowing applicants to plumb the full range of their history as needed to identify the most compelling or appropriate story. As for the video essays, we note that Kellogg is not stating this season that one of the questions will definitely be about a challenge, though we take this to mean merely that some applicants may receive such a question while others may not. The bottom line with Kellogg’s video questions is that they have no wrong answers and are intended to help the admissions committee get a more authentic impression of your personality (not to intimidate you!), so we hope applicants are not too concerned by that part of the application. In our Northwestern Kellogg essay analysis, we present our thoughts on how to address all the school’s prompts for 2017–2018. Read more

Securing Effective Letters of Recommendation

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Securing Effective Letters of Recommendation by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admissions tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


Letters of recommendation are a vital element of every MBA applicant’s profile, because they provide a school’s admissions committee with its only truly objective insight into what the candidate has to offer. For this reason, recommenders can play a significant role in helping an applicant gain admission to his/her target business school, but only if the letters they write are credible and compelling. Fortunately, even though your letters of recommendation are technically in someone else’s hands, you still have some measure of control over them. Here, we explain where some of these opportunities lie—and where they do not—to help you navigate this portion of your application with less anxiety and better results. Read more