Admission Essays - What They Are?

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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 16, 2023 15:20 IST

Are you are planning to pursue MBA or a related course from a university abroad? As the title of this article suggests, Admission Essays are essays sought by universities abroad to consider your candidature for specific courses. While there is no rule of thumb for the kind of essays that universities might ask for, we will discuss the question-answer type essays in this section.

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To elucidate further, universities abroad, for specific courses, often, but not mandatorily, require you to answer a few specific questions/prompts, and usually stipulate a word/character/page limit for each answer. They have a wide range of contexts and might be aimed at further elaborating different facets of the applicant’s personality, as per the university’s specific demands for that course. For instance, universities might believe that as an MBA applicant, the candidate must possess effective leadership qualities, or a university, for its highly acclaimed MIS program, may require the agility of mind and aptitude for innovation. In such scenarios, a simple Statement of Purpose might not be enough. To counter the limitations of asking for just one central and generic essay (or SOP), universities decide to instead break up the essay, by asking a few relevant questions. These are widely known as Admission Essays.

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In character, Admissions Essays are written essays, but unlike an SOP, there is no standard format. Universities usually provide the applicants with a list of required questions or essays. These vary as per the requirements of the university and the program and are created carefully to ascertain the eligibility of the applicant. More importantly, they are designed to prune the list and find the candidates that would be the correct fit for their program.

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Types of Admission Essays

It is important to recognize the different types of admission essays that the universities ask for, before starting to draft them, as the content depends greatly on the type and essay prompt/question. The Admission Essays can be classified on the basis of

  1. Word Limit - the actual length of the essay.
    • Very Short Answer Questions/ Write-ups (30 – 200 words)
    • Short Answer Questions/Essays (200 – 500 words)
    • Long Answer Questions/ Essays (More than 500 words but less than 800 words)
    • Full-Length Essays (More than 800 words)
  2. Content - what are the questions about?
    • Goals Essay
    • Leadership Essays
    • Career Progression Essays
    • Ethical Dilemma Essays
    • Achievements Essays
    • Failure Essays
    • Situation Essays
    • The 'Why' Essays (why this program/course/university?)

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How to write winning Admission Essays

When the application is to a top MBA program or B-school, it becomes important to ensure that your essay gives the edge to your application. With more competition, an admissions essay is perhaps the only document, which would help you stand out from the others. However, one needs to understand what all to include and how to write a winning essay

There are no definitive answers to these questions, as many admissions essays are based on the question, which can vary from university to university. It, therefore, becomes all the more difficult to answer them. What a student ought to do in such cases is to understand the basic fundamentals of essay writing as well as clearly understand the nuances of the question asked. Keeping the word limit in mind is as crucial so that one discusses whatever is most important to showcase in his/her profile. Read: MBA Essays: Top University Essays in 2024

Shiksha Guidelines for Admission Essays

While there are separate guidelines given by the universities for admission essays, a few universities have no set instructions. For such cases, Shiksha has drafted a separate set of guidelines that any student can refer to while drafting their admission essays. Along with the correct format, you should also be aware of how to answer a certain essay topic with the right formatting and context. To know more, read Shiksha Guidelines for Admission Essays.

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About the Author
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya Bhatnagar is a skilled study-abroad expert at Shiksha. Overall she has 4+ years of experience working in EdTech. She holds a graduate degree in English Literature from Hansraj College along with a postgrad... Read Full Bio



Hi, please am a first class graduate of political science and i want to apply for my masters degree program in any university within Virginia, DC or Maryland respectively so how can i apply?



Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

6 months ago

Hello Kingsley, you can narrow down the universities you wish to apply to in the US and check their respective deadlines, course fees, scholarship availability and the program commencement dates. Masters admission applications are usually filed through the official website of the US university. If


Mam, i'm Doing B.Tech from Punjab and my current CGPA is 8.2 and i've developed various apps during my college period.. Can you help me out on fact that right now i'm a software developer and SFU or UBC is research Universities. Am i eligible for them..? cause some of the agents are saying no you sh


Reply to Gursimran Singh


Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

6 months ago

Hello Gursimran, you are eligible to apply for admission to these universities. You have an added advantage of the apps that you have created which you can mention in your essays. Thus, you can apply, you want to get more info you can get in touch with our counsellors at - https://studyabroad.shiks


yes bro you are eligible. BEST OF LUCK ????


Amara Martin

a year ago

Thank you for information

Reply to Amara Martin


Mozammil Hasan

a year ago

Hi Srishthi, How can you help us in preparing LOR/SOP/Admission Essay.

Reply to Mozammil Hasan

Hi, we have guidelines and various samples on our website to help you write your documents.


Shivam Mehta

a year ago

Hi, Recently I had changed my surname in India legally. I am confused about which name should be used for the GRE test application, as my most of identity proof like, Adhar, PAN, DL, Passport contains the new (Shivam Mehta), but the educational certificates had the old (Shivam Kumar). Please help.

Reply to Shivam Mehta

The name will be the same as it appears on your passport and other ID-related documents.

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