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Application Essays Are Difficult!

Posted in Test Prep on March 22, 2010 by

This post is from Linda Abraham, founder and president of

On Twitter, I frequently see tweets lamenting the difficulty inherent in writing MBA application essays. It’s true–they are a pain, especially if you are the kind of person who does not like self-reflection or self-expression.

I feel your pain.

I have analyzed the essential components of a strong MBA application essay. Basically, the adcoms want a map of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.

“Map” has, however, a double meaning when you’re writing MBA application essays. It stands for Motivation, Aspiration, and Perspiration. You should include these three essentials when you construct your application essay:

  • Motivation: What makes you tick? Why have you made the decisions you have made? What energizes and inspires you? And perhaps, why do you want to go into your chosen field?
  • Aspiration: Where are you headed? What are your goals and what do you aspire to do immediately after you complete your degree? And more importantly, why are you interested in this school’s program?
  • Perspiration: When in the past have you sweated to achieve? When have you dedicated yourself to a cause or goal? When have you worked hard, investing time and effort, to impact and contribute? What did your hard work achieve?

When you write your MBA application essays, check it for a clear “map.” If it has motivation, aspiration, and perspiration, then you have started down the right path and are in good shape for completing a strong and compelling application essay.’s staff has been checking clients’ work for the essentials of great law school personal statements since 1994. Visit for professional advising and editing services as well as sample law school personal statements, tips, free ecourses, webinars, and more.