On Friday we went out on a limb and published our Predictions for the 2013 MBA Essay Questions.
Today we’re publishing our secret hopes for them.
While we appreciate fewer essays to review, it actually makes the BSer’s job harder when there’s both fewer essays, AND shorter ones.
We’re hoping that some schools may actually get a little more lenient on essay length.
(Wow we may regret saying that. Reviewing essays is hard enough. Reviewing LONG essays? Might as well go to the dentist.)
Last year, Booth had an almost-too-short question asking about “your most significant challenge”. It was just 200 words. Granted, they called it a “short answer essay” (though isn’t that an oxymoron? it’s either an essay, or it’s a short answer… isn’t it?). It wasn’t expected to have all the trappings of a lengthy diatribe on stuff, which is what BSers often spew forth when left to their own devices and liberal length limits.
Maybe the adcom was satisfied with what they got for these answers. And maybe, giving BSers more room won’t actually result in the adcom getting more useful input. Certainly there’s no strong correlation between quantity and quality, we are well aware of that.
But we saw people struggle mightily with the essays that were so short. Even 300 words would be more do-able for many people on questions like this. Why make the poor BSers suffer so much? Bschool applications are already stressful enough.
Here’s what one respondent to our best essay questions? poll had to say about it:
Booth was challenging because it asked complex questions (essays 2A and 2B) that provided very little room for a full story and an explanation.
Still, Booth received very high marks overall from Bsers in that survey, so they didn’t alienate people completely. We just hope that the adcoms will understand how very difficult it is for BSers to do a good job when the rules are ratcheted so tight.
Most people excel when put under some constraint; many people flounder when placed under too much.