Nobody’s actually asked us that. But they should. This applying-to-bschool thing takes TIME. Yet when we’re still in the Spring, when Summer hasn’t yet arrived and only a few schools have even released their essay questions, then who in heck cares how long it’s gonna take you to write your essays? Dayum, bro, those deadlines aren’t till September! What is WRONG with you? Talking about essays now??
Well, some of you are smart enough to recognize that it will indeed require some time, and you have even signed up for the Rd 1 Countdown. Congrats to you! (If you didn’t sign up yet, you still can! Details are here.)
Here’s a realistic accounting of how much time you’re going to need to allocate to the process of writing your essays and getting your Round 1 MBA apps together:
After working with hundreds of Brave Supplicants over many many years, we’ve done a very thorough study of each of the tasks involved, and reverse-engineered a grand-total estimate of the averages of all the inputs that are required to construct a quality application.
The official EssaySnark estimate that you should use for your own budgeting and scheduling purposes is:
As in, this is gonna take you A LOT of time.
In fact, it’s gonna take you A LOT longer than you ever in your wildest dreams suspect.
And, it’s also very likely gonna cause you A LOT of headaches.
Don’t believe us?
Ask any former Brave Supplicant who’s previously gone through the process.
It’s completely spectacularly awesome that you’re here now, reading this in May, already thinking about the things you need to do to get this done.
And we encourage you to begin, even with some baby steps, putting some plans into motion. Read back over our “Class of 2018: Start Your Engines” posts if you need to.
Put some ideas on paper for, like, career goals and stuff. Or even sign up for some feedback on said career goals, with our Career Goals App Accelerator. And definitely keep moving forward with your school research, which we know a lot of you are diligently undertaking.
Some people are already starting to submit their applications to Columbia Business School. Yeah, crazy, isn’t it?? We don’t say that to make you feel the pressure of competition. The first apps in the door at Columbia are not typically the strongest ones, at least, not the ones we have seen this early in the cycle. The reason we point this out is only to remind you that the season is actually underway.
There are many pieces that need to be assembled to get a quality application together. Most people don’t get started on it until August. That is really late. It’s possible to still pull it off but boy is it stressful. The essays in particular will take you WAY longer than you expect – that is, if you want to do a good job on them.
OK, for anyone still with us after all that who’s curious to get some real numbers, here’s some estimates:
- Most people will require at least three major revisions per essay – often many more.
- We cannot imagine that the first set of essays you produce will require less than five hours per essay. Probably more.
- Therefore, plan to spend at least ten to twenty hours total on that first school. That’s just the essays.
- For those hours to be invested wisely, they will need to be spread out over many editing sessions, over an extended period of time. That’s simply how the creative process works.
You just can’t expect to produce quality content all in one go. Not when you’ve never done it before. Sure, it’s possible to cram all of this work into a couple pre-deadline weekends, but it’s not the route to a solid set of essays that you will have confidence in.
This, of course, is why we’re beating this drum over and over again.
We’re impressed that you’re already around Snarkville at this stage – now don’t squander your early mover advantage! Get to it, Brave Supplicant!