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Admission Essays - Types of Essay

Written by  Rachit Agrawal

Reviewed by  Priyanka Bhargava

Published: Mon, September 30, 2019 9:30 AM IST  Updated: Mon, September 30, 2019 9:30 AM IST  9 mins read

Admission Essays - Types of Essay

Written by  Rachit Agrawal

Reviewed by  Priyanka Bhargava

Published: Mon, Sep 30, 2019 9:30 AM IST  Updated: Mon, Sep 30, 2019 9:30 AM IST  9 mins read
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Admission Essay

When applying to any foreign university, there are a plethora of documents which one needs to submit. However, one document stands apart, the admission essay. It is one of the most crucial documents which you submit to the college and which can play a huge part in deciding your fate – whether you will get admission in your desired college or not. Admission essay is best described as your place to shine on paper, it is where you can display your writing and intellectual capabilities without seeming pretentious. 

What is an Admission Essay?

An admission essay, also often known as an application essay. It is an essay or a written statement by the prospective student applying to a college or university. An admission essay gives the applicant an opportunity to distinguish themselves from others while displaying their writing and intellectual skills.

  • Apart from previous coursework and exam scores, the application essay is one of the three most important things which a student submits.
  • The essay requires you to write well and give logical reasons for your arguments.
  • This essay can make or break your chances of getting admission in a university or college of your choice.
  • A student must have clarity of thought and a good command over the language to write a successful admission essay.

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Tips to Write Admission Essay

Given how extremely important admission essay can prove to be when it comes to deciding your future, it can get quite tricky to write one. Students often get nervous and are unable to complete their essays on time or properly due to the stress of writing a perfect essay. However, an admission essay is not that difficult to write once you have clarity of thought. There are various tips which will help you write a good essay.

Planning your Essay 

Plan your essay before writing it. Consider what is asked and what you want to answer. Also, consider what the admission board may want in your admission essay. Before writing your admission essay down, plan it thoroughly, with the help of flow chart if possible. Go point by point and connect each point with others to form a logical argument. Plan an answer which will showcase your talents.

Determine your Essay Goals

Apart from understanding how the admission board may thing and what they want your answer to be like. Also, think about how you want them to think about you. Your admission essay will help the admission board form an opinion about you. Your goal should be to make that impression a lasting and good one. Highlight your good qualities and achievements in the admission essay to present yourself in the best light.

Distinguish yourself from the Other Applicants 

When it comes to seeking admission in a top institution, a generic admission essay just will not do. It is essential that your essay stands apart from those of your competitors. It should be a bit different which will distinguish you from the others. As an international student, you will be different already but what will truly distinguish you are the qualities and strengths you have from your home country. Distinguish yourself by adding to the admission letter letters any special skill or hobby you may have.

Contribute to the University

An admission essay gives you an opportunity to tell everything about yourself which you want the admission board to know. One thing you don’t want them to miss out is what you can contribute to the university. As an international student, you bring diverse culture to the campus, stories of new experiences and future possibilities of them. Highlight what your background and intellect can contribute to the university and its atmosphere.

Understand and Answer the Essay Prompt

For your admission essay, you may have many ideas, some might be clear others might be a bit vague. For your admission essay, you only want to give answers which narrow down what you actually want to say. Vague answers may not serve you well here. The admission essays often have prompts; you can use them and work with them freely and creatively. Not only this will show you know how to understand follow instructions, but it will also display your creativity.

Write with Specific Details

As mentioned earlier, don not be vague. Be specific about what you write but while writing your admission essay, don’t be afraid to use as many words as you want and write in very fine detail. Write about your experiences, wins and losses. Admission essays need to be detailed so they leave a good impression on the admission board. Write using specific details and do not be afraid to use more words. 

Demonstrate College-Level Diction 

Diction is basically your choice of words. While writing anything, especially an admission essay, what words you use is very crucial. Remember, it is a college you are applying, vague and simple vocabulary will not work. Use your vocabulary extensively. Especially as an international student, it is a great way to show the institution that you have a great command over the English language. Use this opportunity which you get through an admission essay very wisely.

Demonstrate College-level Style

It is important to consider while writing the admission essay that you are applying to a college. You want the admission board to think that you are ready for it and have the necessary skill to dive into the coursework. For that make sure that the way you write represents someone who is ready for college and not just fresh out of high school. In your admission essay make sure to pay attention to the style in which you are writing and try to make it more mature and professional. 

Have Someone Proofread your Essay

No matter how good you are at writing essays when it comes to an admission essay, it is always a good decision to ask someone to proofread it for you. There are many times when minute details escape our eye, but there is a fair chance that the other person may catch. To have a flawless admission essay, make someone else proofread it. Another way can be to use online grammar and spell checkers as well.

Pay Attention to Deadlines

Despite common belief, you can actually forget important deadlines. Admission essays require a lot of work. You plan it, write it, edit it, re-read it and then re-edit it. During this whole process which can be quite overwhelming, it is possible you may forget the actual deadline. Also, as one applies to many colleges, it is important that the admission procedure is checked thoroughly to avoid any mistakes while submitting your admission essay.

Types of Admission Essay

The purpose of an admission essay is to define your profile and purpose for admission to a program. It lays out an impression of you in front of the admissions committee. It is the only way in which the admissions committee can know you. It is vital to list out all the important details and also your reasons for interest in a program., along with your goals. There are different types of admission essays for applications.

  •  Undergraduate Admissions Essay is the essay for admission to Bachelors programs at different universities.
  •  MS Essay is required for admission to the master’s programs.
  • MBA Admission Essay for admission to MBA programs at different universities.
  •  Scholarship Essay for requesting the university for a financial aid
  • Gap-year Essay for explaining the reasons for the gap in profile.
  • Failure Essay which asks you to define a situation where you failed and what you learned from it.
  • Situation essay requires you to describe some specific circumstances and write in detail about them.

Word Limit

Word limits can be quite tricky. There are not many colleges which specifically mention the word limit for admission essays, but some also do mention it explicitly. The key here is to find a balanced number of words which you can use comfortable to describe yourself and answer what they are actually asking you. It is also important to stick to the word limit of it is given already.

  • Admission essays should ideally be around 300-450 words.
  • 250 is often the minimum limit for a response.
  • The highest limit which some colleges may have is 600, though is quite rare.


Needless to say, admission essays are your chance to shine in front of the admission committee of your desired college. In order to do that your content should be remarkable. Vague essays do not create a good impression. While writing an admission essay, the quality of content should be the main priority and no compromise on it should be there. It is also important that your essays should have an ice flow.

  • It should e consisted yet moderately detailed. 
  • There should be no grammatical errors and punctuation mistakes.
  • It should be professional and to the point.

Course Specific Admission Essays

A course-specific admission essay is related to a particular course for which you might be applying. It differs from program to program and course-specific essays are different for both Bachelors and Masters programs. The format and the structure is similar, however, you might state differently the role of the program in your future and career.

UG Admission Essay

An undergraduate admission essay, as the name suggests, is for admission to a Bachelors program at a university. The UG admission essay must describe your school education and how it will be helpful in learning the program that you are opting for. You may also list how it will impact your further study plans.

● You should describe yourself first.
● You should layout your academic interests.
● You should write about your activities.
● You should state the reason for your interest in university/college.
● You should mention any research interest
● You should mention future goals
● You should mention how your course of interest is aligned with future goals.

MBA Admission Essay

The purpose of an MBA admission essay is for admission to an MBA program at a university. The essay must describe your former education and work experience. You should mention the details of your future goals and how the program will be useful for your

● You can write about your academic background.
● You can write about your professional profile.
● You must mention your career prospects after MBA.
● You must list down your short-term and long-term goals.
● You should list your reasons for interest in the course.
● You can write about how the MBA program will suit you.
● You can write any other relevant personal information.

Other Types of Admission Essays for Studying Abroad

There are a few other types of essays that can also be a part of the admission application. These are not necessarily required to be submitted unless as mentioned on your application. These essays are written according to different purposes. These may be requested additionally by the university.

Scholarship Essay

You can request the university for financial aid or a scholarship through a scholarship essay. In most of the cases, if your profile is good and you present a well-written scholarship essay, the universities are ready to offer you a scholarship. It is essential to mention the points highlighting your academic excellence and the reasons why you think you deserve a

Gap Year Essays

In case there is a gap in your profile both academic or professional, you need to explain the admissions committee about that gap. Mostly it is not a separate essay but sometimes, the university may request you to write a separate essay to explain the gap in your profile. You may have undertaken a job or you may have gone to travel, you should mention your reasons in this essay.


✅ What is admissions essay format?
Ans: Avoid utilising fancy typefaces while writing your college application essay. Stick to simple typefaces in 12-point type, such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. The content is more essential than the typeface. Formatting such as bold or italics may also be rejected by online applications.
✅ Is admission essay important?
Ans: While students might wonder, "How essential are college essays?" The solution is simple: college admissions are essential enough that students should devote the time and effort to do their best and make the issue their own - even if it's common.
✅ How long is an admissions essay?
Ans: The major essay for your college application, often known as a personal statement, should be between 400 and 600 words long. The Common App personal statement, which is utilised as the primary application essay by over 800 universities, must be between 250 and 650 words long.

About the Author & Expert


Rachit Agrawal

author • MBA • 2 years

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.