This is part 4 of a series featuring b-school advice gleaned from one of Manhattan GMAT’s own. Until recently, Patty managed marketing and student services for our sister company,Manhattan LSAT. But she chose to return to business school and started at Wharton last fall. She has agreed to share her application experiences with us in a series called, “Patty’s Path to Wharton.”
Read Part 3 here.
Short answer questions are truly a case of the devil lurking in the details. The name sounds like a breeze, but if you don’t get cracking ahead of time, you’ll be pulling an all-nighter to get them done. Patty explains:
You’d be very much surprised to see how many short answers there are on extracurriculars and work experience, so don’t wait until the last minute. You can’t do it on the fly right before submitting. It took much longer than I anticipated. There are a limited number of overall characters for the section and you have to allot them very carefully—it’s such a pain.
To complicate matters further, multiple schools ask the same question but with varying length requirements. “Harvard would say describe your responsibilities in 1000 characters, then Stanford would say 300 characters.”
I found myself swapping out verbs for shorter verbs. You have to shorten and make sure it still sounds a little punchy. For the same description, you have to write it three different times. It can take a painfully long time. And some people don’t realize this until the day before, so they stay up all night crafting them. Also, if you can do this any earlier, get all your verification as early as possible. Exact salaries, bonuses, date of employment, starting salary, ending salary, etc. Get all your transcripts ahead of time. Make sure your GMAT scores are sent. Some people don’t know where they’re applying when they take it, so they have to make sure. Schools always say you have to have the GMAT scores in first.
Next: Read Patty’s advice on Recommendations here.