mba essay format

Using the Right MBA Essay Format

This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when writing your admissions essay. It’s a way to show that you care about the ad com’s time as well as you know how to follow instructions. In the previous post you read a general MBA guide. Below is a guide to the format of your essay, including word count and writing standards.

MBA Essay Format: Tips to Remember

Word Limit

mba statement of purposeKeep your essay above or below 10% of the word limit asked. However, make sure that you don’t go below 10 percent of the required word count in the essays. Read and understand the word limit mentioned on the official website of the school where you are applying. You should also follow indention, alignment and margin requirements.

Remember not to exceed between 20 and 25 percent of the limit. On the other hand, the admissions committee tends to be more liberal for the recommenders. In this case, you may want to ask them to include specific samples that will demonstrate your strengths if you cannot include all in your essay with the word limit.


  • There should be a space between your sentences. For the paragraphs, there must be one line or no line-space, as well as five-space indention found on the first line of your paragraph.
  • For the margin, remember to have an inch of margin on all sides, top, bottom, right and left. Adjust your MS Word, which default is usually at 1.25 inches of margin for the right and left.
  • For the alignment, you should flush left and ragged right, but do not justify the alignment.
  • You should also double-space text using 12-point serif font, like Times New Roman.
  • For important terms like MBA and GMAT, keep them ALL CAPS. However, you should use AL CAPS sparingly.

These are the standards in writing most of the MBA essays, but they are not rules. Remember to check the official site of the school you are applying to for the complete set of writing standards that they are implementing towards all MBA essays.

MBA Paper Format: Editing

While it is tough to critic your own work, it is important to remove any irrelevant words, which may reduce the pace of your essay. You can ask help from friends for the first edit. Remember not to edit just for the sake of meeting the word count. You may also want to seek help from professional writing services if you think that your editing skills are not enough to come up with a perfect MBA essay.

Take note: For Harvard MBA admission process, about 899 applicants are rejected, if they focus only on their pre-MBA experience, post-MBA goals and achievements.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • The secret ingredient to becoming successful in the MBA essay is to become a storyteller. This is a must-have skill that is highly appreciated by the admissions committee. If you want to capture their attention and keep them engaged in reading your essay, you should learn how to narrate a story in the best way that you can. Tell your story!
  • Make sure that your essay is answering the question and never miss this point. Stay on topic, while telling a story.
  • Visit the official site and do your legwork for a better idea of what they are looking for as well as what their culture, vision and mission are.
  • Get everything out and edit later.
  • Proofread your essays several times and never be afraid of editing it, until you reach perfection.

Follow this guide and do better in the MBA essay, one of the most important weapons to have when applying to a business school. Prepare earlier and see to it to come up with several drafts, until you achieved perfection, in terms of the word count, writing standards and content.

Learn more about MBA essay format today!