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Tuck Essays

 

In the Fall, Tuck reported a 722 average GMAT for their Class of 2019 (up **five points** from their prior year, and that’s with an increased class size, too). Let’s see what happens this year. Good luck if you submitted in either November or January!!

 


 

2017 Tuck MBA Essay Questions – Class of 2020

Our Tuck MBA application guide explains how to handle these!

Two essays, 500 words each. Here’s the blog post where the Tuck adcom announced them :

  1. What are your short and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? up to 500 words
  2. Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.

    With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you:

    • received tough feedback
    • experienced failure, or
    • disappointed yourself or others.

    How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result? (500 words)

Super cool! Lots of awesome possibilities here!!! Talking about where something did not go well is one of the BEST opportunities to show who you are. The hardest part will be the “lessons learned” angle.

Tuck has always cared about career goals as an important element of your application, and we’re gratified to see them go back to the basics this year (last year’s version was a bit of a trainwreck). The best way to write Essay 1 is to show how you’ve done something in the past, that you can build on through the Tuck MBA. That’s what they are looking for with the “next step” language. Try not to overhype it though!

We definitely are pleased that Tuck changed them from what they asked last year! Tuck has now restored itself to a position in EssaySnark’s Most Loved Adcoms list based on these awesome questions. They’re going to give you enough room to talk about stuff that’s important, and you’ll be able to truly share yourself in this app. Great stuff!


The 2017 Tuck MBA Application Guide has been updated! You can also check out the archive of Tuck application questions below.

And we just have to call attention to something: Instead of publishing an 80% range on GMAT score, this year Tuck posted the full range of their Class of 2019 , which is 620 to 780. Why does that matter? Well, only about four years ago, their full range was 530 to 780 — so as you can see, the low end is almost 100 points HIGHER than it used to be. Shocking stuff, these GMAT trends.

 

Tuck 2017 MBA App Dates and Deadlines

Tuck has lots of options for when to apply!

Tuck Full-Time MBA Application – 2017 Deadlines

  • Early Action Round: This round is most advantageous – if you’re serious about Tuck then you’re encouraged to apply then if possible! (non-binding) Despite the fact that this is named the “early action” round, you won’t get your final decision back from them any earlier than you will with your Round 1 schools. The main difference? Your deposit to secure your place in the class will be due sooner than many other schools require for a standard Round 1 app.
  • November Round: – a smart option for those for whom Tuck is near the top of their list but perhaps not their #1 choice.
  • January Round: – this round is still viable, just like most other schools’ Round 2 – but Tuck sure hasn’t done you any favors based on how that date comes smack after the holiday break.

 

2017 MBA Recommendations

Tuck is not using standardized recommender questions in 2017.

 

Dartmouth Tuck Useful Links

official school pages:

 
 

other useful stuff:

For Reference: Tuck’s Past-Season Questions

Included in case you want to see what Dartmouth asked before (and what we said about it).

Click to view 2016 questions


Here’s what we said when last year’s questions came out… remember this analysis is from *last year*.

Two essays, 500 words each, maybe a little longer for the first one. Here’s the blog post where the Tuck adcom announced them in early July :

  1. oh they switched it! HERE IS THE **ACTUAL** CLASS OF 2019 ESSAY 1!Tuck educates wise leaders who better the world of business. What are your short- and long-term goals? How will a Tuck MBA enable you to become a wise leader with global impact? up to 700 words

    Tuck has always cared about career goals as an important element of your application, yet this year they’ve thrown a twist into the works. The best way to write this is to show how you’ve done something in the past, that you can build on through the Tuck MBA. Try not to overhype it though!

  2. As a diverse and global community, our students arrive at the same place from many different paths. Tell us about an experience in which you have had to live, learn and/or work with other people very different from yourself. What challenges and/or opportunities did you experience, how did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?– interesting – this is somewhat similar to what INSEAD tends to ask (some overlap there if you’re targeting both schools) – it’s also very flexible in that the “different from yourself” angle could be applied in myriad ways (just be sure to notice the “very” part; this is asking for a story where you had to deal with things in a new way because of your differences!)

We can tell you, Brave Supplicant, that these essays will take work, but you’re going to have a real opportunity to share something significant through both of them.

There’s also an optional essay (which is truly optional), and a separate reapplicant essay if you’re trying again.

The 2016 Tuck MBA Application Guide is going to be pretty valuable if you’re trying to deal with the complexity of the questions that Tuck is asking this year. Talks in depth about a variety of strategies to show “global impact” with your goals, and also the second question about dealing with people who are different from you. Tuck did not pull the punch on the questions for the Class of 2019 application!

 
[end discussion of last year’s questions]


Click to view 2015 questions


2015 Essay Questions announced on Tuck’s blog on 6-9-15

As we expected, the 2015 essays are nearly identical to what was asked in 2014, except now they’re making the “school fit” angles more explicit. Lucky you – because these are great questions to show the strengths of your profile! You can see this year’s version and what’s changed here:

Two essays, 500 words each:

  1. What are your short- and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically?
  2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck?

Tuck has always cared about career goals as an important element of your application, and they changed the wording this year from what they had previously – and now this is a great career goals question! one of the best of all the schools that ask about goals these days.

There’s also two other essays available for certain circumstances: one, if you’re a reapplicant, and two, if you have other things you must share with the adcom in explanation of details on your app. The optional essay is only to be used if you really need it. Don’t feel compelled to submit one simply because it’s there. That would be a strategic misstep.

The career goals question is really asking for the same thing as they have always wanted to know about. They’ve simplified the way they’re asking for it, in ways which we feel are very applicant-friendly. It’s going to be easier for you to handle this based on those subparts than it was for some BSers last year.

In 2014, Tuck stuck to its guns and kept its own recommendations; this school did NOT have standardized recommendation questions last year. This was, frankly, an advantage to applicants, in our opinion. We don’t yet have word on what they will do in 2015 though we hope they’ll keep that status quo.

 
[end discussion of 2015 questions]


Click to view 2014 questions

2014 Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

2014 Essay Questions on Tuck’s blog

The 2014 essays are the same as 2013, just fewer!

Two essays, 500 words each:

  1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?
  2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

There’s also an optional essay, and a separate reapplicant essay if you’re trying again.

In question #1, they added the phrase “and your goals” to the “fit” part of the question.

The other key change from last year? Besides the fact that they lopped off one entire essay from the set?

They deleted the word “collaborative” from the second essay question. This was a one-year addition (only asked in 2013; see below) where they wanted an example of a “collaborative leadership experience.” Now it’s just your “most meaningful” one – without the teamwork element. This distinction is important. We go into detail on this in our 2014 Tuck MBA essay guide.

The only other change seems to be that they’ve standardized with other schools in ditching the “Confidential Statement of Qualifications” moniker and instead are now calling recs what they are: “Letters of Recommendation.” They’re still confidential, unless you opt otherwise, and it would still help you to keep that focus on “qualifications” throughout your application. Again, this is discussed in the new Tuck strategy guide. Thankfully Tuck hasn’t “standardized” the rest of their recommendations process the way many of their peers have.

9/17/14: They ditched the separate scholarship essay!

In terms of deadlines: 2014 was essentially the same as they had in 2013 except that they moved the January 2015 due date to the first Monday after the New Year, which is a relief; in January 2014, they had apps due on the Friday when everyone was still in holiday vacation-mode.

[end discussion of 2014 questions]


Click to view 2013 questions

2013 Essays – EssaySnark’s Analysis

These are REALLY OLD.

They give you 500 words each – woo-hoo!

Three essays plus an optional (don’t do the optional unless you have a very good reason):

  1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?
  2. Tell us about your most meaningful collaborative leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?
  3. Describe a circumstance in your life in which you faced adversity, failure, or setback. What actions did you take as a result and what did you learn from this experience?

Great questions! Not too different! Classic Tuck! And they give you some room to actually answer them. These should be easy for you. You may even want to do your Tuck application FIRST of all your schools; this will be a good way to learn the ropes on what it takes to write a strong pitch. (We had heard rumors that Tuck was doing a video essay this year… doesn’t seem to be the case.)

[end discussion of 2013 questions]



Click to view 2012 questions

2012 Essays – these are SERIOUSLY REALLY OLD

Three essays:

  1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA program for you, and what will you uniquely contribute to the community? (We’re betting they keep this question again this year.)
  2. Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?
  3. Describe a circumstance in your life in which you faced adversity, failure, or setback. What actions did you take as a result and what did you learn from this experience?

[end discussion of 2012 questions]


Tuck Essay Reviews & School Info by EssaySnark

The standard career goals advice we’ve offered for schools like Columbia and others may also be helpful for you in tackling Tuck essays.

 

[Index of essay questions by bschool]

An Insider’s Guide to the Tuck Essays: 2017-2018

Admissions, July 12, 2017 | 0 comments
Tags: advice, applying, admissions, essays

Within days of publishing these essays, there will inevitably be sources willing to help you analyze Tuck’s questions, as well as our thought process behind them. Instead of relying on second-hand advice, here’s all the guidance you need to write an excellent essay—straight from the admissions committee. We hope this insight is helpful, and look forward to reading your essays soon. Until then, good luck!

1)(Required) What are your short and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (500 words)

This question is as straightforward as it seems. Pursuing your MBA is a big commitment. There has got to be a good reason for this, right? We want to know that reason. What do you hope to be doing after graduating from an MBA program? How does your path thus far play into that? If the logical path isn’t clear, make sure you tell us why you’re making this transition.

Also, we want details! You want to lead a company, make decisions, problem solve, help people? Great, but does that mean consulting or product management? Healthcare or technology? What companies interest you? What roles do MBAs play in those fields? Pulling out these details will not only make you a more competitive applicant, but will also give you a great foundation when presented with all your career possibilities. Business school is great for exploring different industries, roles, and companies, but without a plan it can be overwhelming.

As for the final part of the question, every MBA program is different. What about Tuck specifically will help you get from where you are now to where you want to be in 3, 5, or 15 years? As an admissions committee, we have only 285 seats to fill every year. We want to make sure we’re offering this incredible opportunity to those who 1) understand why they’re in an MBA program to begin with, and 2) are excited about spending two transformative years at Tuck.

What programs, classes, clubs, treks, or activities does Tuck offer that will help you achieve your personal and professional goals? It’s true that we like people who are enthusiastic about Tuck—we want students who will dive in, not blend in! However, that doesn’t mean that you should try to flatter your way in. There are many, many opportunities at Tuck—you owe it to yourself to do some research and figure out those that are truly most appealing to you.

Other tips:

  • If you can take Tuck’s name out of this essay and replace it with another school’s name and it still makes sense, then you need to go back and show you know what makes Tuck (and the other MBA programs you’re considering) unique.
  • We don’t want a laundry list of classes, clubs, or qualities at Tuck. We know what Tuck has. We want to know that you understand why those things are meaningful to you.
  • Be authentic, be straightforward, be specific, and tell a story that makes sense.

2)(Required) Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.

With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you: 

  • received tough feedback,
  • experienced failure, or
  • disappointed yourself or others.

How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result? (500 words)

Life isn’t all successes; there are plenty of failures in there too. We are not trying to bring in a class of perfect people. We’re looking for people who are self-aware, growth minded, and humble, people who recognize those less-than-perfect moments or traits in themselves and then figure out where to go from there. That’s why we focus on confident humility.

Tuck is small in size and big in collaboration. It’s not about being right, being the best, or winning. We don’t seek success at the expense of others. You won’t blend in or be anonymous. You will work with diverse people, with different ideas, perspectives, and experiences that shape them. In business school (and life!), you will be one smart and talented person among many smart and talented people.

We love that our students listen and learn from each other in class and over dinner, that they lean on their study group mates in areas where they’re less strong, and that recruiters highlight how Tuckies stand out as being able to work well with just about everyone.

We’re looking for honesty in this essay. This is not a trick question. We’ve all received tough feedback, failed, or disappointed someone. Show us personal accountability and action. And like the first essay, details are important. Be specific enough that we get a clear picture of the situation, the result, and your role in it. Finally, don’t get to the end and forget the last part of our question: How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?

Other thoughts: Stick to one particular example instead of a string of several instances, and avoid being too vague. Consider both your immediate reaction and your reaction once given time to think and reflect.

3)(Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

Optional is optional! We are NOT docking you for an empty optional essay. Actually, quite the opposite; if you give us an extra five paragraphs to read and it’s not necessary, we will question your judgment or your ability to express yourself succinctly elsewhere. For example, you do not need to further declare your love for Tuck here when you can articulate that in the first essay and the interview.

Reasons you should use this space:

  • Explaining an unusual recommender, or why you didn’t include your current direct supervisor.
  • Explaining a particularly incongruent semester/class from undergrad, or a poor record overall.
  • Anything else that may need additional explanation—as in, without it we will not understand the true context behind something.

A good rule here is to keep it to a reasonable length. If you’re unsure if you should explain something, err on the side of including it—just do so as succinctly as possible.

4)(To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied?  Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (500 words)

This question is very straightforward, but similarly to the optional essay, try not to repeat a bunch of stuff from elsewhere in the application. Naturally, it might happen here and there, but use your best judgment. If you received reapplicant feedback, you should specifically address that feedback—all of it.

Word Counts: All noted word counts are meant as a guideline. While we’re not going to count every word, if your essay is exceptionally short, you either haven’t explained something fully, or simply did not put in much effort; if your essay is exceptionally long, you should consider revising it to be more succinct.  

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