Oh No! A Typo!!

Worried about writing your application essays? We've got you covered!

If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy.

Will it doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kabosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution?


A single, minor typo will do absolutely nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or a couple of transposed letters.

You have cause for worry if you find any of the following after you have hit SUBMIT or put the envelope in the mailbox:

1. You find several typos or mistakes. If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy. Not exactly the impression you are aiming for, and one that will definitely hurt you.

2. Your typo changes the meaning. For example, a client years ago submitted a draft to me in which he wrote, “Through research I exorcised my mind… ” I have never forgotten this one because I almost fell off my chair laughing. He meant “exercised.” If this only happens once, I don’t think it would necessarily be fatal, but you don’t want to be remembered for rib-splitting typos either. In his case, I just had a good laugh and it was never submitted.

 3. You forget to change the school’s name somewhere in the essay. Ouch. Adcoms universally hate that. It isn’t really a typo either, and it usually results in rejection.

What should you do if you find any of 1-3 in your application after submitting. It’s a tough spot. If you find the error(s)–especially if you find 1 or 3 — soon after hitting SUBMIT, you can contact the school and say that you accidentally submitted the wrong draft of your essay(s). Maybe, just maybe, someone will have mercy on  you and let you submit the corrected draft.

Download 5 Fatal Flaw to Avoid in Your Application

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Online Presence for When You Apply
How to Deal with Deadlines

Essay Tip: The Devil is in the Details

Trumpet your accomplishments loud and clear!

Don’t hide your achievements; trumpet them loudly and clearly!

You can argue about the devil, but certainly the substance, distinctiveness, and success of your essays depends on the details.

Many applicants tend to bury their uniqueness and success under vague assertions. You don’t want to hide your achievements; you want to trumpet them loudly and clearly. For instance, if you led a team working on a software development project, was it a three-member team or a thirty-member, cross-functional team with representatives from five different divisions and two continents? Was the potential market for the product $5 million or $200 million? Did you launch the product on time and in budget? Did it zoom to the top of the market-share charts? The details reveal the level of your responsibility, the confidence others have in your abilities based on their prior experience with you, and the significance of your accomplishment.

What about your volunteer work? Do you simply “volunteer”? If you do, you aren’t saying anything distinctive or substantive. Are you an EMT working five hours per week? Do you volunteer at a legal aid clinic? What have you seen or experienced? What have you learned? Have you launched a bereavement group in a country where such services were previously unheard of? What were the challenges you overcame to establish that group? What did you learn from the experience? How has it influenced you?

You may ask, “How can I fit all these details into a short essay?” Good question. Include many of the specifics in the work history sections — the boxes — of the application or in an attached resume if allowed. Then in the essay, provide enough detail to provide context and create interest. Balance your profound insight and reflection with devilishly dazzling detail.

How can you show the adcom that you will be a leader in the future? Click here to find out!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws To Avoid
6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays
Personal Statement Tip: Story Time

France to Open Giant Global University

Traveling abroad to study? Here's the scoop on financial aid & health insurance.

Ariel view of the planned Paris-Saclay University

There were no French universities in the top 20 of the most recent QS World University Rankings, and there were only two in QS’s top 100. According to a recent BBC News article, France plans on changing those stats with the new Paris-Saclay University, a government project that will unite 19 French institutions under the same roof, “with the aim of building a university of a size and scale that can compete with global giants like Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).”

This new “hi-tech knowledge hub” is expected to boost the French economy and, according to Paris-Saclay president Dominique Vernay, to become a top-10 institution, if not in the “top two or three.” It will be a meeting point of research, hi-tech businesses, and startups, not unsimilar to how Stanford University served as the launch pad for Silicon Valley.

Here are some highlights from the BBC article:

The university will have 70,000 students, 10,000 researchers, and a 1,300 acre campus. The entire institution will be twice the size of UC Berkeley.

There will be a heavy focus on graduate courses and international recruitment (of students and staff).

The “federal university” model upon which the university will be built will be similar to that of the Oxbridge model.

Some master’s classes will be taught in English and some in French.

See the BBC article for more details.

Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Financial Aid & Health Insurance for International Students
An Inside Look at INSEAD

Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!

Need waitlist help?In honor of New Years we’ve decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014.

If you didn’t hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham discussing the timely topic of being waitlisted.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  MBA Waitlist Advice 101
•  Med School Waitlist Advice 101
•  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101
•  College Waitlist Advice 101 
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Blog!

Favorites in 2014 at Accepted!

Celebrating the best of Accepted in 2014What admissions issues were keeping you up at night? Here are the five articles and posts that you were most interested in this past year.

1. Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

2. Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

3. Writing Your Graduate Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement

4. Dealing with a Low MCAT or GPA

5. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA

Conclusion: You’re aiming for Harvard, but worried about low stats. And you’re writing your application essay.

However, Accepted’s most visited pages aren’t even articles. They are sample essays.

Those Sweet Sample Essays

1. Most popular medical school AMCAS essay: The Story

2. Most popular sample college personal statement: While the World Sleeps

3. Most popular sample grad statement of purpose: MPH Essay

4. Most popular sample law school personal statement: Change

5. Most popular sample MBA essay: Goals Essay

Speaking of goals, I wanted to grow Admissions Straight Talk, Accepted’s podcast, this year. Thanks to you, my listeners, and to the wonderful guests whom I’ve been privileged to talk to, it has busted through every goal I had for it. Thank you for listening! And thanks to the remarkable guests who did most of the talking.

The Most Popular Podcasts in 2014

1. GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep with Magoosh’s CEO and founder, Bhavin Parikh.

2. Waitlisted! What Now? in which I discuss what to do when waitlisted.

3. Is a Ph.D. a Good Idea? with Dr. Karen Kelsky of The Professor is In.

4. The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders with program director, Mike Hochleutner.

5. What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs with Dr. Barry Rothman, medical post-bac expert extraordinaire.

6. A bonus: How to Become a Management Consultant with Michael Boricki, currently Managing Partner of Firmsconsulting.

The Greatest Free Admissions Guides of 2014

1. Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook

2. Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

3. Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right!

4. 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays

5 . 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application

Now that I’ve revealed your favorites, I’ll tell you a few of mine as I review 2014 and prepare for 2015:

5. The increasing dialogue taking place on this blog. I’m particularly appreciative that the conversation is civil, cordial, and collaborative.

4. The guests who have contributed to this blog, Admissions Straight Talk, and our webinars. What wonderful people have taken the time to share their insights and experience with us all!

3. The people behind the scenes who make this site and this company work: Rachel, Miriam, Sara, Michal, Yael, Sarah, and Lisa.

2. Accepted’s consultants, who generously share their admissions savvy on this site and tirelessly and expertly guide Accepted’s clients.

1. You – our clients, readers, fans, listeners, video viewers, participants, questioners, and commenters. In short, the Accepted community.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015.

A year filled with “Yes! I’m in!”

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Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.