…it depends. (You didn’t think we’d actually give you a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer, did you?)
You may be exhausted after writing the required 3-5 essays that your target business school requires, but that doesn’t give you an automatic “out” from the optional essay. The truth is, some people will get their much-needed break after completing the required essays alone, while others will need to push off that coveted R&R until after the optional essay is done as well.
You’ll have to answer this question: Is there anything I need to add to my application before I can confidently declare it complete? If you have any academic weaknesses or inconsistencies in your application, if you have some poor grades you need to explain, or a gap in your MBA job history, then for all intents and purposes, that optional essay should really be viewed as yet another requirement.
You may also use the optional essay as a space to discuss your unusual or diverse background. Particularly if you are from an overrepresented group, the optional essay may serve as a forum for you to reveal an unusual hobby, interest, or experience that will individuate you.
In short, don’t leave the adcom guessing—if you have something to add you should take advantage of the optional essay.
Please visit Accepted’s new Business School Application Essays 101 for tips on how to write an application essay (required or optional) that will quickly secure its spot at the top of the adcom’s pile.
Accepted.com ~ Helping You Write Your Best