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Saïd Business School MBA Application Essay Questions and Tips

Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford has one of the shortest MBA application processes amongst the top business schools.

The school only requires one MBA essay from new students and one additional essay from re-applicants. In case you’re wondering how an applicant is supposed to back up their candidature strongly with as few as 250 words, you’re in luck.

Saïd also has five online assessment essay prompts that allow MBA applicants ample time to share their personality with the admissions committee. These prompts are supposed to be answered on the spot.

Let’s look at all of Saïd’s MBA essay’s and the ways to approach them.

Saïd Business School MBA Application Essays

As part of your application, you will need to submit a supporting statement
Tell us something that is not covered in your application which you would like the Admissions Committee to know about you. (Maximum 250 words)

The reason this essay prompt is open-ended is to allow the applicant to share the most important aspects of their claim to an MBA at Saïd at Saïd rather than putting them in a box.

The best use of this essay prompt is to show how you are a good fit and addition to Saïd’s MBA class and community. You can use this space to talk about the diversity, leadership, and other skills you bring to the table.

Don’t blurt out skills on to your MBA application though. Instead, share anecdotes that support the claim that you have certain skills. As you decide to share a skill or experience, do evaluate how much value it adds to your MBA profile, if any.

Whatever doesn’t improve your chances to get accepted to Saïd shouldn’t be on your Saïd MBA application.

Re-applicants will need to submit an additional essay as below:
What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

When reviewing your essays, the admissions committee will be looking for evidence of the following: good communication skills, leadership potential, analytical skills, fit with the Oxford MBA community, among other characteristics.

Re-applicants need to write an additional essay for the Saïd MBA application. This essay is an amazing opportunity for the re-applicants to list their accomplishments and share their growth, since their last application, with the admissions committee.

The right step after getting rejected by any business school is to ask for feedback from the admissions committee. They will readily walk you through things that need to be improved in your profile for the school to consider you a strong applicant.

Whether you took this necessary step after getting rejected by Saïd or not, if you’re re-applying a year later you have definitely worked on strengthening your MBA profile.

Maybe you took more initiative at work to show leadership qualities. You could have also improved your GMAT score in the past year. Did you take up any extracurriculars or get more involved with your community? On being rejected by Saïd, how did you assess your profile and work on your weaknesses?

These are the types of questions that this essay question requires you to answer.

Online assessment
You will need to complete five questions via our online assessment platform.

To virtually meet you, get a sense of your personality and see how you think on your feet, you will need to complete an online assessment as part of your application:

Two motivation-based questions – all candidates will answer the same questions

Two competency-based questions – these will be randomised

Written response – this will be randomised and light-hearted to show us how you can think on your feet!

The motivation-based questions give you the opportunity to demonstrate your motivations for undertaking an MBA and why the Oxford MBA is the right programme for you.

The competency-based questions let you demonstrate the skills and qualities we look for, such as decision-making, problem-solving, influence, leadership and strong communication skills.

Once you have submitted your application for either the Oxford MBA or Oxford 1+1 MBA you will see a link in your application status portal. This will enable you to register with Kira Talent, our online assessment platform, and complete your assessment. This link will appear up to 24 hours after submitting your application, therefore we strongly encourage you to leave yourself enough time to practice and complete the online assessment by the deadline in which you are applying.

You will be provided with preparation time and practice sessions before going live with your real responses. The whole online assessment should only take up to 30 minutes for you to complete. All you need is a desktop or laptop computer with a functioning webcam, microphone and internet connection.

Do not panic as you start answering this online assessment by Saïd. You will not be underprepared for this set of questions if you authentically answered the ones before. If you chose to have your MBA essays written by someone else, you can go ahead and panic.

However, all your MBA essays prior to this, your MBA resume, networking activities, will help prepare you to answer on the spot questions about your candidature for Saïd’s MBA class.

The only thing that can possibly impact your answers negatively is your anxiety.

So take a deep breath, you have it under control!

Other Useful Links:


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How to Get Top MBA Scholarships Despite a Low GMAT Score


How to Get Into Harvard Business School? HBS MBA Applicant Profile & How to Crack Harvard


For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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