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Yale Class of 2023 Essay Analysis

June 27, 2020

Yale SOM has released its essay question for the 2020-21 application cycle, keeping the prompt as the previous years.

2020/21 essay question

Essay 1: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)


2020/21 essay question analysis

This is a great meta-question; part of what Yale is seeking to learn from you is what you view as a big commitment to begin with. One trap we have noticed in prior years was how many people were biased towards talking about their biggest achievement, or some measure of their success. Instead, a great example includes a promise you have made (either to yourself, or others), and sacrifices you have made to keep that promise. How you describe your sacrifices and what you learned from them are a key element of this essay, as Yale uses these descriptions to measure how likely it is you will keep future commitments to yourself, your classmates, and the larger Yale community.

The commitment you made doesn’t have to be professional. Some of the more effective essays from prior years included talking about improving health (mental and/or physical) and building relationships. As you consider topics, focus on the depth of the commitment you have had to make (the more specific the circumstance, the better), rather than the size of the achievement arising from your commitment. That will be critical to differentiating your story from other applicants.   


2020/21 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: Sep 15, 2020, Decision date: Dec 8, 2020

Round 2: Application deadline: Jan 7, 2021, Decision date: Mar 26, 2021

Round 3: Application deadline: Apr 13, 2021, Decision date: May 18, 2021


Other application details

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The online application is expected to be released in July 2020.



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