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First, the book gives you the confidence you need to keep faith. It outlines loads of testimonials of successul candidates (harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Columbia, kellogg...). When you read their stories, you feel that they were like you: people who had accomplished some stuff but obviously had doubts and weaknesses. Then, the game is how you present yourself and how you write succesful essays.
The key is that you should adapt your essays to the various school profiles. The authors have done an outstanding work on the top schools. There are about 50 pages per school outlining the differences between all the schools. If you want to be admitted to Stanford, you obviously don't say the same thing in your essays as if you want to be admitted to Columbia. The great thing about this book is that you get insider information. The other books I bought are just too general, stuff like "smile on the day of your interview"....this is more specific.
You read this book, and the profiles of the schools you want to apply to, and you feel that the game is easier than you thought.
My only warning is to take the essays with a grain of salt. Some of the essays have a very stilted, dry, writing style. I suspect this might be because the authors were European and their first language may not have been English. Furthermore, I suspect that some succesful applicants were accepted not because they wrote dazzling essays, but essays that were "good enough" in light of some extraordinary experience. I have read essays from friends that have gotten into top business schools, and by far, their essays are vastly superior.
To balance this book out, I would recommend Montauk's book (which also contains some essays that are similary stilted).
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