The Common Letter of Recommendation

The Common Letter of Recommendation (LOR) simplifies the letter of recommendation process.

Making the Letter of Recommendation Process Easier

GMAC has collaborated with a group of leading business schools to help develop a new set of “common” questions, with the goal of making the process of writing letters of recommendation easier for recommenders like you.

The goal of the Common Letter of Recommendation (LOR) is to save you valuable time by providing a single, common set of questions. This approach allows you to use the same responses for multiple letter submissions, alleviating the need to answer dozens of additional questions for different schools.

Please note that the questions are part of each participating school’s existing recommendation system.

The Common LOR form has 3 sections:

Section 1: Personal Information about You


Section 2: Leadership Assessment Grid of Candidate

You will be asked to assess the candidate on 12 character traits and competencies that contribute to successful leadership. The competencies and character traits are grouped into five categories: 

  • Achievement
  • Influence 
  • People 
  • Personal Qualities 
  • Cognitive Abilities
Section 3: Recommendation Questions

You will be asked to answer the following questions: 
  1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (Maximum word count: 50 words)
  2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Maximum word count: 500 words)
  3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Maximum word count: 500 words)
  4. Is there anything else we should know? (Optional)
General Instructions for Completing and Submitting the Common LOR
If you are recommending a candidate to participant schools, you can use the Common LOR template (this may be sent to you in an email from the school) and follow the steps below:
  • Download the common LOR template in Word or PDF format and save it to your computer
  • Complete the template offline and save a final version of the file to your computer. To ensure that you do not accidentally lose any entered form data, please avoid completing the template online within your browser.If you are recommending a candidate to participating schools that only use section 3 (Recommendation Questions), you only need to complete section 3 of the template.
  • Access the invitation email or official form from school and follow the school’s instructions for submitting your recommendation. For example:
    • For schools that offer the ability to complete your recommendation online through a secure website:
      • Access the email with login information from the school.
      • Use the completed Common LOR template to copy and paste your responses to the school’s online recommendation system.
      • Complete and submit your recommendation.
    • For schools that accept email or paper submissions of the Common LOR:
      • Access the official LOR form from the school.
      • Use the completed Common LOR template to copy and paste your responses to the official form.
      • Email or mail completed recommendation to the school.

Click here to download instructions

If you want to read the form in a different language, please click the appropriate link below. Note that you would still need to fill out the form in English.

Common Letter of Recommendation Template: Simplified Chinese (Word)
Common Letter of Recommendation Template: French (Word)
Common Letter of Recommendation Template: German (Word)
Common Letter of Recommendation Template: Italian (Word)
Common Letter of Recommendation Template: Korean (Word)
Common Letter of Recommendation Template: Spanish (Word)

Click here for Terms of Use

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