No these are not my words and I have not reached that mukaam yet where I can say this. I was going through Adam Markus blog where I read this interview of current Stanford student. While writing essays, I think this this is a great objective to begin with. One should actually target becoming so well-prepared and confident about essays that one can say it's school's problem if it is not considering.
However, if you think about it more, it will turn out to be a chicken-egg problem. Your essays can be good only if you are good at first place. Despite this realization, I think the key is to be well-prepared. One of the brightest idea I got in recent times (no not mine - recently grad Harvard student) is to prepare your essays 2 months in advance and send them to as many current students of the school as possible. Even if you get a response from one or two students you will get lot of insights on whether you are thinking in the right direction and where do you stand with respect to intelligentsia of the school.
With all schools out with the list of essays for this year, no credit to me for saying that the season has begun!