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It’s impossible to write an article covering every possible essay prompt you could encounter in the college application process. S., the types of questions vary somewhat among different schools – to say nothing of what you might encounter at schools in other countries. For some good examples, here are the five questions from this year’s Common Application (a kind of “master application” accepted by many U. colleges and universities): As you can see, these questions are all very open-ended. Colleges want to give you as much freedom as possible to show them who you are.The prompts are just supposed to be starting points.The point of this exercise is twofold: These are all jumping off points for the essay.
That said, you can set yourself up for success from the start by choosing a topic that lets you show your strengths.
Don’t pick a prompt just because you think answering it will make you sound “impressive.” This quote by former Stanford University Dean of Admissions Robin Mamlet focuses on course selection, but it applies perfectly to essays as well: it that matters.
This is especially important to note if you’re aiming to attend a very competitive school – everyone applying is going to have a high GPA, a laundry list of advanced classes, and will have been president of every student organization since the dawn of mankind. So treat a college application essay as a tool for standing out in ways the robots can’t.
It’s a lot like the cover letter you write when applying for a job – it’s your chance to reveal the person behind the accomplishments and statistics.
For the most part, it’s unlikely that you’ve experienced anything extremely uncommon in the relatively short amount of time you’ve been a human.
Most high school students lead lives that don’t deviate too far from the norm – except that one quiet guy in your class who sits next to the window near the back.
More work needs to be done in order to craft an essay that makes you truly stand out.
To do that, you’ll first want to avoid making some common mistakes.
The two biggest mistakes that most students make when writing a college app essay are: Vagueness isn’t a problem unique to admissions essays.
It’s something all writers struggle with – including myself; I struggled with it while writing this very article. I believe the main cause of the problem is that there’s a disconnect between With all the knowledge you have of a topic, it can seem that a few simple sentences are enough to do it justice – but that’s rarely the case.