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Tips from Admissions Officers at Leading Schools Across the country, parents and high school seniors are in the middle of the daunting college application process, especially the much-feared, often misunderstood personal essay portion. How important is the essay section?
Enough to potentially make the difference between getting into the school of your choice, or landing on the reject pile. A lousy essay can sink a student with terrific grades and test scores; likewise, a compelling, well-crafted essay just might push a more moderate achiever over the top and into class next fall.
Chances are you're completing the "Common Application" used by more than schools for undergraduate admissions. But whether you are filling out a Common Application, or a university's own entry form, the questions, and the principals of writing powerful answers, largely remain the same.
Typically, applicants are asked to write a personal essay, followed by a shorter supplemental essay often asking why they want to attend that school and a short-answer essay, usually about one of their personal experiences outside the classroom work, sports, cultural pursuits, volunteering, etc.
All three are critical: Do not equate word count with importance. Essay questions are referred to as "prompts," and you should take that meaning literally.
They are meant to make you think, reflect, self-analyze and work out in your mind how you feel about a certain topic, and how you want to express those feelings in writing. This year's Common App eliminated the "Topic of Your Choice" option, but extended the maximum word count from to There are five prompts to choose from on the Common App, other schools will vary: Your personal background story How you learned from a failure How you challenged a belief or idea An ideal place you experienced An experience that marked your transition to adulthood Many students have already drafted their essays, but many more have not.
In either case, you might want to check out these suggestions from admissions officers I spoke with at five leading schools: Choosing what prompt to follow, formulating your message, composing a first draft, editing a second draft, and polishing the final product into a compelling read are all important stages of good writing, and they each require their own amount of time.
If you hurry through one step, the other steps will not carry the essay, and it will fail. And there are very few ways to write a successful essay unless you have spent a significant amount of time on it. The very best essays come from students who have devoted a significant amount of time to introspection and preparation.
It is apparent to us when a student has spent only a couple hours on an essay. If there is nothing particularly exceptional about your personal background, choose another prompt.
If the failure that you learned from paints you in an unflattering light, that's not the prompt for you. Whatever the topic, be sure to relate it back to you as an individual, and how that person, place or thing affected you and made you the type of student this school would want to attract.
Be sure to keep your topic, well, topical, and within the bounds of reasonable discourse. It's critical, as well, to stay focused, even if you are trying to say a lot.
Some essays might be about one topic or event or person, while others weave a compelling story about multiple things," according to Shawn Abbott, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Admissions at New York University.
But, he warns, "The only danger is that the essay is going to be read by admission officers, each with a potentially different expectation for that essay.
And they are going to read the application and essay at a relatively rapid rate, so you risk losing the attention of the committee if you try to accomplish too much with one writing sample. It is one writing sample.Do colleges read your sat essay >>> click to continue Photosynthesis in archaebacteria Help with writing an essay for.
Do admission officers of colleges which receive a certain school or even if a person read your essay quickly How do college admission officers check.
Read the following application essay. See if you can figure out this essay's strengths and weaknesses. Then keep reading to see our critique. Colleges are sure to find your international baccalaureate degree impressive – but not if you call it an "international bachelorette" on your application.
That's a spell-check-induced gaffe. Watch video · No matter how gorgeous your prose is, you can’t get into college based on the strength of your essay alone. “No-one ever gets into college because you write a great essay,” Heaton says. Most selective colleges require you to submit an essay or personal statement as part of your application.
You have a unique background, interests and personality.
This is your chance to tell your story (or at least part of it). The best way to tell your story is to write a personal, thoughtful essay. Write Your College Essay in Less Than a Day: Stop Procrastinating and Get It Done to Perfection! [Elizabeth Wissner-Gross] on kaja-net.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
Strategies from a noted educational consultant on how to ease the pressure, ace the essay, and gain admission into your top-choice school Getting into college has become fiercely competitive.