Examples of college essay prompts questions
The college essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are apart from your grades and test scores and to distinguish yourself from the rest of a very talented applicant pool. If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission inyou will have — words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.
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How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like questions solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts Prompt 1: Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in.
Your love of superheroes, baking chops, or family history are all fair game if you can tie it back to who you are or what you believe in. Avoid a rehash of the accomplishments on your high school resume and choose something that the admissions committee will not discover when reading the rest of your application. You're trying to show colleges your best self, so it might seem counterintuitive to willingly acknowledge a time you struggled.
But overcoming challenges demonstrates courage, grit, and perseverance!
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The obstacle you write about can be large or small, but you must show the admissions committee how your perspective changed as a result. Your answer to this question could focus on a time you stood up to others or an experience when your own preconceived view was challenged. Choose this prompt if you have a relevant—and specific!
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This essay is designed to get at the heart of how you think and what makes you tick. Present a situation or quandary and show steps toward the solution. Admissions officers want insight into your thought process and the issues you grapple with, so explain how you became aware of the dilemma and how you tackled solving it. Describe the event or ccomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed.
Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth. This prompt is an invitation to write about something you care about. So avoid the pitfall of writing about what you think will impress the admission office versus what truly matters to you. Colleges are looking for curious students, who are thoughtful about the world around them. Make sure you explain how you pursue your interest, as well. Topic of your choice.
- A formal event or accomplishment might include anything from obvious landmarks like birthdays or weddings, to achievements like earning an award or receiving a promotion.
- Trying to back into a more specific prompt option may inspire an interesting spin on the story you are trying to tell—one you may not have thought of otherwise.
- What do you love, and why do you love it?
You can even write your own question! Whatever topic you land on, the essentials of a standout college essay still stand: Dig into your topic by asking yourself how and why.
More College Essay Topics Individual schools sometimes require supplemental essays. Here are a few popular application essay topics and some tips for how to approach them: Describe a person you admire.
Consider the following questions: Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in. The most important thing to keep in mind when searching for these moments is the element of growth, understanding, and qurstions. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Did the idea of open source code inspire you to create a tech startup with a few of your friends? Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth.
Avoid the urge to pen an ode to a beloved figure like Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln. The admissions committee doesn't need to be convinced they are influential people. Choose someone who has actually caused you to change your behavior or your worldview, and write about how this person influenced you.
Why do you want to attend this school? Be honest and specific when you respond click this question. Use the college's website and literature to do your research about programs, professors, and other opportunities that appeal to you.
Your answer should not be a book report. Don't just summarize the plot; detail why examples enjoyed this particular text and what it meant to you.
Begin keeping a diary now! Did your failed attempt to become a child actor introduce you to screenwriting, your professional goal and biggest passion? The six college essay topics are contained in the preview Common Application that you can find on the organization's website. The time has come. The event, accomplishment, or realization you discuss should be something that helped you understand the world around you through a different, more mature lens. Still, if you can isolate an incident of trial in your life and how you learned from it, this can be a rewarding prompt to explore.
What does your favorite book reveal about you? How do you identify with it, and how has it become personal to you? Check this out, be honest in answering this question—don't choose a classic from your literature class or a piece of philosophy just because you think it will make you seem smarter. Writing fluently and passionately about a book close to you is always better than writing shakily or generally about a book check this out doesn't inspire you.
What is an extracurricular activity that has been meaningful to you?
Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow. Sometimes it's better to write about something that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds admirable. As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: Looking for strategic college advice? Get one-on-one help from former Ivy League and top tier admission officers.
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