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Writing the Common App Essay

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A well-written and thoughtful essay—reflecting who you are and what you believe—can go a long way to separating your application from the slew of forgettable ones that admissions officers read. Indeed, officers may rely on them even more now that many colleges are not considering test scores.*

US universities are choosing test-blind admission policies that give more importance to other factors in a college application. This makes college essays significant for an applicant to stand out and be noticeable.

Consider these helpful approaches to ace that common application essay.

  • Begin the essay with a question, an idea, an inspiring quote, or a gallant statement that engages a reader from the start.
  • You should select a topic that is compatible with your authenticity. Don’t choose topics or points of view to just impress, but something that describes your personality traits, hobbies, experiences, and strengths.
  • College admissions officers like to know who you are and what are your attitude and opinions. They want to read about your perception and what encouraged your future aspirations and educational journey.
  • It is imperative to write about your wins but also describe your experience with disappointments and losses. A unique element that showcases what you learned and how you overcame an obstacle.
  • A logical and organized reasoning in which one transition from another is natural makes a difference. Think about what the reader needs to know about you or the ideas that do not go with the subject of the essay you may have included.
  • Be sure you can answer questions such as: Does what you have written make sense? Is the essay organized? Does the opening grab the reader? Is there a strong ending? Have you given enough background information? Is it wordy?*
  • Repetition of an already mentioned story, activity, or anecdote in your essay is boring. Your essay should portray something new and distinctive that aligns with the rest of your application.
  • Leave a lasting impression by ending the essay with a colossal punchline or a paragraph that assembles everything together.


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