Essay questions for college admission

Niche No Essay Scholarship. When you think Halloween, you likely think of dressing up in costume. But, what about higher education?

From the wacky to downright weird, these Halloween college scholarships leave you hanging on By Roxana Hadad March 09, What do you consider to be the single most important societal problem? Pick a controversial problem on college campuses and suggest a solution. What do you see as the greatest threat to the environment today? Describe how you have demonstrated leadership ability both in and out of school. Choose a word, tell us what it means, and then explain why it cannot or should not be translated from its original language.

Little pigs, French hens, a family of bears. Blind mice, musketeers, the Fates. Parts of an atom, laws of thought, a guideline for composition. Omne trium perfectum? Create your own group of threes, and describe why and how they fit together. The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom.

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Human eyes have color receptors for three colors red, green, and blue ; the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain. Seriously, how cool is the mantis shrimp: mantisshrimp. What are we missing? How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared?

Possible answers involve, but are not limited to, statistics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, and philosophy. Create your own idiom, and tell us its origin—you know, the whole nine yards. PS: A picture is worth a thousand words.

Responding to Short Answer and Essay Questions for College Applications

Othello and Iago. Dorothy and the Wicked Witch. Autobots and Decepticons. History and art are full of heroes and their enemies. Tell us about the relationship between you and your arch-nemesis either real or imagined. Heisenberg claims that you cannot know both the position and momentum of an electron with total certainty.

Choose two other concepts that cannot be known simultaneously and discuss the implications. Do not consider yourself limited to the field of physics. The Aesthetics of Silence, Something that is offered, presented, or given as a gift. Unusual presents, accidental presents, metaphorical presents, re-gifted presents, etc. Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea.

Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they? How did you get caught? Or not caught, as the case may be. Tell us the story of a street, path, road—real or imagined or metaphorical. Basically, the essay contextualizes your application and shows what kind of person you are outside of your grades and test scores. Imagine two students, Jane and Tim: they both have 3.


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Jane writes about how looking into her family history for a school project made her realize how the discovery of modern medical treatments like antibiotics and vaccines had changed the world and drove her to pursue a career as a medical researcher. Tim, on the other hand, recounts a story about how a kind doctor helped him overcome his fear of needles, an interaction that reminded him of the value of empathy and inspired him to become a family practitioner.

These two students may seem outwardly similar but their motivations and personalities are very different. Without an essay, your application is essentially a series of numbers: a GPA, SAT scores, the number of hours spent preparing for quiz bowl competitions. The personal statement is your chance to stand out as an individual. That said, don't panic if you aren't a strong writer. Admissions officers aren't expecting you to write like Joan Didion; they just want to see that you can express your ideas clearly. Did your grades drop sophomore year because you were dealing with a family emergency?

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Colleges want to know if you struggled with a serious issue that affected your high school record , so make sure to indicate any relevant circumstances on your application. In asking these questions, admissions officers are trying to determine if you're genuinely excited about the school and whether you're likely to attend if accepted.

Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step.

At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now :. Thankfully, applications don't simply say "Please include an essay about yourself"—they include a question or prompt that you're asked to respond to. These prompts are generally pretty open ended and can be approached in a lot of different ways.

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How To Answer the 12222-20 Common App Essay Prompts

Nonetheless, most questions fall into a few main categories. These questions are both common and tricky. The most common pitfall students fall into is trying to tell their entire life stories — it's better to focus in on a very specific point in time and explain why it was meaningful to you. 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.


  • 2. Brainstorm.
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Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. A lot of prompts deal with how you solve problems or how you cope with failure. College can be difficult, both personally and academically, and admissions committees want to see that you're equipped to face those challenges. The key to these types of questions is to identify a real problem or failure not a success in disguise and show how you adapted and grew from addressing the issue.