Outstanding SAT & ACT scores are simply one step towards admission to your dream school. Craft an application essay that takes you all the way by applying our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay. Step 3 is to WRITE THE RIGHT PROMPT:
Some students begin this process under the impression that every applicant either writes the primary essay on the same topic or can choose basically any topic. On the contrary, applicants have specific questions they may address, which may change from year to year.
Your best essay begins with the right prompt. Holly M. Asposto, author of Distinguish Yourself On the Common App, feels very strongly about the importance of the right prompt:
Many books and articles tell students that it doesn’t matter which of the Common Application writing prompts they choose to address as long as their response is thoughtful and well-written. I disagree. I believe that winning a coveted spot in a highly-selective school starts with answering the right question.
Students need to look at the Common Application as a whole. What will colleges know about you once you complete the required sections: Profile, Family, Education, Testing, Activities, Explanations, Additional information, College page 1, and College page 2: Writing supplement? Analyze the information you will be submitting and ask yourself;
• What questions will admission reps still have about me?
• What is missing from my application that makes me different or unique?
• What else can I share to persuade someone to admit me over someone with a similar application?
So think carefully about which prompt you’ll use to frame your essay. Just be sure to avoid formulas or templates. A canned or cliché essay will hurt you far more than it will help you.
[If you think you’ve read this before, maybe you have. We share our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay every summer to support all of the hard working high schoolers striving towards their most successful college applications!]