Tag Archives: application

Once you’ve brainstormed your options and decided which initial draft is your winner, the final step in writing a really strong college application is to read, rewrite, rework, and rethink your essays over and over again. This revision process can be a hard journey to travel alone. Like any formal writing project, it helps tremendously to have someone read your work and comment on where the writing is clear and where it isn’t, where the language is strong and memorable, and where it is weaker. Aside from the usual writing help, a college-essay coach can and should also help you stay mindful about the specific genre of writing this essay falls into. This essay is different from any other essay you will probably write in your life. You not only want your essay to display the usual hallmarks of good writing–lively word choices, sustained focus on a central idea, correct…

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The first step in writing a strong college essay is to brainstorm some potential ideas to write about. Once that’s done, it’s time to start to sculpt your ideas into possible essays. Essays? Plural? Yes! Often, it’s hard to know which ideas that emerged from free-writing and brainstorming exercises are going to lead to the essay you want; you have to try writing an essay based on one idea, and see how it emerges, and then maybe drop that idea for a while to tinker with another possible essay topic. Writing is a maddening process of trial and error. Sometimes we just need to sit down and force ourselves to write, and sometimes it is better to take a break for a day or two, so that we can come back to our writing with fresh eyes. Sometimes it takes time for an idea to marinate and grow in our…

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Despite rumors to the contrary, standardized test scores remain essential components of the admissions process at most American colleges and universities. If you’re wondering if the school of your choice requires the SAT or ACT, the answer is almost certainly a resounding “Yes.” And, yes, those scores should be as high as possible… test scores for admitted freshmen are even rising at test-optional schools. Furthermore, you need not agonize over which college entrance exam to submit, as every school today accepts the SAT and ACT equally. You are free to present whichever scores best enhance your application. That said, some aspects of these standardized tests matter far more to some schools than others. College admissions offices set policies specific to their schools in order to acquire the testing data they want. Learn those policies in advance to ensure you meet every requirement of your target schools without having to endure…

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College admissions can be very much a numbers game, with quantitative data like grades and test scores carrying a lot of influence. However, more subjective and personal aspects of an application matter too. Am amazing college essay can make an application, while a bland one can break it. If you find yourself uninspired by the 2017-18 Common App essay prompts, consider the Coalition application. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success was developed to improve the college application process for all students as they search for and apply to their perfect college. This free, centralized toolkit is a lot like the Common App and serves a diverse group of mostly Eastern U.S. public and private universities, including many of the most competitive. Be advised, however, that the Coalition essay is a bit shorter than the one on the Common App, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.   Instructions. In general,…

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If you’re wondering whether standardized test scores matter in college admissions, allow us to clear that up for you: they do. Grades also matter… a lot. Extracurricular activities matter too, as do recommendations. But one of the most influential and truly personal components of a college application is the essay. Writing an AMAZING college essay begins by selecting the right prompt. Get a head start on this process by reviewing the 2017-18 Common App essay prompts, with 7 exciting options to choose from:   Instructions. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the…

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Why have the SAT and ACT become so important in the college admissions process? Basically because most admissions officers can use the objective metrics these tests provide to better evaluate more subjective data like grades and class rank. Like it or not, the SAT and ACT provide awesome opportunities for students to enhance their applications. But exams like these do have obvious drawbacks, the most glaring of which is that a given test score represents a snapshot of student performance on one long weekend morning, rather than over a longer period of time. Talk about pressure! However, various changes in both how scores are reported and how they are evaluated have taken some of that pressure off. On the testing side, both the College Board and ACT, Inc. allow students to select which test scores they wish to send. This benefit, which was a long time coming on the SAT…

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