General Application College Essay

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Whether you know immediately which prompt you’re going to choose or not, do yourself a huge favor and .

Take out a notebook and jot down or free write all of the ideas that spring to your mind for as many of the prompts that you’re considering.

Regardless of which prompt you choose, colleges are trying to get a sense of how .

And furthermore, they want to get a sense of who you are—your interests, your personality, your values—the dimensional aspects of you as an applicant that simply can’t be expressed in transcripts and test scores. That said, there is no exact formula for “cracking the case” of the Common App essay, but there are plenty of useful steps and tips that can help you write a great essay. Download our quick and concise handout that sums up some of the keys to the Common App essay!

If you have to rack your brain, for example, to think of a challenge you’ve overcome and how the experience has shaped you, then that prompt probably isn’t the right one.

Authenticity is key, so choose the prompt you can answer thoroughly.We’ve also created a downloadable quick guide to writing a great Common Application essay.Below are just a few of the short and sweet things you need to know about the 2019-2020 Common App essay, but we’ll elaborate on some of this content later in this post.The idea is that the Common App is a “one-stop shop” so you don’t have to complete a million separate applications.That said, plenty of colleges still require their own application components, and the Common App, as user-friendly as it aims to be, can still feel like a bit of a challenge to complete.But you obviously want to pick whichever Common App essay prompt speaks to you most, and the one you think will provide you the meatiest and most meaningful material.This is an outstanding guide to choosing the right Common App essay prompt, but as a rule of thumb, the “right” prompt will probably stand out to you.Quick Facts on the 2019-2020 Common App Essay How Do You Write a Common App Essay?Familiarize Yourself with the Prompts Brainstorm Answer the Question (and Stay on Topic!Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?


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