Knocking ‘Em Dead with Your Essay

Your grade point average, name and address, and your SAT or ACT score do not give admissions officers any relevant information about the kind of human being or student you are. This is why school admissions offices often ask for essays to accompany student applications. This is your big chance to dazzle them by showing them who you are and what you have done in life. However, you must not try to make yourself sound like anyone other than who you really are (as long as you do so within the boundaries of proper grammar and correct spelling).

Common Essay Questions

Essay questions vary from one university or college to the next. It is in your best interest to have a few essays of varying subject matter ready just in case you need a generic essay to submit for admission or aid award applications. Below you will find a list of sample essay questions similar to those commonly asked on applications or in interviews by certain university admissions administrators:

  • What is your idea of the perfect adventure?

  • What do you value the most in relationships? Why do you think that you feel this way?

  • You have just finished writing your 300-page autobiography. Please describe page 225.

  • Talk about the one person you feel the closest to and tell us what you think makes your bond with this person a strong one.

  • If you could declare your own holiday, what would it celebrate? Why? How would you have people observe it?

What to Write About in Admissions Essays

The truth is, if you're a student applicant, you're better off just writing about what you know than you are trying to pass yourself off as a person or personality type that you have never been. “To thine own self be true,” wrote Shakespeare. How true his words are. It does you no good to write out a four-page essay on why you chose to be a music major if you honestly do not know these reasons yourself. If you find that you truly don't know the answer to a question, you might write a four-page paper about the reasons for your questions and how you feel that attending this school will help you find the answer to this inner debate.

Don't you hate it when you meet someone who only seems to be trying to impress everyone? Well, admissions officers do too. Don't try to do, say, or write what you think they want to hear. Just be you. Do what you think is right, and say what you believe.

For extra advice or coaching on how to prepare and compose a college admissions essay, think about consulting with your teachers or guidance counselors at your high school. (An English teacher would likely be most helpful, at least as a proofreader.)

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