Common App Essay Questions 2016

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Avoid a rehash of the accomplishments on your high school résumé and choose something that the admissions committee will not discover when reading the rest of your application.

You're trying to show colleges your best self, so it might seem counterintuitive to willingly acknowledge a time you struggled.

Make sure you explain how you pursue your interest, as well.

This question might be for you if you have a dynamo personal essay from English class to share or were really inspired by a question from another college’s application. Whatever topic you land on, the essentials of a standout college essay still stand: 1.) Show the admissions committee who you are beyond grades and test scores and 2.) Dig into your topic by asking yourself how and why.

Present a situation or quandary and show steps toward the solution.

Admissions officers want insight into your thought process and the issues you grapple with, so explain how you became aware of the dilemma and how you tackled solving it.Describe the event or accomplishment that shaped you but take care to also show what you learned or how you changed.Colleges are looking for a sense of maturity and introspection—pinpoint the transformation and demonstrate your personal growth.For more than 35 years, students and families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools.We help students succeed in high school and beyond by giving them resources for better grades, better test scores, and stronger college applications. Find this year's Common App writing prompts and popular essay questions used by individual colleges.The college essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are apart from your grades and test scores (and to distinguish yourself from the rest of a very talented applicant pool).Admissions officers want to feel connected to you and an honest, personal statement about who you are draws them in.Your love of superheroes, baking chops, or family history are all fair game if you can tie it back to who you are or what you believe in.Again, be honest in answering this question—don't choose a classic from your literature class or a piece of philosophy just because you think it will make you seem smarter.Writing fluently and passionately about a book close to you is always better than writing shakily or generally about a book that doesn't inspire you. Take this opportunity to really examine an experience that taught you something you didn't previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow.

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