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15 Crazy College Application Essay Questions

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❶Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder.

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Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay
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2018-19 Common App Essays

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The Essay Hell Blog More than 3 million viewers and counting! An interview is not required, but if you are offered the opportunity to interview, we strongly encourage you to take it. Although the interviewer will get the ball rolling with questions, come prepared to be an engaged conversationalist.

Rather than answering a question with a one-word, direct answer, approach each question as an opportunity to elaborate on various aspects of who you are. Share whatever additional information you feel the admissions committee should consider in order to fully appreciate your ideas, intellectual curiosity, character, and values.

Interviewers can also learn about candidates from the interesting, thoughtful questions they bring to the table. Recommendations tell us a great deal about the way you think and learn, how you contribute to your school community, and what you add to a classroom dynamic. The best recommendations are not always from the teachers in whose class you earned the highest grades, but rather from those teachers who know you best and can discuss the substance of your intellect and character.

We are as interested in your intellectual curiosity and resilience as in your innate ability and work ethic. A string of generic superlatives is not as useful as a specific, thoughtful discussion of your strengths.

All applicants for first-year admission should request two letters of recommendation from teachers who have taught the student in core academic subjects: These teachers will best speak to your recent progress, your preparation for rigorous collegiate coursework, and your potential contributions beyond the classroom.

Supplementary materials can provide broader context to some parts of your application, but they can just as often be superfluous and distracting. But a third recommendation that raves about you, just as your other letters do, will not necessarily enhance your application. In fact, it may dilute the effect of the two required recommendations. For more information visit our page on supplementary materials.

Your transcript is a significant part of your application. We look at your overall record, from all four years of high school. We always remain mindful of context: Did you take a rigorous curriculum given these course offerings? Are there patterns to your transcript that reflect on your academic potential?

We rely on school profiles and guidance counselors to give us an understanding of your school and the ways in which you have been academically engaged. We also consider your standardized test scores. Think of testing as just another part of the application. Only retake a test if you feel you will significantly improve your scores.

If your testing is in the right ballpark, then it probably will not be the deciding factor for your candidacy. Instead, spend your time on things that will help you grow as a person:

Choose Your Test

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Get insightful tips on how to write an effective college application essay and set yourself apart from other applicants. Check out these resources and sample essays -- designed to help you write a successful application essay. Home > Career > Career Advice > Jobs Tips > Writing the Successful College Application Essay: Tips for Home > Career > Career Advice > Jobs Tips > Writing the Successful College Application Essay: Tips for Success. .