Your college admission essay needs to be memorable if you are going to have a chance of entering the institution that you are applying at. For it to be memorable, it needs to be personal, and it helps the reader understand a little bit more about you. The following are some guidelines on how to write college admission essays.
- Concentrate on your personal attributes
Whatever your topic is, ensure that you are able to demonstrate your personal characteristics. You can talk about a personal tragedy, but your main goal should not be to seek empathy from the board members. Rather, you can describe the tragedy, and then explain how this tragedy made you into a better person. You can also explain the personal lessons you learned from the tragedy, as well as how your attributes helped you survive or get through the bad experience.
- Explain the unexplained
Your admission essay is the wrong place to re-state your GPA and SAT scores. The admission board members will have already gone through your academic work, and determined your academic potential. You need to use the essay to explain things that are not obvious about you. The members need to get a deeper understanding of you as an individual outside of academics.
If you do have to mention your academic scores in the essay, then you should do so only if you need to explain some discrepancies in your scores. For example, if you have a 2250 SAT score and a below average GPA, then you may use the essay to explain your contradiction. It could be that something personal happened, hampering you from performing better on your school performance. Explain this situation in passing, as long as it is in line with the topic that you have selected.
- Be honest
Your writing should be authentic. Do not attempt to make tragedies or hardships in order for the board members to empathize with you and your situation. Inventing such stories will make it difficult to explain them vividly, and you will be hard-pressed to explain how your personality helped you emerge a stronger person out of the hardship. Write an essay that illustrates the real you, and you will be surprised at how well the board members will connect with your personality.
- Make a good first impression
Emphasize on your strengths, and avoid mentioning your weaknesses unless you absolutely need to speak about them. Telling the admission board that you have an alcohol or drug problem may undermine your efforts at entering the institution. You should focus on your strengths and the personal traits that you have that have enabled you to go through hard times and succeed.
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