Skip Nav

How to Format Your Common Application Essay

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts

❶It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma—anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.

The College Admissions & Student Aid Resource Hub

2018-19 Common App Essays
What Are The Application Essay Prompts?
Differences in University Application Essays

This essay is designed to get at the heart of how you think and what makes you tick. 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 ccomplishment 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.

This prompt is an invitation to write about something you care about. So avoid the pitfall of writing about what you think will impress the admission office versus what truly matters to you.

Colleges are looking for curious students, who are thoughtful about the world around them. Make sure you explain how you pursue your interest, as well. Test Your College Knowledge! You can even write your own question! Whatever topic you land on, the essentials of a standout college essay still stand: Show the admissions committee who you are beyond grades and test scores and 2.

Dig into your topic by asking yourself how and why. Individual schools sometimes require supplemental essays. Here are a few popular application essay topics and some tips for how to approach them:.

Avoid the urge to pen an ode to a beloved figure like Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln. Choose someone who has actually caused you to change your behavior or your worldview, and write about how this person influenced you. Be honest and specific when you respond to this question. Your answer should not be a book report. What does your favorite book reveal about you? How do you identify with it, and how has it become personal to you?

As with all essay questions, the most important thing is to tell a great story: Get one-on-one help from former Ivy League and top tier admission officers. Our College Admission Counselors will help you find, apply, and get accepted to your dream school. Connect with our featured colleges to find schools that both match your interests and are looking for students like you.

We know that great scores take work. We love our teachers, and so will you. As a college admissions consulting firm specializing in elite institutions, IvySelect is proficient in guiding high-ability students to craft essays that improve competitiveness in admissions.

IvySelect helps you brainstorm a range of essay ideas. We employ a multi-stage essay development methodology that elevates the quality of your writing. And we make sure that the core message of your essay is integrated into all other components of your admissions campaign. IvySelect is one of the best college counseling firms in the world. We are a boutique admissions consultancy based in Los Angeles, specializing in helping high-achieving students seeking admission to Ivy League universities and other top-tier colleges in the U.

Blog You are here: Below are the Common App essay prompts: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, or ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.

Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you?

What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Common Application Announces Essay Prompts The changes you see below reflect the feedback of Common App member colleges and more than 5, other Common App constituents, as well as consultation with our advisory committees and Board of Directors.

Privacy FAQs

The Common Application Essay Prompts Are Here February 15, | Kate Sundquist in Applying to College, Common App Need help on your college applications?

About Our Ads

The Common Application opened for business earlier this week (August. 1). Chances are you will soon need to know how to format your common application essay. If you are on the ball, you might be ready to apply to specific colleges and universities and need to submit your core Common. The Common App was initiated in to help reduce the number of separate applications that students needed to complete in order to apply to multiple schools. The Common Application, a not-for-profit organization based in Arlington, VA, administers the App.

Cookie Info

The Common Application has announced that the personal statement essay prompts will be the same as the prompts. By conducting a review process every other year, rather than annually, we can hear from admissions officers, as well as . See How to Shine in Your College Application Essay and Ten Tips to Improve Your Essay for more help on writing powerful essays. To learn more about the Common Application, How to Write Your Common Application Essay; How to Write Your College Application Resume; Getting the Best Letters of Recommendation;.