There are many criteria that colleges consider for accepting students in different academic programs. However, more and more colleges are changing their criteria and no longer basing admission on SAT or ACT scores.
As a matter of fact, many colleges, including Harvard, have introduced “test-blind” policies for admission and are now giving more importance to college application essays.
A well-structured and intelligent essay can help you stand out from other applicants. As college application essays have become more important than ever, here are some tips for writing an outstanding essay:
Writing under pressure a few weeks before the deadline is a terrible idea. You should start working on it in the summer of your high school senior year to make sure you have enough time to craft the most perfect personal statement possible.
You don’t need to work on it every day. The key here is to use the creative power that’s often hard to tap into while working under pressure.
Once you have finished writing the essay, set it aside for a few days. When you come back to it after some time, you may have a whole new perspective that can help you make better revisions.
Plus, you’ll have ample time to revise it over and over and discover passages or chunks that sound long-winded, grandiose, or irrelevant.
Understand the Prompt and Instructions.
The biggest mistake a college applicant can make is not paying attention to instructions. It’s important to understand the requirements of the college before you start writing.
Submitting an essay that does not fulfill the college requirements can cost you the admission. From the required word count to the essay topic, you should carefully go through each and every detail before you start the writing process.
The most effective way to highlight your skills and show your true personality is by being authentic. An overwrought essay with high-sounding and overambitious passages can give a sense of inauthenticity.
The topic you choose must be consistent with your personality. Whether you want to share a specific experience or write about your future goals, you should be completely honest. You honestly will be appreciated even if you talk about your weaknesses. Unpleasant childhood experiences and your previous academic struggles are more likely to resonate with the reader than an overdone essay that only mentions your achievements.
Write a Compelling Start
As you’ll be competing with hundreds of other applicants, you need to grab the admission officer’s attention from the start. Take a strong start to your essay with an explicit thesis statement, an inspiring anecdote, a bold question, or a reflective quote. A powerful start serves as a natural prelude to an engaging essay.
Go Beyond Facts
Using facts and figures, academic achievements, descriptions of volunteer work at a casino online, and sports’ wins to impress committees is the go-to move of every college applicant. Doing what everyone is doing won’t get you shortlisted regardless of how impressive your application is.
The reason colleges no longer consider test scores is that they want students with a strong character, commitment to academics, initiative, and willingness to take risks.
They want to read about the lessons that you have learned through adversities and coping mechanisms you’ve developed, and not just how many wins you have secured in sports and athletics.
An application that lacks variety and interest never make it to the shortlist. Mentioning an anecdote or experience over and over in the essay can cause the reader to lose interest. Each passage in your essay should tell the reader something riveting.
Conclude The Essay With a Strong Punchline
Many applicants make the mistake of ending the essay abruptly. An abrupt ending can destroy the rest of your essay. The final passage should artfully wave everything together to satisfy and impress the reader.