What Do Colleges Look for in Essays, Students Guide

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What Do Colleges Look for in Essays

14 Nov 2019

What Do Colleges Look for in Essays and Why You Should Prepare Properly

Most students believe that test scores and school grades are the only factors that the selection committee considers to decide the best candidate of college admission. However, that is not the case. Colleges receive tons of admission application and use various parameters to choose and filter out the best students. Application essays, in this regard, are the major key factors that determine the capabilities and competence of the students.

A well-written application essay allows students to get noticed. It strengthens their chance to get the admission in their desired college. If your application essay is not attention-grabbing or does not meet the requirements that a college is looking for, you will not be able to qualify for the admission. That is when you need to understand and learn how to write a good college application essay. And it is only possible when you know what colleges look for in essays and how can you prepare for them. The same story is with standard essays, for example, such controversial topics like essays about euthanasia need to be convincing and argumentative to prove your point of view.

What Colleges Require an Application Essay?

You might be wondering why colleges require students to write an application essay. The purpose is to find out the motivations, personal goals, and accomplishments of the students. It is one way to explore more about the candidates. An application essay allows the selection committee to evaluate you from different perspectives that your test performance cannot reflect.  It generally reflects

  • How creative can a student be when it comes to tackling complex topics?
  • What motivates or drives him/her passion for studying in a certain institute
  • What he/she can express in writing, without using tiresome jargon and flowery language
  • How much he/she is determined to achieve academic goals?
  • How a candidate can contribute to a college
  • What are the long-term goals of a candidate

Why Should You Prepare Properly for Application Essay?

As mentioned earlier, an application essay is one of the important tools that determine whether or not a student should get enrolled in a certain college. It does not matter how good your grades and test performances were in school. If you fail to impress the college selection committee in your application essay, getting admission is tough.  An application is what makes you stand out among thousands of other applicants.

Each application essay is reviewed thoroughly.  If a student has enough potential to get success after admission, can contribute to academics and educational experience, and is capable of bringing prestige and honor to the college, he/she is considered an ideal candidate.

In short, to meet the specific requirements of a certain college, preparing and knowing how to write a good college application essay is essential.

How to Prepare for an Application Essay

· Determine the Essay Goals

Determining the goals of your application essay is the first step of the preparation phase. Before you proceed to writing phase, you need to know how you want the admission committee to perceive your personality. If you want a college admission board to consider you as an academically ambitious and responsible student, you need to talk about all your previous academic achievements.

Similarly, if your focus is on to show them how you can bring excellence and prestige to the college; you may highlight other features of your personality, including extracurricular activities and sports titles. Make sure you have clear essay goals in your mind that help admission board to develop your character in the right way.

· Strategic Thinking

The stage is for strategic thinking. You need to think of the unique ways that can distinguish you from other students. You need to bring innovation in your writing while fulfilling the key criteria of an application essay.  For example, if you simply write “I am from so and so state” it is not going to make any impact unless you talk about the strengths of your state culture or how has it affected your academic career. That should all be done concisely yet creatively. It is a great way to draw the attention of the admission committee.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, college admission boards have specific essay criteria when it comes to selecting ideal candidates. If you know your essay goals and incorporate them strategically when writing an essay application, getting admission becomes a breeze.

Comments on this guide to What Do Colleges Look for in Essays and Why You Should Prepare Properly advice article are welcome.




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