Outstanding SAT & ACT scores are simply one step towards admission to your dream school. Craft an application essay that takes you all the way by applying our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay. Step 7 is to WRITE BEYOND THE PROMPT:
Your Common Application essay, while certainly important, is just a part of your larger admissions package. Your high school transcript reveals important data points about you, as do your SAT & ACT scores. Extracurricular activities, recommendations, and the rest fill out a complete application. But think about any extra information you need to convey that doesn’t come through those channels and address them in the supplements.
Students should review the writing prompts and supplements (i.e. the Short Answer and Personal Essay on the Common Application and Supplements, if required) for each specific college and choose different topics for each essay to provide a more complete picture.
- Don’t try to capture your entire life in 600 words. Use your main essay to tell a real story that highlights one important aspect of your experience, ambitions, or essential nature.
- Make the most of the supplement questions. For example, if you are a legacy but are not defined by your genealogical connection to a school, you may want to focus on that in a supplement question rather than shoehorning it into your essay.
- Supplements really matter, so plan to spend as much time on them as you do on your primary essay.
Your primary essay plays a quintessential role in revealing who you are. A great essay just might be what turns a “maybe” into a “yes.” But you’ll get the most value from that essay if you balance the information you include with what you share in other components of the application.
[If you think you’ve read this before, maybe you have. We share our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay every summer to support all of the hard working high schoolers striving towards their most successful college applications!]