College Essay Promts

In general, concise, straightforward writing is best and good essays are often 300-400 words in length.

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As an Assistant Director here at MIT Admissions, I work on a bunch of stuff in our office, including the blogs you're reading right now.

Sometimes, I teach courses in CMS/W, from which I earned my grad rat in 2013.

But mostly, as Mikey said, I’d advise you to be strategically nonstrategic in your own essays, and not try to get into our (or anyone else’s) headspace for your essays.

Here are a few tips, tricks, and aphorisms I’ve found useful over the years: My name is Chris Peterson.

Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent education consultant.

He is a co-author of the book The Enlightened College Applicant: A New Approach to the Search and Admissions Process (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).Sometimes we change the prompts between cycles, but this year, we’ve kept them the same as the last few years, to wit: People often ask me, “How do I stand out in an essay? As MIT admissions officers, our primary goal in reading these essays is to get to know you, the applicant.It’s not to be wowed, or feel like we need to read the most unique piece of writing we’ve ever seen.Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.#6. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design In 2018-19, the most frequently selected topic was #7, the “topic of your choice” essay. Prompt #5, the “discuss an accomplishment” essay was a close second, attracting 23.7% of seniors.Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? The bronze medal went to prompt #2, the “challenge, setback, or failure” themed essay, which netted 21.1% of Common App filers.In the opinion of the College Transitions staff, the choice not to tinker was a wise one.A quick look at the data shows that the prompts, as presently constituted, received rave reviews across the board—more than 90% of admissions officers, guidance counselors, parents, and students rated the selections positively. Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.Maximum length: 200 words You may use this space if you need to further explain or clarify answers you have given elsewhere in this application, or if you wish to share information that may assist the Office of Admissions.If appropriate, include the application question number to which your comment(s) refer.Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc.Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW.

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