In the sample excerpt below, there are a few key mistakes that a college applicant makes. Can you spot the errors that can very well cost the applicant a shot in the incoming class?
And if you can spot the mistakes, let us know why you think they are mistakes in the first place! I am a better person for this experience. Any luck spotting some major mistakes? First, the writer should show rather than tell. The writer states that Habitat for Humanity has shaped her life. It paints the applicant as unlikeable and arrogant — something an applicant should absolutely avoid in the highly selective college admissions process!
And she spent a few hours with these families and therefore understands their plight? She needs to get off her high horse. If you are applying to a business program, the average starting salary of recent graduates should not be your stated motivation for seeking admission! A good way to catch mistakes is to read your essay very slowly and out loud.
Some of the best and most memorable essays are based on a simple conversation between people. The impressions and takeaways from such a conversation can be extremely engaging and provide a valuable window into the personality and values of the writer. Skip the Volunteer Trip. Dedicated community service over a period of time can be a strong topic for an application essay. Volunteer day at the local park, or two weeks of school building in Africa, will probably not impress the admissions committee.
They see many essays of this type. Not only is it difficult to stand out from the pack, but these experiences are often more about the experience than about you, or convey that money buys opportunity.
The admissions committee relies on essays to learn additional things about you such as your initiative, curiosity about the world, personal growth, willingness to take risks, ability to be self directed, motivation and ability to make the most of a situation. They are interested in your personal qualities such as leadership, confidence, ability to work in a team, strength of character, resilience, sense of humor, ability to get along with others and what you might add to the campus community.
In short, use your essays to showcase a side of you not visible from other parts of the application. Peruse the Entire Application. Many applications, especially for some of the more competitive schools, are complex and require multiple essays and short answers.
For example, if you have five key areas you wish to cover, and there are five essays, try to strategically focus on one area in each essay. Resist the temptation to be a sesquipedalian or come across as a pedantic fop! Use caution when showing off your extensive vocabulary. You risk using language improperly and may appear insecure or overly eager to impress. Check Your Ego at the Door. While self doubt is generally undesirable, a bit of humility can be well received, especially in an essay about overcoming adversity.
Few students have a perfect resume, which is apparent in the application. Drawing attention to weakness in an essay is generally not a good idea, unless you were able to overcome a weakness, and make it a strong suit. Errors can doom your otherwise excellent application. Make sure you schedule sufficient time for a thorough review. When possible, have at least one other person proofread your essay.
They may catch something important that you missed. Again, read your essay out loud. An impressive essay generally contains a strong opening, well organized content, and a powerful closing.
Start with an outline and design your essay paragraph by paragraph. Make sure you include enough background information about whatever topic you are writing about so that the reader can put it into context.
For example, one student wrote an excellent essay about a horrible first day of school, but forgot to include that he had just moved to town, from halfway around the world, and was struggling with English. Resist the temptation to run off and start writing. Experts will tell you that up-front planning of your essays is well worth the time invested. Research the College Before Writing the Essay. Almost every school has its own identity and mission.
Bad College Essays: 10 Mistakes You Must Avoid. Want to build the best possible college application? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies.
25 College Application Essay Mistakes that Guarantee Failure. essays help admissions offcers to understand who you are. While grades, test scores, and academic performance can give the admissions offcers an estimate on how prepared you are to handle the academic rigors of college, the essay offers the only way they can judge .
College application mistakes can hurt your admissions chances. Here are 10 college application mistakes students need to avoid. 3 College Application Essay Mistakes Admissions Officers See Every Year 5 Tips To Help Seniors Beat College Application Deadline Anxiety and Enjoy Winter Break. College admissions officers read thousands of college application essays. These tips and strategies can help you make a strong impression. College admissions officers read thousands of college application essays. These tips and strategies can help you make a strong impression. Grammatical problems, punctuation errors, and spelling mistakes.
Tags: College Admissions Essays, College Essay Mistakes, College Essay Tips, College Essays, Writing College Essays. Leave a Comment. College Essay Mistakes April 7, College Essay Guidance, College Essay Help, College Essay Mistakes. Leave a Comment. Avoid Mistakes When Writing a College Admissions Essay. students need a plenty of time to carry out a powerful college application essay. An outline and schedule may help to catch up with the deadline. It is better to start working on your admissions essay ahead to avoid problems with procrastination and other time management mistakes.