The first question focuses on your personality traits — who you are.
The second question targets your progression throughout high school (an arc or journey).
While SAT scores, your past course load, and your grades provide a quantitative picture of you as a student, the Common App essay offers adcoms a refreshing glimpse into your identity and personality.
For this reason, try to treat the essay as an opportunity to tell colleges why you are unique and what matters to you.
Instead of saying, “I struggled to make friends when I transferred schools,” you can show your emotions by writing, “I scanned the bustling school cafeteria, feeling more and more forlorn with each unfamiliar face. For example, “As a kid, I always played basketball,” can be improved to be “Every day after school as kid, I ran home, laced up my sneakers, and shot a basketball in my driveway until the sun went down and I could barely see.”, be sure that your sentence’s subject performs the action indicated by the verb, rather than the action performing onto the subject.
Instead of writing “this project was built by my own hands,” you would say “I built this project with my own hands.” like adages, sayings, and quotes that do not bring value to your essay.A background can include long-term interactions with arts, music, sciences, sports, writing, and many other learned skills.Background also includes your social environments and how they’ve influenced your perception.Instead of attempting to impress the Admissions Officer by making up unusual or shocking things, think about how you spend your free time and ask yourself why you spend it that way.Also think about your upbringing, identity, and experiences and ask yourself, “What has impacted me in a meaningful way?Fortunately, at College Vine, we’ve developed a straightforward approach to formulating strong, unique responses.Before reading the prompts, brainstorming is a critical exercise to develop high-level ideas.In addition, you can highlight intersections between multiple backgrounds and show how each is integral to you.One of our consultants wrote about how growing up in a poor Vietnamese immigrant family inspired her to seize big opportunities, even if they were risky or challenging.Our free Chancing Calculator not only takes into account your academic profile, it also measures other elements admissions officers look at, such as your extracurricular activities.We'll let you know what your chances are at your dream schools — and how to improve your chances!