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Your essay is an important tool for presenting something you find important that may not come across elsewhere in your application.Make sure your essay presents you as the type of person a college will want to invite to join their community.At the same time, you'll impress the college admissions folks greatly if you can show your ability to learn from your failures and mistakes.
With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important.
Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future.
Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.
It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma--anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale.
This question was reworded in 2017-18 admissions cycle, and the current language is a huge improvement.
The prompt use to talk about transitioning from childhood to adulthood, but the new language about a "period of personal growth" is a much better articulation of how we actually learn and mature (no single event makes us adults).Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?However you approach this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your core personal values.If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt.The current prompts are the result of much discussion and debate from the member institutions who use the Common Application.The essay length limit stands at 650 words (the minimum is 250 words), and students will need to choose from the seven options below.The essay prompts are designed to encourage reflection and introspection.If your essay doesn't include some self-analysis, you haven't fully succeeded in responding to the prompt.The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story.Sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great.