College Admission Essays: Answering the Most Common Short-Answer Question
To get the most out of the short answer section of your college application, you need to get the most information into the space or word limit provided. You can’t ramble on philosophically about your favorite extracurricular activity or meander through a long explanation of why the college you’re addressing is an absolute perfect match for your talents. You’ve got to make your point fast.
When I say, “short answer,” I refer to brief statements (usually 200-300 words or less) that you write to interpret some aspect of your school record or experiences, not to the no-brainer lists and factual data that are, of course, also short and also answers. A question about your “most meaningful activity” and a “Why us?” query appear on many applications. You may also be asked to write a few sentences about your favorite books, community service experiences, and other topics. Transfer applicants are always required to write about their reasons for seeking a change. Short answer questions (sigh) don’t normally take the place of the full-length essay or essays required on most applications. These little guys are an extra added attraction, guaranteed to soak up all those pesky free minutes you’re stuck with after completing the rest of the application.
In this article I show you how to squeeze the maximum benefit from the lines allowed you in the short-answer section. I also provide helpful hints and examples of the most common brief responses.
Answering the Most Common Short-Answer Questions
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