Roadmap to College: How Do I Respond to Short-Answer Essays?
Many students write one personal statement and then reuse this essay for most of their schools, especially if they are using the Universal College Application or the Common Application. Many colleges still require you to use their school’s supplement, which can consist of several short-answer essays. Your responses to these questions can range from a few sentences to one or two long paragraphs.
Here are some common questions that require short answers:
“Tell us more about one of your extracurricular, volunteer, or employment activities (100–150 words) “ (Universal College Application by ApplicationsOnline, LLC)
“Tell us about your potential major or area of interest and your reasons for applying to ______.”
“What contributions do you see yourself making to our university?”
Your response to these questions should include the academic areas you are considering during college. If you are fairly positive about being a psychology major, go ahead and answer as such. If you know that you are interested in the sciences, but you don’t know which particular area yet, just go ahead and write about your love for science, backed up by the things you have done in high school to support that interest. Your response can be a little more general, as long as you get across your general passion for the sciences. If you don’t have a clear focus, that’s okay, too, but do give a general area of interest. Colleges understand that you may change your major when you get there or a few more times once you are in college. Also, anything you mention in these short essays should also be included on your résumé.
How should you answer a question that asks why are you interested in a college? You are being given a golden opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the college. This is a very important question as colleges want an indication of your “demonstrated interest.” They want to get a sense of whether or not you will attend their school if you are accepted (remember the concept of yield?). The best time to answer this question is after you’ve done your research and after a campus visit. Admissions counselors don’t want to hear that their college campus is in a particular city; they already know that. They want to hear, in specific terms, what you like about their school. You can talk about a professor you met, a class you attended, a particular research lab they have, and other details that substantiate your knowledge and interest. Don’t tell colleges what you think they want to hear. Make genuine choices of potential colleges and really consider why you want to attend that particular college. Both you and the college are looking for the right match. You may be qualified for a particular school, but does it really fit your needs?
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- Steps in the IEP Process