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5 New Essay Prompts on the Common Application

common-applicationLast year, the Common Application contained five new essay prompts believed to encourage reflection and introspection amongst the applicants.    Gone is the heavily favored “Topic of Your Choice” option, a decision that has received some pretty heavy criticism.   The length limit for the essay has increased to 650 words, up from 500 words.  In the past, applicants were shown an error message if they were to exceed 500 words, so the increase provides a little more flexibility with their essays.

 The five new Essay prompts are:

 Option #1: Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

 Option #2: Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

 Option #3: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

 Option #4: Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?

 Option #5: Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

 However upset you may have been upon hearing about the removal of the “Topic of Your Choice” prompt, try to realize that these new prompts allow you to apply a good amount of creativity and flexibility.  Almost anything you would have decided to write in the “Choose Your Own Topic” prompt can be applied to at least one of the new options.

For more information on college applications, contact Dov Landau, the director of college admissions at Top Test Prep. Top Test prep is the elite one on one tutoring and admissions company featuring some of the best and brightest tutors and admission experts in the business.   Dov can be reached at 202-618-4474.

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