What is your preferred major? Describe a volunteering activity and why you enjoy it. Tell us about some recents books you have read. These are prompts similar to those that my students are answering.
When my students are answering the various essay prompts for the BS/MD programs, they often ask me what they should put for an answer. And my answer is always the same. There is no perfect answer. Answer honestly.
Most colleges, including most BS/MD programs do not care what your major is. Telling them that you have an interest in a non science major is fine. It will not hurt you. It might even help to distinguishing you from everyone else who answers biology or chemistry. Does that mean you should say you want to be a history major just to look different? No, that will backfire on you unless you have an extensive background of an interest in history.
It also doesn’t matter whether your favorite activity is research, or volunteering at the hospital or working with young children. Yes, for BS/MD programs there is a preference for something that reflects on the interests of the programs but any answer that relates to research or helping others is an appropriate response.
For more general questions like favorite books, or magazines you read, almost any answer can work. Now, if the answer is Harry Potter then you also want to make sure that you mention some books that aren’t quite so common. And if your favorite fictional character is Holden Caulfield you had better be close to winning the Noble Prize in Chemistry. It isn’t that Holden is a bad character but the answer is just so darn predictible.
But if you have a passion for 19th century Russian authors, let colleges know that.
And let me know that as well. We should be working together.