I told you last month that the new Common Application Personal Statement essay prompts had been released. What I didn’t tell you at that time is a little secret of mine.
I don’t care what the essay prompts are.
I don’t tell my students what the prompts are. If they already know what they are I tell them to forget them. On the surface that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Yet my students do very well in the admissions process.
The reason is that I know what types of things the colleges and BS/MD programs want to see in this essay. No it isn’t some magic formula. What colleges want to read in the personal statement essay is about who you are. Who is this person behind the transcript and test scores?
I talk with my students in more detail about how they go about figuring out what it is that they want to communicate about themselves in this essay. But you can figure that out too if you put some thought into it, and if it is way too difficult for you, the bibliograpy builder online can help you do so.
The bottom line is that the colleges don’t really care about the prompts. They care about the essay and what it tells them about you. Still freaking out about what prompt you should list as the one you are responding to? Prompt 1 is a broad general prompt that can accommodate the majority of essays.