5 Tips for Nailing Your College Essays from The Princeton Review

by The Princeton Review

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College essays can be daunting. These helpful tips from The Princeton Review will help applicants craft personal, engaging stories.

1. Tell the story that grades and test scores can’t capture. A thoughtful and sincere essay about something that’s important to you — an experience, a person, or even a book — shows colleges the unique qualities you will add to the incoming class.

2. Always be yourself in your application, not the candidate you think admissions committees want to see. Sometimes it’s better to write about an experience that was hard for you because you learned something than it is to write about something that was easy for you because you think it sounds impressive.

3. Remember to reflect. You’re not the only applicant to win the class presidency, go on a service trip, or suffer an athletic injury. Take the opportunity to really examine how an experience taught you something you didn’t previously know about yourself, got you out of your comfort zone, or forced you to grow.

4. Start early, and write several drafts. Coming up with an original, thoughtful essay topic will inevitably take a fair amount of brainstorming. Make sure you start writing early in the application process.

5. Ask a parent, teacher, or friend you trust to be your editor. The more time you spend with a piece of your own writing, the less likely you are to spot errors (and your college essays must be 100 percent typo free!).


From The Princeton Review book, College Essays That Made a Difference