Many students trip over common obstacles in their college application essays. For example, many students can’t see beyond the superficial prompt to construct an essay that positively communicates their personality and passion. Some students rehash their activities and achievements without adding the personal flavor, perspective and substance that admissions officers look for. Learn how to avoid these and other damaging traps.
As an independent college admissions consultant, I read many application essays and see many common application essay mistakes. Here’s some helpful advice:
Bowdoin is accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The college awards Bachelor of Arts degrees in over 30 majors through 35+ departments and programs including Art History; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Earth and Oceanographic Studies; Environmental Studies; Gender and Women’s Studies; Government and Legal Studies; History; Mathematics; Music; Philosophy; Physics and Astronomy; Psychology; Theater and Dance; and Visual Arts. The school’s collaborative network guides students through their entire four years of study through its Center for Teaching and Learning and Faculty Advising.
Note also that point #2 is probably the weakest, least unique part of the Personal Narrative. Most people applying to top colleges have great test scores and grades, so this is rarely distinguishing by itself. By point #2, I meant to say that I wasn’t 100% hardcore science geek and was competent in other aspects of life.
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The more unique and noteworthy your Personal Narrative is, the better. This is how you’ll stand apart from the tens of thousands of other applicants to your top choice school. This is why I recommend so strongly that you to show deep interest and achievement. A compelling Spike is the core of your Personal Narrative.
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If I were to optimize purely for college applications, I should have spent that time on pushing my spike even further – working on more Olympiad competitions, or doing even more hardcore research.
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Between the SAT and ACT, the SAT was my primary focus, but I decided to take the ACT for fun. The that I scored a 36 Composite without much studying. – you get pretty much zero additional credit. Again, with one test score, you have already passed their filter.