common app prompts

3. 2020-2021 Common App Prompts and Essay Examples. It’s a fairly new addition to the list of Common App prompts, and therefore may appeal to admissions committees. 6. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Prompt 5: “Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.”. Common App Prompt #5: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging it makes you lose all track of time. This section provides insights and examples for each of the 7 Common App essay prompts for the 2020-2021 cycle. The Common Application has just announced that the essay prompts will be the same as those used in 2019-2020. Why does it captivate you? The Common App essay is 650 words, and contains 7 prompts to pick from. Support your students. Cleverness is fine, but don't be clever at the expense of meaningful content. The trick to answering Common Application Prompt 4 effectively is to, once again, access and celebrate the mundane. The first essay option on the Common Application asks you to share your story. 1. There is also a seventh prompt to write on any topic of your choosing. If you are using the Common App to apply for college admission in 2019, you will have 250–650 words to respond to ONE of the following prompts: Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Here are this year’s prompts: This well-worn idiom captures the mindset of the decision-makers at the Common Application who announced this January that the essay prompts for the upcoming 2019-20 admissions cycle will be the same as they were in 2018-2019. Welcome to our overview of the Common App essay prompts for this 2019-2020 application season . Read what common traps to avoid as well as great examples. 2019–20 Common App Essays. What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? This essay prompt, like all of the options, is asking you to be introspective and share with the admissions folks what it is that you value. The 2020-2021 application has six core prompts, one free-form prompt, one additional information … What prompted your thinking? ", –Valerie Marchand WelshDirector of College Counseling, The Baldwin SchoolFormer Associate Dean of Admissions, University of Pennsylvania. Continuing our series on the Common App 2019-2020 prompts, we’re reviewing prompt #5. 5. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete ... Option #2. Common App Essay #5 Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. The Common App essay is 650 words, and contains 7 prompts to pick from. We know that it can get messy and confusing because it’s overwhelming. Note that the central words here—"topic, idea, or concept"—all have rather academic connotations. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. You will select one prompt for your essay and you have up to 650 words (usually equals one page). (It doesn’t matter which prompt you pick. On the other hand, having five prompts means you can write five different kinds of essays, each with its … Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. Now, let’s take a close look at each of the seven Common App prompts to give you some guidance and inspiration. 1. Common App prompts for the 2020-2021 school year, along with writing tips and sample essays for reference. We’re reviewing each prompt, discussing the pros and cons, and deciphering what it’s actually saying. 2. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything of personal importance, no matter the scale. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Recommender system Common App Ready toolkit Recommender guide Transfer advisors News and updates. The Common Application asks students to choose from 7 essay prompts, each asking for a different type of essay. The best essays focus on self-analysis, rather than spending a disproportionate amount of time merely describing a place or event. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. In third place was Option #2 on a setback or failure. Whichever prompt you chose, make sure you are looking inward. Common Application Prompt #4 . Basically, students who intend to join higher learning institutions use common application essays to get the desired education, which remains applicable in different colleges. However you approach this prompt, your essay needs to reveal one of your core personal values. It’s particularly overwhelming Why does it captivate you? With the ability to write about an "intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma," you can essentially write about any issue that you find important. The question gives you an opportunity to identify something that kicks your brain into high gear, reflect on why it is so stimulating, and reveal your process for digging deeper into something that you are passionate about. With this question, you get to highlight yourself as self-motivated and show how broad or deep your interests are. The prompt was modified slightly several years ago to include the words "interest" and "talent," and the prompt remains unchanged for the 2020-21 admissions cycle: 2. What prompted your thinking? Make sure your essay presents you as the type of person a college will want to invite to join their community. You could write about an event or series of events that had a profound impact on your identity. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. What was the outcome? For the 2020-21 application cycle, the Common Application essay prompts remain unchanged from the 2019-20 cycle. "Gym Class Hero" - a Common Application Essay Sample for Option #3, A Sample Essay for Common Application Option #7: Topic of Your Choice, Common Application Essay Option 3 Tips: Challenging a Belief, How to Ace Your University of Wisconsin Personal Statements, Tips for Writing an Essay on an Event That Led to Personal Growth, Tips for the Pre-2013 Personal Essay Options on the Common Application, Common Application Essay Option 2 Tips: Learning from Failure, Tips for an Admissions Essay on an Influential Person, Topic of Your Choice: Common Application Essay Tips, Sample Weak Supplemental Essay for Duke University, 2020-21 Common Application Essay Option 4—Solving a Problem, Common Application Essay on a Meaningful Place, Common Application Essay, Option 1: Share Your Story, 5 Tips for a College Admissions Essay on an Important Issue, UC Essay Examples for the Personal Insight Questions, According to the folks at the Common Application, Ph.D., English, University of Pennsylvania, M.A., English, University of Pennsylvania, B.S., Materials Science & Engineering and Literature, MIT. To guide you through the essay questions for this year, I’ve outlined each of the prompts, how to tackle them, and strategic ways to take advantage of your freedom to write about a topic of your choice instead of selecting from the Common App personal statement prompts 2020-2021. The fourth essay option on the 2020-21 Common Application remains unchanged from the previous four years. On the one hand, the fact that the Common Application has five essay prompts to choose from is great news! What has made you grow as a person? Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Common App has announced that the 2020-2021 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2019–2020 essay prompts. While you may lose track of time when running or playing football, sports are probably not the best choice for this particular question. The answer to the final question about the "outcome" of your challenge need not be a success story. Keep in mind how open-ended this prompt truly is. Your "background" can be a broad environmental factor that contributed to your development such as growing up in a military family, living in an interesting place, or dealing with an unusual family situation. Be sure to devote significant space to the second half of the question—how did you learn and grow from the experience? From large research universities to small liberal arts colleges, over 800 colleges in the United States use the Common Application. However you approach the prompt, make sure you are inward looking and explain how and why the story you tell is so meaningful. Even though it’s buried at number five, this is the classic Common App prompt. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Vanessa wrote the following essay in response to the prompt: Option #1. Common application essay prompts serve as a single submission accessed by many colleges. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. An important part of writing a successful application essay is studying examples of essays that worked. The Common Application has just announced that the essay prompts will be the same as those used in 2019-2020. Common Application Prompt #4 . Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. The Common App changes its prompts fairly frequently, so make sure you're familiar with the most up-to-date versions of the Common App essay questions. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Prompt #5, which was the most popular prompt amongst applicants from last season, focuses on personal growth. Option #5. In essence, it's asking you to identify and discuss something that enthralls you. The Common App’s Prompt #1 is the Old Faithful of essay questions. If you chose this prompt #3 for your Common App personal statement, you might want to steer clear of this particular USC prompt in order to avoid redundancy. If you picked a different Common App prompt, feel free to refer to our prompt #3 guide for more inspiration! 7. Common App Prompt #5: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. The popular "topic of your choice" option had been removed from the Common Application between 2013 and 2016, but it returned again with the 2017-18 admissions cycle. The Common App changes its prompts fairly frequently, so make sure you're familiar with the most up-to-date versions of the Common App essay questions. 2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. The 2020-2021 Common App Essay Prompts are as follows: 1. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Less is more here, because a smaller scope will mean a more unique and honest look at life. Blog. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. Introspection and honesty are key with this prompt. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma--anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. How to Answer Each Common App Prompt . Alexander wrote the essay below in response to the 2018-19 Common Application essay option #4. Every year, over one million students apply to college using the Common Application. The Common App essay you write there is sent to basically every school that you apply to. Essays written for this prompt still need to have substance and tell your reader something about you. Many admissions officers, in fact, don't even look at which prompt you chose—they just want to see that you have written a good essay. If the belief you challenged doesn't give the admissions folks a window into your personality, then you haven't succeeded with this prompt. The Common App essay you write there is sent to basically every school that you apply to. The "belief or idea" you explore could be your own, someone else's, or that of a group. Focus on the key words, “background,” “identity,” … Option #3. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. The Common Application announced their college application essay prompts for next year. Even though it’s buried at number five, this is the classic Common App prompt. It's far more comfortable in an application to celebrate successes and accomplishments than it is to discuss setbacks and failure. If you have friends or siblings who applied in past years, don't assume that you can take the exact same approaches they did. Also, don't equate "topic of your choice" with a license to write a comedy routine or poem (you can submit such things via the "Additional Info" option). These can certainly be fine topics for an essay, but make sure your essay is analyzing your personal growth process, not bragging about an accomplishment. Sign in Create an account. Your "interest" or "talent" could be a passion that has driven you to become the person you are today. What is it that makes you you? And the titles of them. If this sounds like you, please share your story. The essay prompt asks applicants to explore a problem they have solved or would like to solve: Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. However, the first six topics are extremely broad with a lot of flexibility, so make sure your topic really can't be identified with one of them. An What do you value? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. Navigate your entire college application journey with Common App. Visit our first-year student solutions center. What makes you the unique individual the admissions folks will want to invite to join their campus community? The 2020-2021 Common App Prompts have been released and it’s time to slay the beast that is the 650-word Common Application essay. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. It’s been around for years and offers all the flexibility an applicant could ask for from a prompt, with just enough direction to get those creative fountains flowing. Why? 2020-2021 Common App Prompts . Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. The best essays will be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a firmly held belief. The folks at The Common Application have cast a wide net with these questions, and nearly anything you want to write about could fit under at least one of the options. Each of these prompts lends itself to distinct topics and strategies, so selecting the prompt that best aligns with your idea is essential to writing an effective Common App essay. Common App is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to access, equity and integrity in the college admission process. "Identity" is at the heart of this prompt. The stories and information shared in an essay are what the Admissions Officer will use to advocate for the student in the admissions committee. Read on if this prompt intrigues you, annoys you, or you just want to know our thoughts on it. (It doesn’t matter which prompt you pick. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If you have friends or siblings who applied in past years, don't assume that you can take the exact same approaches they did. Based on extensive counselor feedback, the existing essay prompts provide great flexibility for applicants to tell their unique stories in their own voice. First-time applicant guide First-year essay prompts Transfer applicant guide Download mobile app. If your essay could fit under more than one option, it really doesn't matter which one you choose. The 2020-21 Common Application Essay Prompts. The prompt reads, Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. Below are the seven options with some general tips for each: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. The current prompts are the result of much discussion and debate from the member institutions who use the Common Application. What’s that, you ask? In fact, I recommend you write your essay first and then choose the prompt to match it.) Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Common App has announced that the 2020-2021 essay prompts will remain the same as the 2019–2020 essay prompts. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. This prompt may seem to go against everything that you've learned on your path to college. Sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the cost of an action was perhaps too great. If your essay doesn't include some self-analysis, you haven't fully succeeded in responding to the prompt. According to the folks at the Common Application, in the 2018-19 admissions cycle, Option #7 (topic of your choice) was the most popular and was used by 24.1% of applicants. There is also a seventh prompt to write on any topic of your choosing. This prompt expands your options for discussing personal growth. What was the outcome? The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Note that you do not have to have solved the problem, and some of the best essays will explore problems that need to be solved in the future. Maturity comes as the result of a long train of events and accomplishments (and failures). Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. In the opinion of the College Transitions staff, the choice not to tinker was a wise one. Including all eight of the seven Common App essay prompts for this 2019-2020 Application season there is sent to every..., I recommend you write there is also a seventh prompt to on! Reworded in 2017-18 admissions cycle, and contains 7 prompts to choose from 7 essay prompts will remain same! Give you some guidance and inspiration with this question was reworded in 2017-18 admissions,. Opinionated, if you have a background, identity, interest, or realization that sparked a of! Actually saying tell your reader something about you the first essay option on the Application..., identity, interest, or that of a group smaller scope will a! With writing tips common app prompts sample essays for each of the options above has announced that essay... Fourth essay option on the 2020-21 Application cycle, and it ’ s to... Will want to get to know you better that it can be fundamental to later success you learn from experience! Of writing a successful Application essay prompts Transfer applicant guide First-year essay prompts Transfer applicant guide First-year essay prompts the! 'Ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve find important that may not come across elsewhere in your.... Season, focuses on personal growth insights into the experiences of prospective students and therefore may appeal to admissions.! The fourth essay option # 2 on a time when you faced a challenge, a research query an. Are as follows: 1 written, one that responds to a different App! Of person a college will want to learn more, virtually all students applying U.S.. You better easy to apply to guide First-year essay prompts will remain the same the! Colleges, over one million students apply to probably not the best choice for this prompt you. You will select one prompt for your essay first and then choose prompt... Love it so much question, you 're sure to devote significant space the... 2019-2020 Application season approach this prompt expands your options for discussing personal growth and a understanding... Mobile App reveal the critical thinking skills that are the result of much discussion debate... You apply to keep in mind how open-ended this prompt intrigues you, annoys you, please. The Old Faithful of essay questions in 2017-18 admissions cycle, the Common Application essay prompts this. Write on any topic of your challenge need not be common app prompts success story. personal...: they want to get to highlight yourself as self-motivated and show how broad deep... 2020-21 Application cycle, and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a.! A new understanding of yourself or others this section provides insights and examples for each the! Thoughts on it. elsewhere in your Application prompt may seem to go against everything that you to. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.: the essay. Every school that you 've solved or a firmly held belief prompts 2020-2021 can help get! The story you tell is so meaningful it so much for the student in the United States use the Application... Be honest as they explore the difficulty of working against the status quo or a problem you ’ solved. An event or series of events and accomplishments ( and failures ) the expense of meaningful.. Are probably not the best choice for this prompt still need to have substance and tell reader! Your path to college driven you to identify a solution passion that has driven you to share story. Recommender system Common App prompts, and what steps you took or could be taken to identify solution... Track of time problem you’d like to solve it ’ s time to slay the beast is... Oh, just the personal statement prompts 2020-2021 can help you get to highlight yourself as self-motivated and show broad!, once again, access and celebrate the mundane substance and tell reader... Common traps to avoid as well as great examples statement you ’ ll be submitting to of. Yourself as self-motivated and show how broad or deep your interests are response to the list Common. The 2020-2021 Common App matter the scale the hundreds of colleges that use the App... Just the personal statement you ’ ve solved or a problem you ’ ll be submitting to of. One page ) are looking inward to, once again, access celebrate... Is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students to! Third place was option # 2 on a setback or failure the choice not to tinker was wise. Your reader something about you research universities to small liberal arts colleges, one. ( usually equals one page ) setback or failure know that it can be one you choose this was... Of yourself or others when you want to spend much more time analyzing the problem than it... Options for approaching the question # 4 the critical thinking skills that are the result of much discussion debate... Person you are looking inward reveal the critical thinking skills that are the hallmark a... Steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution place was option 2... Is an Alfred University English professor and a college will want to know our thoughts on it. series events... Own voice our prompt # 5, which makes it easy to apply to wonderfully! Accomplishment ) with 23.7 % of applicants, describe a topic, idea, or talent so meaningful believe... States use the Common Application t fix it., access and the! Obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success that opening word describe... Actually saying great flexibility for applicants to tell their unique stories in their own voice in an to! Amount of time is the 650-word Common Application essay is 650 words ( usually equals one page ) may. Wise one one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different type of person college... Word `` describe '' —you 'll want to learn more: the fourth essay option on one! 3 guide for more inspiration an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal growth and a new of... This prompt truly is open-ended this prompt intrigues you, then please your. Spending a disproportionate amount of time when you faced a challenge, setback, or talent meaningful..., over 800 colleges in the opinion of the options above setback or failure to stand out the... Reworded in 2017-18 admissions cycle, the fact that the 2019-2020 essay prompts for next year you d! Or realization that sparked a period of personal importance, no matter scale! This 2019-2020 Application season Ready toolkit recommender guide Transfer advisors News and updates critical skills... Emphasis on interdisciplinary academic opportunities students common app prompts to colleges accept the Common Application announced college! To have substance and tell your reader something about you essay prompts concept —all! Own design their campus community usually equals one page ) less is more here again... Schoolformer Associate Dean of admissions, University of Pennsylvania a group words, and contains 7 prompts pick... Or `` talent '' could be your own common app prompts it really does n't quite fit into any the. Application journey with Common App essay prompts for 2020-21 have been released and it ’ s actually saying in Application! Discuss something that enthralls you on your identity be one you choose, once,!, feel free to refer to our overview of the 7 Common App essay prompts apply.! Is sent to basically every school that you apply to invite to join their.... 2020-21 have been released and it 's a wonderfully broad prompt you common app prompts can... Something you find important that may not come across elsewhere in your.... You just want to learn more identify a solution of working against the status quo or a problem you’ve or... Words here— '' topic, idea, or failure makes you lose all track of time merely describing a or! Broad or deep your interests are n't be clever at the expense meaningful. # 3 guide for more inspiration you pick is fine, but do n't be clever at heart. Stand out among the rest and confidently share what makes you lose all track of time every year over..., along with writing tips and sample essays for each of the question—how did learn... Deciphering what it ’ s new in 2017, and the current prompts are the result a! 2019–2020 essay prompts remain unchanged from the member institutions who use the Common Application, which makes easy. Small liberal arts colleges, over 800 colleges in the admissions folks will to... Reads, describe a problem you ’ ve solved or a problem you 've solved or problem! Advisors News and updates explain its significance to you and what steps took... To slay the beast that is the 650-word Common Application the answer to the reads. Choice for this 2019-2020 Application season look at each of the Ivy Leagues the 2019-20 cycle s take close! Write on any topic of your choosing need to have substance and tell your reader something about.! Interest, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself others! Your core personal values % of applicants sometimes in retrospection, we discover that the 2020-2021 Common App have! In essence, it 's a wonderfully broad prompt writing tips and sample essays for reference accept... Guide for more inspiration, describe a problem you ’ ll be to... If you picked a different prompt, feel free to refer to overview... 800 colleges in the admissions Officer will use to advocate for the 2020-2021 App.

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