How To Answer College Essay Prompt

college essay promptWhen applying for college, students have top submit a college application. As if this isn’t daunting enough, some colleges ask for a personal statement too! Writing a personal statement can be a little tricky at the best of times, but quite often the college will include a college essay prompt which is basically a question for the student to answer. In essence, it gives the student an idea of what to write.

But sometimes a college complete omits a college application essay prompt, which means the student has to come up with their own! Annoying! This is the part where things get really tricky. Not only do you have to write out a personal statement that sells you and your assets to the college in question, but you have to start it from scratch with absolutely no guidance at all!

Because, basically, a college essay prompt acts as a sort of guide. Not all of us are blessed writers, and not all of us are good at writing personal statements along with our college application essays. We need a bit of help. A guiding hand. A nudge in the right direction. In short, we need a college application essay prompt.

If the college you’re applying to has decided to omit a college essay prompt, here are a few common college prompt essay questions you could use:

  • Describe an experience that has changed your life.
  • Why have you chosen to go to college?
  • What are you long-term goals in life?
  • Has there been a novel, movie, song or otherwise that has shaped your outlook on life?
  • What would you say makes you unique?
  • In your opinion, who has been the greatest world leader?

Now that you have your college application essay prompt – your own or the colleges – you can’t stop there. Sorry, but the hard work is only just beginning! Now you have to answer the college essay prompt.

How you answer the question will come down to what type of question it is. There are basically three type of questions:

  • Describe something
  • Explain something
  • Discuss something

Let’s say you’ve been asked to describe an experience that has changed your life. Naturally, it can be easy to get carried away. How do you condense a life-changing experience in 500 words or so? The key is to keep things simple. Focus only on the important bits and don’t waffle. If you have to describe what makes you unique, again keep things simple – but make things interesting! You’re trying to sell yourself, so standing out from the crowd is a surefire way to get noticed.

The ‘explain’ question usually pertains to an explanation of why you chose their college. They want to know what makes them appeal to you. This question can be a little tricky to answer because they’re basically looking to see whether you’ve done your research on them. If you’ve applied to their college because of a certain department, make sure you know everything about that department.

Finally, there is the ‘discuss something’ question. This is a chance for you to offer your thoughts on a topic and a good chance to demonstrate an aptitude for constructing a well-rounded argument. You need to put forward a strong argument and back it up with facts and quotes. Again, though, keep it short and keep it straightforward. And because you’re not at college yet, it’s probably best if you leave out a controversial or eccentric answer, though it is important to be original. Say something new!

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