Your college application essay is your ticket to college. So don’t lose the chance of showing what makes you different from other applicants. There are thousands of applications submitted to admission officers each year, so don’t write something as other applicants would and try to make your application stand out. So below are some common application essay questions.
Sample Application Essay Questions
1. Academic Plans
- How will your area of specialization contribute to your long-term career plan?
- Explain the significance of your major to the society 10 years from now.
2. Social Issues
- If you’re given the chance to change the curriculum of your school, what changes will you make?
- Cite a controversial issue on college campuses and propose a solution.
3. Personal Success
- How did you express your leadership both in and out of school?
- Describe your personal success and how it relates to your chosen field.
4. Background Information
- How has your family upbringing affected your views in life?
- Pick a past experience in your life and explain how that particular incident has changed you.
5. Future Goals
- Where will college education bring you 10 years from now?
- Describe your long-term perspectives for your long-term goals.
6. Financial Needs
- From your financial standpoint, what will be the impact of this scholarship on your education?
- Mention family or personal circumstances that have affected your financial status.
7. Random Questions
- Who is the person you admired the most and why?
- What book has influenced you deeply?
8. Other Related Questions
- Describe a significant incident that has changed your viewpoints in life.
- How does high school change you intellectually and personally?
- What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
- Why have you chosen this college?
- If given the chance to meet a famous person, who would it be and why?
- What movie has greatly affected you?
- What particular music has inspired you and why?
9. Strange Questions
- Are we alone?
- How do you feel about Friday?
- How would your room describe you?
- Who would be your biggest fan?
- What would be your greatest problem?
Common application essay questions can be nerve-wrecking. But some universities try to reduce the tension by raising odd questions. While most of the questions are unpredictable, knowing some of the commonly asked questions will help you win your application. So start brainstorming and begin writing down your thoughts as early as you can. Don’t let an application essay deter you from getting the quality education you deserve.
Author Bio: Rachel who is working at EssayTask.com can help you with writing an application essay. EssayTask.com provides quality writing services as well as examples of essays written by other students.
Illustration by Tyler Hoehne
As those hoping to be accepted to the class of 2019 can tell you, there’s not a lot to recommend about the college admission process, which now includes anything from a YouTube vlog to an itemized list of extracurriculars, and, of course, standardized test scores.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the college mortarboard, recent graduates entering the workforce are puzzling out answers to sterile, HR-recommended job interview questions like “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” While some companies occasionally try to shake things up with a brainteaser, Google later admitted such curveballs did nothing but let interviewers show off.
But what would happen if companies appropriated an age-old college application technique? What if employers adopted the college admission essay question?
Though asking potential employees to write a letter to their roommates may not be the best gauge of future job performance, other prompts encourage anecdotes that can highlight creativity and personality that otherwise lie dormant in stacks of black-and-white resumes. These six essay questions from real college admissions forms could tell potential employers a lot about job candidates. In turn, applicants would get a chance to present themselves thoughtfully and personally. And both parties could enjoy a break from the monotony of played-out, tepid inquiries like “Tell me about a time when you had to overcome failure” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
1. “Every name tells a story: Tell us about your name—any name: first, middle, last, nickname—and its origin.”
“Tell me about yourself” is so vague that there are articles dedicated to advising interviewees on the open-ended question. Instead, break the ice with something everyone can explain—their name. A good first question can do wonders for both sides, setting a conversational tone for the interview.
2. “Why do you do what you do?”
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
At first glance, some resumes may look a little disjointed with experience in multiple fields and varying levels of management authority. This question gives applicants a chance to connect the dots and demonstrate their calling.
3. “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?”
Common Application used by hundreds of schools
What makes a workspace productive varies from person to person. One may prefer an enclosed office where she can jam to her favorite songs while busting out some PowerPoint slides. Another may do his best work lying down on a couch and typing away. This question helps clarify whether the office’s existing culture and layout would be a good fit for the candidate, and vice versa.
4. “To tweet or not to tweet?”
University of Virginia in Charlottesville
Social-media blunders abound worldwide, with troubling case studies written everyday. Applicants may have no idea about Twitter, which, depending on the industry, may already be a red flag. But asking about personal social-media platforms gets into legal gray areas. Instead, hypothetical situations can assess the job seeker’s ability to protect confidential information or represent brand messages.
5. “What outrages you? Why?”
Wake Forest University
This is almost a trick question, because most interviewees will shy away from admitting they have anything but the most pleasant disposition. However, if the job requires a level of aggressiveness, a forthright demeanor, or a detail-oriented taskmaster, this question could bring those qualities out.
6. “Celebrate your nerdy side.”
For companies that claim to maintain some semblance of work-life balance, this question helps prove that commitment to the applicant. It also allows candidates to momentarily relax, as they revel in explaining something they truly love.
Update: This article originally appeared on October 11, 2014.