The reveal of the essay prompts for the 2013-14 Common Application
have been released, and although next season's version of the revamped application -- dubbed Common App 4.0
-- will not go live until August 1, today's high school Juniors can get
an early start in formulating ideas for their personal statements, the
topics of Common App's choice now firmly in hand.
Yes, gone is the essay topic of your
choice (shame), and there is now a minimum (250) and maximum (650) word
count, to be strictly adhered to. And yet, the proferred topics are
broad enough to give students wide latitude in framing a personal
statement that weaves a story of who they are and what they would bring
to campus, and 650 words (up from the 500 first run up the proverbial
flagpole by Common App), should certainly suffice.
So, without further ado, here are the instructions for the 2013-14 Common App essays
, together with the prompts, as they shall appear on this fall's application.Instructions.
The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a
selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores?
Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an
essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and
structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your
goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do
so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)
Some students have a background or story that is so central to their
identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without
it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
• Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
• Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What
do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked
your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture,
community, or family.
There you have it, folks. The die has been cast at Common App. History is prologue. The rest, as they say, is in your hands!
Plan. Prepare. Prevail!
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