Five Tips To Nail Your College Entrance Essay


Type, research, edit, type again, re-read, review, and print out.

Do more grammatical edits and send to your references. Get it checked.

Edit again and re-write.

Then finally: hit send.

The time to impress your college admission officers with an outstanding essay has arrived. An essay for a college application can be the key and walk the borderline between getting accepted or rejected.

This process could take a lot of time researching and structuring, months even on just writing one essay, but the college admission officers will screen it within just  a few minutes.

Just like all great authors and writers know, it is important to attain their maximum attention—in the first few words.

If your main concern is how to make your essay stand out (which is should be since there are many other applicants with similar backgrounds), here are five good tips that will get the most attention from the college admission officers:

  • Allocate your Time: If you’vewritten your essay in one sitting, your ideas have not had a chance to sit.

Take your time after you’ve written it to let it sit for a while before going back to edit.

On the other hand, if it takes more than a month to complete your essay, that time’s much too long, your ideas will have lost their energy and may not be able to maintain the same excitement as it was when fresh.

Generating an original and considerate essay will inevitably take a good amount of brainstorming but if your start early enough, you’ll be able to finish it within a good amount time, without losing focus and maintaining your excitement for admission. It’s important that you feel good about your submission.

  • Read instructions carefully and start with a convincing introduction: Starting an essay is the toughest part.

Mentioning that you need to read instructions carefully may seem redundant but considering all the stress and excitement that describe this time of your life, highlighting it is required.

The college admission officer won’t be slow to assume that you are not be able to follow the university’s program if your first impression is that you can’t follow guidelines to the application essay.

You should be able to follow the rules like: page and word limit, and the organization of your submission. Take a few minutes to go through instructions, gather notes, and the start to generate a vivid introduction.

The university will spend a small amount of time to review your essay therefore, writing a compelling introduction will keep the college admission officer engaged.

Open with an anecdote that will reveal the best side of your personality and character, giving an insight into the admission officer to get to know who you are.

  • Evade clichés: When selecting a topic for your personal statement, it is important to avoid common or cliche topics because they will not differentiate you with other applicants.

You will get encouraged when you go through some examples of prodigious essays and get inspired, which is a good exercise. However, many students allow themselves to be carried too much by these examples anduse too many clichés in their urge to impress their college admissions (and emulate those examples).

Such common topics (and clichés) are generic and applicants should avoid them.

As an applicant, focus on an essay that makes you unique and which you can speak about in depth and personally. Pick something that shows who you are.

  • Pick one topic and stick to a clear essay plan: Many students try to stuff awards, activities, and distinctions in their essays—which is simply spewing off their resumé in essay-form.

A personal statement in your essay can help youpaint a picture of who you are apart from GPA, co-curricular activities, and standardized examinations. The admission officer wants to know who you are—it’s important that you inject your personality within the text.

To help you do so, pick one subject, occurrence or event to help show you off as a person and more so—as somebody whom the college wants to bring in.

Sticking to a clear plan will enable you to avoid writing many words without meaning. You only get a set number of words—use them wisely.

  • Remember who the reader is and ask someone to go through your work before you submit: The most important is to remember why the admission officers are reading your essay among other essays.

The admission officers receive many essayson a daily basis. Since they don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to each essay, they want a piece that will distinguish your essay from the rest.

Your first paragraph should be attention-grabbing and the background of your anecdote should be well-explained as well as able to pull the reader into your story.

Lastly, you should ask someone to proofread your work before submission.

Since you want to create a good college application and essay, it will be important to look overit for grammar, spelling, and typo errors.

As we focus too hard on things, we become blind to mistakes that can be conspicuously obvious to others.Therefore, ask somebody else to have a look at your essay.

It is important to ask only two or three people because if you ask too many people, numerous types of feedback could confuse you, lowering the quality of your essay as you review according to each person’s advice.

Wrapping Up Your Essay: Conclusion

Writing a college essay can be overwhelming, particularly when one is uncertain of what to write about or how to write it.

However, an essay that is sincere and thoughtful about an experience or event that is important to you, can be powerful and express the unique qualities that you will bring to college.

Creating an original and in-depth essay needs time. Write it and let it breathe. Brainstorm and edit it to make it flow.

Ensure you proofread your work to make sure it is captivating and impressive to the university admission officers.

Before staring at the blinking cursor on your blank page, take a deep breath, follow the above tips, and write a killer essay.

Author Bio

Anne Baron is highly experienced educator, writer and copywriter specializing in academic research.  She has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration with almost 25 years of experience in teaching and academic writing.  She spent a dozen years managing a large college peer-tutoring program and another dozen years in the classroom teaching college students.  She has since retired from teaching and devotes her time and efforts to freelance writing for institutions, businesses and colleges like Patrick Henry College.