Optional essays may help schools differentiate between students with similar qualifications. In addition, a strong “optional” essay gives the admissions officer more information to consider in their decision. However, there is at least one exception to the “rule” that optional essays aren’t really optional.
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Is optional essay really optional?
False. A school that is test optional will absolutely still consider a student’s standardized test scores, and those scores can be valuable tools for admissions officers. We would encourage any student who has achieved a score in or above the average range of admitted students to submit scores.
Should I write a college essay if it’s not required?
If a college says the essay is “optional,” you should still send one. It can only help you. The reason essay optional schools include that option is so when they are deciding between students with similar qualifications, they can look to see if there are other possible factors to judge.
What are good topics for college essays?
Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts Prompt #1: Share your story. Prompt #2: Learning from obstacles. Prompt #3: Challenging a belief. Prompt #4: Solving a problem. Prompt #5: Personal growth. Prompt #6: What captivates you? Prompt #7: Topic of your choice. Describe a person you admire.
How many essays do you have to write for college?
As one counselor says, “My students are probably up to 20 or so essays between Honors colleges, the Common App, colleges using college-specific application platforms, scholarship essays, and specific program essays.” And in our experience, it’s common now for students to have to write 12-20 essays as part of their Mar 8, 2020.
What do you write in an optional essay?
The most common optional essay will ask, “Is there’s anything else we should know about you?” If you choose to explain any negative circumstances with this response, make sure to address the big picture and how you overcame and succeeded, and why it won’t happen again.
Can a college essay hurt you?
However, a weak college application essay can severely hurt your chance of admission. College application essays that are not well-written signal to the admissions committee that you are not fully prepared for their program. They are also disrespectful.
Are Ivy League really test optional?
Ivy League and Other Top Universities Still Want to See Your Test Scores During COVID. Due to the disruptions to test dates caused by COVID-19, the university said, it would not require the submission of SAT or ACT scores by applicants in 2020-2021.
Is Harvard going test optional?
Harvard Removes Standardized Testing Requirement for Class of 2026 Applicants. Applicants to Harvard’s Class of 2026 will not be required to submit standardized test scores as part of their application to the College, the Admissions Office announced Friday.
What do colleges look for in essays?
Admissions officers look for students whose essays reveal their character and perspective through their real experiences, not contrived situations. Admissions officers say most essays they read are safe, generic and do nothing to make them remember or want to advocate for the students who wrote them.
Should you do optional college essays?
You should write the optional essay if you actually have something substantial to say about it. They can smell a weak, insincere, or forced essay from a mile away. Submitting an essay that’s not “real” will hurt you more than simply forgoing the essay at all.
Should I not submit my test scores?
If your SAT score falls near or above the 75th percentile for the college, you should definitely submit it. You have absolutely nothing to lose in that case — your SAT score adds another layer that benefits your application.
Should I submit my common app essay if it’s optional?
For essays unless you are not confident in your writing ability I’d always recommend you submit an optional essay. Using it as personal statement means you don’t have to write another essay for a school that requires it while if they don’t care about personal statement but have supplemental I’d use it as supplemental.
Does Harvard accept homeschoolers?
What if I am homeschooled? Each applicant to Harvard College is considered with great care and homeschooled applicants are treated the same as all other applicants. There is no special process, but all relevant information about your educational and personal background is welcome.
What essays are required for colleges?
In addition to the Personal Statement, many colleges require applicants to submit supplemental essays. These supplemental essays ask students to respond to a wide variety of topics: their most meaningful activity, their interest in a particular college or major, an important community they belong to, etc.
How long should a college essay be?
The primary essay for your college application, often called a personal statement, is typically around 400-600 words. The Common App personal statement — which is used as the primary application essay by more than 800 colleges — must be 250-650 words.
Are college essays mandatory?
Most US colleges and universities require applicants to write a short essay about themselves or a specific topic as part of the application process. The essay gives you an opportunity to talk clearly about your goals, and can give admissions officers a better idea of how well you might fit in with the school.
Are colleges really test optional?
More than 1,200 U.S. colleges are test-optional, meaning the college doesn’t require test scores, at least not from most students. If you are not a great test-taker or think your test scores don’t accurately reflect your abilities as a student, you might consider applying to test-optional schools.
Is it smart to go test optional?
If the college does not require the test, then generally NO, it will not hurt your application. But know that without test scores other parts of your application will become more important. This includes your GPA, your college essay, awards and achievements, references, and any extracurricular activities you include.
Does test optional put you at a disadvantage?
Test-optional or test-flexible admissions might also put you at a disadvantage for merit-based scholarships, though some schools will consider you despite not submitting your SAT/ACT scores. Test-optional and test-flexible admissions are not new concepts.
How do I know if my college essay is good?
4 Ways to Know if You’ve Written a Good College Essay Put the essay away for a day or two. Then read it again. Read your essay out loud. You shouldn’t stumble over words or phrases when you read your essay out loud. Ask yourself if your essay says everything you want it to say about you. Pretend you’re a college reader.
Are colleges test optional in 2022?
As admissions offices have rolled out their plans for next year, the majority of colleges and universities that were test optional for the class of 2021 have announced that they will remain so for the class of 2022.