Common App Personal Essay Prompt 1

Common App Personal Essay Prompt 1

Answering Prompt #1 Questions When Writing Your Common Application Essay

This prompt requires you to just tell your story, figuratively bringing your application to life. It tests one’s diversity by looking out for things such as what makes you unique, your life's passion, and how you see yourself in your community and entire society. You can also include your personal interests, motivations, and how you discovered a new talent. Basically, you should explain your background and how it has shaped you into what you are currently.

This kind of expected information may call for some lofty languages and extravagant life experiences, but there’s a gimmick to standing out. The committees are more concerned with what is meaningful to you and how these meanings may have an effect on their next scholars. That said, you should consider the following questions below when answering the prompt.

How are you different from others?

This shouldn’t be something you have to overthink, but remember to remain genuine when putting this down. The committee wants to know what makes you special and know which aspect of your uniqueness could fit into their system and possibly enhance it.

What do you find very passionate?

You are probably passionate about various things in life. However, the committee wishes to know your most avid engagements through a story-telling lens. For instance, one mentioning being passionate about technology and history after his first successful encounter with fixing his dad’s radio set. Tell the significant passions that have a significant reflection in your life.

What do you consider most important?

Apart from what makes you special or your passion, the committee ultimately wants to know what you value most in life. This is where you can add all the important isms that deeply matter to you. Naturalism? Individualism? Reflect on whatever ones you mention stating how the values are powerful to you.

Can you illustrate life in your imagination?

Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words. How well can you present a colorful imaginary setting for your audience to get them captivated? A girl who gained admission narrated her story of how she found comfort after losing a close-family by teaching middle schoolers how to snowboard. She combined an illustration of her love for mountains and snowboard tutoring with vivid adjectives as imagery. In essence, use your writing to show a powerfully imaginative mind rather than overloading your essay with likes and interests.

What prospects can your meaningful life-story bring to the table?

The often most unanswered question for all prompts. Students tend to leave the admission committee hanging here when applicants just beat around the bush or lose focus. You should let the committee believe that admitting you based on your story would be a plus for them. For instance, how may your athletic talents contribute to the college’s sports and local service programs? 


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