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      Tips on College Application and Common App Essays

      College Application and Common App Essays

      If you are a senior year student in high school, I am sure you must have already started writing the Common App essays. There are 7 prompts and you are required to write on any 1. Because of COVID-19 this year the SAT and ACT tests are being optional, so essays are going to be even more critical than ever.

      Tips on College Application and Common App Essays

      The admissions team really wants to know the person behind the application and get to connect with you through your essays. Your essay is your voice and your story so make it heard and be genuine and authentic.  Take full advantage of the word count which is 650 and make sure every word matter.

      Do not write what is mentioned elsewhere on your application which is your academics, and extra-curricular. Before writing brainstorm and write something personal for each of the seven topics. Give it a day or two and then go back and see which story resonates with you. Which story tells more about who you are and what matters to you and why you are unique.

      Sharing some tips –

      1) Is it you? – The best essays are simple and personal. Write your essay about something that is meaningful to you. It could be an experience, a person or anything that has touched you in your life.

      2) Reflect- When narrating your story about how you spent your summer with your grandma or how you prepared for the big competition, do not just recall, but reflect and write about what was your learning and how did you evolve because of that experience. Always show insight into who you are.

      3) Start Early – Keep some time aside every week for the essays and keep in mind that it takes multiple drafts before you reach to the final essay so starting early helps.

      4) Record your essay – Every time you write your essay, record it and play it back to see if it sounds like you, or if it sounds interesting.

      5) Proofread- Have your parents or counselor proofread your essay and double check for any grammar errors.

      Book (or Request) a 1-on-1 Consultation Session with Ruchi Saran

      The person reading your application is a normal human being like you and me and is finding ways to accept you and not reject you. So, try touching the application reader’s heart through your authentic voice.

      Author: Ruchi Saran

      Ruchi specializes in counseling students from Grade 8 – 12 for College Admissions to the US. She has spent her last 8 years understanding the college admissions process and firmly believes that the key is to start early. Having lived both in India and the US in the last 25 years, she understands the education system very well in both places.

      She has a BA in Psychology and an Associate Degree in Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Child Education and has worked with kids ranging from 5-18 years. She was instrumental in setting up the GEMS Modern Academy School in Gurgaon. She strongly believes in giving back to the community and is an active volunteer in a couple of NGOs. She is also on the board for Udayan Care USA.

      Currently, she is residing in California, USA with her husband and 2 sons. One is a graduate from UC Berkeley and the other has just joined UC Berkeley as a freshman.


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