What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Desperate to know: What exactly is a Common App essay?

So, I keep hearing about the 'Common App essay' from everyone in school, but I feel kinda lost because no one really explains what it's supposed to be. Is it like any normal essay for English class, or is there a specific format or approach we’re supposed to take for college admissions? What are colleges expecting from this essay? Yikes, just want to make sure I get it right!

7 months ago

Hey there! No need to be overwhelmed. The Common App essay is a personal statement type of essay that is part of the Common Application, which is used by over 900 colleges.

The essay prompts give you a chance to present yourself beyond your grades and test scores. It's your opportunity to share your voice, personality, and story with admissions officers. The format is more freeform than an English essay—there's no specific 'right' structure, but it should be well-organized and clearly written.

Colleges are looking for a glimpse of who you are, what's important to you, and insights into your character and maturity. Remember to be sincere, reflective, and to write in your own voice. You are the expert on yourself, so share your authentic self in the essay! Think about moments that have shaped you or lessons you've learned that speak to your character. Good luck, and take advantage of your school resources if you need guidance!

7 months ago

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