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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Short answer response help

Hello! I'm working on several college applications that require short answer responses. I was wondering if anyone could share examples of successful short answer responses that helped them get in. Any advice is much appreciated!

6 months ago

Hello! While I can't share the exact short-answer responses that helped someone get in, I can give you some tips and a general idea of how to create strong short-answer responses.

1. Be specific: Short answers by their nature require you to be succinct. Use specific details and examples to illustrate your points, rather than generic or broad statements.


Weak: "I really enjoy volunteering at my local food bank."

Strong: "Spending my Saturdays sorting canned goods at my local food bank has taught me valuable teamwork skills."

2. Showcase your unique perspective: Colleges are looking for authentic and interesting individuals. When crafting your short answers, think about what makes you stand out and how your experiences have shaped you.


Weak: "I joined the debate team to develop my public speaking skills."

Strong: "Through debate, I've found my voice as an advocate for mental health awareness in youth."

3. Answer the question directly: Make sure your answer addresses the prompt fully, even if that means being more straightforward than you'd like to be. The more precise your answer, the better.


Weak: "My part-time job has helped me grow as a person."

Strong: "Balancing school and my part-time job as a cashier has taught me time management and problem-solving skills."

4. Be mindful of tone: Since you're working with a limited word count, choose your words wisely to convey the appropriate tone. Don't be too informal or overly formal, and let your personality shine through.


Weak (informal): "I'm literally the biggest Harry Potter fan ever."

Strong: "My passion for Harry Potter led me to found my school's Wizarding Club, where we discuss the books and engage in community service."

Remember to avoid clichés and overused phrases, and focus on showcasing the unique aspects of your personality, experiences, or passions. The key is to be genuine, concise, and provide concrete examples of your achievements or interests. Good luck on your college applications!

6 months ago

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