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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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How to approach Princeton's application essay questions?

Hey guys, I'm a junior planning on applying to Princeton next year. I want to get a jump-start on my essays but I'm unsure how to approach their questions properly. Any advice on how to tackle them or what they're looking for?

6 months ago

Hello! Great to see you're getting a head start on your Princeton application essays - just remember that prompts can change from year to year so while you might want to start brainstorming, you shouldn't write anything until you know the specific prompts. With that said, I'll provide some general guidance you should be able to apply regardless of the specifics of the prompts.

Princeton is known for its in-depth and thought-provoking prompts, so it's essential to approach them with a clear plan. I'll offer some guidance on making your essays stand out.

1. Start with research: Understand Princeton's values and what they're looking for in their students. Read about the university's mission, academic programs, and extracurricular opportunities. This knowledge can help you showcase how you'll fit in and contribute to the campus community.

2. Be authentic: Your essays should reflect who you are, your values, and your passions. Use your authentic voice and keep the focus on your experiences and thoughts. Avoid trying to impress the admissions officers with what you think they want to hear.

3. Brainstorm ideas: Princeton's essay prompts are often open-ended, giving you the freedom to write about a wide range of topics. Brainstorm different ideas and experiences that relate to the prompt. Identify the ones that best align with your personality, achievements, and contributions to the community.

4. Focus on depth: Instead of trying to cover multiple aspects of your life or interests, choose one or two specific experiences or ideas and dive deep into them. This allows you to showcase your thought process, critical thinking skills, and self-reflection.

5. Show, don't tell: Use vivid descriptions and concrete examples to illustrate your points, rather than merely stating facts or opinions. This will engage the reader and help them see the value of your experiences and ideas.

6. Be concise and clear: Avoid excessive use of jargon, cliches, or overly complex language. The essay should be easy to read and understand, with a clear focus on your experiences, insights, and contribution to the Princeton community.

7. Revise, revise, revise: Editing and revising are crucial steps. Seek feedback from your teachers, friends, family members, or even an experienced college counselor. Revise your drafts multiple times to improve the clarity and impact of your arguments.

8. Tailor to Princeton: Make sure certain elements of your essay are specific to Princeton. By doing so, you can demonstrate that you have put effort into researching the university and understand how you'll fit into the community.

Remember, it's never too early to start preparing and brainstorming, but hold off on writing for the time being. Good luck with your writing process!

6 months ago

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