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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What to Include in a College Essay: A Plea for Guidance

You guys, trying to figure out what to put in my college essay feels like decoding a secret language. What exactly are the must-haves to include in a college essay? I don't just want to rehash my résumé or sound generic. Could really use some advice on how to make my essay as engaging and genuine as possible – any ideas?

8 months ago

Decoding the college essay 'secret language' can indeed be daunting, but you’re already on the right track by wanting to avoid a résumé rehash and striving for authenticity. Think of your college essay as a snapshot of who you are - one that showcases your voice, personality, and the unique qualities you’ll bring to the campus. Narrate an experience that was transformative for you and one that aligns with the values or characteristics of the schools you're applying to. Don't shy away from showing vulnerability or learning moments, as these can be powerful in revealing your character and resilience. Remember to demonstrate reflection on your experiences, not just describe them. A well-thought-out essay could explore a singular passion, a personal challenge overcome, a significant accomplishment, or a pivotal moment that led to growth. It's not about grandiosity but the impact it had on you. Engage the reader with a strong opening, use vivid anecdotes where possible, and ensure your conclusion ties back to your opening thought or thesis. Above all, be genuine; admissions officers have a keen eye for authenticity. Have a few trusted mentors review your essay, as they can offer invaluable feedback. Think of your essay as a personal interview on paper - make it memorable!

8 months ago

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