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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

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Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How do I tell if my college essay is actually good?

I've revised my college essay like a million times by now, but I still can't shake the feeling of doubt. How can I gauge if it's actually hitting the mark and would impress an admissions officer? Does anyone have tips for self-assessment or do I just need to get more people to read it?

8 months ago

Hey there! Ah, the classic essay doubt—it's more common than you think. It's great that you've spent so much time revising your essay, which shows your dedication to making it shine. Self-assessment can indeed be tricky, but here's a little trick: after setting your essay aside for a day or two, read it out loud. This can help you catch any awkward phrases and ensure that the essay flows well.

Also, does your essay sound like you? Your unique voice should come through clearly, giving an admissions officer insight into who you are beyond grades and test scores. Another checkpoint is to ask yourself if your essay addresses the prompt effectively while also telling a compelling story. Are you showing rather than just telling? For example, rather than simply stating that you're passionate about environmental science, describe the time you spent a summer volunteering with a coastal cleanup and what you learned from the experience.

Lastly, having a few more sets of eyes on it can be very helpful. Teachers, counselors, or a friend who's a good writer could provide valuable feedback. Just make sure they understand you're looking for constructive criticism, not just affirmation. This combination of self-analysis and external opinions should give you a good sense on where your essay stands.

Check out CollegeVine's free Peer Essay Review tool, where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays: https://www.collegevine.com/essays/review

If you want some more professional assistance, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools: https://www.collegevine.com/experts/essay-review

Good luck!

8 months ago

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