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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)

Any insider tips on making my Common App essay pop?

Hey everyone, I'm sitting down to brainstorm ideas for my Common App essay and I want to make sure it really stands out. Any advice on themes or approaches that might resonate with admissions officers? How do I choose a topic that reflects who I am but isn't clichéd?

8 months ago

Hey there, it's great that you're putting serious thought into your essay! One key to making your essay stand out is to focus on a story only you can tell. Reflect on unique experiences that have shaped you or moments of growth that demonstrate your character. Authenticity resonates with admissions officers, so be genuine in your storytelling.

Avoid overused topics unless you have a truly distinctive angle on them. Remember, it's often not about what you write, but rather how you write it. For example, a common topic might be a sports victory, but if you write about what you learned during the practices leading up to the win and how it changed your entire personal philosophy and approach to teamwork and leadership, then you're providing fresh insight.

Lastly, don't shy away from vulnerability or discussing a failure. An essay about how you confronted and learned from a mistake or challenge can be powerful. Just make sure it ultimately reflects growth and resilience. Best of luck with your essay—your authentic voice is your strongest asset!

8 months ago

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CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.