4 months ago
Admissions Advice

Can someone explain this topic to me and give some pointers?

how have you been challenged to grow, as a student and as an individual, in the last year? how has this influenced your drive to further your studies? how will you leverage this growth within the pre-college community?

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Accepted Answer
4 months ago[edited]

When I was preparing for the English Composition AP test, my class and I had to spend some time analyzing prompts. It wasn't the best day in that class, but it was fun. In order to understand this prompt, take a step back and look at it. Breaking it down into smaller pieces makes it more digestable.

"How have you been challenged to grow?"

Make a list for one. Just grab a scrap sheet of paper and write down anything in your past that challenged a belief you had or changed your view on something. Try to include dates, events... Literally, anything you can remember. Now, lower it to events that have happened in the past year. Try to focus on events that challenged your belief in something so you say something like, "Now I know that I know nothing about this, I want to further study it and teach others about it." That sentence is a bit rough but the general gist we want to go forth.

You've finished pre-writing. I recommend just setting aside about 2 hours for each essay after pre-writing. Or heck, set aside an entire afternoon where you write, get feedback and rewrite.

Now that you've done pre-writing, here comes the outline. Again, this is where having a list of the general events and info comes in handy. Because if you have done this, outlining will be a snap!

When you outline something responding to this prompt, go for something a little like this:

Intro: Introduce your previously held belief and what lead you to it (aka past experiences, beliefs passed down unto you, etc)

Body: Start with how you challenged this belief, maybe by introducing the friend or teacher who caused you to do it (go chronologically)

Conclusion: Say you don't know much about it, admit to it, talk about how you want to teach/ empower others

From your outline, all you have to do is flesh it out and add transitional phrases. After feedback, you have a finished essay in about a day.

Edit: The prompt doesn't ask you to talk about COVID-19. COVID could have had an impact on how you changed but there's no need to ham fist it in. If the prompt wanted you to talk about COVID, it would ask. I'm going to provide two examples. I naturally read quite a bit, so COVID provided me with a chance to read more thought-heavy books, as you will see.

1.) I recently read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. It changed my views on Journalism and how it can change the world. It challenged beliefs I had where Journalism was just reporting on the local football game that had been re-affirmed by my work on the local school newspaper.

2.) With the added time I have thanks to COVID, I have sat down and decided to read up on things like Queer/ Feminist Theory. It's really cool to look back on stories I loved as a little girl and re-examine them. Take "A Little Princess." In the story, the main character is saved by her own humility and grace she doesn't play an active role in her saving. The story, which was written in the 1800s, highlights a trend in how girls were taught to act. That if they were naturally good enough (and submissive enough) they would be saved from any situation. Reading this has changed my worldview quite a bit because now I look at certain genres (such as children's literature) and think more critically about them. What do they want to teach children? How does this parrot the beliefs of the time? And so on.

Wanting to understand Queer/ Feminist theory has been a goal of mine, but I never had time for it because my schedule was loaded. Thanks to COVID, I now have the time to read the myriad of books that are needed to understand Feminism as an idea. "The Jungle", by contrast, is just one book, and understanding its significance is just reading a single encyclopedia page. From what I have seen, COVID has given them more time to do things or has caused them to see things they couldn't before (like how important public health is). But if COVID had no impact on the change (like in the first example) then, again, no need to include it.

4 months ago

This prompt is asking you to describe how you have overcome something in your life, how it made you work harder in school, and how you will use this to continue to grow.

Think of an experience or setback that is unique to you and briefly describe it. Then go into detail on how it has impacted you and made you want to work harder.

Remember to provide details to prove your points and make it unique to you and not an essay anyone could write. Good luck and let me know if you need any further guidance!


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