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a year ago
Admissions Advice

When should I writing essays?
Answered

Hey, so I’m about to be a sophomore and I have high stats for most areas but I was wondering when I should start writing essays. In applying to 11 schools so I have a lot of essays to write, but I don’t want to start writing too early if the quality will improve if I wait. Any suggestions?

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5 answers

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hello!

I'd recommend thinking about essays only once you've prepared for the SATs/ACTs and you find yourself well within range for the most competitive schools out of the eleven you're applying to. Ensure you're above the benchmark for those test scores first - unless you're planning to apply test-optional - and then start writing if you have nothing else left to prepare for.

However, even after being ready for the SATs/ACTs, don't simply limit yourself to essay-writing! There's a lot more to think about as well. Consider doing research or applying for internships related to your interests during your summer. Think about continuing to pursue a passion or extracurricular of yours so you have interesting topics and experiences to refer back to when it comes to writing your essays. Branch out and experiment. Engage yourself in your community and pursuits.

Another reason I recommend you wait to jump into writing your essays is because I, like you, started planning for my essays as a sophomore only to discard them as a junior. A student's writing style can change substantially within the span of a year so committing too much of your time to writing essays early on is not always the best investment. So brainstorm, plan, and try your hand at a few prompts, but it might still be early in the game for writing fully formed essays and your time might be better spent elsewhere.

Also, since you're a sophomore, you have time on your side! Get ready for your tests. Build your achievements. And then, if you have time remaining, start thinking about your Common App. Even out of the many schools you're applying to, prompts will likely be similar enough that you can recycle essays with a few tweaks for each school's particularities.

Nonetheless, I commend your desire to think ahead and think you're in good shape thus far. :)

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a year ago

I suggest if you have the time, get started! However, do not delete any of your essays. That way you can go back to them in the future and improve them or use them as inspiration for new ideas. There are tons of resources out there from YouTube videos to articles right here on CollegeVine. If you do begin writing now, make sure you do research on the prompts to make sure they stay the same when it's time for you to submit yours, you don't want to write an essay for a prompt that will change.

If you don't want to get started now, brainstorming is something that will help tremendously in the future. Start to get to know yourself and you'll have more to write about! You can also start journaling so you can look back at what you were experiencing and that may trigger your memory about events you forgot about. Do research on the schools and their prompts and start making lists of possible things for you to talk about.

It's great that you're getting started on the process already!

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a year ago[edited]

[deleted]

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a year ago

as other answers have probably said, i think its best if you wait. as a rising sophomore I'm guessing you're around 14-15 years old. A LOT is going to happen to you by the time you are 16-17 and getting really into the app process the summer before senior year.

there is definitely absolutely no harm in starting early, but keep in mind that you're still super young and have a lot of time. waiting will also inevitably give you more experiences talk about in essays.

also because you have only your freshman year stats to work with, there isn't a guarantee that you will have that same trend throughout your high school career in terms of grades and GPA.

BUT i believe in you and i'm sure you'll definitely keep grades up and write amazing essays!! good luck!!

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a year ago

Hey, I think it’s great that you are so young and starting to look into your future. You should get started looking at the common apps and brainstorm some ideas. As you get older and wiser you will learn more a little bit about your writing and about what you want to show off. You can always edit those essays in the future 😉

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