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a year ago
Admissions Advice

Will not answering optional questions hurt my chances?

I'm applying to NCSU on November 1, and they have an optional question about obstacles you have faced, I would write about an injury I had, but I already used that on the "why major" essay as it inspired me to become a biomedical engineer. So I'm not sure if I need to answer the optional obstacle essay. I'm sure I could think of another smaller obstacle, but I don't want it to seem like I'm exaggerating a minor inconvenience, as I feel this would also my chances. I have a strong common app essay and SAT/GPA above their averages, but I don't want not writing this essay/exaggerating something minor to prevent me from getting in. So do you think not writing this question is better or worse than talking about a smaller obstacle? Thanks for your input

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

So like test optional (I THINK) there’s no downside if you don’t do it but there’s significant upside to doing it. As NC St has a roughly 50% admit rate and is primarily instate enrolled if an out of state student you will likely want to do it as it gives personality insight which will separate you from other qualified applicants.

Also if you are hovering at around or below The mid marks for GPA or you aren’t confident in your ECs I’d say do it.

Also if you just suck as a writer don’t inflict self harm as a bad answer will lower admissions chances but as long as you have punctuation and address the prompt it will only benefit you. If you are amazing do it unless NC St is not a top 12 school in your list.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!

TLDR Benifuts you doing it no down side not doing it.

a year ago

Not writing it probably won't hurt you but doing anything that is optional will almost always help. Also writing about a smaller obstacle wouldn't hurt you as long as you truthfully portray how it affected you and show how it was important to you and how it bettered you as a person.

a year ago

it won't make or break your application but unless you can't write anything decent for them, then do them. If you're really worried you can't do well with it then... write it, read it and see if it's good.


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